SEO and Social Media are not as different as you think and we recently asked Kelly Worrall to put together some simple to understand information to help you with SEO, either for yourself or for your clients.
Kelly will also underline the most important similarities in both marketing techniques.
What is “SEO”?
SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation, and it is exactly that, optimising your website for search engines. For your website to appear anywhere near the first page of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), there are several factors which need to be implemented. There are two sides to SEO, “on-page SEO” and “off-page SEO” so this article provides an easy-to-understand outline of both.
When creating your new website, it is important to understand SEO and how it can have an impact on your overall marketing in years to come.
The first thing to consider when creating your own website is to create separate, dedicated service pages. So, for example, if you provide “social media management” and “social media training” it is recommend to create separate pages for them, each with different target keywords and meta data.
Creating dedicated pages for your services helps when a potential customer is searching for “Social media management” specifically, they will not land on a page filled with other services and information as this will likely increase your bounce rate and as a result, show SERPs you are not providing valuable content.
If you have dedicated pages, Google and other major search engines will promote your dedicated services page over your homepage, which is much more effective as it leads a reader to exactly what they have been searching for, without having to navigate their way through your website.
This website, The Social Media Managers Hub is a great example of this. When searching on Google for “Social media managers toolkit” the first result provides the hub website/the toolkit so when clicked, the reader goes directly to the toolkit page.
The importance of Keywords
The first SEO technique social media managers need to understand is the importance of keyword research.
Like Facebook algorithms, the major search engines will rank website pages higher if they feature valuable and informative content.
There are short-tail, traditional keywords and long-tail keywords to consider. Short tail, traditional keywords are product / service related keywords, and long-tail keywords can be targeted in your overall content and blogging strategy.
Short tail, traditional keyword example: “Social media management”
Long tail keyword example: “How do I promote my business on social media?”
Your website content should be targeting both types of keywords to maximise your reach. Having a blog is essential to content marketing and SEO, to enable you to target a variety of long tail keywords which can be ranked on SERPs.
As well as keyword research, planning your content strategy is important for your ongoing SEO, major search engines like Google want to see fresh, relevant and valuable content provided to the searcher.
The more quality content your website has, the lower your bounce rate will be, which means SERPs will see you are providing valuable, quality and informative content to your readers. Again, very similar to Social Media content, it shouldn’t be salesly. Your website should tell a story and navigate the user through that story to your end CTA (call-to-action) whether that is a newsletter sign up, a download or a contact form.
The architecture of your website will have a huge impact in your SEO results. Does your website have a sitemap? A good XML sitemap tells search engines your websites’ architecture of pages. If you submit your XML sitemap to Google, they can crawl each page on your website, so you can start showing up on SERPs. You can submit your sitemap to Google via your Webmaster Search Console.
There are a variety of useful tools available to analyse your website’s architecture which can look for things such as duplicate content, URL errors and spam backlinks.
Is your website secure? Does it have an SSL certificate? The easiest way to find this out is look for a little padlock next to your website URL in your browser, if you do not have a padlock, you may see an example like the below. Depending on the searcher’s browser cookies, if your website is not secure, it may start showing a warning message to users.
Going back to the keyword research, your “meta data” is where you implement everything required to be found on SERPs for your chosen keyword. The 3 main aspects of Meta Data are:
- Target Keyword.
- Meta Title.
- Meta Description.
What do these mean? In simple terms, the information you use for the above is how your website will be shown to potential customers on Google. As with social media timelines, you already know the importance of making your social media posts “stand out”, it is the same with Google, there are 10 organic results and commonly 6-8 ad results per page on SERPs, so you need to make your website standout to ensure it is clicked over your competitors.
Kelly offers Social Media Management and has a page here, dedicated to that service. On that Social Media Management page, you will see all the content is dedicated to just Social Media (not her other services such as websites, training etc). Kelly has headers which are focused on social media.
Her targeted URL is > social-media and she has also created meta data for that page, with a target keyword of “Social Media Management”, which will show up in Google as shown below.
If your website is built in WordPress, a great SEO plugin to use is Yoast SEO.
The above covers the main factors of on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO is a range of factors all targeted towards building trust with SERPs. Social Media has a huge impact on off-page SEO, all your social media posts, whether you are promoting your own business or your clients, should direct people to a website or a call-to-action within the social platform itself, for example, a Facebook lead gen form or a direct message.
If you want to promote your social media services directly, Kelly recommends directing people to your dedicated social media page, packed full of information only about that one service you are trying to promote.
Kelly Worrall is a Digital Marketing Expert with over 10 years’ experience working both in-house and for various digital agencies.
For a full breakdown of both on-page and off-page SEO, check out Kelly's SEO – The Basics blog.
If you are thinking of creating your own website Kelly offers Power Hours and SEO audits get in touch here.