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How social media can improve your SEO by Raymond Denis

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Social Media is definitely playing a huge role in the way people uses the Web these days. It already affects the way many people work, having permeated both home and work lives. By 2014, eMarketer estimates that 65% of all US Internet users will be using social networks.

Social media is increasing its penetration rate over years

Knowing this, Google is now using in their algorithm the "social graph" has a sign of trust. From a Web site’s persective, if you are currently increasing your Web site's ranking through the use of search engine optimization (SEO), you might be interested in knowing that social media influences your rankings for target keywords.

Here are 2 important areas where to use Social Media for SEO:

1) Make sure to have a presence on the top social media sites – regardless of where your audience is.

Remember that we are thinking SEO here. Maybe this recommendation won’t be valid in a distance future but now in 2011 it is very valid. Top social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube contains the most "authority" from a SEO standpoint – meaning that they influence Google’s social algorithm more than any other social media site. By establishing a solid presence on those platforms, you allow your site to gain more authority for target keywords on the search ranking result pages. Here are some tactics:
  • [Facebook, Youtube and Twitter] Create a customized profile page. Add your link to your Web site in your profile bio.
  • [Facebook, Twitter and Youtube] create tons of (real) friends and followers. If those sites are already related to your audience, make sure to connect your niche’s influencers and authority speakers.
  • [Youtube] Add a link in the description each time you publish a new video
  • [Facebook & Twitter] Automate updates on your profile pages coming from your blog articles or news releases.
  • [Twitter] Encourage "retweeting" articles on your Web site
  • [Facebook] Encourage "liking" pages & articles on your Web site
  • [Youtube] Encourage "subscribing" on your Web site
2) Target social media sites related to your audience.

It is crucial to be where your users are. Forums, Wikis, Blogs or any other online communities related to your niche are good places to start for influencing your site’s SEO. Why? Because: search engines give importance to signals coming from topic-related sources. Here are some tactics to consider:
  • [Forums] Contribute actively by replying to user questions. Add a search engine signal (link) in your signature or your profile page. Make sure to follow the forum rules in order to avoid being banned. All comments must be relevant and your intent must be aligned with "positive contributions."
  • [Blogs] Contribute actively by commenting on articles related to your niche. To avoid being flagged as a spammer, comments must be relevant and your intent must focus on "positive contributions."
  • [Blogs] On a niche blog, write an article on an uncovered subject or a subject that allows you to add quality or encourage debate. Leaving a signal in the article is useful for the community and is recognized by a search robot.
  • [Wikis] If your Web site or Web page is worthy of being on a Wiki page, that it can provide value to that Wiki page, you can add it in the "external links" section. Again, the intent for placing your signal must be nothing else than "informative" and "can provide value".
In conclusion, Social Media is more than just a trend – it’s a movement. You will want to think of it as an undeniable mean for connecting to your users and you will want to implement Social Media as the CORE of your Web Strategy.

About the Author

Raymond Denis is an online advertising professional working for AXA - a car insurance company in Canada. Along with managing a car insurance blog, he provides to businesses internet marketing strategies and tactics to improve online performances and goals.

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