Social Media and SEO (Your Complete Guide)
September 6, 2021 |
What’s the main benefit of SEO?
Simply put, SEO turns your website into an entity. This entity could eventually become your biggest business asset bringing in high-quality traffic to your business.
That said, let’s address the elephant in the room. SEO is not only competitive, but it’s also slow.
What’s more, the days of content farm and keyword stuffing are never coming back (thankfully).
So, how do you speed up your content marketing execution?
One of your best options is social media content promotion.
In this post, I’ll get into an easy four-step social media strategy that will help support your SEO content so that your content marketing can quickly get results.
So let’s imagine the following situation:
What Happens After You Publish SEO Content?
You’ve given your heart and soul up to create a spectacular piece of content. That means you:
- Researched the topic
- Planned the article
- Performed keyword research
- Spent countless hours writing
- Made at least a million edits
- Edited some more
- Chose images
- Etc etc.
You wait anxiously to see if Google picks it up. Will people see it?
You now have a great piece of content that’s just sitting there doing nothing for your business. And just maybe, It’ll be seen by your audience in six to nine months’ time, but then it might not.
Sounds good to you? I thought not. :)
So to deal with this, an SEO (or content manager) must get strategic.
It’s time to power up your social media strategy.
How Social Media and SEO Work Together
Allow me to give you a top-down look at how SEO and social media work together.
As I mentioned above, just publishing your posts and then waiting for traffic to magically appear is an effective way to have your content entertain the digital dust bunnies in a corner of Google’s index.
Unlike SEO, once your social media picks up steam, it can potentially bring in quick traffic gains. And this is why they work so well together. While you’re waiting for your big sustainable SEO traffic to come, your social media quickly gets your content in front of your audience.
What’s more, the social nature of social media traffic will help your SEO in three ways:
It’ll help you:
- Get a hands-on understanding of what content your audience enjoys so that you can make more of it
- Increase your brand awareness which will bring in more branded search traffic (the best kind of traffic)
- Get your content in front of people who might link to your content
Now that you’ve understood how they work together, let’s jump into your social media promotion strategy.
Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Here is a big picture look at an effective four-step strategy:
- Find your best-performing content by looking at user metrics
- Break down your high-impact content into micro-content assets
- Share these micro-content pieces relentlessly on social media and forums
- Track your social media content so that you can get more clicks and engagement
Now that you have the big picture, I’ll break that down into small steps.
Find High-Value Content
The key to your content marketing success is to find content that your audience loves and serve it to them consistently. The big question is, how do you find content that they love?
To do this you must get into the minds of your audience so that you can understand how they interact with your content. The best place to start is to look at Google Analytics user metrics.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Did your audience bounce?
- How much time is your audience spending on your content?
- After consuming one piece of content does your audience look at more content on your site?
Pay attention to these metrics as they will give you a rough idea of whether your audience is finding your content useful or not.
If you want to know how to do that, check out my guide to Google Analytics metrics for content marketing
As long as you’re getting enough engagement, you can use this data to understand what content is connecting with your audience. Once you have this data, make a list of your best-performing content assets.
These are your high-impact pieces. Treat them like gold. These are the pieces you should be promoting again and again.
Now if you don’t yet have high-performing content, you should research your audience to find the best performing content in your industry. You can do this through:
- Social media
- Competitor analysis
Here is a quick breakdown:
1. Social Media
To do this effectively with social media, start to follow leaders in your industry. At first, do this on multiple platforms as some industries gravitate towards specific platforms. This will take some trial and error to find.
Once you’ve found successful people in your industry, look at what they are posting and how their audiences are interacting. This will give you a good sense of what topics interest your audience and what social media content makes an impact.
You can do the same on forums. You can easily find forums that are dedicated to your industry by Googling [industry name] + forum. Forums will provide you with a wealth of information about what people are asking and how to answer them. What’s more, you can also look on sites like Quora and Reddit.
To really scale this up, look for forum threads that get the most engagement. Those are your best topics.
3. Competitor Analysis
Once you’ve done that, take a look at your direct competitors. Especially the ones that are more successful than you and use a site explorer to find their best-performing content.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the Rank Ranger Site Explorer
not only shows you what your competitor’s best performing content is, but it also shows you how much traffic that content gets.
With all of this information in hand, you will have a good understanding of your audience and what content to create.
Once you have high-value content, it’s time to break it up into micro assets.
