I hear this all the time - isn't social media separate from SEO? They're so different, aren't they? How can I make them work together? Shrug emoji, shrug emoji. If this is the first time you've thought about putting social media and SEO together, don't worry! You're definitely not alone and today, I'm going to show you how it works in my latest blog "How to use social media for SEO".
But I know as a creative business owner, you've got a jam-packed schedule and to-do lists coming out your ears, so first I'll talk you through why it's worth it to use social media for SEO (and how it could even save you time!).
Why is social media important for SEO anyway?
If you think only your website will show up in a Google search, think again! Your social media profiles will rank too. Try it now by Googling yourself and see what you find.
Search engines are constantly on the hunt for the best websites and content to display. They work that out in many different ways, from site speeds to backlinks, including looking at your social media content.
Google will give you a huge great tick if your posts are regularly shared, commented on and liked. Search engines want you to create content that people engage with and enjoy. That includes content shared on your social media channels.
And remember that when your post is shared, if it contains a link to your site, they're reposting that too. Result!
Used correctly, social media can bring in a lot of traffic (read: couples!) to your website, improving your SEO score as a result.
What should you post on social media for SEO?
If there's only one thing you take away from this blog post covering how to use social media for SEO, let it be this. People crave visuals and it's your job to supply them.
Add branded graphics to your photos and videos, embed links to blog posts alongside a picture and link to your website when you share quotes, infographics or images. You're providing quality content that people want to engage with, while ensuring a solid boost for your marketing and SEO.
Next up, it’s time to make sure your posts reach as many people as possible. That’s the aim of the game after all.
Tag any suppliers you've collaborated with, post at the optimum time for each platform and mix up your approach and content depending on where you're sharing it. What people expect on Twitter versus Instagram are different – respond to that.
How can you reach more people with posts?
If you’re serious about levelling up your SEO, you should be blogging as often as possible.
Each time you create a blog, share it twice on social media on the first day. Do this within a few hours of the post going live and use different platforms. You could share the article first to Facebook, then to Instagram and later to Pinterest, for example.
Create a social media calendar so that you know what you're sharing and when, then schedule in three more shares of that blog post in the coming week.
But don't just cut and paste the original post. How many times do you really want to see the same photo, after all?
Mix and match the images and copy each time. The perk of this approach is afterwards, you can assess what combination worked best to replicate for future success. The Facebook Insights tool is handy for this.
Collaboration is the key to using social media for SEO
Tagging suppliers who are connected to your updates should become your go-to style. Not only will this increase awareness of your brand, it'll also help you reach more people. This, in turn, can drive more traffic to your post and ultimately, your business.
Sharing your blog posts is another way to tap into the power of other people and promote engagement. Why not email all the suppliers you mention in a blog post to let them know it's live and ask them to share it?
Everyone has an ego (whether they admit it or not!) They'll love to be featured, you'll love the publicity from being shared and Google will love the backlinks that suggest your site is useful. It's a win-win-win!
Using social media for SEO is simpler than you think. With a little bit of planning, you can give your social channels a boost, attract more website visitors and see your Google ranking climb. Even better, because social media is something you're already doing, using social media for SEO won't add to your workload.
So is that it? Can I just implement these and then that's all there is to know?
These are the tips to get you started sure, and I'm excited to hear how you implement them. But I go into much more detail on my SEO course Let's Get You Found. Sign up to the waiting list here.
I am thrilled to be joined today by Louisa Crosby, the founder of Brighton Lace, an all-woman ethical lingerie label dedicated to making feel-good underwear that doesn’t cost the earth. I've been lucky to know Lou for some years, and we have grown our businesses together, so I am particularly delighted that she has agreed to be my first ever Gin and Magic interviewee. I learned so much about how she runs her boutique business in Brighton so I just know you're going to enjoy this interview.
In today’s show, we talk about how Lou started Brighton Lace, what it takes to run a business, the power of growing a community online, the power of Pinterest (ahem quick plug for my Pinterest course) the importance of self care, what a Rolodex of Love is and why it's a good idea to have one, the fearlessness it takes to run a business, and the courage it takes to show up online!
We'll be back again next week with the next female entrepreneur interview for Gin & Magic! But in the meantime, if you're wondering what this is all about, take a look at my blog all about "Why did I create a YouTube channel?"
Why aren't I getting more sales? I see this question on Facebook groups, hear it on the phone and I want to help.
You see, putting the time in with your business is a bit like dating. You actually need to put in the work, play the long game, to get what you want out of it. Bear with as I share more about what I mean….
Every day I receive requests for guest blog posts on my site. Some more spammy than others, some wanting to buy a guest post spot. They’re just trying to get a link back to their site from mine so as to collect backlinks, clearly having ignored Google’s latest algorithm updates about relevancy and quality over quantity.
I have a template stored that I copy and paste in response to these requests which is essentially a polite but firm no together with some tips on how they might be more successful in their future link endeavours.
I rarely receive a response but when I do they fall into two categories:
1. IGNORE: They’ve ignored my advice and they’re still trying to go in for what they want out of the situation
2. YEAH BUT: They use the excuse ‘yeah but’ and try to make me feel sorry for them in some way
When I started to notice these two attitudes in link building, I started to notice it everywhere.
I see it when people complain about the follow/unfollow strategy adopted by some on Instagram
I see it when I have spammy requests on Instagram (why thank you, darling, yes I *am* a gift from God!)
