SEO strategies are always changing and adapting. By their very nature they must react to changing trends in internet use, and in the ways that search engines attempt to supply users with accurate search responses. The rise of social media, and social networking, brings both new challenges and new opportunities for webmasters and SEO strategists to stay connected. Social media has become so prevalent in online culture that search engines like Google and Bing are now using social media information to determine page rankings. Now more than ever, SEOs and webmasters need to incorporate social media into their optimization strategies.
Join the Social Network
If you don’t have a Facebook page and Twitter account for your website or online business, you’re not only missing out on a chance to interact with clients, you’re missing an opportunity to improve your overall online visibility. Search engines take into account information gleaned from social media sites, and having a Facebook page or Twitter account raises your visibility, and reinforces your own website’s online credibility and authority.
While Facebook and Twitter are the current stars of the social networking scene, don’t forget the other available social media outlets. Google+, YouTube and Pinterest all have legions of regular followers. You will want to explore all social media outlets, and set up accounts on those sites that are most likely to reach your intended demographic.
Once you’ve joined the social network, it’s important to stay connected. It’s not enough to simply have a Facebook or Twitter account if you’re not going to use it to it’s full advantage. Produce regular Tweets and posts for all of your social media accounts, and use them to link to new blog posts or other pertinent online content. An active account not only keeps you engaged with your base, it proves to the search engine filters that you are active online and producing valuable content for your customers and clients.
Direct Links from Your Website
It’s also important to link your website directly to your social media accounts through social sharing buttons. Make a point to include share buttons on all of your blog posts and press releases, with related text that encourages visitors to share any content they find useful or interesting. By letting your website’s visitors share content within their own social network you will increase your brand’s visibility, and you’ll help to drive new visitors to your site. But the benefit of social share buttons goes beyond just driving traffic to your site, it also sends out signals to search engines that your site is active, of interest to the online social community, and that you are regularly providing quality online content with wide appeal.
With your social media accounts open, and share buttons in place, it’s time to return to the heart of all good website publishing. Quality content. You need to give your visitors something worthwhile to share, and you need to produce content that entices repeat visitors to your site. While its true that an abundance of content will get the attention of search engines, and will give you more articles and blogposts to link to your social media accounts, don’t mistake quantity for quality. Search engines have become highly sophisticated, and can distinguish between high-value and low-value content. Solid articles and posts that provide useful information in an entertaining manner will get more shares through your social network, and will get more positive attention from the search engine filters.
Reaching out to the online community, and submitting guest blogs to other sites, can help to build up your online visibility. Contact the webmasters of sites that you respect, and that are connected to your industry, and request a guest blog or two. Providing high quality guest blogs on related sites can boost your visibility within the industry, and can entice new visitors to your site. These visitors may then share the content of your website through their social network connections, bringing you to the attention of even more potential clients and customers.
Combining the use of social media sights with your SEO strategies can help to raise the visibility of your website. But it should be seen as more than just a means to an end. Social networking offers a way to give value to clients and potential customers, and allows you to keep up with new trends and interests that are important to your base. By using your social media connections to provide valuable content and useful information you not only build brand loyalty, you build online credibility which definitely appeals to clients as well as search engines algorithms.