SEO Tips for Social Media Teams
For years, SEO has been considered some sort of mysterious magic, practiced by those that sit in dark rooms with Star Trek T-shirts. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
The core principles of SEO are based around value to the user and relevance and the education of your team in how great search engine optimization campaigns can fuel other marketing channels is essential in creating results driven, comprehensive marketing strategies. We are strong believers that both the internal team and client stakeholders should understand not only what the SEO team are doing but more importantly, but also why they are doing it.
That said, let's explore the core strategies that can help your social media and SEO teams work more collaboratively to meet department and enterprise goals.
Value and Relevance
Your social media team does not need to know how to implement Schema Mark Up or how Latent Semantic Indexing can influence search. Don’t know what all of these words mean? Getting a good or even basic understanding of SEO terms can help remove some of the intimidation, but what social teams really need to know are the basic principles of SEO:
- Google’s primary concern is to provide the most valuable and relevant result for a given search term, therefore satisfying the searcher. As such, an SEO professional's job is to prove to Google that their website is the very best result for your target search terms. Focus on providing value and you are on the right track.
- User engagement and relevant references to your website on other high quality websites are important to your ability to rank (a.k.a link building).
How Can Social Media Help SEO?
A major part of SEO is creating great content that engages users and offers solutions to their search terms. Let’s take the search for more information as an example. Your SEO team is likely creating content that is specific to questions or stages that have been identified as key to the buying process. How does this tie into social media?
Economies of Scale
Ultimately the goal of SEO is to attract visitors and convert them into customers. Of course the primary channel through which this is achieved by SEOs is through organic search. However, if you are investing time, resources and therefore money into creating this content that helps transition consumers through your sales funnel, why wouldn’t you want to use other marketing channels to display this content?
Your SEO and social media teams should be aligned in terms of the content being produced (again understanding why this content has been produced) and therefore the social team should include an SEO team's content in their social media plan.
The concept of link earning is relatively simple. Your content is so good that others will reference your content within their own content. Social media is a great way to disseminate this content and increase its reach, increasing the chances of the content the SEO team has painstakingly put together earning links.
Unlike link earning, link building is where your SEO team will proactively contact sites in search of links. Obviously they will have to provide value (e.g., through contributing content) in order to get these links. However, the social media team can help engage with these websites and warm up the contacts prior to the SEO team contacting them.
Social media teams should look to start conversations with relevant sources so that a relationship can be built prior to any link building efforts. Clearly the social media team needs to understand the benefit of doing this so that they can buy into the strategy and the two teams can work together effectively. As a starting point, the SEO team should provide a list of ‘target’ websites so that the social team has a starting point.
If user-generated content (UGC) is part of an enterprise's SEO strategy the social media team can play a key part in encouraging this interaction. SEO teams should explain to their social media peers why UGC is important to the strategy and brainstorm how organic posts or paid advertising can be a catalyst. SEOs will want to work with the social team to create ideas so that they are not doing all of the leg work!
You may be working in different departments, but you are all on the same team here. If the social media team facilitates ‘wins,’ the SEO team should be sharing these successes with the social team, maybe even buying them a few beers! Sharing these success stories will only reinforce the goals associated with the overall strategy and encourage the teams to work together more effectively.
About the Author
Simon Ensor is the Managing Director of Yellowball, a digital marketing agency in London specializing in Web design, SEO, social media and email marketing. Yellowball offers an SEO Glossary to help social teams brush up on SEO verbiage.