I see it when people comment in my Instagram feed and try to make a sale right there
When they ignore my advice, they’re not just ignoring me, they’re ignoring everyone. They’re blindly moving on with asking for the sale because they just want the sale goddammit why aren’t you booking already….
And the second…they have a huge To Do list and getting through it is more important than getting results.
Now, I know I’ve found myself in these two camps many times before and I have to say that these two attitudes didn’t work in my favour then either.
This is pretty similar to turning down someone you’re just not interested in and actually, they’re not particularly interested in you either, they were just hoping to get lucky. It’s not a good sign of a lasting romance now, is it? I’m not saying I want to be sent chocolates by these companies, but I am saying I don’t want to feel used. I know I’m not the only one who receives these requests, and this definitely is not a “poor me I get so many emails” post, but it got me thinking.
It reeks of desperation, and no one likes a desperate date. You want to feel a bit special, right?
So what’s the solution?
Let me tell you a funny story I share with friends over wine…it’s where I say I’m going to write a book called “How to date” and it’s quite short.
1. Ask the other person questions 2. Listen to the answers 3. Ask more questions based on those answers 4. Remember the answers in future conversations
And this is how it is with getting more sales.
You have to warm up your audience…put out your work, listen to what the audience has to say about it (likes, comments, engagement, analytics) and drip feed them with metaphorical compliments, roses and chocolates and listen to them.
Everyone’s favourite topic is themselves. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you spend more time thinking about yourself than anyone else. Therefore, it makes sense that people want to see themselves in what you do.
Make them feel good with Instagram photos and stories that speak to them, with blog posts that are helpful, that entertain, that provide value.
People buy from people they like. It’s why social media is so good for business. People want to buy into the idea of you because they think they belong in your lives, which is great! But so many people are scared that they won’t be liked. They’re scared that they won’t be accepted. I say embrace who you are, go for it with all your soul and be unashamedly you. Listen to what your audience likes - which photos get the most likes and post more of them! Which blog posts get more eyes on them - check your Google Analytics and share those blog posts more often.
Just like with dating, you don’t highlight the bits you don’t like about yourself, you highlight the bits you do. It’s not enough to just exist and be gorgeous like you are. You need to show off, but listen, and pay attention.
Maximise your best features and you’ll make more sales. But only if you’re willing to put in for the long game. Which I’m guessing you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be running your own business, am I right?
P.S. this was a bit different, wasn’t it? But I figure, I haven’t blogged in two months, it’s about time I put my money where my mouth is.
This week I'm talking about hashtags specifically answering the question - How do I use hashtags, they’re a bit of a marmite subject, aren't they, you love them or you hate them, and you’re never quite sure where to use them or how to use them or when to use them!
I wanted to break it down in simple steps for you:
What are hashtags?
To the uninitiated, using a hashtag on whatever you're posting on a social media platform groups together what you say with everyone else who's used that hashtag. When you click on a hashtag, you can see who else is using that hashtag, nifty, huh?
Why is this useful to me?
We all want to feel connected, right? No more so than in running your own business and in wanting to join in conversations. You may have seen hashtags for particular news threads, for events, for topics, for scheduled conversations. By using the designated hashtag, you get to join in that conversation and add your tuppence worth. #ValuableFreeMarketing
How do I include hashtags in my updates?
You can either write a sentence for your update and then add hashtags afterwards like this:
I love cake so much. #cake #love
or include the hashtag in your sentence (but this can read poorly):
I #love #cake #so #much
If you want to add lots of hashtags, please make sure you delete the spaces between words. I cannot tell you how often I see wasted opportunities due to the spacing issue! e.g. #Marketing #SEO #YeahBaby
Notice I've deleted spaces between the words of multiple word hashtags e.g. #toomuchtodo (for 'too much to do')
and also make sure you add spaces after the final word before starting the next hashtag.
Should I be using hashtags? How?
That entirely depends on where you are. I've broken it down by social media platform to help:
Whilst Facebook confirms they technically help search results, the hashtags used aren't generally the terms searched and they're not actually clicked on or used to any large extent. I think the hashtag use on Facebook does help with branding (for example, with a particular campaign) or in a humorous way.
Verdict: No need to really use them on Facebook if you're looking to improve engagement this way. But using them humorously if you know your audience will enjoy them does work! Example below ;o)
With only 140 characters in each update, the power of the hashtag can be used here to group your tweet with other tweets talking about the same topic. When you click on a hashtag, you see who else is using that hashtag. You may want to connect with these people by retweeting them or favouriting them. If you and others who are geographically near you all use the same hashtag then you can make it start trending, which essentially means it appears more in your feed, and the feeds of those who are also geographically near you or otherwise follow a lot of the people who are using that hashtag (for example, I get trending hashtags about wedding discussions that I'm not necessarily a part of).
Verdict: Yes, use them! But sparingly - one or two maximum.
Instagram, how I love thee. The hashtag here is gold. You can use up to 30 hashtags, so just stick them in the description box along with your caption.
Verdict: You should be using these! But which ones? Scroll down to get the freebie list of hashtags for your business.
In 2018, Pinterest made hashtags useful. After years of people using them anyway, they weren't actually clickable until spring 2018. So, use them sparingly but as they're so new, they'll be a popular new tool for sure!
ANY OTHER PLACE ON THE INTERWEBS
You can of course use hashtags anywhere you like, like I've done throughout the this blog post, but they won't work anywhere other than social media if you want to join your conversation to the masses. Sorry!
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