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seo and social media

Does Social Media Actually Have Any SEO Impact?

Social media is becoming more and more a necessary value instead of a commodity. But still, many people question its necessity and validity.

Some think that it can work well for certain businesses but that it might not be a tool that other businesses, including their own, will need. However, social media can be a great way to drive website traffic and bring in more clients and create long-lasting relationships with customers.

One of the main questions that people bring up when asking about social media for their company is if it has any impact whatsoever on their SEO and just how much of an impact it might have.

How Does Social Media Impact Your SEO?

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), we are all looking for new and improved ways to help get our content noticed. I’ve talked about the many different changes to SEO over the last few months, especially Google changes, and the one thing many people wonder about is if social media has any impact. It might not seem like it has much of an impact, but you might be surprised when you get into the nitty-gritty of new SEO tactics.

According to a Business 2 Community author, the reality is that social media does impact SEO and it helps to bring out great success for your website, content, and products. I am going to reference this article throughout this blog to give you some great reasons on how social media can and will impact your SEO.

Does This Mean You Really Need Social Media?

If you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon, now is the best time to do so. Many people wonder if they really need social media for their business because it seems like such a “young person club.” Many businesses that don’t reach out to younger demographics often question its validity, but it should be noted that many younger people started out with social media because their parents were on there, too. This means there is a wide age demographic throughout social channels, which can help you reach out to any age, not just young to older Millennials or even younger generations growing up.

Which Social Sites are the Best to Boost SEO?

There isn’t one specific site that truly boosts SEO the best. Google Plus is a great option to get ranked on Google, but again, it is not the only one that can do so.

What you need to do is play around with social media and try the holy trinity of Facebook, Twitter, and G+ in the beginning. You can branch out from there at a later time, but get your feet wet first before diving fully into social media. Once you’re more established or understand a bit of the social media game, then it is time to get working on other channels if they will benefit your company.

12 Ways Social Media Actually Really Does Impact Your SEO

Now that I have looked at why you need social media and that it can impact your SEO, you are probably wondering just how it does. I am also going to take a look at how you can use it to further your web content and business.

