The move toward social has been something seen on the horizon for quite some time now. What with a new, popular social site springing forth every year and the big 7 updating and revamping their features, the dominance of social media has truly arrived.
Take for instance, the case of Google Endorsements and Authorship. The need for the world to know what their friends are liking, recommending and writing is at an all time high. Consumers want to know that they can trust a source and that Google trusts them. This is where social media lends a heavy hand.
Traffic is one of the deciding factors that search engines take into account when they are ranking and scoring websites and webpages. A site that receives a good amount of traffic and other determining factors such as fresh content, keywords, and backlinks have a higher likelihood of ranking on the first page of a SERP. With that said, a new report released by Shareaholic found that 20 percent of overall traffic comes from Facebook and Pinterest.
Facebook accounts for 15 percent and Pinterest accounts for around 5 percent. In 3rd place Twitter still has room to grow but may want to watch out for StumbleUpon who is catching up quickly. (Sounds like a horserace at the Kentucky Derby, right!)
These numbers suggest that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are the top contenders that marketers should be working hard to implement into their strategies (if you already are, kudos to you.)
Invest in More than One Social Platform
Don’t fall in love with just one platform. That won’t likely get you thumbs up from the search engines. Changes happen and you should be ready for them. Any given month or year one social channel is the hotspot for consumers. By placing your eggs in multiple baskets you won’t be playing catch up when a social platform is the happening place to be. It also allows for creativity. You can create different themes that tie together but are very different because they are separate social channels.
Optimize Your Social Channels
Social media has become a paragon in the business world in 2014 and we are only in March. Marketers are not only going to need working knowledge of SEO, but of social media and vice-versa.
This means optimizing your social channels the same way you would your website. Your URL vanities should coincide with your brand. For example, facebook.com/yourbrand or twitter.com/yourbrand. The process of obtaining custom URLs can be difficult or fairly simple. It all depends on the policy of each platform. Also, it makes your social site aesthetically pleasing. This means your images, videos and posts are of high quality.
Add Social Badges to Your Website
But, you shouldn’t just forget your website altogether. Adding a social media section to your website lets visitors know you are on the platforms they love and can also help them share your website with their communities. No one will know you are on a social platform unless you tell them. Badges can piqué your visitors, especially if they are prominent and not created or added as an afterthought. Your social badges should be a part of your websites design, they are an added marketing component.
Choose Quality over Quantity
Another aspect of SEO in 2014 will be quality over quantity. So, keep your social media practices in good health. Post regularly and provide links back to your website because an important part of SEO is linkbuilding. Creating 20 mediocre social posts a week is nothing compared to 2-3 quality posts that add value to your audience
Remember to Have Fun
Lastly, have fun. This transition doesn’t have to be stressful. Think of it this way, you get to play around with different platforms and experiment with what works for your brand and what doesn’t. SEO-cial doesn’t have to be an extra task; it should weave into your existing strategy of content creation and backlinking.