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Digital opinion

The synergy of SEO, social media and the user experience

One of the myriad of uses of Google is to find out more about people, in a social context. Today's society is also active on various social media platforms. Social media is an exceptionally powerful digital word-of-mouth generator, as individuals freely share content and comment on content they like.
If users like particular content on the internet, they will share or comment on it multiple times via social media platforms. It is therefore easy to see how social media can be seen as a digital popularity gauge.

Positive 'social signals'

Social media marketing is important for SEO, because positive social signals associated with your website may mean that Google interprets the site as being popular.

These social signals are positive social media activities/sharing that is linked to your website's content. SEO requires a comprehensive integration of social media into your brand's website and content strategy. There should be effective cohesion between your brand's content creation and social media platforms. For example, your company's social media community managers should include your new content in their conversation calendars on a regular basis.

Marketers should remember that social media is not necessarily a stand-alone digital marketing platform. Instead, social media marketing provides an ideal channel that can drive traffic to the website. This benefits your brand's social media marketing and SEO, because more people will engage more often with your brand's relevant social media platforms. Therefore, emphasis needs to be put on the share-ability of the high quality and original content of a Facebook post, which, in turn, may have a call-to-action that would direct the user to the website.

Social media optimisation

The optimisation of social media platforms is referred to as social media optimisation or SMO and should form part of the overall SEO strategy.

SMO involves optimising for example, a Facebook page's 'about' description, headings of posts, copy of posts, image descriptions and links in posts that includes sharing. Simply put, when you combine SEO with SMO, the visibility of your brand in the social and organic search spheres of the internet are magnified significantly.

Google has merged social media and search like never before. It now includes excerpts from companies' Google+ pages and Google+ posts into particular search results. Google has also integrated links to Twitter and Facebook content into the search result pages which I will expand on next time.

Look out for my next piece on the digital world of SEO.
    
 

About Stephen Sandmann

Stephen Sandmann is an SEO Strategist at Neo@Ogilvy, a division of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa. He has a keen interest in everything digital.
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