Break Your Content Down into Micro Content
The next step to getting massive engagement is to understand the nature of social media posts.
Social media posts are content assets too. They’re not merely ads that link to your blog or videos.
Think about this.
What do people do on social media? To be honest, social media is an interactive form of entertainment. Yes, there are platforms that are used by professionals such as Twitter and LinkedIn, but even those platforms have an element of entertainment.
Understanding this, you can’t afford to post those ‘Check out my latest blog post [link]’ type posts. Those posts will get very little engagement and almost no clicks. The reason is, they don’t give what your audience came for. Instead, you should always aim to provide value upfront before expecting to get anything from your audience.
Now, since as a content marketer you are trying to educate your audience, your posts should include some educational elements and some entertaining elements. Think edutainment.
Now, the question is, how do you create edutainment that drives traffic to your content?
Look at what similar content creators are posting to see which posts are getting the most engagement. This will give you some inspiration.
Once you’ve done that, break your content up into smaller parts or micro-content. Just make sure that whatever micro-content you produce provides some value for your audience.
So, for instance, let’s say you’ve written a visually engaging blog post. Could you make short mini-posts that feature your most powerful images?
What about long-form summaries? Can you create an engaging summary of your blog post? Or maybe create a summary that highlights one valuable point in your blog post? Can you highlight a short tip or lesson?
Once you’ve broken your blog post into smaller chunks, try to match the content with the platform.
For instance, short-form content and images work well on Twitter while long-form content tends to do well on LinkedIn and forums. You’ll get a sense of what works by interacting on the platforms themselves.
For instance, in the screenshot below, you’ll notice that the long-form LinkedIn post already has 226 reactions and 53 comments.
On the other hand, in the screenshot below, you’ll notice a short post on Twitter that’s already been shared nineteen times.
Share Your Micro Content Relentlessly on Social Media and Forums
Once you’ve figured out what are your best content pieces, and you’ve created some great micro-content, it’s time to share.
Before getting started, make a list of the best places to share your content. Don’t limit yourself to platform feeds. Try to find pre-existing audiences like on LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
In the screenshot above, you’ll notice that some of the groups have 20, 000 members or more.
Now, in order to stay organized, make a list.
But, before you start posting, to avoid burnout (trust me, I’ve been there), don’t post everywhere all at once. Instead, track your posts (I’ll show you how next) and experiment with one or two audiences at a time.
Find out what works and then move on to a different one. This way you’ll slowly expand your reach rather than spin your wheels trying to please everyone.
When you start sharing, don’t be afraid to share your content again and again. You see, whenever you post, only a small subset of your audience will even see your post. This means, posting it again will increase the likelihood of your content being seen by a different subset of your audiences.
Also, social media audiences have a surprisingly short attention span. This means you can certainly post similar content repeatedly. Just wait a week or two before promoting the same piece.
Constantly Improve Your Social Media by Tracking Your Posts
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve encountered is not tracking your content. What’s more, I’ve seen big names in the digital marketing industry miss this step out.
By tracking your content, you’ll know what your audience wants to see. You are looking for two things.
- What posts get the most engagement
- What posts get the most clicks
I can tell you from experience, the posts that get the most engagement don’t always get the most clicks. However, posts that get good engagement are important because they allow you to interact with your audience.
This means you should include both types of posts.
It’s easy to see how people engage with your social media posts by paying attention to likes, comments, and shares. But, it’s also crucial to also track clicks. There are two free tools you can use to track clicks.
The first one is the Rank Ranger UTM builder
, which will add a snippet of code to your URLs so that you can track them in Google Analytics.
The second one is Bitly
. Bitly is a link shortening tool that gives you data in its platform.
So, in the screenshot below, you can see Bitly showing Referrer and Location data.
Each tool has its pros and cons. In general, I generally use UTMs and track them in Google Analytics. However, for Twitter where you are given a character limit, I shorten my links with Bitly.
Social Media and SEO, Your One-Two Punch
As I’m sure you’ve seen from this post, that content marketing requires a strategic approach.
There should never be an excuse to invest hours of time only to expect results to happen within six months or so. As marketers and SEOs, we should hold ourselves truly accountable.
That means using whatever tools we have at our disposal. And yes, not all of us enjoy social media (myself included), but understanding the big picture, it’s something we should strive to master.
I hope I’ve outlined some actionable strategies you can apply to your own social media marketing. The only thing left to do is jump in and give it a try.