When it comes to thinking about search engine ranking, social media isn’t something that comes directly to mind. After all, Google has made it perfectly clear that it doesn’t use the amount of Facebook or Twitter followers as part of its ranking algorithm.
There are, however, a number of crossovers between the two that every marketer should be aware of. To help you to grasp the concept of link building and how it relates to SEO, we’ve come up with a simple FAQ, below:
What is Link Building?
To put it simply, link building is the process of acquiring links back to your own website from a reputable source.
As Google uses ‘followed links’ as one of its three main search engine ranking factors, the popularity of link building has grown substantially over recent years.
The key to successful link building is finding a website that is both willing to link back to your content and that is deemed to be a reputable domain by Google. It’s strictly a quality over quantity approach.
Why is it Important?
With less than 10% of people advancing to page two on Google’s search results, the amount of traffic a website gets is largely dependent on its search engine ranking.
While website traffic doesn’t always correspond to big business, it does guarantee brand awareness and can make your website more attractive to potential advertisers.
Does Link Building Ever Occur Naturally?
Yes. If you’re producing newsworthy or interesting content, other websites and bloggers will naturally do the link building work for you.
There are, however, many circumstances where companies will work together in a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ approach. Many higher ranking domain websites, for example, can charge lower ranking domains to have a link featured on their site.
If you lack the know-how on what sort of websites to approach, a marketing or a specialized link building agency may be able to do much of the PR-related ground work on your behalf.
What Role can Social Media Play?
As we mentioned before, Google’s search engine algorithm doesn’t directly take into account the number of followers you may have on Instagram or Twitter. It does, however, take an active interest in the amount of traffic that visits your site.
If the content you’re producing on your social media channels links back to your own site in some shape or form, you’re already carrying out some form of link building.
How can I use Social Media in my Link Building Strategy?
Reaching out to bloggers over social media is a great way to enter into the world of link building. Many will already be aware of the concept of ‘guest blogging’, where one company creates content with a link back to their own website for the blogger to post on their site in return for a small fee. Your job will be to convince the blogger that your website has some correlation to the content they regularly feature on their blog/site.
Any content that you do post on your social media channels should also be geared up for sharing. Quizzes tend to perform best on Facebook while articles that are 3,500-4,000 words in length are most likely to be shared on LinkedIn. Interestingly, content that is related to success, productivity, and entrepreneurship is most likely to be shared on both LinkedIn and Twitter. By reaching a greater audience, your website is much more likely to receive larger amounts of traffic, which in turn will improve your search engine ranking.