Next time you’re logged into Facebook or Google+, do a search and see if you notice anything different. Your friends may be recommending great restaurants to eat at, commenting on an interesting article, or even sharing YouTube videos of your favorite song. If you really want to know what your friends are sharing on Google+, log into your Google+ account, do a search, and if any of your friends have shared or +1’ed a related search result, you can search within just your friends’ recommendations by clicking on “personal results…” at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Social recommendations are having a huge impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Social visibility is having an even greater impact. Engagement, sharing, likes and comments are showing on the SERP. The greater the visibility, the more potential followers, which leads to more potential engagement and SEO value. Now, your ranking on the SERP is partially dependent on your social media impact and influence, and currently makes up one of more than 200 factors of Google’s algorithm (including Google+, Facebook and Twitter). In an increasingly technologically dependent world, this is one way personalization is making a comeback–through personalized search results. So the question is, what are some tactics to improve your social media influence to improve your SEO?
- Be sure to complete all your profile information and use keywords anywhere it makes sense, which will layer in SEO value. It’s also important to include links back to the site on your Facebook profile.
- Claim your brand name as part of your Facebook URL. This will uniquely tie together your Facebook brand with your profile leading to greater visibility, brand consistency and will also raise your search engine ranking.
- Always include ‘Like’ and share buttons on your site to encourage responses, engagement and to seek participation. You want to encourage engagement across your entire site, not just the homepage.
- Remember, it’s not about the number of Followers or number you’re Following–it’s about engaging in conversation with your followers
- It’s important to follow leaders and influencers of your brand, as these are the mavens, those that talk about your brand and spread the good word
- Again, social media is a two-way street–re-Tweet valuable content. You need to give to get. Your followers will appreciate this as well. Show them you’re listening.
- Protect your brand name by making sure you’ve claimed it so you can own what’s happening as a result
- Images and videos are getting more real estate in search–emphasize sharing these in addition to keyword-rich posts
- Bring value to the conversation–most Google+ users are seeking information and use this social media tool differently than Facebook. Give users what they want
- Include the Google+ button on every page throughout your site to connect to customers, increase awareness and get viral growth–tap into the 90 million users that are currently using Google+. The Google+ buttons should be as ubiquitous as the ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ buttons.
When it comes to social media and SEO, it’s about meaningful and relevant content, and sharing this content across your audiences. Leverage social visibility to boost SEO through social insights and viral techniques. Regardless of which social media platform you choose to use, always shoot for quality first. The more they’re engaged with you the more you are on top of mind. Link your content between Google+, Facebook and Twitter–promote interaction across channels and engagement will soar and so will your search ranking. However, be mindful of linking things appropriately and customizing messages across the various social media platforms for your audience because each platform has different audiences.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Drive follower growth
- Segment with Google+ circles & Facebook Lists
- Understand your audience
- Differentiate content
- Drive engagement