The Blurring Lines of Social Media & SEO: What You Need To Know

As business owners, you’ve been told over and over you need to use great SEO on your website and blog, but you also need to pay attention to social media management. The important thing to learn is the difference between the two and why you need both.

The Difference Between SEO & Social Media

getting started in seo

Image via Flickr by FindYourSearch

To quote Rand Fishkin of Moz, “Effective SEO will land a searcher on your website or blog.” For example, if you sell the best potato chips in Cleveland, you want to use SEO keywords that use those words: “the best potato chips in Cleveland.”

SEO is invisible—at least it should appear that way. It is the labels, tags, meta descriptions, and keywords you use on websites and blog posts to help search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! find your website.

The definition of social media is pretty simple. It is creating accounts on sites such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest, and then posting to those sites. Be social.

Why You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Aaron Fletcher of GeekFreeNet offers an explanation on why you need both SEO and social media. He calls this “syndication.”

Once you have original content on your website using great SEO, you also need to utilize promotional techniques. This is where social media comes in. Posting to all of your social media sites engages consumers to click images and links to land on your website or blog.

Using SEO in Social Media

twitter social media

Image via Flickr by ivanpw

Another fuzzy line of SEO and social media is that they do crossover from time to time. The most common areas include:

  • If you sell items online and use SEO tags, keywords, and meta descriptions for your storefront and item descriptions it’s also a good idea to use the same SEO on social media posts.
  • When creating social media accounts, do write relevant profiles and about us page content using SEO keywords that match your website or blog. For example, if you are the Hawaii Coffee Company and want to focus on your Royal Kona coffee, use relevant search keywords in your profile—”We sell the best coffee in Kona.”
  • When you use social media to post something industry related, you’ll also need to lead the social media user to the post and share it. You may want them to check out a great potato chip commercial on YouTube but within your post, you should still use SEO. For example, link the commercial and write a post that says, “Must see potato chip commercial from the makers of the best potato chips in Cleveland.”
  • When posting images on social media, it’s a good idea to tag the images with SEO. Again, if you post an image of your best-selling trade show display, you would want to label the image “best trade show displays in the USA.”

SEO Variations Are Essential

There are many examples here to help you learn the difference between SEO and social media and how to use them to complement one another. It is also essential to use keyword variations—something search engines love. A keyword variation would be mixing up the keyword a bit: Instead of the “best potato chips in Cleveland” use variations such as “Cleveland’s best potato chips” or “Potato chips in Cleveland.”

Now that you understand there is a blurry line between SEO and social media, it’s time to hop on the Internet and start creating original content, employing great SEO strategies, and promoting your website and blog posts via social media sites.

About Timothy Carter

Timothy Carter is a digital marketing consultant. An internet marketing veteran 18+ years, Timothy has experience helping small business, solo-preneurs in both B2B and B2C markets dramatically increase their organic and social media traffic to their businesses. Currently the Director of Business Development for the Seattle-based agency, AudienceBloom. When not writing for MarketingLand, SmallBizTrends, MarketingProfs or working, he's enjoying life as a father, husband, playing disc golf, enjoys a good cigar, drinking Kona coffee and making plans for his next extended trip to Hawaii.

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