  1. Social Media Profiles Rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). In the Business 2 Community article I shared earlier, the writer mentions that social media profiles do rank on the SERP. When someone searches for a product or service, your social channels have a high likelihood of ranking in those search results, which can lead people to your business. This is why it is important to optimize your profiles fully before it is too late.
  1. Social Shares Can Give Your Webpage More Inbound Links. While you don’t always want to focus on inbound links, the Business 2 Community article points out that it does create great, organic inbound linking. These links will help to validate your website, and can help you become an authority with Google. When this happens, your website is more likely to be ranked higher than ever before, which is exactly what you are aiming for if you’re reading this blog. In short, your social channels and links will help create more visibility for your web page, which is a tremendous help to bring in new customers and more revenue.
  1. Mixing Social Media and SEO Increases Your Online Presence. Just like with blogs, social media, combined with SEO, can help increase your online presence, making it larger and more accessible. A larger Internet presence might seem daunting, but this is something you should be aiming for. If you do not have a larger presence, you are less likely to be found organically, which means more money being spent on advertisements to gain new clients.
  1. Traffic From Social Media is Organic Traffic. According to the Business 2 Community article, about 95 percent of all links created in traditional link building techniques aren’t very effective. They don’t bring in organic traffic nor do they bring in enough of your targeted audience to bring about the revenue and success you want to see. However, by using social media, you are much more likely to drive organic traffic from your links because it will come from your followers. This will bring in great quality visitors that are likely to turn into customers and they in turn can share your information bringing in even more customers.
  1. Social Media is the Best Way to Bring in Mobile Users. April 21st has come and gone, which means that Google’s latest, and largest, update has been in effect for a few days. This update makes it vital for all businesses to have a website that is mobile friendly, and what is the best way to bring in mobile users to your new, or freshened up, mobile friendly site? Using social media. You need to have a social media presence to bring in your mobile clients, and as we can all see, mobile users are a large demographic. Social media can drive people to your site, which will help benefit your SEO and improve you overall reach.
  1. Combining Social Media and SEO Can Boost Engagement for Your Brand. Engagement is a vital part of any online presence, which means that you need to make sure you are making it possible for your clients to engage. They can engage on your blog, but they are more likely to engage with you on social platforms. There are many things you can do to drive this engagement, and it gives you the chance to boost your SEO by way of organic link building and more. Just how does engagement help with SEO? The Business 2 Community article says it is because engagement means happier clients who won’t just be a one-time customer. They are likely to become long-term customers, and visit your site regularly. These repeat visits are great for your metrics and helps boost your rankings significantly.
  1. Each Social Channel Should Be Considered a Search Engine, As Well. Remember that while you want to bring in ranks and views from Google, or even Bing, the social channels act as search engines themselves. This gives your business more coverage and helps more people find what they are looking for. If someone is looking for a certain keyword, product, or service, they are likely to search Google or Bing, but they are also likely to search social media channels. Many times, people will look for certain trigger keywords to get find products, which is why you should use your keywords as your hashtags, as well. I’ll take a look at this a little later in the blog.
  1. Google Does Use Twitter to Look for New Content. While there isn’t a central system to file all web content, Google does use Twitter to locate new content to add to an index. If your content gains a lot of notice and traffic on Twitter, it is easier for Google to find your content and list it on the SERP. Different ranking factors that help Google discover include re-tweets, the amount of time people link to and tweet your content, and how quickly it was shared over a certain time. While you might not think that Twitter is a great resource for your business, it might just be a bigger help than you initially realized.
  1. You Can Use Your SEO Keywords as Hashtags on Social Media. Optimizing your social media posts will be a great way to help Google notice your content and help bring your blog or web content on the SERP. A great way to optimize your social media posts is to utilize your keywords as hashtags to bring in more views, clicks, re-tweets, and more. Make sure you choose the top keywords that help bring traffic from Google to your site to make sure you are reaching the right audience. You should also make sure you are playing around with different keywords to see if any others will bring in more, and different, clients.
  1. Google Plus is Still Vital to SEO and Ranks. When you create social media platforms, you always want to make sure you are utilizing Google Plus for your content. One of the biggest, and most obvious, reasons for this is Google Plus is a social media channel created by Google. This means that Google makes sure it is as important to ranking as possible. Sure, they’ve made a few changes to the importance of Google Plus and how it helps with ranks, but it is still a vital platform. It can help your content rank higher and help establish you as an authority in your industry. Being set apart as an authority is a great way to gain trust from your followers and customers, helping create long relationships and convert new visitors into clients. You can also optimize your Google Plus profile perfectly to drive ranks on the SERP and raise your position on the SERP to higher, more effective, one.
  1. Social Media Lets You Use Viral Content to Drive Engagement and Clicks. One of the great things about social media is access to viral content. There are two ways you can use viral content to bring in engagement. One is using and sharing viral content to drive people to your account to then see your social posts and links to your website. Viral content is a great advertising tool that also promotes more engagement and social shares from your followers. Another way is creating your own viral content that will encourage people to share your individual content to drive social shares. These can be in the form of infographics, videos, or other images.
  1. Build a Following on Twitter to Maintain Customers. As I mentioned earlier, social media is a great way to engage with your existing clients, creating repeat clicks on your links by those individuals. This looks excellent on social media and to Google and is why social media is vital to your SEO campaign. Use your social accounts to build a great following of loyal clients that will not only click on your site links regularly and make purchases, but also to help bring in new clients. If your existing ones are happy and feel you are engaging well with them, they are very likely to share your social posts, driving more organic clicks and traffic.

Drive Your SEO by Becoming a Social Butterfly

Don’t shy away from social media simply because you think that it isn’t for your business. As you can see, it will be incredibly helpful when you are trying to boost your SEO and gain new, long-lasting clients, as well as boosting organic traffic and link building. If you are looking for someone to help you create excellent, engaging social media content or fully optimized profile pages, then look no further. Express Writers has an excellent team of social media managers that can help you with your social media needs. Take a look at all that we can offer you!

Photo credit: pichet_w / iStock

Magic time for social media

When Should You Post Your Social Media Content? Is There A Magic Time?

How do you successfully get the most views to your social media updates? It seems almost impossible and can be a major letdown when you see someone randomly go viral. Just how does one do that? Did they use a different word than you? Or, did they simply find a magic time to post to social media? When it comes down to it, many people realize that they need to find that social media time sweet spot, but it is, yet again, something that seems unattainable. In this blog, we are going to talk about the various social media networks and when is a good time to post to each.

When Should You Post To Facebook?

