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The Best of Both Worlds: How to Make Social Media and SEO Work Together

Do social media signals directly impact search rankings? It may be unclear but the indirect benefits of aligning both channels are indisputable.

Studies like this one by HootSuite suggest that there's a correlation between higher rankings and social media shares. You may have even noticed it yourself: pages that rank well on Google often have a lot of likes and shares on various social media sites.

The reality is that social media plays a crucial role in helping companies get their content in front of their target market -- and a larger audience in general. That leads to many things that benefit search engine optimization (SEO), including improved engagement signals, more backlinks, and increased real estate on the search engine results for branded queries.

As SEO's place in the digital marketing landscape transforms, the profitability of incorporating social media into your larger SEO strategy has become more manifest. Below, find four key tactics to harmonize social media with your SEO strategy.


Integrate social media deeply into your website

One of the most essential tactics is to include social sharing tools in your site architecture. To ensure you're reaching your visitors at every social angle possible in tandem with your SEO, reference this checklist:

  • Add social media badges to your website's pages (homepage, individual blog posts, product pages, etc.)
  • Add social media sharing buttons to your e-newsletters
  • Include links on each of your social media accounts to your other social profiles
  • Add Google Authorship for your website's contributors
  • Add social media commenting functionality (Disqus, Facebook, or any other plug-in)


Leverage your blog as an SEO and social media driver

What's a better medium for link-building other than your website's blog? Think of it this way: unique, informative content is the best SEO tactic, and also the top driver of ROI for social media.

Tap into the rich potential of your blog to boost your levels of social media reach and engagement as well as your search engine rankings by doing the following:

  • Post strong, original, and authoritative content and promote it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram with keywords integrated with your SEO strategy. Make sure to package content appropriately for each social media channel. For instance, the way you post a teaser on Facebook would be worded differently compared to the way you promote a blog article on Twitter. There's no limit to how many times you can promote each piece, but do so sparingly over a period of time.
  • Make sure site visitors can navigate easily between your social media accounts and blog.
  • Ensure any links you publish on social media send users to the correct landing pages.


Build partnerships with influencers

Social media is a great avenue for strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers and fellow collaborators. It's always good to follow popular social media influencers in your niche. Observe their journey to building a strong following and research their best practices. You can also look for opportunities to build partnerships with these influencers:

  • Brand ambassadors: Be on the lookout for active social media users who have an influence in your niche. Anything from a passionate customer who shares brand-related content to product or service reviewers apply as brand ambassadors. They can boost brand awareness and create backlinks to your website.
  • Social media influencers: These are authentic individuals who have high visibility in their own nice, often due to their expertise and authority in the area. By gaining their positive reviews, you can generate more relevant search queries and social media shares, leading to greater interest in your website.
  • Strategic collaborators: These can be from a wide range of sources within your industry. For instance, a company whose products or services complement your solutions. In line with this article, a great example would be a social media marketing agency writing a blog with a provider of SEO services. By collaborating and co-creating content with them, you can both create exposure to both your audiences.

These partnerships are enabled through social media and can provide opportunities to increase your brand's reach that would otherwise be difficult if you did it by yourself.


Optimize your profile with important information

Nowadays, social media platforms are turning into search engines of their own. It's common for people to look for a company's business details or contact information on their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. Consequentially, Google also uses the data to create profiles with relevant information for search queries.

This is also why customer reviews are another important SEO factor. According to Moz, review signals (including velocity, quantity, and diversity) make up 15.44% of ranking factors. By publishing customer reviews on social platforms, you can increase your rating visibility. This influences your search engine rankings and helps you draw in more customers.


Bring Social to Your SEO

The internet, at its core, is a social place. Focusing entirely on your SEO strategy can blind you from the perks of increasing traffic to your site through social media networks, and the inevitable impact it can have on your rankings.

It's also keen to note that finding success in these strategies is a trial-and-error procedure. Test each strategy and identify what works best for you so you can take your social media and SEO to the next level.