Integrating SEO and Social Media for a winning multi-channel marketing strategy

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A site shall not live by Google alone or, better to say, the health of an online project cannot always be based on organic visits that come from the search engine. The channels to get in touch with users are increasingly numerous and therefore, in addition to SEO tactics, it is good to know and implement a strategy of presence and monitoring of social media, which may represent both a new source of traffic and a system to give a boost to the content of the site.

The integration between SEO and social

Integrating the management of social media within the broader digital marketing strategy should not, however, lead us to think of returns in terms of close improvement to ranking.

Google has clarified several times that the so-called social signals used by its algorithm do not directly refer to the use of popularity on various online channels as a ranking factor, but rather to the combined use of various information available online about the entities that represent our brand or product.

Despite this clarification, there are various ways in which the social platforms – and especially the interactions that allow you to reach people – can give a hand to our site and the volume of visits.

Why using social media

Using social platforms in the right way allows us to achieve immediate goals: increase the audience of users and consumers, make the brand more memorable, be able to obtain information to calibrate the communication strategy and goals in a way that is in line with the needs of the target audience.

But being present effectively on social networks also means having the opportunity to advertise products and promotions, to have a direct channel for customer support, to achieve greater loyalty of people. Compared to other channels, in fact, socials allow companies and customers to interact and comment, representing a different system to get feedback and advice.

Goals of social media marketing

The social media marketing strategy should be set in order to achieve a number of specific goals, including:

  • Activities of promotion and sale of goods and services.
  • Sharing of site/blog contents.
  • Diversification of site traffic sources.
  • Increased traffic to the website.
  • Lead generation activities, that is to create new contacts useful for our commercial network.
  • Social caring activities, or support to customers in pre-sale and after-sales.
  • Improved customer satisfaction and customer service.
  • Creation of interactive relationships with our target audience.
  • Creation of new backlinks
  • Increase of brand reputation.
  • Increase of brand awareness.
  • Development of the brand authority in the referencing niche, improving social proof as experts or industry leaders.
  • Personal branding activities to improve personal visibility.

A mutual support to improve the site

The basic idea is that SEO and social media help each other and can support the improvement of site performance, while obviously having different approaches and features. Being able to merge these two worlds can increase the notoriety and authority of our brand.

Although they are conceptually similar, SEO and social media exploit different techniques and dynamics that need to be well understood.

As we know, SEO is a set of very varied and extensive techniques and methods to optimize the performance of a site on search engines and to reach the top positions on Google. Social media, on the other hand, can serve to stimulate interactions and activate behaviours that generate more direct relationships between users and brands, often useful to meet planned business and marketing goals.

The synthetic goal of social media marketing is to get in touch and create conversations and interactions with users, which can then turn into consumers. When well set and executed, the work of developing the relationship between brand and public strengthens the relationship of trust.

Diversifying the site traffic

Looking in particular at the various platforms, we can summarize that their power can be useful to create a community of users interested in the topics of our business, to be then conveyed on the site through sharing.

Social media can be a great way to give an initial boost of traffic and involvement to our project, meaning some enhancements that can help the site to get the attention that content needs to start climbing more quickly the rankings of keywords. Or, from a conservative point of view, having an alternative source of traffic allows us to stay away from any collapse in the ranking, or to live these situations in a less critical way.

Posting contents on our social channels not only helps to increase engagement on these platforms, but also helps to bring visitors to the website, increasing its visibility. This is just one of the positive aspects of an integrated and multi-channel communication strategy.

The benefits of a multi-channel communication

In addition to increasing the visibility and traffic of the site, social media can help increase the sales and business of each type of company, regardless of its size.

The SEO’s broader goal is not to generate organic traffic, but to bring to the site the relevant kind of traffic that can foster conversions. Through socials we have more information on the types, shapes and tones of voice of the content that users like and that create an immediate interaction.

Social media can in fact drive more traffic to pages optimized for research, and visits that come from this channel have positive features for the site, because the user who clicks on the link is predisposed to read and, if we offer an engaging and interesting text, we can increase the permanence on the page and reduce the bounce rate, two metrics that Google interprets as value indicators.

Refining the search of targets and contents

In a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, the brand’s social communities can serve as a sounding board to test different content and better profile users.

This also works for the most practical aspects of content management: for example, we can identify which social media posts get the best engagement and use these insights to similarly structure the titles and descriptions of pages, so to increase the chances of clicks from the SERP with more appealing texts which effect has already been tested.

