Social Media Signals for SEO Social media for business is more than just a popularity contest. Of course you want to engage with your target audience on social networks - because that's where your customers are. But beyond building a base of "Likes" or followers, be sure to keep in mind the business reasons for being on social media in the first place. Without a strategic plan and measurement against that plan, you could find your social media marketing efforts resulting in nothing more than feel-good metrics. If SEO is your goal, social signals have implications for Google organic search rankings. Signals include the number of likes, and followers, but more important are the Tweets, shares, reposts and of course links generated through those shares. All of these things should lead to traffic to target websites, and that traffic generally sends signals of its own via longer time spent on site and lower abandon rate given the audience's presumed interest in the company or topic. Therefore, the SEO goal of social media is: 1. Building an audience and relationships with stakeholders, customers, and influencers 2. Sharing content and links 3. Driving traffic (and ultimately conversions where applicable) 4. Boosting the appearance of those social media profiles in search results for reputation management Use social media properties strategically for the best SEO results. Try to increase the number of followers while posting compelling, sharable content that links to the targeted company websites. Pinterest, Blogspot/Blogger, YouTube and Google+ links are followed and count toward a site's backlink profile. Use these sites to generate and share links to targeted company web properties to boost their rankings in search results. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn links are nofollow - meaning they do not directly count towards Google ranking for a site. However, they do generate good traffic and offer the best sharing opportunities for audience-building and engagement. Match the site and the audience through strategic content with links to your target website: Facebook - link to stories about people, by people Twitter - link to facts and figures, quick info bites of interest that are sharable LinkedIn - link to job openings, employment stats, and careers tips As always, establish your business goals and keep them in mind regarding business use of social media. These should include not just how many "Likes" you have, but what those likes and shares are doing for your SEO, which in turn can have a direct impact on your reputation management, SEO, public perception, and bottom line. Use social media properties strategically for the best SEO results. Increase followers while posting sharable content that links to the targeted websites.
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