Improving Your Search Engine Ranking Using Social Linking
Most small businesses are aware of SEO or search engine optimization based on using keywords and link building to associated and trusted websites. In just a few years we’ve seen the algorithms used by Google and other search engines change dramatically, continuously becoming more fine tuned in an effort to bring internet surfers the best results in their searches.
Currently content and keywords are still king in the world of SEO, followed by strong link building; however, social media linking is quickly becoming a key factor in the search engine algorithms and in helping to improve your search engine rankings.
A little more than a year ago, Bing and Google confirmed that they did in fact include social media linking in their calculations, something many SEO gurus had suspected for a very long time. In addition, they search engines will weight the results based on the authority of the person/company that shared the link. For example, the number of people following them – the more followers they have the higher the weighting will be by the search engine.
SEOmoz is a leading SEO authority, and they have stated that links that are continuously re-shared via Facebook will rank high in the search engines. The reason Facebook links rank so well is because the search engine recognizes that Facebook links are very hard to fake. The users almost always directly link to a site for a real reason, and those that follow them trust that what’s being shared is worth having a look at. Today, businesses are focusing on engaging with their followers on social media sites to encourage the sharing process.
Of course, it is not always easy to cultivate and grow a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or StumbleUpon. Large companies will often employ at minimum of one dedicated person to take care of their social media pages and the interaction with the followers on those pages. Many of the largest companies with a full understanding of the importance of social media pages and the followers actually employ full teams of employees to interact and grow their page and sites, and therefore increase their customers, and ultimately their revenue.
Even if you don’t have one or more employees dedicated to take care of your social media there are some things you can do to start:
Make sure you provide your customers a reason why they should follow you. If you think a page with little information on it will keep followers coming back, you would be wrong. You need to create a page that is interesting. How to help, contests, give aways, and interactions with those who are posting on the site.
Make sure that you effectively share the content. Don’t just post content on autopilot, make sure that the content you add is relevant to the comment(s) posted on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, or any other social media sites you are using.
Make sure you are an authority on your topic. If you are knowledgeable and you post helpful information, people will come, and they will return over and over again. You will define yourself as an expert, and this will also significantly improve your SEO weighting in the search engines.
Make sure you always communicate in a manner that is friendly and professional. Do not allow yourself to get drug into disputes or arguments on a public forum. Others will be judging you and your company.
If time is a concern, think about outsourcing your social media management.
Social linking is really in its infancy. Getting on board sooner rather than later will give you the advantage, quickly improving your rankings in the search engines. Social linking is a powerful tool when used correctly. You are ready to do just that.