Before we begin looking at the ways in which social media can be used to boost SEO, it is essential that we understand that although they are both very diverse mediums, there are synergies where the two can work together – if used correctly. Think about it; both are organic and inbound strategies that concentrate on creating an appealing brand that visitors want to know more about.

Because social media demands good quality content and a strong characterful presence, if you work hard at it, not only will your social media reach be extended but your search rankings could benefit from it. The problem that most businesses have is that when social media marketing experts talk about the two, they don’t go into sufficient detail so how can you know what strategies to use and whether or not they will produce the results you are looking for?

One thing to remember – and something that your SEO agency should make clear to you – is that the link between Social Media and SEO is very complex, there is no direct equation such as the more followers you have equals the higher you rank.

Our 5-step guide

But help is at hand with this guide and here are five ways that you need to study in order to use social media to boost your SEO:

1. Increase your amount of quality followers – the more followers and connections you have on your social media profile, [there is a theory that and it is far from an exact science] the better this could help your rankings – due to the quality of your posts/links being shared, but there are certain conditions that apply. Very cleverly, Google can suss out the quality of all followers with those built organically being far more valuable than 1000 Twitter followers by proxy. Doing this the right way takes time but it is worth it as in the long run, it is far more effective. Ensure that you keep your brand and image consistent, posting on a regular basis. Use things like articles, tips or discussions to draw attention. The secret is to get users hooked and conversing with you, building direct encounters that result in a repetitive and truly interactive following. Think of it this way… Social Media comes down to sharing your content and the SEO connection is that Google could take into account the quality of the number of shares your posts/links get across social media.

2. Make the most of external inbound links – another great thing about social media is that it promotes other external sites to link to your content. The greater the amount of external links in place, the better your ratings with Google. Again, we cannot stress enough that your content needs to be of good quality and incredibly attractive in order to encourage the links. A good way to visualise this is to see social media as a broadcasting tool seeking viewers with your content luring them in. Make sure that everything you broadcast is professional and appealing, using things such as hashtags to boost visibility as well as adding your content to existing threads. By doing all of this, you will be seen as someone well worth following and your external link sources will be boosted.

3. Enhance your posts for searches – as well as news articles, Google takes notice of well-liked social media updates that show up in its top SERPs so it is well worth taking the time to optimise your posts to fall into this category. Do this by using an attractive focus such as an awesome videos, infographics free images or links to a comprehensive article. Consider this as your building block for which you will need a gripping, precise and informative title. Frame it using text optimised to match a certain search term, including any keywords that will improve your chances of coming tops in the search results.

4. Sway social sharing – this will contribute in a big way to your brand’s authority. The more people you get to share your post the better so aim for big figures here as well as plenty of likes, favourites, re-tweets etc. But how do you do this? Many people tie in rewards or prizes i.e. if you share this, you can win a free holiday, car or new designer dress. Surveys also work well with viewers liking your post if they agree with something you say. And once it begins, it is self-propagating as the more shares you get, the more your number of followers grows and vice-versa.

5. Optimise your posts locally – engage with the people in your local area and become a well-recognised name in the community, both on and off line. This will then generate location-specific signals to search engines. There are several ways that you can do this, such as getting involved in events or interacting and connecting with other local brands or businesses in your area via social media. If you are involved in trade shows, festivals etc., take plenty of photographs and get posting, inviting local people to comment and add their own feedback. You will then be flagged up in local searches. The other thing to do is to engage with other local organisations regularly; share each other’s posts, take part in discussions, share blogs and articles and generally get involved in the local social channels.

Summing up

By boosting your reputation on social media through all types of increased engagement and the provision of high quality content, your brand presence will not only become more well-known but your general standing online will be boosted. What you want to happen is to have more searches for your brand carried out on Google which will automatically improve your ranking. It may sound a little like a chicken and egg scenario but the stronger standing you have on social media, the greater your search visibility could be.

Follow all of our tips above and add in a few of your own and you will have the basic elements of a successful campaign on social media. Always keep your users at the forefront of your mind as the more they interact with you, the better your exposure.

By understanding precisely how social media interacts with SEO you can better control your marketing campaigns online, providing your followers old and new with an improved experience and opening up the floodgates for an influx of customers who all want to know more about your brand.

You can now see just how much social media and search engine optimisation can interact together; if you want to give your SEO a little boost, then try tying in some of the benefits offered by Social Media. By focusing on both of these organic and inbound strategies, you will showcasing your name and a brand that your audience want to get close to.