A strategic SEO campaign and a robust social media strategy are two important indicators of online success today. After all, where are people spending time online? That’s right. They are using search engines and browsing social media, which means that your business needs to have a presence in both. Most businesses get that these days, but then make the mistake of operating SEO and social media in separate silos. Integrating an SEO strategy and a social strategy together will have the most benefit, since the two are becoming more converged every day.
Attaining inbound links has always been an important component of an SEO strategy. The search engines want to provide users with the best possible results in order to maintain credibility as a useful search engine. Relevant keywords throughout a website is one ranking factor, but it’s the number of inbound links to a website that conveys its “trust factor”. If other web properties link to a website, it is assumed that that website must provide something valuable to web users.
Of course, the best links are the ones that occur naturally. Given the popularity of social media and social sharing, the search engines are now paying attention to social media links and incorporating them into the ranking algorithm. The whole point of social media is to share with one another. It takes the guesswork out of link value for the search engines. If a link is passed around frequently in social media, by actual web users, the search engines take note.
For this reason, social media and SEO strategies are becoming one and the same. The success of one affects the success of the other. It’s OK to have different people working on each, but they should be on the same page and work together in developing strategies.
Social media strategists don’t need to be SEO experts, but they need to understand how social media fits into the framework of SEO. For example, content that is shared in social media should always be optimized to include specific targeted keywords. It needs to be shared at the right time on the right networks. The goal of social media marketing for SEO is to get information passed around in order to build a robust social media linking portfolio.
SEO experts are no longer dealing with just the technical aspects of website development and link building. SEO is now about marketing more than anything else. It’s not just about the search engines. The search engines favor what actual human website visitors favor. Social media is where the people are making their opinions known (via Likes, Shares, Re-Tweets, etc.). If your content isn’t getting noticed in social media, you are missing out on the “social signals” that are passed on to the search engine spiders.