Though the likes of Facebook and Twitter have taken the marketing world by storm, many of our online experiences though still start through search. With well-known brands and small businesses alike now using social media marketing in earnest, it's worth exploring how to get more from your company social pages, namely helping them rank higher in online searches, alongside your corporate website.
After a few tweaks, your social media pages can give you more opportunities to dominate page one of Google and other search engines. Here's an example. If you look at our properties, SEO Advantage isn't only our company name - it's also an important keyword and source of traffic for us. So we want all our web properties to dominate for that term. If you seach on "seo advantage", you'll see first our corporate website, then our Facebook page, our Twitter profile, our reviews on Kudzu, our marketing blog, our LinkedIn profile, and also a press release or article we've recently written.
The best thing is that most social media platforms allow for some customization that lets you optimize them, even if the standard no-follow tag applies to links. Here are 5 things you can explore across the various social media platforms you're currently using.
1. Grow your following. Tthis seems to hold true for Facebook and Twitter as it does in the general realm of web sites - the more followers you have, the more authority your social media page carries. (Except when it comes to websites, you're usually evaluating links, not followers, and the exact number can be a little harder to assess.)
Of course there are great benefits to having a large number of followers even beyond ranking higher. But did you know that the people you follow may also impact the search engines' assessment of relevancy? That's right, there may be benefit to following people in your direct line of business most importantly, as this helps strengthen the signal of what your business is all about.
2. Optimize your profile page's meta tags and URL. Twitter creates your page title from your username and your name. Your bio becomes the description tag. Kudzu is using our company name and address as the title tag, which is great for local searches. Take note of which parts of your page are comprising the meta data and make sure it's optimized accordingly. You can also nab your own name as part of your Facebook page URL now, too. (It used to be that you had to have a certain number of fans.) And your Twitter URL includes your username, so choose wisely.
3. Post links to your newly produced content to help it get indexed faster. Though social media sites use the no-follow tags, new content seems to be getting indexed faster when posted to Twitter and other social media sites. One reason may be that it gives an opportunity for your followers to link to it from other sites, like their blogs, for example. Since your Tweets and Facebook updates get exposure for pages you reference faster, your linked content can also gain exposure much faster than previously.
4. Optimize your updates. This will depend on the platform, but especially Twitter can offer opportunity here, since tweets themselves can show in search results.
The title tag for a tweet is around 42 characters: the first 30 characters or so of the tweet together with the username of the account tweeting it. So make sure any keywords appear as close as possible to the front end. You may also want to append RT@username at the end of your tweets when retweeting, and keep your tweets to 120 characters or so to avoid truncating.
On Facebook, keep your updates related to your company's line of work as much as possible. This helps build the theme for the page.
5. Build links to your social media profile pages. As with any web page, inbound links matter. Include links to your pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. in your site footer or elsewhere so it can be found from every page of your site easily.
In closing, one word of advice. As with your regular online marketing and SEO efforts, the needs of the users take precedence. The above points are tweaks only. Build up the value of your social media accounts by serving your customers and followers well, and the rest will follow.
Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.
Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.
You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.
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