Social media and SEO – you usually don’t hear one without the other.
You probably know by now that “SEO” is about keywords, building links and promoting your website in order to rank higher in Google and get traffic. Social media can be a big factor when it comes to building links but it also sucks up a huge amount of time.
In my experience, having a strong social media presence is 1 tool in your very large toolbox of indexing articles.
Taking rankings out of the picture for a minute, there are other benefits of having an online social media presence. Times are changing and social media is becoming more and more important.
Social Media PROS:
- Extend your connections, contacts and online reputation.
- Share the photos, videos, links to your website, blog, forum, etc.
- Build a lot of links
Social Media CONS:
- Takes up HUGE amount of time to do properly
- Can become fake very quickly
- Each link is relatively low value
Okay so let’s break this down.
The PROS – How Can Social Media Help Rank Higher?
In 2020, social media is everywhere and inescapable so this definitely has to be a consideration when starting an online presence. More and more people will want to check into the business and the business owners more thoroughly before trusting them.
1. Social Media Builds Your Rep
Of course, it’s a little bit ridiculous that this should be true but when done properly, social media can build your reputation.
Would you trust a company with a flourishing Facebook Page, Twitter account and Instagram more than a company with absolutely nothing other than their website online? Probably, you would.
2. Sharing Content with Viewers
Obviously. Not sure much more needs to be said about this?
Social media allows you to put your website and brand directly in front of potential customers. It allows you to spread your online reach faster.
The question becomes then…how do you actually get these viewers/customers? I have found out the hard way that they do not just pop out of thin air even if that is what you would like.
The caveat is that you have to produce GOOD QUALITY content and share it across social media. Not only this, but you have to create a LOT of good quality content consistently over a long period of time.
If you are 1 person who also has a full time job or other obligations, I’m telling you right now, there are not enough hours in the day, but more on this in the cons section.
Then you can watch others interact and share it as well. This is where the “social” part comes into play. You can’t just put it out there and hope it gets picked up. This is what a lot of the other websites repping social media for SEO won’t tell you.
3. Backlink Building Made Easy!
Backlinking is definitely easy when you have a social media profile. I mean you can post an unlimited amount of backlinks to your blog for free. There is no limit.
The question becomes: Is this a good idea?
The anser is USUALLY NOT.
Unless you are creating exceptional content that is useful and interesting on a day-to-day basis, it’s generally not a good idea to backlink to your blog all over your feed. Think about the profiles that you like to follow on social media the most. What kind of content do they post?
Usually it’s a mixture of funny, motivational and informative subject matter. Some of it links back to their website or a call to action. Some of it is just fun to post – they post it for the sake of entertaining you.
Profiles that just backlink all the time to their websites get annoying and it looks to their audience like shameless self promotion.
The CONS – But Seriously, is it Worth the Effort?
The answer to this is, it depends.
1.Say Goodbye to at Least Half Your Allotted Writing Time
If you have a blog that you’re trying to rank, which I’m assuming you do because you’re reading this, you have to write. You need to write a LOT.
Over the past 5 years, the biggest mistake I’ve made over and over again is trying to find fast work-arounds to avoid writing:
- I’ve bought followers
- I’ve bought courses on how to “rank fast”
- I’ve bought backlinks
- I’ve hired people to do backlinking for me
- I’ve hired social media managers
- I’ve automated my social media (using something called MassPlanner)
- I’ve bought pre-made websites
Every single one of these options did not work. Why? Because they all violate the main principle of blogging: you have to write a lot of high quality content. That is the whole point of a blog.
In order to effectively create social media channels, you have to dedicate a lot of time and effort. Buying followers is useless because they will not engage at all and will discredit your page making it more difficult for others to find and making the social media’s algorithm not trust you.
Personally, I’ve learned that I would rather spend that time developing good quality content that will help my readers.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a social media presence for your brand or business. Of course you can! And eventually you should but only when the content on your blog already has high traffic generation.
