Social SEO Do’s and Don’ts

One of the latest buzz phrases to do the rounds of SEO blogs and forums in recent months has been ‘social SEO’. Social SEO has come about as a concept with the rise of social media and the need for SEO experts and webmasters to combine their SEO strategy with a newer Social Media strategy. The linking of the two strands under the broad term Social SEO refers to the fact that the two areas are actually a lot closer together than a lot of people believe and it now makes sense to deal with them together.

Social media has grown and grown at roughly the same time that search engines were becoming ever more cautious and strict about how they ranked web pages. Spammy links and article farms were on their way out just as social media opened the door to people being able to share with one another links to pages they trusted and rated and the idea of social signals as to the value of a page came about. Consequently marketers and site owners now realize that they need to optimize their content for social media, whilst also sharing their SEO content. Mixing up the two strategies in this way will massively improve a marketing strategy and campaign.

There are however some things to avoid in doing this. Firstly, it is important not to spam out your social media profiles. Whatever you do, don’t start using your profile to sell stuff to people. Social profiles and pages should be used as a way of interacting with your customers and potential customers and engaging with an audience. From this page you should post great content related to your audience and of interest generally, rather than solely related to your company. Casual readers and consumers generally will quickly turn away from a page that is all about a product and nothing else.

Secondly, you should not concentrate solely on your social profile at the expense of your business website. There are many small businesses out there that have lately been putting all their time into their Facebook pages and have cut back on optimizing their websites and keeping them updated with content. This is a risky strategy. Always remember that a Facebook page is owned and run by Facebook – it is not yours and they can shut it down at anytime. It pays to develop both your Facebook page and your own website, linking the two and sending readers of one onto the other and vice versa.

Thirdly, bear in mind that building a social SEO strategy involves more effort than either SEO strategies or social media strategies that are run on their own. This will take time and effort to build a social SEO presence so don’t expect it all to happen in a couple of weeks.

Finally, get to now your audience before you plan your strategy. If you are selling products to teenagers then you clearly need to approach your online presence so it appeals to teenagers. If you are marketing web design services to IT site managers then you need to make the content of your online presence appealing to IT site managers.

Done correctly, social SEO has the ability to massively improve your online presence and get your brand noticed by a great deal more people. Just be careful not to make obvious mistakes and undo all your previous individual SEO and Social Media work.

 

Esther is a blogger and journalist who writes regularly about issues affecting small businesses. She covers everything from advertising to marketing and from contractor tax to how to set up an umbrella company.

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