How SEO and Social Media Add Up to Online Marketing Success

SMS Text

Social search, as defined by Wikipedia (everyone’s most trusted online source), is “a type of web search method that determines the relevance of search results by considering the interactions or contributions of users.” Some marketers have claimed that social search is doing away with traditional search methods and that SEO is dead in the water because of it.

But social media and social search are not the magic bullet to online marketing needs. They are just one more piece in the growing arsenal of Internet marketing tools available to SEO professionals. SEO and social media should not exist in separate silos, vying for online dominance. In fact, SEO and social media marketing can be intertwined to create more online brand presence for companies than they could ever do alone.

Here are 3 examples of how social media and SEO work together:

1. Social promotion of content generates natural links

According to Twitter, around 25% of all Tweets contain a URL. In March 2011, Twitter was seeing an average of 140 million Tweets per day. That’s 35 million Tweets every day with a link in them! Twitter has become a go-to source for breaking news and is a favorite social network among consumers for learning the latest about their favorite brands and companies. By publishing your content and promoting it on Twitter, you are encouraging your network to not only check out your content, but also pass the link along to their network in the form of a reTweet. The more times your content is shared, the better it looks in the eyes of the search engines.

When it comes to Facebook, many marketers will say that the more Likes your company page has, the better. While Likes are important, they are starting to be overshadowed by the number of Shares a piece of content has. Someone could Like your Facebook page in order to get a promotional deal. Plenty of them will unlike your page just as fast and never bother to return. So what is a Like really worth? When someone Shares your content by posting it to their Facebook wall, they are broadcasting to their network (and the search engines) that this content is valuable in some way, whether it be informative or just interesting. The recent Facebook-Bing integration pulls this information into the search results when a user conducts a search and affects the SERP based on what that user’s social network has to say.

2. Social networks drive traffic

If you want to drive traffic to your company blog, posting snippets of each new post to your Facebook wall and to the LinkedIn groups you are a part of is a great way to do just that. But posting the first paragraph and not the whole thing, visitors have to leave your Facebook page for your blog in order to finish reading the post. You have a much better chance at converting a visitor once they are on your blog or main site than when they are just sitting on your social profile. A well-optimized social profile should encourage visitors to check out the main site for more information. Think of your social profiles as the gateway into your site. Someone who is checking out your social profile has already pre-qualified themselves as a well-targeted consumer. Driving them to your site is the next logical step in getting them to convert.

One of the main goals of SEO is to drive targeted traffic. Social networking is about connecting with your audience. When the two work together you’ll see a steady stream of well-targeted and engaged visitors coming to your site.

It has to be mentioned that social profiles should drive traffic back to the main site, not the other way around! Why would you want a potential customer to leave your site to Like you on Facebook? Promoting your social profiles shouldn’t be a main goal of your site. Keep the “Connect with Us” buttons out of prime webpage real estate.

3. Social networking increases online brand presence

Search for your favorite company by name. Hopefully their company website ranks number one in the SERP, with popular internal pages filling out the first page. But chances are (if they are active in social media) their Facebook page and LinkedIn profile, along with other niche social networking sites, will also pepper the results. Just like any other business profile, social networking profiles can rank in the search engines, increasing your company’s online brand presence. Many searches will also show links that have been shared by that company’s Twitter profile or posted to their Facebook wall. The new Google +1 also shows who in your Google network recommends links.

Social media and SEO professionals shouldn’t be squabbling over whose authority and practice is more important. The two disciplines are more closely related than you might think. When you combine your SEO and social media marketing, you’ll create a much more powerful and comprehensive online marketing strategy.

Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a full service Boston SEO firm. With nearly 13 years of experience in the Internet Marketing industry,... Read Full Bio
Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis

Latest posts by Nick Stamoulis (see all)

Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Anonymous

    Great Post. 

    3 major aspect of search marketing, Natural Links, Inbound Traffic and online branding. Very well put indeed.

  • Robert XM

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It is frustrating when I see businesses push their Facebook pages more than their website. It’s even more upsetting when the only online presence they have is social. There has to be a balancing act and I love having the challenge of searching for that happy medium. And just as a web surfer in general, I do enjoyed a little information tease. Finding new blogs, websites, etc. is always more fun than being marooned on Facebook or any site for that matter.

  • Mahendra Sharma

    Interesting post, shows easy and most important aspect of social marketing. I hope businesses are reading this post. 

  • Website and SEO Tips

    Good post Nick. We have many clients who have gained huge amounts of traffic by posting links to articles on Twitter. There are also other clients that are opposed to anything social, mainly because they don’t understand it properly.

    I also agree with Robert’s comment. Not everyone is on Facebook and those who are, aren’t always interested in interacting with brands. Facebook pages can work well for some kinds of businesses but I think some firms definitely place too much emphasis on these rather than their website being the main hub.

