In the increasingly popular world of Tweets, Likes, Pins and Plus Ones you might be forgiven for thinking that more established online promotional techniques such as search marketing may not be such an effective source of web traffic.
The reality however is that search marketing – on a local, national or international scale – is as strong as ever. The clever people at Google, Bing and other search engines are embracing the social media scene as a means of providing ‘social proof’ for the web content they present in their search results.
For example, observing links being posted in authentic Tweets to articles, videos, news items etc. provides ideal data in establishing popular content in real time.
Using Social Media to Enhance Search Listings
No one knows for certain what effect social media is having on search results; in a constant battle to sieve genuine content from spam, Google and Bing understandably continue to keep their algorithm under wraps. What is clear however is that in an effort to stay relevant, the search engines cannot afford to ignore what’s happening in the social stream. Here are a few tips to improve your search results using social media.
1. Be Likeable
The most important online marketing techniques remain the same. The first of which is to publish relevant, helpful, interesting and insightful content – the more ‘share worthy’ your content is, whether it be an article, image or video, the more likely it is to be Liked, Retweeted, Repinned and so on. And if your content is shareable, then it’s also linkable.
2. Spread the Word
Once you have your content, the natural place to publish it will be on your website or ideally, your business blog. The next step is to start sharing it – this is where the obvious benefits of social media marketing come into play: providing a direct route for sharing your content with customers – and ultimately, as your content is recommended to others send positive social signals to the search engines.
3. Don’t Overdo It
In the same way as you shouldn’t overuse keywords in your content, take care not to overdo your keyword placements on your social media profile. Unnatural keyword stuffing or overuse of exact match anchor text can set off alarm bells and potentially harm your search influence. Be genuine, consistent and creative but not overbearing.
4. Think Authorship Signals
Your blog, together with your social media profiles (including Google’s own social networking platform Google+) provide a great opportunity to build a reputation for quality content. As you regularly publish authoritative, influential content, the search engines will likely assign positive ‘authorship signals’ to your social stream, which will enhance your chances of being indexed and then recommended in search results.
In conclusion, while influencing search engine results via your social media activity may not be an exact science; it is clear that an ongoing, flexible content marketing plan will be an essential element of any successful online marketing arsenal.