TAMPA, FLORIDA- There’s something going on in social media that really bugs me. Too many companies claim to participate in social media simply because they have a Facebook Page or a Twitter account.
But you must do more than simply “be present” to win the social media game. You have to actually be social.
I’m a firm believer in using every tool in the SEO toolbox. We use guaranteed SEO techniques to help our clients appear in the top spots on organic search results, but the good news is that there is no finite number of techniques. Social media continues to create additional opportunities for those who use those outlets properly.
Here’s what several experts say about achieving better search rankings through Twitter and other social media.
1. Be Social
Kevin Gibbons over at Search Engine Land says it well when he explains that your SEO strategies have to include more than tweeting links to your own website if you want it to help improve your ranking.
“You need to enter conversations, respond to questions and queries, talk to customers who mention your brand, and interact,” Kevin says according to searchengineland.com.
2. Write Great Content
Here’s what makes me admire Kevin the most: like me, he’s a firm believer that creating quality content will help improve your ranking.
“This is the simplest rule for most SEO strategies, but it’s also one of the hardest to pull off,” he says. “If you want people to retweet your content and enhance your importance in Google’s eyes, then create valuable articles and tools that will make them want to link to it and share it with their own followers.”
Once you have great content, you need an attention-grabbing tweet to get people to click through. And remember, you only have 140 characters to grab their attention.
Kevin also recommends optimizing your Twitter account by including keywords that you want associated with your business. Include them in your bio and in your tweets, he says. And don’t forget to make your tweets retweetable by leaving enough characters for them to add their own comment if they wish.
4. Quality Trumps Hype
Duane Forrester of Bing participated in a search engine roundtable at SXSW in March and he confirmed the need for businesses to be active in social media. He indicated that small businesses in particular can benefit from it, because if they have a product or service that has true quality, people are bound to talk about it in social media. And anything mentioned in social media that points to relevancy is given a “big thumbs up,” Forrester says. “Does the rest of the world think you have a great product? If so, and they amplify this on your behalf, we’ll pick up on those signals.”
Forrester went on to say that if you’re not engaged socially as part of your Internet marketing strategy, “you’re missing the boat,” because the conversation is happening socially about you and about your content, whether you’re involved or not.
So get on Twitter. When you post something on your blog that is useful, unique and beneficial to others, post it to Twitter as well. Start conversations, reply to what others are saying about the post, and notice the conversation it generates. The number of retweets generated can be a good indicator of how well you’re addressing users’ search for information. Provide information that others deem useful, and chances are you’ll advance your website exponentially in the SEO game.
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