Social Media and SEO

Great content is the whole purpose of the web and indispensable for social media marketing and search engine optimization.  However, producing content alone is like hanging a flyer in an empty forest.  Without a social media marketing strategy infused with SEO, it’s likely to go unnoticed.  As a business owner, you want your content exposed to the widest audience possible.  The first step toward that is producing great content.  The next step is trying these 3 strategies to give it an SEO boost while exposing it on social media:

1. Find keywords that resonate with buyer pain points

Persona, Keywords, Topics, Content

Align keywords to persona pain points and their position in the buying cycle.
Source: Social Media Examiner

In traditional SEO, you target keywords that match your products and services.  For social media and SEO to work together, you have to go beyond keywords with high volume and low competition.  When selecting keywords, you need to focus on the problem your customer is trying to solve.  Think about the pain the buyer has that you can help relieve.

For example, let’s say you own a local HVAC company and you’re running a promotion on seasonal checkups.  Your target buyer’s pain might be fear that her furnace will go out during the upcoming winter weather.  You might call your service “system analysis” and offer coupons through your Facebook page.  But your customer fears having to replace a broken furnace, so she might search for “new furnace cost”, “furnace maintenance”, or “furnace replacement.”

Before you engage social media with messages about “system analysis,” use the words and phrases your target buyers are likely to search.  Instead of “system analysis” company lingo, weave your customers’ words and phrases into your messaging.  A natural byproduct of this approach will be shares and links that point to your site with keywords that help boost your relevancy for the exact phrases buyers search when looking for your service.

The best way to find the kind of keywords likely to resonate with your customers is to put yourself into their mindset.  Identify a customer persona and imagine you are the buyer trying to solve that particular problem.  What would you search to relieve your pain?  Jot down a few ideas, and then turn to keyword tools to validate your instincts.  Some free and paid keyword tools can help you:

2. Stir emotional responses with relevant content
Some people take a mechanical approach to SEO:  pick keywords, sprinkle them throughout content, and make sure everything reads nicely.  These same folks do not think about creating meaningful content that hits the sweet spot between relevancy and usefulness that stirs reader emotions.  If they did, they would likely find it’s pretty straightforward to cause audiences to react, ensuring they share the content on social media.

To stir emotional responses for your content, you must begin with empathy.  Get into your buyers’ heads and think about how you can evoke an emotional response that connects their pain points to your solutions.  A study on viral content found the most shared content triggered the following top 3 emotions: awe, laughter, and amusement.

When you match search engine relevance with content that stirs emotions in prospective buyers, it leads naturally to increased shares, engagement, and influences SEO signals that give your content extra authority.

3. Target influencers associated with high authority domains
If you are accustomed to social media marketing, then connecting your content with influencers should be on your list of strategies.  To give this technique an SEO boost, add awareness of influencers’ website authority to your radar.

One great tool for finding influencers and site authority is Buzzsumo.  With it, you can search for influencers by topic and see domain and page authority alongside traditional social media metrics like number of followers.  As an added bonus, you can view the types of links they’ve shared to more precisely match the kind of content you produce.

HVAC-Influencers-Buzzsumo

These 3 ways to infuse SEO into your social media marketing strategies are just the start of greater connections with your target prospects and buyers.  To learn more about integrating social media, SEO, and content marketing, check out the following books:

Optimize:  How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing
by Lee Odden

Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs
by Jim Barry

About the Author: Anthony Long is the head of SEO for Webs. He leads the organic search strategy and execution for both Webs and Pagemodo, with an emphasis on data-driven optimization that balances proven SEO tactics with emerging search trends.

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