Using Social Media to Optimise Your Search Engine Presence
For several years people have viewed SEO and Social Networking as two disparate entities, both good for promoting your website and brand, but not things that can work together effectively.
Now though, that’s really not the case, and a good, search friendly social media presence can seriously bolster your search engine rankings. Major search engine players, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, incorporate social media data into their results, so timing has never been better for updating and invigorating your website’s social media status.
Social Media – The Golden Rule
In order to have your social media directly affect your search engine standings in a positive way you first need to make a strong profile and to do that you need to know the Golden Rule…Keep it social!
The whole point of social media from a business perspective is to interact and engage with your customers; to make sure that previous customers return and that new customers take that first plunge with you. The biggest mistake you can do when entering the world of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is to forget to interact with your customers and just spam, spam, spam them with links and pointless, irrelevant quotes. That is not being social.
Talk to people on social networks, ask them questions, be personable, run a fun competition every once and a while, and the rewards will be reaped. Twitter is especially blighted by companies that think what makes a good account is tweeting links continuously, plugging everything and anything on their website. This is patently wrong. Spammy accounts like these often have thousands of followers, but look a little closer and you will see that those followers are just other spam accounts, locked in an endless cycle of sending and receiving insignificant junk tweets.
It is all well and good having an active social life, but in order for it to improve website listings you need to incorporate it. Add social buttons to the beginning and end of blog posts, news items and articles for people to share them, and install a plugin on your blog in order to display all of your latest posts and mentions.
Having a simple block in a prominent position on your site, which updates regularly from your preferred social media platform, can be a gold mine of keywords that search engines lap up. It also pays to have a big “Follow” or “Like” button in this widget, to make it easier for visitors to connect with you and stay up to date with all the latest news. If your website is getting mentioned on their Facebook wall every day then your website is much more likely to stay fresh in their minds.
Social buttons on articles, news items and blog posts are a must for any website in 2011. Those little widgets at the bottom of an article can create a wealth of traffic as people find the page, enjoy it and repost it through one of their many social sites. Many of their friends see it, maybe two or three of them enjoy it enough to click one of the buttons, passing it on to more people, and so on and so on. The possibilities really are endless!
Make sure you include a button to Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon as well as the social sites you actively update, because a good couple of links from those sites can make a tremendous difference.
Social Search Engine Optimisation
So how exactly does a good social standing directly affect SEO? To put it simply there are 800 million active users on Facebook, 100 million tweeters on Twitter and an estimated 75 million using Google+. Just a fraction of those people clicking, liking, retweeting and +1ing your links, viewing your profile page, and using search engines to find out even more about you can only have a positive effect on your search engine standings.
Add to this the fact that the number of active links to websites is still a major part of how search engines rank them and that keyword rich content can easily be generated with a social media plugin, and you’ve got a powerful SEO tool that is free and can be updated effectively every day in a matter of minutes.
Social media is a major factor in millions of people’s lives around the world, including your customers. Embrace it.
A good SEO course, combined with strong Social Media training, could be the best way to make your social media count. Silicon Beach Training also provide a wide range of programming courses including SQL Training, as well as accredited courses in Prince2 project management.