2. Your Feed Can Become Fake Very Fast
Precisely because of the fact that it takes so long and uses up so much effort to keep up a feed that will grow your following, social media can become fake very fast.
It’s easy to try and mass produce content just for the sake of posting something. For anyone who has ever tried to grow any kind of following on soocial media, you know that unless you’re always posting, you’re following is shrinking not growing.
Again, think about profiles you’ve seen of brands. You can tell when content is just being posted for the sake of content.
This isn’t quite as bad as backlinking all the time but it’s also not good and no one wants to follow and account that isn’t adding value to their day.
3. Each Backlink on Social Media is Relatively Low Value
The old-school link building tactics involved getting your links anywhere, even if those sites had little to no activity. We’ve learned now that this strategy is not a good idea. You need a ton of these links to make any kind of impression therefore it’s not worth the money or the time.
Posting a lot of low quality links also clutters the internet. In some cases, Google will negatively punish the offending site by decreasing rankings.
In the same way, the majority of links that are built by SEO companies do not bring traffic to your website. They are built to pass page rank to your site, which in return helps to increase the authority and power of your site. But as far as a traffic source it doesn’t do much.
Sure, when done correctly in the form of guest blogging it can be a great traffic source, but I am talking about the majority of companies that just spread links all over in “hope” of improving rankings.
Links on social media work the same way. Because you are the one who posts them, Google doesn’t regard them very highly.
If you have a large following – let’s say 100k – and other people share your link and it goes “viral” then that becomes a good impact because there are so many different accounts posting the same link. But, again, to build your social media to that type of level (the right way) is no easy feat.
High Quality Social Media Profiles Drive High Quality Traffic
This is the moral of the story – it is essentially the answer to all the questions that we’ve been asking ourselves during this post.
Social media can drive real traffic to your website traffic that is high quality if and only if your social media is high quality.
If someone is engaging with your company or brand on social media, then there is an obvious connection or interest. Social media can act as little positive signals (think “votes” for your websites popularity).
Back in the day, a single link was a sign of a website’s popularity. The more links, the more popular the site was; therefore, it would rank higher. It then became a race to build the most links without a care in the world in regards to quality. Google soon developed a way to give more weight to specific links and not value them all the same.
A great social media profile with an engaged audience essentially has the power to give you a team of “link builders”.
As you build your social media following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others, you build up a large following of people that have the ability to share your content.
Every piece of content that hits your website can easily be immediately shared on your social media profiles. This can result in your social connections sharing the content also, generating 100% natural links, something that Google loves.
How to Create a High Quality Social Media Presence?
Getting into the nitty gritty of this is a little bit beyoond the scope of this post but essentially the process is the following:
- Open 1 account at a time and start there
- Find accounts in the same niche that you admire and use their bio/content/ideas as inspiration (but obviously don’t copy anyone!)
- Produce your own authentic, quality content on a daily basis, ideally 2-3 times a day
- Engage with others in the same niche by liking their posts and following accounts
- Rinse and repeat for MONTHS – YEARS to grow a large following (100k+)
As I said, it takes an enormous amount of time and dedication. So if your goal is to increase the rankings of your blog posts, you have to ask yourself: Is this really the best use of my time right now?
I Don’t Think I Have the Time to Build High Quality Social Media
Unless you already have a blog or online business that is generating sustainable profits, you are not at the stage where you should be worrying about social media.
Think of social media as a mechanism for growing an already successful business.
So what to do at this stage?
Here’s what I did to rank my sites (after failing a lot):
- Write, write, write. Seriously. An online business is nothing without good quality content to stand on. 95% of your time dedicated to your business should be spent creating content.
- If you want to take advantge of social media without doing any work, then install a plugin on your blog so that your website content is easily shareable by your visitors. It seems like an obvious tip, but you would be surprised at how many sites exist out there that do not have social sharing buttons.
- The other 5% of your time should be spent making your content likeable by Google.
I learned what I know from the wealthy affiliate community. You can find me on there! Click here to learn more.