Facebook is something we all know as a social site that helps us waste time when we no longer want to be in the office or to pay attention to things going on around us. Many office workers find that they will start to peruse Facebook when they are in a workday slump, especially towards the end of the week, according to Buffer. In fact, engagement rates on Facebook are at about 18% on Thursdays and Fridays – you know, those pesky days that stand in between you and the weekend. This is an optimal time to post your information because it has a higher likelihood of being seen. Buffer also points out that 86% of posts are made Monday through Friday, with a few posts on Saturdays. Buffer does say that another study points out that while actual posting is down on Saturdays, engagement with businesses is up to about 32%. These statistics show that the optimal time to post on Facebook is towards the end of the week.

When Should You Post To Twitter?

Twitter is a hard social media network to pin down when it comes to optimal posting times. It seems more people use Twitter on their mobile devices, which gives them quicker and easier access to view tweets. Because of this, many people will check their accounts multiple times a day. Regardless of this difficulty, Hubspot was able to get a decent amount of statistics together to help find optimal posting days for Twitter. It seems Twitter gets the most views Mondays through Thursdays around 1 to 3PM and the worst times to post are every day after 8PM and Fridays after 3PM. While this is all up in the air depending on your client base, Hubspot also points out that they can truly say what brings about more interaction – posting photos. Here are some fun stats about tweeting photos:

  • You have a 36% increase in clicks.
  • A 31% increase in site visits.
  • A 41% increase in retweets.
  • A 48% increase in favorites.
  • A 33% increase in changing visitors into leads.
  • A 55% increase in leads.

While you’re working to find that sweet spot for timing, know that it is solid fact that you will bring in more views and leads simply by posting a photograph.

When Should You Post To LinkedIN?

Because LinkedIN is specifically used for businesses and business professionals, it is oftentimes used right before the workday begins and right after it ends, according to Entreprenuer.com. Entrepreneur also says that it is often used on Tuesdays and Thursdays around those times. If you make a post during normal working hours, it is less likely to receive views or bring in any clicks and visits. Try posting your LinkedIN material on Tuesdays and Thursdays specifically at around 7-8:30AM local time and avoid posting Mondays through Fridays between 1 and 5 PM.

When Should You Post To Google+?

G+ is yet another social media site that is best posted to in the morning. On the same infographic provided for Twitter, Hubspot says that the usual time people are on G+ is 9 – 10AM. The best time to receive the most engagement on your G+ updates is Wednesdays at 9AM. You will get more interaction and +1’s for posts made on those days. The worst time that Hubspot found for posting on G+ is very early mornings when people are either commuting to work and are too groggy to function fully or in the evenings when they are spending time with their family. An important fact about G+ and demographics is, according to Hubspot, it is growing rapidly with people between the ages of 45 and 54 years old. Keep this in mind as you post to G+ and make it friendlier for that demographic.

Learn Which Times Work The Best For Your Social Media

While these statistics are really helpful, it is wise for you to learn what times work the best for your specific audience. You can give the above a try, but if you notice you have little to no engagement on the suggested times, you should start to tweak it. Try earlier, if that doesn’t work, try later. The times vary for each business and person. Some people have more luck with posts made late at night because their audience is still awake while some have luck with early morning posts.

Either way, you have to make sure you know what your audience wants and when they are online. You can find this out by looking at your analytics, or by simply asking your clients what times they are usually online. In fact, this is an integral part to having a successful social media strategy; your clients can help you improve everything regarding your social media presence. Try these times out and start tweaking until you reach the time slot that works the best for you!

 

 

social media strategy

20 Tips To Create A Winner’s Social Media Strategy

Go anywhere these days, in fact don’t even leave your home, and what do you find?  No, it’s not infomercials for the next great cooking gadget that solves a problem that never existed. It is references to social media. Every company, business, person, dog, cat, and mythological creature has a social media presence. A few years back parents were mad at their kids spending countless hours on a certain social “space”. Well it has expanded from that and now the parents and grandparents aren’t questioning kid’s social media usage, they’re sending the kids stupid jokes and photos.

Yeah that’s right, social media has spread to the masses. You have it, your grandma has it, your nephew has it, your employer has it, and your favorite store has it…notice a trend? A recent article by Fast Company about social media usage statistics provided some staggering figures. Some of the facts like “Social Media has overtaken porn as the No. 1 activity on the web” are just funny, while others like “93% of marketers use social media for business” show us the direction commerce is going.

