Social Media and SEO Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

Since the first of the year, I’ve been fortunate to be part of teams launching several new B2B brands. Our integrated marketing strategy has included everything from messaging and positioning to website and content development to cultivating brand awareness. For new brands entering an already competitive marketplace, SEO is vitally important. While our clients were familiar with the need to optimize their new websites for search, they were surprised to learn that SEO was equally important within their social media channels.

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To use a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies “Forrest Gump”: Social media and SEO go together like peas and carrots.          

Attaining and maintaining a proper Search Engine Results Page (SERP) position will be the difference between success and failure for any search marketing campaigns. I don’t think we can beat the drum enough regarding the importance of coming up on “Page One” in terms of organic search results. Consider the following statistics from recent studies:

· On average, 71.33 percent of searches resulted in a Page One Google organic click. Pages Two and Three get only 5.59 percent of the clicks.

· On the first page alone, the first five results account for 67.60 percent of all the clicks. The results from six to 10 account for only 3.73 percent.

Social media can help get your company ranked where it needs to be─quicker.

According to Mike Rowan, founder and president of KPItarget, a results-based web marketing agency in Atlanta, one of the biggest misperceptions B2B companies have about SEO is the impact of social media activities and content on overall search results. Social media activities send signals to the search engines (known as social signals) that are associated with better performing organic search. Activities such as Google +1s, Facebook shares, tweets, and pins on Pinterest are all toward the top of the latest correlation charts that show how important individual activities are when it relates to ranking well in the search engines.   

But, before you start pounding the pavement to boost your company’s Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc., in hopes of quickly moving up the page rankings, you should watch this recent video released by Google’s Matt Cutts to understand the real metrics that influence the search engine’s algorithms─at least for now.

When it comes to B2B marketing, change is always just around the corner. However, I’ve outlined four things to keep in mind now when it comes to making sure social media and SEO work together for tomorrow.  

1. Links to original content are digital gold. Links to original content on your website that are distributed and shared via social media help create those all-important backlinks, establishing credibility and influencing search rankings. Cutts says as much in the video as he explains that Google crawls social websites for this type of data in the same way that it would other sites.

2. Social media profiles carry their own cachet. Social profiles do matter to Google as many of them now show up as part of Page One search results. Also, while Google+ is often considered a non-essential social channel, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that a company’s Google+ profile is one of the first things a searcher will see (and potentially click on). As such, it pays to ensure all your social media profiles are up to date and completely filled out, giving special emphasis to the title, description, and About Us sections.  

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3. Social media networks have their own search functions. People are increasingly relying on search functions within the respective social media channels. You can search based on company, person, category, keyword and even hashtag. This allows your social media posts to be found easily by people who, many times, don’t know anything about your company.

4. Take advantage of niche networks. There are certain channels, such as YouTube and SlideShare, that present a tremendous opportunity to rank well for otherwise tough to rank phrases. Each individual video or presentation can be optimized just like a regular page on the website, and the underlying domain power of a site like YouTube makes it easier to rank for your desired terms. Make sure that you pay close attention to making your title keyword rich, and don’t skimp on the description.

According to Rowan, the single biggest mistake B2B companies make when it comes to optimizing their social properties for search is “not doing it all.”

Does your company have a social media SEO strategy?

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