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5 Tips for Marrying SEO With Your Social Efforts

By: Cyrus Shepard, SEO Strategist, Moz

September 18, 2019

It is widely believed that Google doesn’t use social media signals directly for ranking purposes. But that doesn’t mean good social coverage can’t boost your SEO.

As your social media content is exposed to a bigger set of eyes, some of those viewers will further amplify your content, especially if you use smart targeting to begin with. Well-targeted, successful social campaigns often lead to additional earned media coverage, blog posts and links to your digital properties. These are the signals which Google uses in search ranking. Platform-wise, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn tend to impact SEO over platforms like Instagram and Snapchat (which act more as closed-loop systems.)

This means that as marketers improve social media outcomes, SEO can gain a boost, and vice versa. There are several SEO strategies marketers can deploy in tandem with on-platform social media efforts:

Consider conversions vs. exposure in your paid efforts. Depending on your business goals, paid search is generally optimized for conversion revenue, while paid social is often optimized around exposure. It’s important to know how impactful each level of your funnel is on your bottom line, and budget appropriately. Too many marketers make the mistake of optimizing too much around conversions, and not enough around exposure.

Intent and satisfaction are key. Your content needs to match the intent of the user, and it must satisfy that intent. For example, if the search query is “best restaurants in NY,” the user probably isn’t looking for a single restaurant. They likely want a list of restaurants, complete with a map, reviews, menus and reservation information. That’s the intent. The better you can satisfy this intent—so that they don’t need or want to look elsewhere—the better you’ll do.

Prioritize top-performing organic content in your paid efforts. To maximize paid search and social budgets, marketing managers should employ a “unicorn” strategy. Test organic channels, and find those posts, titles and URLs that deliver 10x or 100x returns. Promote these heavily. This may be only one out of 100 possible campaigns–and that’s just fine. Too often, folks create unique paid campaigns and work endlessly to optimize them when they were never the best fit for their audience to begin with.

Leverage free tools. I’m biased, but Keyword Explorer is my pick for the best keyword suggestion tool on the market. It has a database of over 500 million keywords and accurate volume metrics. As for rank tracking, there are a number of viable solutions out there, including Moz and Google Search Console. For enterprise rank tracking, it’s difficult to beat STAT Search Analytics.

Make YouTube your SEO silver bullet. Google is surfacing an increasing number of videos in search results, especially as more people watch videos on mobile. YouTube is the second largest search engine on earth after Google itself. Simply ranking on YouTube for competitive terms is a reward in itself.

A note: YouTube SEO is very different than regular SEO, which requires different tactics outside the scope of this article. Generally, keyword targeting is still important, but engagement metrics—like watch time—can be even bigger factors. (If you want to dive into specifics, there are many great resources available.)

Follow Cyrus: @CyrusShepard

At The Social Shake-Up