Regardless of if you are using social media for personal usage, to promote yourself, or to promote your business, it is an interracial part of the way people relate and communicate and is here to stay. So how can you use one of the most powerful communications ever to your benefit? Read on and find out.

 

20 Tips For An Awesome Social Media Strategy

 

1. Integrate your web presence with your social media content

Let’s face it, you have your email address, perhaps you have ten email addresses. They are easy to get and free. You also have a web site. These days you can build it yourself for free, no knowledge necessary, or you hire an HTML expert to do lots of confusing stuff and build a site that dominates all. So how exactly do you get the customer or client from your email or web site, to your social media? Let’s face it; you and your business don’t look so stellar with only 12 followers. People judge this stuff, if a teenage girl has 300 followers, than your seemingly successful business should have tens of thousands.

Establish an email newsletter, or if you have one, great. Now be sure that each issue not only provides links to your social media content but also references it. Tell the readers that if they go to your page and complete some function there is an incentive. Say this “visit us on ____ (insert your page info) and comment on _____ (whatever creative thing you come up with) and receive a 30% coupon code.” Now you are enticing them to go to your page and rewarding that effort. Try it.

 

2. Open up your perspective

You’re not dictating to the board of directors here, you’re talking to the everyday average Joes and Janes that frequent your business. Sure they’re smart but social media is about being social, not suit and tie stiff in the board room.

 

3. Give them a path to follow

Add buttons and links to your site. Every social media provider has predesigned HTML buttons that you can customize and pop in your site in seconds. Don’t hide them on some random subpage. Put them right there on the main page of your web site. Go ahead and do it, I’ll wait.

All done? What you have just done is invited your customers and clients to join you. People love to feel like they belong. Getting them to join in on your social media content makes them part of your business and not just a client. And think of it this way, if one person likes your page their friends will see it and be lead to check you out as well. They are called followers for a reason.

 

4. Relate, don’t dictate to your followers

Nobody will ever doubt the power of advertising. However, social media is more of a relaxed media. Relate to your customers. Be one of them, not a dictator. In fact, Social Media Examiner talks about accessing and knowing your audience. Seeing as they are not just a number, make people feel welcome at your business and make them want to return.

Let’s say you own a restaurant, if you actually own one even better. Ads talking about your new dish or sandwich are great. However putting up a post about it and discussing it is better. Tell them the process behind it, where you came up with the idea. Show them a video of you making it. And post photos! People love photos, why else would Instagram exist? Get creative with some photo editing and include power words in your photo. Show them the sandwich with bold words talking about its attributes.

The point here is not to lay down a sales pitch; people know when they’re being baited. Relate to them, imagine you are your customers and share with them.

 

5. Involve your entire workforce

Are you a one man (woman) show or do you have an entire staff at your disposal? Your social media content should always be fresh and up to date. Who has gone to a page for their favorite restaurant or store only to see their last post was six weeks ago? If you are too busy to stay atop it then consider enlisting a social media content person. As a primary or additional job function they will make daily posts about sales, specials, and everything that’s breaking news for your business. People enjoy fresh content and they enjoy interaction.

 

6. Know what they know

There is a chance that people on your staff have special skills you didn’t even know. Is the guy in the mail room a part time filmmaker? Well enlist him to make some video content. Does your waitress dabble in graphic design? Ask and you may be surprised. These are assets you already have on hand and it can be vastly cheaper than hiring outside professionals.

 

7. Know when you need help

What if you are not a writer though? Yeah maybe you can cook a gourmet dinner with just water, salt, and a mint, yet you are far from a wordsmith. The internet has a solution to everything, even to your social media content writing problems. Before you think it sounds crazy, check it out. Having someone do the leg work for you is way better than a Facebook page that looks like a ghost town.

 

8. Give your customers/followers their 15 minutes of fame

Imagine this scenario; a woman patronizes your coffee shop every morning. She is a dedicated customer to you and your brand. Grab a picture of her and post it online. Not only will it make her day, but it tears down that wall. Social media content is all about tearing down the walls of society. It’s about letting others into your world. Customers will feel valued if you make them feel like they are part of the family and not just a client.

This is also a perfect opportunity to reward your social media followers. Hold contests and include them. Make them earn some great stuff but make it fun.

