Often described as a ‘dark art’, SEO still tends to be shrouded in a veil of mystery with those specialists and agencies in the know often reluctant to share their secrets.
With 10 years of SEO expertise behind us, we can confidently reveal that there is, in fact, no great secret. Successful SEO is all about analysing your site visitors to better understand their behaviour. Apply this learning to your social marketing, and you can expect to run social campaigns with added clout.
Why social needs to align with search
Now that the search engines (Google and Bing) use social engagement metrics as a determinant of ranking, your performance on social channels absolutely impacts on your visibility in search. The question to ask is not whether social needs to align with search, but how to achieve this golden combination; your ticket to increased traffic.
Social proof: what is it?
You’ll have probably heard SEO experts talking at length about links, and the value of links back to your site. To break it down, the higher the quantity and, importantly, the quantity of links back to your site, the higher you will rank for keywords that you’re targeting. As well as links, your social engagement prowess – in the form of engagement – also reveals your authority and expertise on a topic.
Social proof, working much in the same way as links to validate the quality of your site, comes in the form of likes, retweets and shares. As any seasoned social marketer knows, engagement in the form of Twitter followers, LinkedIn shares and so on is only half the story. Your success in digital marketing will always be judged by the number of measurable conversions that can be attributed as originating from social interactions.
How to align social with search
You’ve probably noticed social and search specialists cosying up together for some time now. The relative success of the relationship boils down to content. Promoting quality content through the right social channels will help you to earn that all-important social proof that search engines hold in such high esteem. And the search powers are absolutely right to value social validation so highly. To truly engage readers with your content reveals that you are building your authority, increasing your social community and attracting traffic organically.
Social media marketing is, we all know, about so much more than the number of Twitter followers your account can woo. Engaging with quality content to invite social sharing is at the root of social success, and each retweet, share, like and +1 will absolutely impact on your search engine rankings.
Over to you
At which touchpoints do social and search collide for your business? Start a conversation in the comments below and who knows, it might earn you valuable social proof!