SEO has always been about one thing: publishing high-quality content that gets seen and linked to by as many people as possible. For years, the foundation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has been dominated by two key elements: content and links.
Today’s online society has given rise to a third: social media. It wasn’t around during the dawn of the SEO industry, but it’s difficult to ignore the power and importance that social media has in any marketing strategy.
Social Media does more than allow companies to keep up with their competition. It allows them to reach out and interact with their customers while building their brand, creating a sense of community, and driving traffic to their website.
When it comes to social media, however, there is no “one size fits all” rule. Not every social media platform will benefit everybody. The platform that you use will depend on the products and services you offer, and your target audience.
You can use tools like Google AdWords to better determine the gender and age groups of those you’re trying to reach. Once you find out where you target audience spends most of their time online, you can concentrate your efforts on those particular social networks.
Social media can help amplify marketing efforts by allowing you to listen to what your target audience wants. Through social media, you can see which websites potential clients visit and what content resonates with them the most. This allows you to strategically plan your online strategy so that you create meaningful content for potential customers.
The conversations held through social media can also inform keyword strategy and vice versa. Better keyword research can also boost social signals and drive better social media conversations and better customer interactions.
Social media can also provide you with what are called backlinks, which inform search engines to find your website. These links require minimal effort and are, for the most part, under your control. They help improve indexing, increase credibility and ranking in search engines and boost traffic to your website.
It’s important to note, however, that not all social media sites provide these helpful “dofollow”(as opposed to “nofollow”) backlinks. Even when using a platform that supports these backlinks, it’s important to know where to place your information to take advantage of them. Here is a breakdown of the supporting social media platforms and how to get your backlinks:
- 1. Google+: The links you get when sharing text content are nofollow, as are the ones in the comments section of posts. However, if you specifically go to the “Share what’s new” section and click on the link icon, the result will be a dofollow link.
- 2. YouTube: Links placed in the description section in a video are nofollow. The URL must be placed on the YouTube channel header in order for it to be a dofollow link.
- 3. Hub Pages: In order to be able to have a dofollow link, you must meet certain requirements. Your account either needs to have at least 75 points or the score of a particular hub needs to be at least 40. Dofollow links are not in comments or profiles.
- 4. WordPress: When you create a post on a free-hosted WordPress blog, you have a choice of making the links in the entry either dofollow or nofollow via the content management system. All comment links and profile links are nofollow.
- 5. Blogger (Blogspot): As Google site, Blogger links that you get from posts are dofollow. Comments links are nofollow.
- 6. Tumblr: Trackbacks from reblogged posts are nofollow. However, if you share a link to content on Tumblr by clicking the green “Link” button, those links will be dofollow.
- 7. Reddit: Since all Reddit links are direct, all links are dofollow.
- 8. LinkedIn: Links in the “My Publications” section in your public LinkedIn Profile are dofollow.
- 9. BizSugar: BizSugar is a great social media platform that allows you to share small business news and tips on topics such as entrepreneurship. The links you add on your content are dofollow.
Though social media has quickly become one of the standout elements of SEO, it’s important to remember the other two: content and links. All must be present in order to be successful at SEO and drive traffic to your site. For many businesses, taking advantage of social media to enhance your SEO may be the key to your marketing success.