One of the things I like the most about social media is that it doesn’t have just one role for a brand, it has many…it’s what I call textured. When most consumers think about social media in reference to a brand, I believe they think about the content they consume and the deals they can take advantage of. Keeping this in mind, many companies focus on their brand voice and messaging along with providing enticing coupons and prizes which is why management often wants their PR people (agency or in house) to oversee their social media. But did you know that posting content strategically on your blog and in the social networks is an excellent search engine optimization (SEO) tool? Did you know if done correctly, social media has the power to raise your company’s website rankings in Google, Bing, Yahoo and more? This is the texture I was referencing; social media has many capabilities to consider and SEO is just one of them.
As a case in point, I have a client who came to Creative Concepts wanting to do social media, and in our first meeting he shared that SEO was his highest priority with social media being an add on he thought he would try. Back when his website first went live some years ago, he was the online leader among local competitors, but once others caught on, his search ranking dropped to the bottom of the first page and in some cases for certain keywords, his website dropped to the second page which was detrimental to his business. Keeping this in mind as I developed the social strategy where he also wanted to increase brand exposure locally, I created a plan that centered on his blog and Google + page for SEO strength and Facebook and LinkedIn for some SEO but mostly for brand exposure. Within one month of implementation of the SEO and social strategy, his search standings bumped up to midway of the first page…a huge jump after watching his website drop monthly for a year (and yes brand exposure increased dramatically too between increased Likes on Facebook and millions of impressions on LinkedIn).
Here are some tips to think about when using a blog in particular as an SEO tool:
- Get into a habit of updating your blog regularly and often. For clients, I have found that one time per week doesn’t really do the trick, three times tells Google you are alive but five or more times per weeks bumps you up in the search rankings as you long as you follow best practices.
- Titles of each blog entry are huge for search so try to use keywords important to your brand and if possible your company name without making the title seem too robotic and ad like (because remember you are still trying to appeal to your customer as well as the search engines).
- Always embed an image or a video in your blog entry.
- Use keywords in your blog entries that others would use to find your business online.
- Link often to other areas of your website. For instance on the Creative Concepts website, if we mention social media in the blog, we embed a link to the social media section of the website. This is both informative to the reader and great for search for the overall website.
- Embed links from outside quality sources. You will want to do this in order to back up what you are saying similar to how you would use a footnote for a written paper but beyond that, some say that a website or blog is dead (ie has no visitors) if there are no outbound links. The concept is similar to gift giving during the holidays…it’s a two way street.
- Remember to add tags to your blog entries.
- Research and use popular hashtags to gain further exposure for your blog content. I have even gotten into the habit of using key hashtags in the titles of the blog entries which helps boost the title that much more.
- Last but not least, spend time writing high quality, original content keeping your customers in mind always. At the end of the day, no amount of links and keywords will help your SEO if your content isn’t informational and/or entertaining for your readers.
I hope this helps you look at social media with new eyes and helps you attain new visitors and higher search rankings in the near and far future!
Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, @CreativeConsult