Back in the day SEO was all about the keywords in your website but now in the age of social media the SEO landscape is more complex than ever. Brands must now figure out how to use social media not only to improve their traffic but also to translate that traffic into sales. It’s still always about sales even if some people try to convince us that’s it’s about engagement. The idea behind engagement (for businesses) is to drive sales – otherwise the business dies and there’s no need for engagement. As it turns out, some social media are better than others.
The people at Tasty Placement conducted a study to determine how the different social media options helped or hurt search engine rankings. The results showed that promoting the test sites on Google + raised their search engine rankings by 14.63 points. For Google +1 the increase was 6.9 points, while a Facebook business page yielded a 6.9 point uptick. By contrast Tweeting only raised them by 2.88 points, and increasing their Twitter followers by 1,000 actually decreased their ranking by 1.22 points. There was a control site with no social media activity. It also showed a slight decrease. The caveat is that this was not a scientific study.
While this data shows the need for brands to participate in a broad range of social media, keywords are still important to a brand’s social media strategy and search rankings. To this end it’s important that brand marketers try to think like their customers rather than like bureaucrats. In the case of say, athletic shoes, a bureaucrat might use the word footwear or maybe foot protectors. A customer might search for “pumped up kicks”- which brings to mind that keywords should not be in strings longer than three words. Among other things, keywords should be more general, more specific, include brand names and focus on distinguishing you from others in your category. So if you’re in a home décor business, you might be known for “artistic rugs” rather than rugs.