As search algorithms continue to change, and give more value to social search, it is more important than even for B2B companies to create an integrated approach to social media to improve their SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is based on two different types of factors, on-page, which you control and off-page, which you don’t control. But using social media can help the social signals that search engines now use as part of how they serve up their search results.
B2B marketers should be looking to expand the reach of their social media efforts to drive more traffic back to their websites (and their calls-to-action). If you are unclear about the importance of social search, look no further than Google Plus. Google created a social network so they could get a better picture of our social connections and tap into them to provide better search results.
6 Ways to Improve SEO with B2B Social Media
1. Create a Unified Keyword Strategy
The idea of keywords starts with search. Google built its ad business on the back of its search results. Whether you are doing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or just trying to optimize your search results, start with Google’s Keyword Tool to develop your list of keywords. If these are the words your customers and prospects use when they are searching for you, make sure you use these same terms in your social media activities. These keywords should included in blog posts, especially their titles, as well as within posts on social networks. The more often your posts are found, the more often they can be shared.
2. Make Your B2B Blog As Social As Possible
Once you blog posts draw traffic, you want to do all you can to encourage sharing of posts. Many B2B companies focus on building a community on their blog through comments, but you are better off building a bigger community off the blog. With this in mind, rather than ask questions to encourage readers to leave comments, ask them to share the post instead. You also want to make sure the blog has sharing buttons in logical places. In the case of this post, not only is the main post shareable, but each of the six ways are shareable with its own Tweet button. Use those buttons to share a couple of these points in additional to the main post.
3. Encourage Employee Sharing of Content
One of the easiest sources of sharing is your own workforce. Encourage employees to share blog posts and other content by making it easy for them to share. Provide a pre-written tweet that you email out to employees, or even share on internal network like Chatter. There are even tools like GaggleAMP to make employee sharing even easier. You can cue up the posts for employees and they can just send them with the push of a button.
4. Leverage Your LinkedIn Network
Just like you want to encourage your employees to share your great blog posts and ebooks, you want to share it with your LinkedIn network. You can post it to your personal status update, your company status update and in any relevant groups. Since you are looking for SEO benefit, consider asking people to share it with their own networks for greater reach and greater sharing. Depending on the type of content, you might want to pick 5-10 of your contacts and ask them to blog about it. This will create some links back to your site.
5. Properly Name Your Social Media Profiles
Sometimes B2B companies try to get too clever and create a Twitter account or a Facebook profile with their descriptive keywords, rather than their company name. This upsets the balance in the universe. Common best practices are to name your profiles with the company name and use keywords in your profile bios and updates. This architecture of social media keeps the balance in place and shows that the profile is from a real company, rather than someone trying to spam search results by keyword stuffing profiles. You can develop trust by following these guidelines so people with share your content.
6. Write Compelling Social Media Posts for Readers, Not Spiders
The most important thing to remember about using social media to improve SEO for your B2B company is that you need to write for your readers. Not the spiders crawling the web for the search engines. If you are trying to network engineers, you will naturally write about things that interest them and may cause them to consider purchasing your products. You need to use keywords so they will find your content, but you need to create great content that can be read by humans so they will value it and share it.
If you have any thoughts, please add them down below, but we would really rather you share this post on all your social networks. Feel free to print it out and put on the fridge in the breakroom, as well as the one at home. (I’m just following #2 above)
Photo credit: Flickr