Written by Zachary Jarvis from Magnate
There are now more than 2 billion people in the world who use Facebook every month. In developed countries like the UK, 2 out of every 3 people are active Facebook users. That only counts for the most popular social media network. Search engines used to be the way that people found businesses on the Internet – now they are just as likely to find them on social media.
That might seem to suggest that SEO is being outpaced by social, but the reality is that social media and SEO work really well together. If you put a pixel on your homepage then you can track all the people who have visited you, and then you can retarget them with a message on social media. So customers who may have looked at your site but not converted can be targeted again. People who have already interacted with you once are more likely to interact with you again. If they see the site they just visited on their social media (or thanks to audience networks, on other websites, on their mobile and even in in app ads) they are more likely to trust that website.
If you have a pixel on your website where your SEO has actually converted people, you have the makings of a very powerful social media tool. Using that data, you can create a lookalike audience. What that means is an audience is created who have a very similar demographic profile to people who have already bought from you. The benefit is that those people haven’t been exposed to your business before, and are more likely to convert.
That explains what SEO can do for social media, but what can social media do for SEO?
The way that SEO is calculated is constantly changing. Google has long been talking about a mobile first index, which won’t only check how well your website runs on mobile – but will also check how engaging your site is. One of those metrics sees how long people stay on each page. Including a plug in to your social media activity can increase that amount of time. SEO also no longer tends to run on keywords, but on long tail key phrases. This not only means that customers can find answers to their specific needs, it also means that SEO now tends towards writing long form and informative articles which actually improve the customer experience. A great way to do this is through backlinks from content hosted on other sites.
If you are writing content for other sites, the more trusted that site is – the more value that backlink has. If you promote that content on social media and people start sharing and commenting on it – it makes that backlink even more valuable (as well as providing great content for your social media feed). Another benefit is that your social media is linked to your website’s SEO – meaning the more social media activity you have, the more valuable that ‘backlink’ becomes. As the mobile first index prizes the conversational style of voice search, genuine comments and discussion about your business on social media can actually help create organic long tail backlinks for your site.
Social isn’t set to replace SEO – but it does represent another way for customers to find your business. The best thing is how well good SEO and good social media complement and work off each other to improve the results you get from both.
About the author:
On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick. This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviours.