These days, every business needs to have a presence on the internet, but with the popularity of social media just having a website isn’t enough. With a solid social media presence you can stimulate not only increased brand awareness but also achieve higher search engine rankings.
Today we share five tips to help you harness the power of social media and potentially increase your search engine rankings.
1. Relevant & interesting content
When people look at websites and social media profiles, they are usually looking for fairly specific information. For businesses, most people look at social media profiles to get a better glimpse into what exactly a company does and how they interact with the online world around them.
It is nearly guaranteed that an interested user will look at your About page, so it is a good idea to include information about your company and what you do in this section. This is a great place to use keywords that usually don’t fit well into the newsfeed. Try thinking like a customer and asking yourself, “What keywords would I type in a search engine to find my company?” Create a list and try to work them into the Description and About sections of all social media profiles you use.
Because these sections aren’t set in stone, you can (and should) update them on a fairly regular basis. If you notice that certain keywords are becoming more popular, or users are using different keywords, update your content to match. The key here is to try and always be aware of what information your customers – potential and otherwise – are looking for.
2. Promote & maintain discussions
Search giant Google has publicly acknowledged that part of their advanced search algorithms have been written to look for social media pages and accounts that have discussion and commentary. In other words: If you create content that promotes discussion, there is a higher chance that your site will feature higher in search results.
It’s important to remember that social media is a two-way street. When you post content that starts a discussion, you should be an active member of that conversation or debate. Try prompting users to explain their ideas and comments, or ask more questions to keep the discussion going.
3. Audit all of your links
Links have become an important part of the Internet and social media. For an effective strategy, social media needs to be linked to your main Web presence – your website. This can be done by putting a link in your contact information and in your About sections. It is also acceptable to put links in some posts or tweets as long as they are relevant to what you do, such as a post that tells users to check out your new website or page.
Search engines don’t just look at websites for results anymore – they also look at social media and many other factors. If you can find a way to show these engines that your profiles and site are linked, you should see a stronger overall presence in search results.
There is one caveat with links however. If you post a comment about something unrelated to what you do that includes a link to your website, this can be seen as a negative form of link building and you could end up being penalized in search results. To that end, it is a good idea to go over your profiles and make sure all links work, and that they “make sense” for your business. By having working links that are content-appropriate, you should see a boost in your search results.
4. Location! Location! Location!
For many small to medium businesses physical location is still an incredibly important aspect of your online presence. You should make sure that you include your physical address, contact information and regional location. If possible, it is a good idea to include geo-location in your posts. For example, when creating a post in Facebook, press the button that looks like a pin in the bottom of the post window. This will add your location to the post.
The reason for this can be found in the way people search for businesses. Now, when people are looking for a business they usually conduct a local search; for instance “printer in Denver” which will return similar businesses in their local area. If you have your location on your social media profiles, the chances of you showing up in local searches is increased.
5. Be realistic
While social media is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all. In order to increase your search rankings, you will need to work hard on your social media campaign. Posting regular, relevant, interesting content and keeping conversations going takes time and dedication. Beyond that, you can’t expect immediate results. It could take months or longer to see an increase, and even then it may only be slight, especially if you operate in a highly competitive industry.
While your rankings may not improve in leaps and bounds, a solid social media presence will bring about an expanded overall brand awareness. Combine this with other business aspects, like excellent customer service, and you could also see increased loyalty and sales.