At the end of last year, Google unveiled the Hummingbird algorithm, making it clear that social media presence is more important than ever in terms of getting good rankings in search engines. Specifically, there was a lot of talk about “social signals.”
Social signals are used to indicate the validity and reliability of websites and blog posts. If content is shared frequently or rapidly online, those interactions translate into social signals, which could help your website achieve better rankings. It’s no longer sufficient to just have a social media profile and keep it regularly updated. Keep reading to learn a few strategies to make sure your social media activities are SEO-friendly and to help you weather any upcoming SEO changes without undue stress.
Engage Your Audience
Google looks at things like how often a post has been retweeted or shared among social media followers. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to connect with your audience, try hosting a contest or starting loyalty rewards program where people receive extra entries for sharing posts with friends. Also, take time to do spontaneous market research by asking your target audience what types of posts they’d like to see on your page.
Some businesses make the mistake of thinking a social media profile is just a place that houses basic information about a website or blog; they rarely or never take time to update it or use it to talk to followers. Never forget the primary reason many people use social media: to socialize. As you take this into account, it’s possible to create social signals for SEO even with little effort.
Become an Authority
In the past, it was common for businesses and industry leaders to keep a significant amount of space between themselves and audience members. Now the goal is to form relationships. As you begin to foster those connections, it helps you to become perceived as a person of authority. Authoritativeness is another type of social signal, and it’s one that can improve your online success over a long-term period.
One effective way to be seen as an authority figure is to partner with people in your niche who have already established themselves. It’s often said that trust is the foundation of Internet authority, so proving you’re knowledgeable and dependable can speak volumes in cyberspace. Think about asking industry leaders if you could write a few guest posts for them or collaborate to host a web-based conference to teach interested persons about tools of the trade.
Simplify the Sharing Process
Fortunately, one of the easiest methods to use your social media skills to influence SEO is something that only takes a few seconds to do. Make sure every post you create includes sharing buttons so people can share the content on social media with just a few clicks. It’s up to you to create things people will want to share with friends, but there’s no need to make the process too difficult by forgetting to embed sharing buttons.
Social media is only one component in search engine optimization, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s time to realize social media websites are much more than just places to stay in touch with friends, and they could actually help you rise in the search engine rankings.