 

9. Stake your claim

About twenty years ago it was a popular trend to buy up popular names as domains. You could have scored WalMart.com for a few dollars. Wal-Mart would have to come in and pay you to get their name for their web site. Maybe you bought it for $10.00 and now can ask the moon for it. Unfortunately, those were the days when the internet was just emerging as a powerhouse. Nowadays domain and now social media names are getting snatched up. Go to Facebook or Twitter and try to find your friend Bob Smith. You’ll have to sift through Bob Smiths until next Thursday before you find him.

 

10. Get unique and stand out

People need to find your business as fast as possible and they can’t do that if they’re sifting through 500 similar names or some obscure name that has nothing to do with you. Consider this:

  • Grab up your company name as soon as possible. Don’t be stuck after the fact because someone else grabbed it up.
  • If your name is taken then get unique. Why do you think so many celebrities go on Twitter as @TheReal____ (insert your favorite singer/actor). If you’re restaurant is called Sanchez Mexican Grill it may be taken. So become EatSanchezMexicanGrill. Adding the simple word ‘EAT’ sets you apart.

 

11. Hear the voice of your followers

You decide the image and voice of your business, as well, you should, it’s yours! There is a flip side to that though; you have to give the people what they want. Ask opinions and ask for ideas. Let your customers have a voice and suggest things. Do they want more gifts always from your Facebook page? Do they want to see photos of your daily specials on Instagram?

Jay Baer a social media expert on Convince and Convert says it best when talking about an 8-step social media strategy: “Listen and compare.”

 

12. Stay up on what’s up

A few years back it seems like Myspace was poised to take over the world. Then along came a startup social network known as, anyone? Yes, Facebook. And, it literally blew Myspace out of the water. Coke and Pepsi have battled it out for years; the internet though is proving ruthless. What is popular this morning may as well be a ghost town by tomorrow night. Look at it this way, if people can become overnight millionaires using the internet, the empire can fall just as fast.

 

13. Get the jump on trends

Stay up on what the new developments in social media content are. This is a time when trends are worthy. Get on board with whatever the next big thing is because people want to find you. In fact, register accounts and reserve your name over all platforms just as a safety net. After all, it is free; if the site fizzles then all you lost was five minutes and a few key strokes.

 

14. Get interactive

One of our recent blogs on social media writing tips mentions using a call to action. Think about your own Facebook or Twitter usage? Do you read each individual post or do you scroll through and just browse. Success in business is all about being seen and exposure. You are losing exposure if you’re just a random post in a long scrolling line.

Reach out and grab your audience. Require them to click links to your site. Make them stop to watch a You Tube video. Post a crazy picture that begs attention. If your customers and fans need to complete tasks and be interactive, then you are a speed bump in the scroll.

 

15. Never be without

What, no sale going on? No new dish at your restaurant? Then what is there to talk about? As stated before, don’t let your social media content dry up and look like a ghost town. Make a list of alternative posting materials. How about a poll? One of my favorite nutritional supplement companies often goes on Facebook and asks their fan base what they are working out today. “Who has a leg day today?” As silly as it sounds it gets people talking and is better than nothing.

 

16. Acknowledge the die-hards

We are talking about that guy or gal who is on your company Facebook all the time liking your photos and participating in your polls. They retweet all your big news; they share your voice just because they love your brand. Well give them their due. Establish a Fan of the Week. Showcase their photo, give them an incentive, etc. Come on, show them the love back.

 

17. Coverage

Just as you shouldn’t let your social media content hit a standstill, you shouldn’t ignore the people who are trying to be social. If you get messages be sure to respond to them personally. Answering questions and addressing concerns mean a lot to people.

 

18. Censor yourself

Sure, freedom of speech is good – but to what extent? Keep commentary about politics, religion, and personal opinions out of your posts. If you wouldn’t say it to customers in your store, don’t post it online.

 

19. Weigh the cost

If web design and hosting isn’t in your budget then guess what? Social media is free. Within the last couple of years Facebook and Twitter pages are visited more frequently than actual web sites. It is perfectly fine to maintain your web presence through just social media.

 

20. Have fun

Social media is a powerful online tool for your business. Don’t get overwhelmed by it. Just have fun with it. The more fun you have putting into it, the more fun your followers get out of it.

 

Now go implement these things and see what it does for your business.