10 Social SEO steps you can implement right NOW.

i. Social Search: The Why and What

When it comes to website optimization, search and social do share a complementary relationship. While the two facets of digital marketing are often independently managed, the lines are increasingly blurred as both disciplines work together in delivering a common goal: information discovery.

While SEO and social media calls for two distinctive sets of skills and expertise, the integration of search and social has made it possible to attain two objectives in a single effort.

An article on Forbes defines the unofficial term “social SEO” as such,

Social SEO encompasses the idea that social media links and interaction play a huge part in a website’s search rankings.

Now this is especially the case with Google, where social metrics are significantly more influential in its ranking algorithm. The social component, in a way, has become a reliable indicator that search engines increasingly rely upon in their ranking algorithm.

ii. 10 Social SEO actions that reap reward on both fronts

I’ve compiled the following list of Social SEO steps any digital marketing can work to execute on, and the results of these actions would have a significant impact on both a brand’s social media presence as well as it’s SEO performance. The social seo strategies below are actionable items and can (should!) be employed in your business model.

PS: I don’t truly believe that social SEO will completely replace link-building or other SEO techniques as the primary ranking factor. What I do believe, is that social and search are sharing more common grounds than in the past, and I’ve written about that extensively in another post here: The Evolving Search and Social Model.

Here are the 10 social SEO steps you should be considering for your online marketing strategy this year, whether you are running a blog, an online business, or a digital marketing professional:

1. Register your Company/Business with Google Places

Social SEO impact: 3/5
It’s astonishing how many businesses are paying for lesser platforms and local directories only to conveniently miss out on Google Places — the free local platform that serves 97% of consumers online. Arguably, outside the realm of B2B services, Google Places qualify as the only one directory consumers actually care enough to use.

With Google Places, you can share updates for your local business, respond to reviews, post offers to entice customers, among many other things. Here’s a screenshot of my Google Places account, for one of the local businesses I currently manage:
Google Places dashboard
Click here to get started on Google Places for businesses.

2. Create a Company/Brand Page on Facebook AND Google Plus

Social SEO impact: 4/5
Beyond the obvious benefits of social SEO and community building, this also adds to your business credibility — search engine loves credibility. If you have yet to try Google Plus on a business level, you’re missing out a great deal (more on that in a further post!).
google_plus_pages
Create a Facebook page for your business, or/and claim your business on Google Plus here!

3. Establish your Brand presence on Google+

Social SEO impact: 5/5
No matter which industry or niche your business operate in, there are groups or communities that are closely related to what you do. Participating in Google+ Communities, join interest groups and initiate discussions are a great way to demonstrate thought leadership, and the added benefit of these is a socially active backlink profile that helps shapes the perception of search engines (positively).
A case example is Dwell, a magazine publication about architectural design and modern home-decor. It’s official business page on Google Plus has a little more than 700 followers, but the community it has created, named Design For The Modern World, has accumulated more than 12,000 members.
design for the modern world

Such is the power of community-enabled businesses.
Discover great communities on Google plus or create your own here: Google Communities and keep the conversation going!

4. Add Google’s Plus One (+1) button on your site’s important pages

Social SEO impact: 4/5

Social recommendation is an increasingly important indicator search engine relies on to deduce a webpage’s popularity. While popularity does not always equate to relevancy, it definitely correlates to authority — and authority is a ranking factor that Google embraces much more than its other search engine counterparts.

In fact, the implications of Google’s plus one buttons on search results are actually deeper than pure search visibility. In analyzing the effect of social recommendation on website traffic, SEO Effect has this to say,

Social recommendations from a circle of friends are often even more convincing than expert reviews. It’s an equivalent of word of mouth, directly in the search results presented at the moment that the searcher needs it. Also the annotations are a visual clue that will make a result stick out and that will also increase traffic to your site from that search result.

Any visual clue that makes an object stick out, would dramatically improve conversion (Read more: Copywriting Tips: The sore thumb rule).

search impact of plus one button

To grab and customize the +1 button for your website, click here.

5. Add other social sharing options (Google+ Share, Like, Tweet etc.)

Social SEO impact: 3/5

Similarly to the above, Facebook ‘Likes’ and Tweets also play a role in Google’s ever-so-complex search algorithm. Although to date, the impact ‘Facebook Likes’ or ‘Tweets’ have on search engine ranking are less definitive (and personally, I believe are less effective than Google’s +1′s), such content endorsement do adds to the authority of the creator / publisher. Admittedly, both Bing and Google do take into account the authority of social influencers and assign more weight to, say, public figures and publishers each time they ‘tweet’ a content.

Supercharge your content strategy by implementing the Like Button and the Tweet button today!

6. Add a Google+ Badge and Page Badge

Social SEO impact: 3/5

Apart from the many social seo benefits mention in earlier points, displaying the social face of your brand or business also adds a layer of “social proof” to your brand’s authority in its industry.
facebook badge for business websites

Creating a Facebook Badge is as easy as it can get: click here. To add a Google+ page badge, grab it from the official Google+ Platform.

7. Promote social actions on two of your best-written content

Social SEO impact: 4/5

From a strictly social SEO perspective, our primary goal with every piece of shared content is to get click-throughs and re-shares (Facebook shares), followed by comments, likes, and Tweets &mdash in that particular order. Consider the following study by Searchmetrics on Google’s ranking factors:
google ranking factors

Social media signals are clear sign of authority and search engines see them as “votes of trust” on their quest to rewarding (and weeding out the weak). Right now, pick one or two popular post(s) you have written in the past, repackage it and distribute it to your fans and subscribers.

8. Integrate social payment systems into your content strategy

Social SEO impact: 2/5

The introduction of social payment systems enable brands and businesses to further capitalize on the potential of viral marketing. Services like Pay with a Tweet allows your engaged fans or followers to endorse your product or brand in exchange of access to the content.

Pay with a tweet or share

10. Recycle past contents in the form of video marketing

Social SEO impact: 3/5

Video Marketing is one largely overlooked aspect of online marketing that can be tremendously effective with the right execution. Partly due to the concentration of social networks in general, written content is easily overwhelmed and thus ignored by the social mass.

Video platforms, on the other hand, offers a much greater leverage that is not less-saturated and interactive in nature. Depending on the brand’s customer demographic, one might even add pinterest to its list of social video marketing channels (in addition to the second largest search engine YouTube and the pro-social Vimeo).

As a side note, Pinterest is already the fourth largest source of online traffic, after Google, direct traffic and social media giant Facebook. If you think you’ll pass on Pinterest for other, more established social networks, consider this:

Pinterest alone sends more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined.

Also, considering that Google now index videos from Pinterest and that Pinterest itself has alleviate the ban on commercial accounts, taking a more pro-business stance altogether, I say it’s worth the effort.

You can pin a video directly from your Pinterest account (create one here) by clicking on the “Add” button.

Pinterest - screenshot

This article is also an original contribution to Business 2 Community.

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My musings that may, on a good day, worth your two cents.


5 comments
spookseo
spookseo

Therefore we can simply conclude that social media helps a lot for our online business that's why we must know how to manage it properly.

trafficbyrank
trafficbyrank

No doubt, social media is quite important for SEO. Thanks a lot to share all the steps. I think, Google+ is much better for SEO and business. Pinterest is also achieving its popularity.  

michealmccullum
michealmccullum

social media is really leveraging seo too much if handle cleverly ...

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