All through 2012, the impact of social media on organic search rankings was observed to be on the rise. In formulating SEO strategies to ensure higher placement of websites on the search engine results page, social media has become an important factor for consideration.
Now that we have entered 2013, this is a good time to revisit the top 5 social media SEO lessons learned in 2012.
Top 5 Social Media-SEO Lessons in 2012
1. You Don’t Stand a Chance Without Great Content
In a bid to deliver high quality relevant content to searchers, Google launched the Panda algorithm in early 2011. And all through 2012, various Panda updates were issued, which only reiterated that websites need high quality content to rank high. This series of articles in Search Engine Land shows the impact of Google Panda updates on SEO in 2012.
The impact of the Panda update on using social media for SEO is quite obvious. Panda wants high quality content. And naturally only high quality content will be shared on social media, because no one wants to share ‘rubbish’ with their friends. So more social shares your content generates, it is a positive social signal for SEO, resulting in higher rankings.
2. Social-SEO is the New Tool for Reputation Management
In 2012, several businesses (and individuals) exploited the SEO value of social media to dominate page 1 of the search engine results page. The fact is most (if not all) social media profiles are indexable by Google. By wisely using your company name (or your name if you want be perceived as expert in a niche) as keywords in your profile, you will find that all your social media profiles are being ranked by Google below your main website in the first page of the SERP. This gives you greater control over what people will see about you, which is what reputation management is all about.
This article tells you all about the importance of optimizing social media profiles.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Pictures
You probably know this, but it is worth repeating. The most shared picture on Facebook and Twitter not only for 2012, but in the entire history of these two social media giants was the victory picture of US President Barack Obama with the President’s tweet “4 more years”.
Not that the US president needs SEO help, but the lesson here is pictures speak louder than words and sometimes (as here) can drown out all other sounds. Use pictures in your social media posts, but don’t forget to optimize image file names and captions with keywords so that you get SEO traction. That way you get benefits in two ways –
(a) direct SEO benefits because Google can index the keywords and
(b) indirect social signal SEO benefit because your image has struck a chord and is being shared on social media virally.
4. Seriously Consider Pinterest
Talking of pictures, one of the key lessons for social media–SEO in 2012 was the increasing importance of Pinterest in the social world. In April 2012, the Experian traffic report revealed that Pinterest had emerged as the third most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest audience is growing and the SEO benefits from presence of Pinterest are also emerging clearly. So if you are not on Pinterest, this is the time to get on. Here are 8 SEO benefits of adding Pinterest to your social media arsenal.
What other social media-SEO lessons have been obvious in 2012? Do share in the comments.
The author of this article is post Penguin link building expert Yasir Khan, founder of top Canadian SEO company Quantum SEO Labs. http://www.quantumseolabs.com/