Thanks to Chris Hickman, on www.spiceupyourblog.com for this overview of Social Media… We are definitely listening….
There are several paths that bloggers and marketers take in order to increase links and web traffic. Social media is one of them. Five popular social media sites are taking the web by storm: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This article will explain how social sharing enhances SEO (Search Engine Optimization) through link building and strong social signals. There are actionable tips provided in this article that explain how readers can use social media to drive traffic to blogs and websites.
Brief Look At The Top Social Media Websites
Facebook, created in 2004, is a leading global social networking multilingual website with over one billion followers. Google is the most visited website in the world, and Google Plus (Google + or G+), is a social networking site (sponsored by Google) that has at least 500 million users. Instagram, launched in 2010, is a new photo-sharing and social networking site developed through mobile phones. There are currently over 100 million users on Instagram.
Twitter, a popular social networking site, was founded in 2006, has over 5 million people currently using 140 characters to entertain, inform, and share. YouTube, created in 2005, is a social media networking site where users download, share, and view videos. Eventually, YouTube was snapped up by Google in 2006 for over a billion dollars.
Social Sharing and Link building
A user posts a status on Facebook; another user shares a joke on Google+; someone posts a picture from last night’s soiree on Instagram; someone shares a tweet with a link on Twitter; another person shares a video on YouTube. Social sharing provides a rich environment for link building, strong social signals and SEO marketing. Link building can be considered as shortcuts to navigate the web to find other websites. Authentic websites will receive many links; deceptive websites (such as spam and viruses) will receive fewer links.
Strong Social Signals
There are strong social signals that are used by SEOs to determine the value and profile of a link on search engines:
Anchor Text – used with keywords linking to the correct page.
Freshness – what search engines use to determine how current, or “fresh” a link is.
Global Popularity – based on exactly how it sounds. The website Wikipedia is the epitome of using global popularity to build links and trust.
Link Neighborhood – a gauge on whether links are “spammy” or not.
Local/Topic Specific Popularity – a search engine’s way of determining link relevance to specific sites.
TrustRank – a measurement used by search engines to determine how worthy the website is, and used to detect spam.
7 Top Tips for Readers
These are seven actionable tips that marketers, readers, and SEOs can use to take advantage of social media and linking in order to direct more traffic to their blogs and websites.
Tip #1: Content Creation
This is one of the first rules for effective SEO. It is vital to write excellent content on websites.
The information needs to be accurate, interesting, and well-researched. The reader should be able to take something away after reading website content. Entertaining and informative posts on a website will increase the chance that people will naturally link to the website.
Tip #2: Create a Blog
Start a blog to accompany a website. Blogs are easy and free to create using Blogspot or WordPress. Once a blog has been established, create content so people will want to return and link. Become an authority on a favorite topic. Creating information, how-to’s, lists, opinions, photographs, and videos will keep readers coming back. Having credible guest bloggers will also make blogs more interesting.
Tip #3: Find a Hook
An interesting hook will appeal and lure readers to a website, and there natural links will develop. Twitter is a great social networking site for creativity, because tweeting has to be brief.
Every word counts. Open a Twitter account and see which tweets are appealing. @CatFoodBreath is an example of a clever account with a hook. The profile states “I am a 17 pound Siamese cat with a sushi habit.” The amusing posts lured 29,312 followers to @CatFoodBreath.
Tip #4: Form Online Relationships
Maintaining a strong online presence will build trust while increasing interaction with new and returning users. Natural links will be created as a result. Make sure there is space on a website or blog for readers to ask questions, post comments, and share. Answer questions quickly on the blog, host a chat, or participate in a forum. Also, use social media to attract readers and links, by establishing a fan base through Facebook or Twitter. Creating an online newsletter will help form a continual online presence with information.
Tip #5: Give Back
Paying it forward by giving back to the community (online and in-person) will build goodwill, fans, and links. Offering a discounted or free service will also build confidence and trust. Teaming up with another organization is also a good way to build relationships and to give back.
Tip #6: Linking and Using Directories
Even though social media is prevalent and only increasing in popularity, SEOs still believe that links are important to use to establish and maintain the credibility of websites. Also, although there are different marketing viewpoints on the topic of buying links, it is better to gain links organically than purchasing links. Using directories to obtain links can be helpful, but make sure they are high-quality and well-edited.
Tip #7: Present at Conferences
Participating on a panel or presenting at large and small conferences will build ethos and visibility. Talking with audience members after a presentation will help businesses build trust; establish authority, increase links, and visibility. Conferences are also a great way to network with other professionals in the field.
Social media sites are a game-changer in the global world of marketing and linking. The awareness of the power of social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube combined with the know-how of social sharing, link building, and strong social signals will empower readers to build links to enhance the visibility and credibility of one’s business or blog.
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