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How Social Media plays its part in SEO

While planning search optimisation for websites, a lot of people get stuck really understanding what part social media plays.

Social media generally tends to start further down the priority list for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of a lack of understanding of what benefits it can actually bring, and also the fact that it’s difficult to relate a tweet or facebook message to a sale, whereas it’s much easier to attribute a growth in sales to new rankings from focusing on new key phrases.

The way that social media has now evolved, means that it now plays a more important role in search rankings, since search engines are now taking into account the reputation of the websites as reflected in social media sites, to determine rank.

What Content do Users want to Share?

A regular occurrence lately is the positioning of social networking buttons on pages, and within content, which is all well and good, as long as people actually bother to click on them.

People will only want to share your content if:

  • They think it’s funny or amusing
  • interesting
  • educational
  • controversial or shocking

Using Facebook for SEO

The principle behind using Facebook is to engage with, and build a collection of fans who then recommend you to others which means more ‘likes’ and help for the SEO and the domain of the website. However it’s not just that simple – to build a presence on Facebook and to attract fans takes ongoing work and management. These tips will help you to build a suitable fan page and attract new followers:

  • Design a landing/welcome page that encourages the visitor to click on the ‘like’ button – there’s lots of ways to do this, but try to be creative, clever and different.
  • Using Facebook ads can help drive visitors towards your fan page, which in turn will hopefully build a larger and more active fan base, that helps the SEO and brand awareness of your business.

Again though, it’s not enough to stick up any old content and hope for the best. If it’s unplanned and not thought through, the likelihood is people won’t click on it. In order to stand some chance of success follow these basic steps:

  • Create an eye catching and attractive piece of content that readers are likely to share. Offer people an incentive to share it, whether that means free samples, a discount or just make it so funny, amusing or interesting that people are compelled to share it. Just making it a straight forward advert isn’t going to work – be imaginative.
  • Now you need to promote it, and this means work! Create suitable profiles, engage with users and don’t be pushy.

Social Competitions

The idea of running competitions isn’t a new one, but conducting a competition using social media solely, is.

The principle is basic – get users to follow your business on social media and in return they stand a chance to win something. Entering such a competition is easy for people – all they need to do is click ‘follow’ or ‘like’ and that’s it.

The Social Media / SEO Relationship

This is where website owners sometimes get confused. The whole idea behind social content seeding is attracting social signals rather than the traffic. Yes traffic will come to the site via social media sites, but it will not result in conversions.

Where the benefit comes is from the organic rankings, the place where people are already looking for you. The social signals will be helping your website get better rankings and that’s how the conversions are achieved.