  • Kellen Bryant

    I love the tip about posting a blog teaser on Facebook to drive traffic to your blog.  I have seen increased traffic to my main page once I started my Facebook fan page 2 months ago.  The fan page actually ranks very high on my key words along with my mains site.

  • Melt du Plooy

    Nick, I love the comment about validity or value of the Facebook Like VS Share button. I completely agree that the share button adds more value from a Search perspective. I may “Like” your brand and what you say/stand for but i may not find it valuable enough to share with whoever. While if I “Share” your content, it clearly indicates that I Like you already, hence I am willing to share. One should not quantify Social Media success by the number of Likes or Followers but rather from the number of engagements via RTs and Shares, etc.

  • online shopping uk

    Excellent Article!! Agreed with you Nick that social media plays vital role to promote your product through social networks with ease!! Social networks especially Google Plus and Google Plus One Button can be dominating factors over FB in near future!!

  • philwebservices

    I really had a great time reading this stuff. SEO strategies really helps the business or the site. It advertises to a billion of internet users and make the business be visible in any search engines.

  • lewis austin

    Great post, I can’t agree more that Social Media and SEO work great together, i think to achieve the best results they must both be used.

  • SEO Company

    Agreeable expose particularly SEO and social promotion of content generates natural links. I appreciate this featuring amazingly. Thanks mate! 

  • Kaitlyn Jones

    Hi,This is really helpful and really nice of you to share… A friend of mine cu company in UK and I think they are currently working with an SEO company  I am planning to work with them because they are offering cheap seo but I guess I will start optimising my own website first and see if I can do it. So i need all the help i can get!  Social media is among the strongest medium for online popularity and this is very much useful information you have here!

  • Glynn

    Great Post! It is important to notice how all Online Marketing tactics need to be worked on for success, not only focussing your attention on one aspect

  • Anonymous

    Nick, I think that social media and SEO are siblings; they compliment each other when it comes to promoting your brand on the Web.  So, I totally agree with what you wrote here.  I wonder if Google will be the first to implement this altogether inside their platform, now with Google+ making all those buzz..

  • Ryan

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. Search Engine Marketing is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to ensure that you are getting seen by future customers.

  • Infographics

    Social networking is a great supplement to an established site, but only as a supplement and not as a solution. Facebook and Twitter drive traffic, but don’t totally generate it themselves. Brands and businesses have to focus on establishing a presence online via their ecommerce sites before they can rely on a facebook or twitter account.

  • Heather Stobbart

    Tend to agree with that sharing is more important than liking, however I don’t necessarily agree about the website being the ultimate destination, I think this depends on the brand and the sector. e.g. FMCG brands a social profile often works much better than a web page

  • SEO Professionals

    Search engine optimization businesses now have the means of locating their kind of customer groups online thanks to social websites. You wouldn’t believe that you’ll find more than a hundred social media services with countless regular users. For successful effects, they could possibly do it themselves or avail of SEO services that supply social bookmarking.

  • Paul Simon

    Yes, social media and SEO are related with each other.  Most of the SEO companies are  using social media techniques with seo techniques for increasing the rank of the site. General people like to use Facebook and twitter for enjoyment and marketing. So its better to use Social media and seo simultaneously for increasing the business.

  • Cheap android tablet

    Good post. I agree with your opinions. 

  • Facebook Apps

    Both techniques help you to get your customers  interaction through your product and if it will work , then you can say that these two techniques is best for online marketing 🙂 and now a days social media helps you a lot in this niche 😉

  • arsenal blog

    Thanks alot, it seems that Google and Bing are really looking hard at social media as an indication of site strength

  • netfirms promo code

    SEO and social media marketing are important parts of Online marketing. SEO include many Internet marketing services while SMO connect multimedia technology. Thus, both are important.

  • Johnm

    It might be possible for SEO to stand alone and work for businesses, but social networking alone would be completely useless. As generic as it sounds, it’s probably best to use both.  Thanks for another great post.

  • Johan Hedin

    Great article.  I think that there are various set ups you want to do.  Either a social media platform where all your conversations are done on your facebook or whatever social media platform you dominate.  The other strategy is to use your social media platform to drive traffic to your main site.  I have seen companies from both spectrums so either can work depending on your industry and set up…

  • Eric

    I’m sure social media will influence a website’s seo performance. Graet article, thanks!
    Eric, Belgium

  • Peyo Peev

    Search Engine Optimization and social media are often the main components in the online success. The good SEO campaign combined with social media can boost significantly the online popularity and reach of a company.

  • Janek

    I wonder if social signals overtake the importance of links in terms of getting exposed in google serps. While google may be doing it right with fighting spam and kill sites that put too much effort into agressive link building.