Social Media And SEO

At the workshop I put on last week with my friend Renée, one of the interesting questions that came up was how social media marketing impacted a business website’s search engine optimization. I thought I’d answer that here as I did last week because if I was asked there, then someone else might want to know that answer as well.

One of the things you often hear about what helps you rank higher on Google, and I’m not talking page rank here, is getting one directional (I’m debating as to whether it’s “directional” or “direction”; have to think about that more) inbound links. By that, it means you’re getting a free link from someone without necessarily giving one back. Supposedly, search engines love that, because it shows that outside people are giving you love without your asking for it. By the way, that’s also why they hate paid links, even if you use the “rel=nofollow” attribute, because they think those advertisers are trying to game the system, if you will.

So, let’s look at a few of the social media sites where you might do some marketing to see how it all works. If you use Twitter, you have to create a profile, and if you’re smart you’ll put your business link in there. Mine has my business link instead of the link to this blog. Now, the only link I have back to Twitter is to my name on Twitter so people can follow me. I have nothing on my business site that goes to Twitter except for the same thing. Now, every blog post I make pops up on Twitter, which means all of my blogs get immediate link love. If someone clicks on the links, they’ll go to my sites. Even if they don’t, I still get link love, and I get more if someone decides to retweet it. Not a bad deal for a quick post.

LinkedIn and Facebook work in a similar way. When you create your profile, if you pop in a link to your business website, you’ll get the benefit of an inbound link. Both of those websites are pretty prominent, so that benefits your site. But then you go further. On both sites, posts from my business blog show up like they do on Twitter. This means I’m generating one directional links to my blog, which is attached to my website, and thus I’m helping to increase my SEO. Even with my creating a business page on Twitter and linking it to my blogs, like you see there to the right, my SEO is intact because every time I write something on that page, or anyone else does, it gets shared with everyone who’s decided they “like” my page, and if they’re commenting on a link I left, that gets spread around as well. By the way, on Facebook I’ve included links to all of my sites, whereas on LinkedIn I’ve only added links to my two main business sites and my blog.

The concept pretty much works with all the social media marketing areas you might try. If you create a YouTube account and set it up properly, you’ll get an inbound link. Every email you send where you have a link in your profile you get a little bit of that, but you get more if it goes to a place where someone has to log in online to see their email. If you participate in forums, you should make sure you have a signature file with your link in it.

Now, I have to say this one thing, and it’s important. Just getting links means nothing. If your website isn’t optimized correctly, those links aren’t going to help you one bit. If you don’t have any real content, the search engines still won’t know what you do, and neither will people who eventually might come to your site. So, you have to have a well rounded SEO program going for any of this to help your site and your business.

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12 thoughts on “Social Media And SEO”

  1. Right now I think that SEO can not go as stand alone process. To be successful online need to leverage internet marketing strategy including Social Networking, PPC, social media and blogging.

    1. True Cameron. I tell people all the time that we can optimize their website and they’ll get a bounce, but without followup, new content, or promotion it won’t last long.

  2. Social media and SEO is very popular terms in businesses.I think that Twitter is very easy and quick way for marketing and other businesses.It is good that you have explained here about inbound links.I do agree with whole last paragraph of this post.

    1. Thank you Carol. I hope the information works for everyone who read it. Of course, there’s lots more to say, but I only have so much space. lol

  3. I am rally amazed at how SEO works together with social media. I always think social media like facebook and twitter is a stand alone but with the SEO and all the links needed by mostly everyone, it is indeed a good way to make business.

    1. Well Carolee, I don’t know I’d say “science” because that sounds so ethereal, but there’s definitely more to it than just adding a word here and there.

  4. Social media can have some definitely SEO value – sometimes not always directly, but indirectly. For example, if you are active on Twitter and help someone out with a question, they might acknowledge and thank you by writing about you in a blog post, getting you a link to your website. So even though the network itself gives you nofollow links, you get the result of a dofollow one simply by participating and being a part of the community.

    1. Thanks for your contribution, Kristi. To me, that’s really the social part of it all, and I appreciate the opportunity to engage as many people as I can. And if it helps me in the long run, I won’t be mad at that either. 😉

  5. “On both sites, posts from my business blog show up like they do on Twitter. This means I’m generating one directional links to my blog, which is attached to my website, and thus I’m helping to increase my SEO.”

    Mitch just one question-I always thought that links from Twitter to your blog don’t count because they are “no-follow” and you only get the traffic. Maybe I’m wrong. Do you know?

    1. Matt Cutts said that just because one adds the nofollow attribute doesn’t mean Google doesn’t pick it up. Once Google decided they were going to start tracking Twitter links in real time, the rules changed.

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