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 your current search engine optimization company is only focusing on link building and not paying any attention to your social media then you may want to look at other options and read this post about 5 reasons to run away from your SEO company.
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 allows you to spread your online reach faster
The old school link building tactics involved getting your links anywhere, even if those sites had little to no activity. Social media allows you to put your website and brand directly in front of potential customers. Produce good quality content and share it across social media and watch others interact and share it as well.
This is where the “social” part comes into play. Don’t just put it out there and hope it gets picked up. Interact with your social following and get them involved. When they feel involved and truly connected to your brand it results in sharing on a regular basis. While it can be hard, make sure to dedicate time each day to social interaction.
Active social media profiles drive high quality website traffic
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.
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.
Social media are the new signals (think ”votes” for your websites popularity)
Back in the day a single link was a sign of a website’s popularity. The more links, the more popular the site was, therefore it would rank higher. It then became a race to build the most links without a care in the world in regards to quality. Google soon developed a way to give more weight to specific links and not value them all the same.
Then people began to game that system as well and then Google began to issue penalties to sites that were mass spamming just to build massive amounts of links. There will always individuals looking to win at the link game, but social signals are the newest way to gauge the popularity and authority of a website.
It is much harder to fake “real” social signals as they come from actual users. There are many fake social signal providers but the fake accounts do not stick long and soon disappear. Make sure to get your social media following to engage with your content and website, as it will help your SEO efforts.
Social media gives you a team of “link builders”
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. There are many options to match the look and feel of virtually every website out there.
Avoid Google penalties with less focus on links
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.
When it comes down to it, SEO results are responsible for a large percentage of a website’s traffic, so you need to use every opportunity available to improve those rankings. 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.
Image credit: Shutterstock