The Ultimate Wolf Pack: Social, Content and SEO
We typically think of social media in a vacuum: get cool, creative content for a month, share, boost, rinse, repeat. We’re churning out content left and right, hoping it catches your eye and makes you click, and then moving on to the next big thing. But, it’s a little depressing when you think about the numbers.
The Shortest Lifespan on the Planet: The Social Post
Facebook posts see 75 percent of their impressions in the first 2.5 hours they’re live, Instagram posts are pretty much dead after 48 hours and on Twitter your post has 18 minutes to be seen. To sum it up, anything you’re sharing on social has roughly two days to live, and all the dollars and time you put into that stellar creative and witty caption probably outweighs that. That’s why social can’t survive on its own. Considering the time and effort required to do social well and the impact one post has, you’ll end up seeing negative returns. That’s why it’s imperative to consider how social, SEO and content can all feed off one another in a way that gives your content room to breathe and grow and thrive for years.
Making Social Work for SEO and Content
Using social media and SEO together can be a magical thing. Social has the power to tap into your audience and figure out what they really care about, and SEO has the long-term, sustainable growth to make content that traditionally would just be seen for two days live on and drive traffic for years. When it comes to using the two channels together more effectively, there are three things you can start doing today: leverage social to increase your space in the SERPs, use social listening to narrow down keyword themes and use social influencers to gain topically relevant links.
Using Social Listening to Justify Keyword Themes and Build Content
When you’re looking to build out your keyword themes for a new page, an SEO will usually start with the basics: think of a few related keywords, add those to a tool like Ahrefs or keyword planner to find related terms with high volume, scan the SERPs and other related pages to see what terms could also work, then use the most qualified, and most highly searched-for phrases to determine the end keyword theme.
That’s great — and you’ll find a ton of valuable search opportunity using that process. But what most SEOs don’t consider is the power of social listening and how conversation keywords can be a great indicator of search terms.
There is an endless list of social listening tools out there, but at Nebo we use Crimson Hexagon. It’s a powerful tool that allows us to easily mine millions (maybe billions) of social posts to monitor conversation. If you’re an SEO and you’re working on a keyword theme for a new page about cloud technology, a quick search of the social buzz around the topic could reveal a few unique terms and modifiers you may not have considered.
Not only does this give you a great list of target keywords to explore, it also gives you topically relevant conversations that your website could expand into to build your relevancy for the keyword. And with this approach, the content you develop for SEO has natively been optimized to add to the social conversation, making it more likely to resonate and drive engagement and clicks on social.
Owning the Branded SERPs
A common oversight when it comes to SEO is the branded SERP. We spend so much time trying to expand our keyword footprint that we forget to scan the page for our own branded terms, which are often competing with brands of the same name, aggregator websites featuring competitors, review sites, the list goes on. You might not dominate for your brand as much as you think you do.
Our Lead SEO Strategist, Joy Brandon, has written an excellent blog on how to own more of your branded SERP space, but one of the easiest ways to do this today is by simply optimizing your social profiles. If you take a look at your branded SERP, you’re likely to see Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, maybe even your own brand tweets, folded onto the page. If you don’t, you’re missing a huge opportunity to increase your visibility on your own branded page.
To get started, use the MOZ local SERP scanner to make sure your brand name is consistent across all social profiles you own. Owning your profiles on social and completely building them out with a bio, consistent NAP, photos and consistent posts will make Google want to start pulling those profiles into the SERPs. The MOZ tool will help you do this on Facebook, and then you will need to perform a manual scan of your additional profiles to ensure they’re completely optimized. It’s that simple!
Owning and optimizing your social profiles will help pull them into the SERPs in a way that will expand your listings, drive more traffic to your social channels and drive down competing listings you want to outrank.
Using Social Influencers for SEO & Content
The last, but one of the most powerful ways you can hone the power of social, SEO and content together is by looking to your social influencers. Most brands will focus on the social benefits when it comes to influencers: profile reach, engagement, channel presence … but when you integrate your influencers into your SEO and content efforts, the partnerships you form can extend well beyond social.
One of the easiest ways to start using influencers for SEO is to only work with influencers with topically relevant blogs. It’s easy to look at an influencer’s blog, but if their blog is ranking for terms completely unrelated to your product or service, it’s not going to help you. Use Ahrefs to find out what keywords related to your product the influencer blog ranks for, and work to only partner with influencers that will help you develop topically relevant, valuable links back to your website.
When it comes to leveraging social for content, the most important thing you can do is think beyond the social posts. When you are working through your influencer agreements and contracts, ensure they’re willing to do the following:
Develop custom video or photo content that you can reuse on your website
Use their name and image with custom quotes derived from their product experience
Collaborate on content beyond social based on the influencer’s preferences
When you work with influencers, your experience has to be more than sending a product and hoping they post about it. By developing true partnerships with your influencers, you can create custom content that be leveraged on social, on your website, in your emails, in your catalogs or direct mailers, and so much more.
The Ultimate Wolf Pack: Social, SEO and Content
When we consider how our SEO efforts can improve our content and social, how social improves SEO and content, and how content can drive social and SEO — all of our marketing efforts have more reach. Social stops being a silo of quick wins and short gains and becomes long-term content that assists in driving traffic and visibility for years.
Just like a wolf pack, when we all work together, we can do great things.