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Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
While an extremely critical component to modern SEO, content is also a critical part of a balanced social media strategy.
That's great and all, but you're probably asking: "What does creating content for social media have to do with SEO?"
Let's find out!
Why Content Matters on Social Media (and its effect on SEO)
Helps Diversify Social Media Posts
Facebook's algorithm loves diversity, so by switching up the type of post (between status, image, link) you're giving the social network what it wants. This will help your posts perform better in order to reach the most people.
Boosts Social Results Through Engagement
Increasing engagement on your social profiles should be the goal of every business. By creating content people want to click through to and share, you're not only helping your drive traffic to your website, you're reaching local people who might have otherwise never found your business.
(You do this by promoting content only to users in your local area. Shares from paid views will be supplemented by organic views from those original shares. As long as you're creating great content, you should receive a ton of free organic social traffic.)
Social Signals Correlate High Rankings
Searchmetrics ranking factors data for 2015 shows that the amount of engagement correlates with high rankings on Google. The average number of Facebook likes and shares (combined) among the top 10 results in the SERPs is 6,504. In the top 30, this drops to 2,869.
Moz, in its 2015 ranking factors survey, also found experts believe that engagement with content on social media sites influences rankings.
Google has stated it does not use data from social media sites in its algorithm, but more social engagement around pages could have indirect effects that help highly-shared pages' search engine rankings.
Whether directly or indirectly affecting rankings, its clear that social engagement has an impact on SEO. You can choose to ignore it, but that only opens the door for your competitors to gain an edge.
How to Create Content for Social
Research Popular Topics Related to Your Brands
In order to effectively use content to enhance your social media strategy, you need to understand what your audience is most interested in reading. You can do this a number of different ways, but the most accurate path is researching keywords using the Adwords Keyword Planner.
Start by changing your target area to your local metro or state, depending on the sample audience you'd like to draw on. I recommend this be close to your actual customer base, as this will paint the clearest picture of popular brand searches among people in your area.
As an example, I searched "2015 Chevrolet" targeting New Hampshire searchers. After filtering the results to show the highest volume keywords first, I was able to get a list of the most popular new 2015 Chevy models in my local area:
Doing the same search for upcoming 2016 models, the Volt, Cruze, Malibu, and Camaro were among the most popular.
While this information is valuable in getting to know our local audience, we'll need to dig deeper into each model to get unique ideas that our social media audience will love.
Creating Social Media-Friendly Content
What is Social Media-Friendly Content?
Unlike search engine users, social media users aren't coming to you for information based on a query they provided Google. They're browsing Facebook, Twitter, and other sites looking for interesting content and updates from their friends.
This means you have to understand what they want to read beforehand in order to gain clickthroughs and other engagement. But how do you do that?
You have to catch their attention. For instance, "2016 Chevrolet Volt Overview" isn't really going to jump out and grab the reader. It might be a good title if you're looking to target that keyword in search, but it's likely going to be scanned over by most social media users without a second thought.
So how do we make this idea social media friendly? Let's think about the original content.
A vehicle overview page tends to just state a lot of facts about a model, so why not include "facts" in our new title. People love to be informed, so this is a good start.
And because we're dealing with specific items (facts), we can narrow that down to a numbered list. Social media users are drawn to lists because they're simple and easy to digest. For this piece of content, let's settle for five items.
"5 Facts About the 2016 Chevy Volt."
While not a bad title, it's not something that stands out as much as we'd like. This is why we need an adjective to describe these facts. It needs to be something that both catches attention and relates to the Volt. How about "electrifying?"
We're on the right track. Now, let's think of a hook for the end. Here's what I ended up with:
"5 Electrifying Facts That Make the 2016 Chevy Volt a Must-Buy."
With this content, you're taking an otherwise boring format, cleaning it up for accessibility and making it stand out. This is the essence of social media-friendly content.
At the end of the day, you'll have content that is not only ready for action on social, but a valuable page that will help you gain more authority and search traffic over time.
Have any questions about content and how it affects SEO and social? Let's talk in the comments below!