The fact is simple: Search engines use social signals to increase the rank of sites—so if you’ve been poo pooing social media, you’ve got to cut it out.
For instance, when it comes to Google+, social signals help with click-through rates because of the avatar inclusions in the results; and with Twitter, retweets are literally considered inbound links—and the network by network breakdown of social media’s value in an SEO strategy goes on.
Though our friend Matt Cutts hasn’t said anything outright about social signals, we have done numerous experiments with them and found that social signals are huge when it comes to getting your site to rank. Specifically, in addition to having link value, a sound social strategy is what helps you distribute your content to users, which leads to inbound links, more site visits, more user engagement, and higher conversion rates.
So, when you cry, “my customers aren’t on social media,” all we can say is, “that’s great, but let’s figure out who is on social media!” Are your customers’ friends? Parents? Your customers’ customers? Related industry experts? People in your industry? You’ve got to know someone, or someone who knows someone, who’s sending social signals! And as you fight with your inner (or outer) hatred of social media, remember that using social media as part of an SEO strategy isn’t meant to drive sales directly. Whether your customers are or are not on social media, you’re not selling to them there. You just want them to know you’re an expert, to write about you, talk about you, read some of what you have to say and then move on—if you’re good at what you do, they’ll come back next time you post another blog, tweet, status update, video, etc. Some social media managers might disagree with the premise of a social strategy that doesn’t end with sales, but from a purely SEO perspective, this is a superbly useful part of the strategy.
Don’t be asocial—implement an effective social media strategy that any SEO—and even you—will “like.”
“The Sleazy SEO”
This actually isn’t really a myth. Unfortunately, there are sleazy SEOs all over, but a company that does SEO the right way isn’t sleazy at all.
A true SEO is a marketing expert, user engagement specialist, web developer, social expert and user interface designer all rolled into one—and let’s not forget, a reporting expert, Excel nerd and PowerPoint geek! It takes a huge breadth of knowledge and experience to be an effective SEO. And if you’re lucky enough to have a company like Vital on your side, then you’re not just getting a consultant; you’re getting a team of experts in every area of digital marketing.