Want to rise to the top of Google to crush your competition to capture more free organic search traffic?
Of course you do – who wouldn’t?
One of the pillars of SEO is back-links, and most people understand that they play a major role in determining a websites ranking in the search engine rankings (SERPs). But most people fail to realize that they can leverage social media platforms to increase their back-link profiles. The days of gaming blog platforms, article spinning software, and guest posts to cheat the system are long passed, but we can use social media to our advantage.
To better understand some top social media strategies, let’s take a closer look at Rand Fishkin’s top four favorite methodologies to garner more back-links.
Social Media Strategy #1: Interacting to Earn Links
There are a seemingly endless number of ways to directly interact with people, groups, and brands on social media. Perhaps you could help solve a problem another user is having by reaching out to them on Facebook, or it could be as simple as replying to a new video hosted on YouTube. But as Rand points out, you need to interact early and often. Interacting early helps ensure that your interaction stays near the top of the social media post instead of becoming buried under other user comments. It also helps you to be seen by an editor.
Social media is as temporal and ephemeral as real-life conversations, and to make an impact, you need to be constantly engaging others on social media.
In addition, you absolutely need to make sure you are adding value. Instead of sending encouraging messages or simply posting messages that express affinity for the content they posted, you need to dig deeper. Help solve a problem, reference related content, and research related material to cast yourself as an authority figure. Find a way to stir up interactions by making the conversation more interesting. And here’s the key part: you need to offer help without being asked. If you have information that others need and you provide it for free, you will have much higher chances of earning a back-link.
Social Media Strategy #2: Search for Link-Likely Outreach Targets
Targets have often been the symbol of many diverse types of marketing organizations, and for good reason. To increase the effectiveness of your back-link strategy, you need to target sources that have a greater chance of producing back-links. One particularly helpful way to seek out potential candidates is with Google colon searches, using bio pages and industry specific keywords as parameters. Other sources of finding candidates, as mentioned by Rand, include the following:
By targeting the right back-link candidates, you will be better able to tap into their link authority and make an impression upon their audiences.
Social Media Strategy #3: Post Content That Will Capture Attention and cc: Relevant Parties
I think by now everyone with a website already knows that they need to post meaningful content that captures the audience’s attention. But the key here is to tag relevant parties and to CC them using a variety of different tools. For example, you can tag other businesses, industry leaders, and even other bloggers in Twitter and Facebook posts. This will help increase your visibility drastically, and it will further encourage meaningful interactions.
While this is key for many types of content – especially reviews – but as Rand says, you can’t pander. This is key, because pandering makes you come off as an untrustworthy marketer who’s just out to find another follower. The honesty in your content needs to be apparent, but at the same time, you don’t want to bad-mouth others in your industry unduly. Simply take an honest, objective approach that adds value for other organizations, groups, and visitors.
Social Media Strategy #4: Earn “Latent Links”
Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but it’s clear to many marketing professionals – such as Rand – that higher social media performance correlates with higher Google rankings. The idea is that social media has the ability to learn latent links when other people pick up and share your content. In a sense, this is where the powerful leverage of social media comes into play. As your content spreads through social media, it has the potential to be picked up by bloggers and other types of websites, earning you more back-links. But if you think that this kind of thing happens immediately overnight, you need to take a deep breath and relax.
The truth is it takes a lot of time, effort, exposure, and visibility before this concept becomes a reality. Don’t assume that your first post is going to go viral and make your page buoy to the top of the Google results. However, over time, this is a great way to bolster your back-link profile (moderately passively), helping you to capture greater amounts of organic traffic.