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Making Your Social Media Strategy SEO Friendly

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by Nick Stamoulis
June 29, 2011

Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com), a Boston SEO firm. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 140,000 opt-in subscribers.

Contact Nick Stamoulis as 781-350-4365 or nick@brickmarketing.com

Nick Stamoulis has written 49 articles for PromotionWorld.
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Social media marketing and SEO tie more closely together than most companies might realize. For starters, the two fields (in conjunction with content marketing) form the basis of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a pull approach where targeted visitors are lead to your site via numerous channels. As opposed to push marketing (PR and advertising), where tactics are used to interrupt the daily life of the consumer and catch their attention, inbound marketing works to integrate your company into their lives.

There is no denying that both SEO and social media marketing are incredibly important online marketing techniques and are critical to developing a successful online presence and brand. Some marketers have heralded social media has the death of traditional search. Others say social signals will only impact the way companies handle their SEO, but not replace it. It’s the Google vs. Facebook showdown! However, neither social media nor SEO is the magic bullet to your online marketing needs. Aspects of both practices, in conjunction with numerous others, are needed to create a well-rounded and strong online brand.

However, the two do not have to exist in separate silos. The simple truth is that they shouldn’t be separated at all. When effectively combined, social media and SEO can have a significant impact on your site for the better.

So how do you make social media and SEO work together?

Social profiles for link building and brand presence

When you search for a company by name, you should see their main website in the number 1 spot (at least I’d hope so!). But if you scroll a little further down the page, you’ll probably come across their Facebook page, LinkedIn account, Twitter handle and so forth. These social profiles rank in the search engines just like any other business profile. You’ll also see what links that company shared over their social profiles, further enhancing their online presence. There are plenty of smaller, niche social networking sites where companies can create profiles just to get the link, and not bother to build a community. It should be mentioned that there is much more value in building that community than just having the link.

Targeting keywords in social profiles and posts

Facebook allows businesses to create a custom (non-changeable URL). This is a great place to go after your most important keyword. Facebook and LinkedIn also allow for a very extensive company biography, another spot to target keywords on your social profiles. On Twitter, hashtags (characterized by #example) work just like content on a webpage. If you were to type “SEO” into Google and then check out the Realtime Results, you’d see a live Twitter stream of Tweets that includes “SEO” somewhere in the 140 characters. By incorporating keywords into your social profiles and posts, you make it easier for them to rank in the search engines. However, just like with any kind of content optimization, you don’t want to overdo it and keyword stuff.

Getting more value out of a link

Links are one of the most important components of an SEO campaign. The more quality inbound links a site has pointing towards it, the better trust factor it has with the search engines. Social media sites are a great way to turn one link into ten, a hundred or even a 1,000 links, depending on the size of your network and the value of the content behind the link. When someone Tweets one of your blog posts, they are broadcasting it to their personal network. This might get that blog post in front of a whole new audience. Some of them will click through to your blog, increasing your site traffic. The same thing happens when someone Shares your content on Facebook. They are promoting your link and encouraging their network to check it out. The more people share your link, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines and the better it will rank.

The bottom line is that any kind of marketing you do (both online and off) can be leveraged for SEO in one way or another. Social media is no different. If you keep SEO in the back of your mind while executing your social media marketing strategy, you’ll be able to mesh the two platforms together and get a lot more value from your efforts. Social and SEO don’t need to fight each other for online marketing dominance; when used together they are much more effective.


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