Social Media & SEO: Part Two - Optimizing Content

May 7th, 2018

Personalized Searches Are Based on Social Interaction

Aside from an increase in inbound links, the social media  and SEO factors that affect search results are very personalized today. Google sends back search results based on the keywords you type into the search box, but if you are logged into your Google account you'll also get search results that are specifically relevant to you. They use an algorithm that incorporates results that your friends have found, created, or shared as well as your location in the results.  So if you are located in Queen Creek, you will want to tie Queen Creek into your message.

This makes it a little harder for publishers to focus on pure SEO and makes it clear that social media optimization is also important. Furthermore, it's imperative that the two, SEO and Social Media, are integrated for best results. The factor that integrates them is content.


Content is at The Core of SEO & Social Media Integration
Social Media and SEO have a huge love affair with content. Your content strategy is the place to start your social media and SEO integration. To use SEO and Social Media effectively you need an overall content strategy. No matter what you're creating the content for, your website, blog or social media, it's important to understand the part that content, images and interaction play in making your content more effective.

All content needs to:

* Reach Your Audience -- If you don't know where your audience is, you could be wasting your time. Not every audience is using Twitter, or Pinterest, do your due diligence to be sure that your audience is on the social media platform that you plan to use for social media marketing purposes.

* Provide Value -- The content you create answers the questions your audience has, provides tips and tricks, and how to information that is valuable to your audience. The content you create needs to be something your audience would gladly pay for if you were to set a charge. If it's not valuable enough to pay for, your audience isn't going to want to read it.

* Have a CTA -- If your audience doesn't know what to do after viewing your content, you've failed. You must incorporate a call to action in every piece of content whether it's to buy, share, use or comment, it's imperative that your audience is sure what you want them to do.

Your content can be a combination of all of the following:


* Blog Posts
* Content Curation
* eBooks
* eReports
* Images
* Infographics
* Podcasts
* Polls & Surveys
* Product Reviews
* Tip Sheets
* Video
* Webinars
* White Papers

 
It's important that you re-purpose content and plan for using different content formats for different platforms. The main piece of content from which all derivatives come, should be placed on your main website or blog. Your social media accounts should point viewers to your website which is the main source of all the information about your business, products, and / or services.

For example: You are giving a webinar about the effectiveness of your product or service.

First, you have to create material for that event. That material is content. You may have a slide show presentation, a video demonstration, plus handouts.

Second, weeks before the event, you will extract and broadcast small bits of the information that you created for the event on all your social media accounts. This pre-event information will be pointing them to your blog or website with even more information about the event, and a sales page allowing them to sign up for the event.

Third, you'll also blog about the event, and talk about the event everywhere you go on the net getting all the information you use from the main content you created for the event always linking back to your website for more information.

After the event you might post your presentation on slideshare.com, post parts of the recorded event on YouTube.com, and then you'll link to those things from your social media accounts and blog posts. You don’t give away the whole box of cookies in your pre-event and post-event content. Instead, you give away just enough, one sample cookie, to get them excited and interested. But you use the content over and over again to propagate more viewers, more newsletter sign ups, more followers, more likes, and more connections. When you look at it from start to finish you can see clearly how all the elements of SEO and social media combine to make very a powerful impact on your business.

To Ensure Success Optimize Your Content in the Following Ways

The act of optimizing content includes many factors. Many of these factors are dependent upon where you plan to use the content, what audience you are targeting, and your purpose for the content. Another factor plays into how you optimize content too, and that is how the search engines are placing importance on content with their algorithms.

Since Google Search is still the most popular search engine, if you follow Google's guidelines you'll have good results with all search engines. Let’s take a look at some of the suggestions.

* Use Rich Snippets -- Go to Schema.org and use their schemas, html tags, and other code to help you mark up your pages and content in such a way that the search engines know how to improve the look of your search engine results. The code provided works for many different search engines, not just Google Search, to make it easier for people searching for your content to find it.

* Create a Hook -- Content that has a hook gives a unique perspective and insight into your subject matter and helps you to build a relationship with your audience will provide the means to keep your audience interested, as well as encourage them to spread your information trough sharing and interaction. Compelling content with a hook will always win.

* Use Google Authorship -- Connect your content that you publish across the web with Google Authorship. Ensure that your profile includes a good headshot because it will show up in the code and search results. Your byline name should match whatever you write anything. Don't use your name and middle initial on one article and not on another. Verify your email address where you place the content.

* Create Timely Content -- Incorporate trending topics into your content on a regular basis. Creating content that focuses on what's happening in your industry today will regularly attract not only potential clients or customers but create repeat readership because your content is full of new information.

* Develop Evergreen Content -- Content that has no time limit or expiration date is an important component of all the different types of content that you should have on your website and your social media accounts. Evergreen content can help educate your audience and boost your authority with them.

* Determine Keywords -- Research your topic and know the keywords that your audience uses to look up the information they need. You can use a variety of tools to help you with keyword research including those provided by search engines. A good keyword tool to use is Hit Tail, it helps you find good long tail keywords. In addition, you can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

* Curate Content -- Another way to optimize your content is to collect, organize and catalog other people's content that is relevant to your audience and industry and share it with your audience. Content curation will improve your SEO by increasing your credibility and authority. By curating content from authority sites, you will increase your own rankings. Plus, it will help you create content more consistently which search engines love.

* Link Internally -- After each article that you write on your website or blog, it's important to link to other articles or blog posts that the reader might enjoy. Technically, search engines rank pages of your site, not your entire site. Of course, most people linking into your website or blog are linking using the home page URL so it seems as if your entire website is getting ranked. To improve SEO on your entire site, use internal links to connect other popular content, or similar content for further learning.

* Create Key-worded Headlines -- Don't focus only on keywords for your headlines, but your headlines should include a keyword, as well as make sense to the reader. You want the person reading the headline to be curious enough to click through to read the content, but you want the search engine to display the headline for the proper searches.

* Use Interesting Visuals -- People are visual by nature, and in fact most people learn through visual means. Therefore, to fully optimize your content you need to create visual interest with graphics that match the story you're telling. In addition, you should make sure there is plenty of white space to give the eyes a break. This can be a huge balancing act. Ensure that the thumbnails look right, and you'll get more click throughs with better imagery.

* Optimize Navigation -- Use the tools that Google Analytics provides to find out how viewers are using your page's navigation. Is it helping people to find more content or is it getting in their way and confusing them? Choose clean, modern design over cluttered design, and then check the metrics to help you improve results.

* Include Share Possibilities -- Put easy to use share links on all your content from blog posts, to articles, to sales pages. You want your audience to be able to share your content with the world, make it easy to do so, and don't forget to ask them to do so (CTA).

Finally, the content that you create should be the highest quality that you can afford. Write or have written unique content targeted specifically for your audience. Remember that real people are sharing your content on social media, so you want it to be as new and as original as possible. Use the derivatives of the content elsewhere; use the original on your website or blog. And never forget that all content should be created for humans first and search engines second.

Be sure to read Part Three of this series where we discuss combining blogging and social media!