Ultimately, perfecting and using SEO and social media marketing together helps us to achieve better results on both channels: the public search on socials gives us guidance to create more targeted content, while SEO analysis can allow us to understand what our social audience wants to (also) read.

Creating relationships and gaining new links

We can also use social media to build strategic relationships, getting in touch with influencers or industry experts who can become important reference points to give greater authority to our content, or simply offer interesting ideas on topics related to our core business with which to interact.

These partnerships can lead to greater link opportunities than the one we could afford on our own and add to classic link building strategies: the process of connecting with a relevant audience on social media is important because it can lead to the creation of new links in a natural way.

If our audience interacts with the published content – high chances are – they could spontaneously sharing them, an element that will provide even greater visibility to the pages: as a result, our content will be more likely to be found and read by other people, and at the same time achieve an increase in credibility, authority and popularity.

Branded SERPs and socials on Google

Social media therefore play an important role in helping us to bring our content to a wider audience; this could result in more backlinks, improved user engagement signals and, last but not least, in a strengthening of the ranking in branded queries.

Social media profiles are very important for Google (and on Google), and often they are also the first links that people find when they search for information online about our brand and definitely influence the content of search results.

Optimizing presence on all social networks

It is recommendable not to neglect any action or strategy to improve the management of our online brand and to strengthen our brand awareness, the awareness that people have of the brand.

In practical terms, we can start by claiming the properties of the online brand to set up a unique, clear and precise communication on all channels. Moreover, this potentially allows us to secure the full front page of Google results for your brand’s queries, like by editing and managing, for instance:

  • The homepage of the site and all its other pages.
  • Google My Business account.
  • Facebook/Instagram/Youtube/Pinterest pages.
  • Any other niche directory.

From the user experience point of view, having all these elements correctly set up increases the trust of people looking for the brand and increases the possibility of conversions.

Checking the branded SERPs

Official accounts are usually displayed at the top of search results, and therefore have the same probability of receiving clicks compared to the other ranked sites, but there is an additional element to take into account: social channels may seem more personal than Web pages and thus appear as a better method of discovering the “true personality” of a company or brand.

When a user searches for information about a brand that he does not know, he might be more intrigued to visit directly the Twitter or Facebook page – which also contains reviews more or less true and reliable, interactions with users and other unbiased information – rather than read only what the company says about itself on its site.

Having some active social channels – and thus also manage the type of information shown and conveyed – are a great way to give an idea of the personality of the brand and can make it more human and unique; in addition, they increase the engagement of the user and make it more fun, engaging and personal the knowing experience with the online brand.

How to use social media at their best

From what has been written up until now it should be clear why it is important and useful to have profiles with up-to-date information and attractive content. However, you should not make the mistake of underestimating the use of social media and wrong communication methods, both from the point of view of content that the one of the tone of voice used.

The company profile is not a personal and playful account, but a further showcase of the online brand: it should not be managed randomly or too lightly, but must propose to the target audience and the community text and multimedia content that respect our core business. Communication must be integrated, always oriented to the vision and mission that are the hallmarks of the brand, without detaching too much also from the communicative style used on other channels.

However, we must remember that every social platform has its own rules and its style: on Twitter wins the shortness and the ability to be direct, on Facebook also the multimedia resources work, on Instagram the images speak and so on. What matters is to always be recognizable, reliable and unique for the users, who can become the future customers/consumers of the site.

To ease the content sharing

A mistake that is frequently made is to untie social accounts and sites; that is, we are present on social media but we do not report it on web pages, or we do not insert the button for sharing with others, or we still do not share on the boards our blog posts.

To take advantage of the word-of-mouth work that can rise from social media, it is therefore necessary to easy people’s lives: we can, for example, provide a solution by default for sharing articles from the site on the various platforms (generally present in basic themes or templates, but there are hundreds of WordPress plugins that allow you to customize this field, further improving the UX), and in general to allow the retrieval of data to various social networks, checking that all tags are set correctly.

As easy as it is to understand, it is preferable to exploit and link all channels of information and communication so to develop a comprehensive and multi-channel strategy, which has the goals of raising awareness and reputation of the brand and, at the same time, increase site visits and encourage conversions.

Two systems that work together to strengthen the site

In today’s digital landscape, social media and SEO work together and we should not think of these two categories as separate worlds. Promotion on social media should feed our SEO strategy, promoting content to multiple audiences and getting as many relevant visits as possible.

Ultimately, the application of effective SEO tactics and a reasoned and more productive presence on social networks should therefore make our site potentially more performing and profitable.

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