When you’re planning a marketing campaign, there are so many different elements that you have to think about. From paid advertising to email marketing, the number of ways in which you can give your brand’s message exposure is ever-increasing.
SEO is no doubt a big part of your business’ marketing efforts. After all, through the use of keywords, backlinks and unique content, you can increase your organic traffic without having to pay a penny.
List of on-page SEO factors via ahrefs
However, your SEO can be boosted with effective social media use. These two branches of the metaphorical online marketing tree go hand-in-hand (or should that be branch-in-branch), and when used together, they can help your campaign achieve the results you set out for. But, shockingly, over 50% of small businesses are not marketing their companies whatsoever on social media.
Content is the underlying factor which brings the two entities together.
In this article, we explore how you can use social media to amplify your SEO efforts, and ensure that the content you’re producing is exactly what your customers are looking for.
SEO is changing
The ways in which your customers are searching for your products or services are constantly evolving.
Gone are the days where people sat at their desks and spent their lunch breaks doing Google searches. Users can simply fire up their smartphones, connect to the on-train WiFi and conduct product research all whilst commuting to the office.
Voice search is also on the rise thanks to virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana (in fact it makes up almost 20% of mobile searches).
Because of this, search enquiries are becoming a lot more conversational. People will often ask questions as if they are taking personal recommendations from a trusted friend or family member.
Benefits of social media for keyword research
We all know that keyword research is a vital part of SEO – but how can we pinpoint exactly how our customers are phrasing search queries? That’s where social media comes into its own.
Social platforms can bridge the gap by giving you an insight into important data that can’t be accessed in Google Analytics. Over recent years, Google has gradually made data less and less available to SEOs. And, social media channels are the perfect place to research keywords and gather information on customer behaviour, helping you to create an effective content strategy.
Take Twitter and Instagram, for example, both of these social tools allow you to research popular hashtags and see related posts. You’ll also be able to see how often a particular hashtag is being used. Think of it as the modern-day way of doing keyword volume analysis.
On the other hand, Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to discover different online groups and communities relevant to your products and services.
If you ‘listen’ to what your target audience is talking about on social media, you’ll be able to create content that they’ll want to share and engage with — which can help your company to be seen as a reliable source of information, and therefore be looked upon favourably by Google.
Whichever social channel you’re using for your keyword research, your findings can help you identify natural-sounding language. The result? Content that’s better targeted for your customers and their search queries, as opposed to robots.
Making your SEO efforts more customer-focused
With SEO becoming less technical and more customer-focused, it’s more important than ever for content to be helpful.
Something that highlights this position further is the launch of ‘Google Customer Reviews’, which has replaced Google Trusted Stores. The program collects feedback and ratings from your customers via Google Surveys on behalf of advertisers.
If you’re wondering what reviews have to do with SEO, here’s your answer: not only are customer reviews great for boosting your reputation, they can also help with your SEO efforts, too.
User-generated content such as reviews will be picked up when your site is ‘crawled’ by the search engines, and they can also improve your rankings for specific ‘product’ review searches. Your local SEO rankings will also be helped as well since Google favours trusted businesses.
Plus, when you think about the nature of the content in reviews, they are an integral part of providing an answer to the questions and queries your customers are seeking the answer to.
Social media is a powerful platform for content distribution
It’s common knowledge that searchable, shareable content is a key component of an effective SEO strategy. Once you’ve spent hours writing the perfect article, how do you make sure it’s being put in front of the right people?
Your social media channels are the perfect platforms from which to distribute any content you create. It’s a great opportunity for free promotion and exposure, and you know the people who will be viewing it are exactly the people you want to be targeting: your customers.
Not only can you promote the content on your own social media pages, you can find relevant groups and communities to share your links and spark engagement.
And, the more your content interests your customers, the more likely they will click through to your website. A win/win situation for your organic traffic.
Key points to take away
The whole process of researching your audience, creating a content strategy and distributing your finished product can be vastly helped by the effective use of social media. If your business isn’t using social media to its full potential, you’re missing out on a low-hanging fruit when it comes to maximising your SEO efforts.
Whilst SEO and social media are not definitive methods of producing sales, when used together they can really improve your conversions. Marketing campaigns are a like a jigsaw of different components. There’s no doubt that SEO and social are two pieces of the puzzle which fit together perfectly. The more strategies that are pulled together, the more likely your overall campaign will be a great success.