SEO and Social Media: Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

SEO and Social Media: Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

This blog article was written by Marilyn Moran, our Director of Search Engine Optimization.

OK, I know the subject line is hokey, but it probably got your attention. And that’s the last food reference I will make for the rest of the post, I promise.

Anyways, I can’t believe that I want to write this article. I feel like I have written this article so many times before. Yet, I feel compelled to say again what I have always felt in my gut to be the state of digital marketing today. And in 2016 — it’s even more painfully obvious.

If you’re doing SEO without social media, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re doing social media without SEO, you’re doing it wrong.

Let me expand upon that.

While I have approached SEO and social media differently over the years myself — they continue to be two separate marketing strategies and include their own set of “tasks” if you will — however, I’ve never completely siloed them because I knew that if I could get them to work together, they would both be stronger for it.

Let’s face it, now more than ever, SEO is about content. Good, high-quality content is — thanks to Google’s new core algorithmic updates that has PANDA built-in — said to help you find success in the search engines. It’s a good start for sure.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, while at their core is about social networking on the Internet, is also about content now more than ever. Words, images, and above all messages. These sites allow you to connect to people who want your content and want to form a relationship with you as a result of that content.  The content can take many forms; and be delivered in different ways depending on the platform.

Whether it’s SEO content or social media content, getting readers to see that content so they can take an action is typically the desired outcome. The whole purpose of digital marketing is still the same as regular marketing — understand what people need, produce original content speaking to that need that provides value to the reader, and have a sound plan to deliver it to those people in a way that they are most willing to receive it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this content that the reader can get anywhere else? If the answer is probably not, you’re ahead of the game.
  • Is this content relevant and does it provide the best value to the reader? If you’re confident that it is the absolute best content you could produce, and it answers pertinent questions, then chances are it will be seen as valuable in the eyes of the reader and the search engine.
  • Furthermore, does this content answer a question or query in a way that is unique to me and the reader? Don’t be Captain Obvious. If you can answer questions in a way that nobody else can answer them, then it is unique. Both search engines and human readers like unique and original answers. Nobody likes reading things they’ve read before.
  • Do I really know my readers? You should know your readers, their interests and pain points, that’s obvious. Make it a point to DEMONSTRATE that you can and want to help them. You should open the floodgates of opportunities for dialogue with your readers. Social media is a perfect forum for dialogue.
  • Do I have the time to invest in producing this content and following through? If you can’t spend time investing in creating high-quality content that you can follow through if necessary, then you can expect SEO and social media not to work as successfully for you. If you invest the appropriate time in creating, delivering and responding to that content, then you can expect SEO and social media to work nicely together for you.

The top goal is to make sure it gets in front of the right people at the right time, right? Naturally, that is easier said than done, which is why SEO and social media work so well together. You don’t just do SEO and social media once and claim it done. There’s also no one size fits all approach. The mantra to how SEO and social media work together is “Wash, rinse, and repeat” and “Track, measure, and analyze.”

How can SEO and social media work together?

OK, fine. Thanks for the marketing lesson you say. But what’s next? I know you want to know exactly how can you get these two to work and play together. So here are 10 EASY ways for SEO and social media to work together:

  1. Link to your social media profiles from your website. Make the icons prominent. People are looking for them. Make sure they know how to connect with you off-site.
  2. Link to your website from your social media profiles. If people find you on social media first, make it easy for them to learn more about you off the network.
  3. Update your profiles often and link to your website or  content frequently without being redundant. Make those updates count; make them interesting and always include a call to action. Point them to where you want them to go.
  4. Make social sharing easy – install the functionality on your website. If you have a WordPress website, there are many social sharing plugins that do this. If people like your content, they may be willing to share it with others.
  5. Create an editorial calendar for your site or blog. Timely topics often get a lot of love from search engines and readers alike, but evergreen content will help you win in the long run. It’s OK to vary your content.
  6. Ask people to share your content on social media on any piece of content you post such as a blog post or email blast. Make it clear that you and your content is social-ready. While the search engines don’t count social shares as a ranking factor, it can improve the visibility of your content overall.
  7. Seek and build strong connections. Follow people and engage with them first. But don’t go for the hard-sell. That only irritates people. Give people a good reason to connect and stay engaged with you.
  8. Be responsive. Reply to people who comment on or share your content.
  9. Be interested in your readers. Prove that you’re a good listener. Show that you’re active. Even a simple “like” or heart can go a long way.
  10. Consider social media advertising to drive targeted traffic to your content and profiles. More and more people are searching for and finding content on social media sites as opposed to search engines. Ads on these sites are usually more affordable than on the search engines.

Certainly these are very basic tips to make sure you get these two strategies working in sync together and I’m happy to share that with you. Some of these may seem like no-brainer, best practices, but it’s the least that can and should be done.

Need help getting your SEO and social media working together? We can help! Click here to contact us or call us at (856) 520-8218 to learn more.

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