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by Nadeem Abbas
“Social media” is a way for people to communicate and interact online. While it has been around since the dawn of the World Wide Web, in the last 10 years or so we’ve seen a surge in both the number and popularity of social media sites.
SEO used to strictly include just building links, and lots of them. There was no objective, no strategy, and no fear of spam penalties. The name of the game was quantity, and the site with the most links won.
Today, link building alone will not deliver the results you are looking for (and will most likely get you a Google slap) and it shouldn’t be the only focus of a SEO campaign. If you are only focusing on link building and not paying any attention to your social media then you may want to look at other options.
Having a strong social media presence is so important, and some business owners just can’t wrap their head around it, especially the older generation. Even if you take SEO out of the picture it is still crucial to have an online social media presence. Times are changing and social media is now more important than ever. Getting back on track, here are some reasons that you need to include social media in your marketing and SEO strategy.
Social media drives REAL traffic to your website – traffic that is high quality! If someone is engaging with your company or brand on social media then there is an obvious connection or interest. These are the type of visitors that eventually turn into customers.
The majority of links that are built by SEO companies do not bring traffic to your website.
They are built to pass page rank to your site, which in return helps to increase the authority and power of your site, but as far as a traffic source it doesn’t do much. Sure, when done correctly in the form of guest blogging it can be a great traffic source, but we are talking about the majority of companies that just spread links all over in “hope” of improving rankings.
As you build your social media following on Facebook, twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others, you build up a large following of people that have the ability to share your content.
Every piece of content that hits your website should immediately be shared on your social media profiles. This can result in your social connections sharing the content also, generating 100% natural links, something that Google loves!
Also make sure that your website content is easily shareable by your visitors. It seems like an obvious tip, but you would be surprised at how many sites exist out there that do not have social sharing buttons.
It is no secret that Google looks down on aggressive link building done to game the search algorithm. They are constantly releasing updates and refreshes to remove low quality listings. Using social media together with your content marketing helps you build real, natural links that the search engines love and reward accordingly. Also, when you do it the right way there is no need to frantically check GWT every day to make sure the site wasn’t hit with a penalty.
Social media is a great way to help enhance your search engine optimization. The days of shortcuts and low quality SEO are over, so make sure you position yourself for long term success, and that involves getting social.
Social media is not something you can simply “tack on” to the rest of your marketing, branding, PR, and advertising efforts; it needs to be a fully integrated part of the mix. In doing so, you can create a cohesive and scalable experience for your customers. Think of it as a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Also, it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Be sure to integrate social media into your marketing efforts as early as possible to help amplify and solidify your work rather than waiting until the end of a planning cycle to explore social options. If a social presence is clear from the start, your branding will benefit from additional customer touch points, PR will see a lift in impressions and reach, and customer service can proactively listen and activate where necessary.
As you can see, a social presence can have far-reaching impact for your organization when it is executed in an authentic and thoughtful manner.