In case you haven’t figured it out yet, social media and search can compliment each other quite well. Social media leads to links, which lead to better search engine ranking. On top of that, a lot of people are simply searching within social networks themselves.
Search marketer Lee Odden posted a nice article summing up the key opportunities of a unified SEO and social media strategy. The points he makes are that social media involvement produces content, three out of the top twenty search engines are search functions within social media sites, and that publishing in a vacuum is naive – creating distribution channels drives awareness.
Earlier this year, I spoke with some search marketing professionals about where social media fits into the SEO equation. Answers varied slightly, but they mostly agreed that social media is a great way to drive links to your content, which of course boosts your rankings.
Of course there are things you can do to make sharing your content (and getting those links) easier. Provide as many sharing options as possible on your content. Make it as easy as possible to share your content on the channels you provide. For example, if you want people to share your content via Twitter, make the retweet process simple.
In a recent WebProNews article, we looked at a retweet equation constructed by ShÃ©a Bennett, who writes the blog Twittercism. It’s all about optimizing retweets. You want to leave readers enough room to enter the characters they need to for simple retweeting. If it’s too much of a hassle, they will be less likely to bother retweeting your content, which means your content will be that much less viral.
You may also want to consider “optimizing” for real-time search. Now, you can’t really “optimize” for real-time search, because the very nature of real-time search is about retrieving the very latest, up to the second results. But there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being found in real-time searches.
You can do things like use keywords, talk about timely events, get a lot of followers, promote conversation, and include calls to engagement. I talked about these things in more detail here. Of course, once you get found in real-time searches, your chances for more links increase too.