2013 has seen a huge shift in search engines using social media when gauging a website’s rankings in search results. As search goes social, there is a new concept of social SEO that has been emerging, albeit gradually. With the competition to grab webspace growing by the day, search engines have started looking at ‘holistic’ ways of determining a website’s popularity, and social signals seem to be a pretty good indication.
Social media activity is therefore being seen as genuine measure of a business’s online reputation – it’s hard to fake Shares, and Re-posts on social networks. Though one can buy Followers and Likes, with new tools emerging to detect fake/inactive followers on Twitter, it won’t be long before search engines start getting more discerning, too. Needless to say, fake likes and followers don’t help your brand’s social engagement cause much.
So, what your business needs are effective social media strategies that can help you with your SEO:
1. Brand your posts: Don’t just restrict yourself to having an account on each of the major social networking sites – share information on them too. And when you post stuff on these networks, make sure you feature your brand name on as many posts as possible. It helps build a better brand identity among your fans and also makes Google’s search algorithms recognize your brand name as keywords when deciding your website’s rank.
For instance, whenever you post anything new on Twitter, make sure you use the hashtag (#) followed by your brand name.
2. Feature your social accounts on your website’s homepage: Google needs to recognize the interconnecting of your website and your social accounts. You can make Google’s job easier by including links to your social accounts on your homepage, which it can recognize when crawling. This way, Google can associate your social activity with your website and help you improve your rankings. It also lends credibility to your social accounts.
3. Be present on Google+: This may sound a tad bit selfish on Google’s part, but if the most popular search engine has its own social network, you have no choice but to focus some of your social SEO efforts on building a Google+ profile for your company. Google has been found to give higher rankings to businesses that have an active presence on their social network, so if you haven’t already, please get started!
4. Get indexed faster by being active on Twitter: Twitter profiles and posts tend to get indexed faster by search engines than most website pages. So, if you want your blog posts and new pages to get indexed faster, make sure you share their links in the form of tweets through your Twitter account. Tweet about your most recent PR event or the latest product you have launched, and feature links to your website in these tweets for faster indexing.
5. Build your followers: More is definitely merrier and this works in the case of social networks, too. Having a large fan base on your social accounts just helps build your brand’s credibility. It’s not surprising then that Google will rank your site higher if you have more Facebook fans or Twitter followers. Also, a higher number of followers would just increase the likelihood of your content being shared and re-posted across social networks to a greater extent!
These tips should help you gain maximum leverage from social SEO in 2013! Good Luck!