Doing well in the social networking field can help boost content performance in search results. When website content providers think of search engine optimization, the first things that come to mind are providing quality content, using search-based keywords, and creating content that is easy for search engines to find. Search engine algorithms do not control how the Internet grows; instead, SEO has a reactionary relationship with web content. Ten years ago, social networks weren’t much of a force to be reckoned with but, now, they’re among the most visited websites on the Internet.
According to SEO specialists Moz, social network activity — the number of external sites linking to your page — is in a close race for the second most important element to SEO. Page Authority, which measures site reputation, isn’t enough to carry your content over competitors.
Provide Content People Want to Share
Winning at social networking is not a simple matter of getting the most people to “like” or “follow” you: it’s about creating content that moves through the networks. Website content providers need to make content that people will want to share on social networks if they want to do well in SEO now. Not all content is meant to be shared, but news updates, press releases, and product descriptions all have the potential to move on social networks as long as they aren’t bogged down with technical jargon.
Be The Hub
If you’re selling something like content or products sold by third-party distributors, you want people to come to your site. Be the hub — the first destination people go to. If you sell widgets, you want people to share your site’s widget pages on social networks when they tell their friends about cool new widgets instead of eBay and Amazon product listings.
Make Content Easy to Share
Some visitors will copy and paste your page URL to a social network to share it, but you can’t count on it. It’s important to provide social network sharing links on your site so anyone who wants to share can do it with just a click or tap. However, which networks do you include? Metcalfe’s Law is important here, establishing an exponential network value based on the total number of users. Therefore, Facebook and Twitter should be your priorities with the rest following behind, if you have the time or page space. Also, your development team can look in to applying Facebook’s Open Graph metatags to help improve how you content appears within social shares.
Have a Social Network Presence
While having content that moves through the social network landscape is important, you need a launching pad for that content. Maintaining a social network presence for your brand does double duty for your SEO. The search engines take your following size into account with SEO in addition to how much your content gets shared and clicked.
Dan S is a former news journalist turned web developer and freelance writer. He has a penchant for all things tech and believes the person using the machine is the most important element.