April 30th, 2018
Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media go hand-in-hand in today's online marketing world. There is no way to separate the two. Social media is simply a part of good SEO practices. When you look at the definition of SEO in the online dictionary, it is described as the "process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine."
The process includes a number of activities that search engines look at to give your website a ranking. One of the processes is to use social media to distribute compelling and useful content to your audience. When search engines see that people are sharing your content via social media, they tend to rank your information a little higher than information that is not being shared via social media. Why? Because social media is interactive, it’s comprised of relationships and communities which search engines place bigger values on.
At its heart, a social media site is built around social interaction of the users. Users of social media communicate, join specialized groups, and share with each other relevant content that they've created or discovered. This is modern word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. It's instant, and easy, and it happens continuously all day and all night due because the internet never stops. People live in different locations, get online at different times and enjoy socializing at all hours of the day and night. Whereas before the advent of social media, SEO was more about link building and keywords now it's more about building relationships with your audience.
How SEO & Social Media Overlap
SEO and social media work together effortlessly but they are different. The goal of SEO is to get more high quality inbound links to your online real-estate, while the goal for social media is to engage your current audience while attracting new audience members. They overlap when it comes to creating strong inbound links. The best way to do either is via the content that you use for both social media and SEO purposes. The fact is, today, without a solid social media marketing plan you don't have a good SEO plan.
Inbound Links & Content
Integrating SEO and social media is simple when you understand the effect that social media has on SEO. A study by Search Metrics shows a correlation between social media shares and a higher page rank on Google Search. This doesn't mean that you should throw everything you know about SEO out the window and focus solely on social media marketing, but it does mean that you should integrate the two to see the most improvement in page rank.
The reason it works to improve page rank has to do with creating inbound links to your online real estate. Sharing on social media creates inbound links to your content. Content shared creates inbound links to more content. Therefore, any link building strategy that you engage in should include social media.
Be sure to Read Part Two in this series where we discuss the importance of content creation and optimizing your content.