As more companies turn to SEO in the hope of ranking higher on Google, debates have begun on whether this search engine optimization is actually useful. Those who have tried it but failed to see results wouldn’t hesitate from claiming that it doesn’t work, but the answer to such question is not so simple.
The secret to ranking high on search engines is not provided with clear and short instructions, Google and its competitors make it tricky to understand whether good SEO is helping the site. Hence why so many ends up wondering whether using keywords and meta titles is even worth it. The reason for this is the constant changes that Google applies, meaning that SEO is only effective when it’s keeping up with these updates.
What affects the ranking
The modern SEO
When people first learned about SEO, the general consensus seemed to be that to rank high one needed to use the keywords that people searched most often. That led to a sea of articles packed with relevant keywords, with no regards for the quality of the content and with the sole aim of making it to the first page of searches.
It didn’t take long before Google became aware of this and worked to change the algorithm so that only quality content would prevail over the rest.
This change focused on bringing traffic to those sites that provide popular and interesting content, so pages that were often linked to and from would thrive on the search engine. That content was identified as having a great value and consequently being worthy of appearing at the top of the rankings.
This different system encouraged sites to avoid creating content just for the sake of stuffing it with keywords, prioritizing the ones that actually offer something to the visitors. It completely changed the way people thought about SEO, bringing more people to create content that others want to share and link back to due to quality rather than simply as an attempt to rank higher.
Nowadays, blogs and websites continue to favor content that is well-written, interesting and that offers value to the reader over texts that are solely a combination of keywords put together repeatedly.
While it might have confused those who relied only on applying as many popular keywords as possible as part of their SEO, the internet overall benefitted from this change. Those searching for answers are now more likely to bump into a page that offers them what they are looking for, rather than one simply set up to grow in popularity.
Social Media and SEO
Following the rise of social media, it’s no surprise that nowadays the popularity of content is based on how often it’s been shared over those platforms. Having people engage with what is shared on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are what goes showing whether the content a company is producing is of interest.
Whether they are swimming in love or hate, Google will act accordingly, and if people want to share that content, then they are bound to also rank high on search engines. An excellent way to improve SEO comes down exactly to that: creating effective social media content that people like and want to share.
While the amount of viral posts one sees online makes it look like creating shareable content is simple, some work goes into actually coming up with original ideas that encourage people to share the content across platforms.
How Social Media Engagement helps
Think about the audience
Many talk about what a great sales tool social media can be, but not everyone actually knows how to use it that way. We live in a world where every company you can think off has at least one social media account and is currently sharing content.
What not all of them are doing is posting the type of content that people want to actually engage with, focusing on just promoting the same product over and over with the same boring pitch and uncreative approach. That won’t encourage the casual scroller to stop and click on the link just shared if the text posted is boring why would anyone want to read more about what the company offers? By focusing on the brand over the audience, companies’ accounts end up with no engagement or followers.
To become popular on these platforms, it’s important to think of something valuable that can be offered and that people want to pay attention to. The answer to that is the original content.
Content always comes first
If there is one thing that has never changed when it comes to the internet is the level of importance placed on the content offered. One could have the best-designed website, but if the text is not something people want to read, visitors will keep bouncing off. It’s the truth for now and it will probably continue to be like this for many years to come.
So companies can’t escape it, if they want people to become interested in their business then they need to offer to people some original and interesting content. Beyond just being a great way to increase engagement, it also helps better promote the products and services in a way that builds a connection with the audience.
The latter is essential to turn one time customers into regulars, if people not only like what is being sold but also enjoy the content then they are more likely to come back and recommend the company to others.
So how can one create content that brings those results? The key is finding the perfect spot between offering value while also not being just a blunt promotion. If, for example, you are selling dietary supplements and your target audience are people interested in dieting, then you could include meal and fitness plans, dieting tips and other related content.
Suddenly, instead of only talking about the product, the company is also offering some valuable expertise that the audience can find helpful and interesting. Something that also easily links back to what is being sold. A regular stream of original content in the niche related to the products is what encourages visitors to come back.
If they are still not convinced to purchase anything, at least they are helping the site rank higher on Google. Plus, those same people might share that content on social media and suddenly that one person who didn’t buy the product helped bring three new customers to the site.
One should never underestimate the power of content.
What is the connection between Social Media and SEO?
How sharing helps to rank higher
Think about all the content you have shared before on social media, you probably ended up seeing it thanks to a friend who previously shared it. Many more before you and after you have done the same, and suddenly more people are aware of that website/company who initially created it.
Businesses who are completely unknown can rise to incredible success thanks to the popularity of their content. A brand doesn’t need to already be renown to have people get interested in what they post and have them share it with their followers. It all comes down to how good the content is and how useful people can find it.
A continuous promotion
Remember all those times you scrolled on your social media accounts and ended up seeing promotions of content related to what you previously interacted with? This is an incredibly helpful feature for those who create content.
Platforms such as Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook curate people’s feeds by constantly recommending the type of content that is in a way similar to what they have been seen to enjoy.
For example, if you previously showed an interest in potentially purchasing a specific product, then you can be certain that those platforms will remind you by having brands who offer said product pop up on your feed. This means that when people are enjoying a company’s content and interacting with it, it becomes popular enough to be shown to other people.
To make this work it’s important that businesses focus on the quality over quantity, and on keeping their social media accounts consistent. Ideally, they should limit themselves to only posting on one or two days of the week, and avoid overwhelming the audience with daily posts.
One effective and popular post beats a thousand that only a few have paid attention to. Soon enough you’ll see that company everywhere, and they will have gained all the follows, likes and shares they could have ever dreamed of.
The relationship between SEO and social media offers a lot of potential for companies trying to emerge from the darkness. It can be the key change a site needs to improve the bounce rate and dwell time. Alongside helping with sales and attracting a bigger audience.
The power of social media shouldn't be underestimated when a company is trying to increase their website traffic. While having a well-designed website with good content is a good start to help with SEO, social media can be that extra push that helps the site rank higher.
Author : Bjion Henry