Between 2010 and 2014, what we know about how social media affects SEO has changed. At first, an interview with Google published by revealed that Google used links from sites such as Facebook and Twitter to determine page rank.

Four years later, during a video, Google engineer Matt Cutts said that social media was treated the same as ordinary web pages. SEO professionals interpreted this statement to mean that social media no longer had a special impact on search rank.

Now, after several more years elapsing, social media sites still attract a major segment of all internet users. Tens of millions of daily users keep the top social networks. This means that you can find your target market on social media and connect in ways that spur business growth.

For this reason, you must publish only valuable content to social media, just as you’d do for your website. This means that your SEO strategy can naturally complement the effectiveness of your brand on social media. As a result, you can expect to receive more website traffic.

Ultimately, social media can also become an asset for SEO, regardless of Google’s official stance at a given time. Get started by using the following tips as rocket fuel for your social strategy.

Build Your Following

As the number of people who follow you increases, your brand’s network will expand in the social sphere. When it does, your website will attract more links and the flow of visitors will increase.

However, as you grow, avoid the temptation to buy followers and always analyze the followers that you attract. After all, Google can judge the quality of your followers, so this strategy can easily backfire unless you have organic growth from active, engaged users.

Aside from adding valuable content to your social media profiles, you can also grow your following by asking. Whenever your brand creates a positive shopping experience, simply ask your customer to follow you. When they do, they may even become willing brand advocates.

Promote Shares

When people share and “like” your social media posts, they signal to the world the value of your content. So, focus on publishing content that resonates with your audience. Also, use multiple formats, including infographics, video and text to make it appealing.

Additionally, when you have lots of social shares, you gain in terms of brand recognition and authority. Also, Google sees this as an external validation of your brand and can use that to justify a boost in page and domain rank.

So, make sure that your social media content always informs, educates and entertains. When you get people excited and engaged, they will likely want to share their experience with their family members and friends.

Add Links

As a social media user, you should always share third-party content, including that which your followers post. However, all your social media profiles should also include links to your website. For a long time, websites with more inbound links have ranked better in Google.

In addition to adding links to your website from your own social profiles, be sure to judiciously add links to your original content. If for no other reason, these links help readers easily find more information about your business, brand and products.

Make it easy for other social media users to share links to your site. By doing this, you can dramatically increase the number of inbound links your website enjoys. Of course, Google also assesses the quality of inbound links, so you’ll also need to earn links from other authoritative sources.

Infuse Keywords

Google often displays brand profile pages from social networks near the top of search results. As a matter of fact, some people may prefer to click links to social media. So, seize upon this opportunity by infusing your social content with the keywords used for your website.

Although clicks to social media pages might not directly impact your site, they contribute to the authority of your brand. Also, once people arrive at your social media pages, people should have a chance to click through to your website to get more information.

Furthermore, social networks have search engines of their own. So, when you optimize your social media content with keywords, you increase the probability that people searching for information related to your products and services will find your brand.

Strive for Prominence

As you build your social media presence, you should increase the visibility of your brand. This happens as people share and search for your content. However, you can also use social media to become an authority in your industry.

As people become to depend on you for reliable information and solutions to their problems, the effects will ripple outside of social networks. In fact, more people will directly search for your brand using Google and other search sites.

Generally speaking, as the number of branded internet searches increases, your rankings for generic keywords will also increase. Ultimately, your effort to build the strength of your brand on social media will result in superior SEO results.

Final Word

In summary, your overarching principle should be to provide the ultimate experience to social media users. When you do, you give them reasons to share your content, link to your site and recognize your brand authority. Ultimately, by following the above tips, you can boost your SEO and grow your business.

Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows.

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