Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the term used to describe the things you can do to make it more likely that your website will be found in response to a query made by a someone in a search engine.
SEO, Social Media… What’s The Connection?
It used to be that when we spoke about SEO, really, we were speaking about Google. (Sorry, Bing, but it’s true).
But SEO also includes the searches that happen on social media. And these days, that’s where a significant volume of search takes place, a whole world apart from Google.
- YouTube is the second largest search-engine in the world, after Google. 1.
- Facebook sees thousands of searches a day – searches that are highly targeted to the formation of human relationships (i.e. one of the building blocks of business). 2.
- Twitter had over 2.1. billion search queries a day, as of January 2014. That’s a lot of potential traffic. 3.
Marketing pundits been claiming for some time now that social is the new SEO.
In other words, potential buyers may be just as likely to search for you on Facebook or Twitter as they are on on Google.
Seems like the icing atop all this social media malarkey, don’t you think? 🙂
Maximising Your Social Activities for SEO
The great thing about this is, you may not have to worry about the SEO aspect of social.
Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Who knew SEO could be so simple, right?!
But if you’re hankering for some more pointers in the area of SEO in general, here’s my round-up of SEO-friendly things to bear in mind when publishing on social media (or anywhere online, for that matter).
Simple But Effective Pointers for SEO-Friendly Content
- ALWAYS keep your buyer in mind. Write in the language they use and understand. Anticipate and answer their questions.
- Remember you’re optimising for two very different parties when it comes to SEO: the search engine, and the person scanning the returned search. The key is cover what matters to both parties without forsaking one for the other.
- Each social platform has its own method of categorising the information contained within it, and this will generally play into their search engine. They may call these categories hashtags, pages, boards, or collections – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand what your chosen platform values, and how you can best offer that. When your ideal buyer searches for something in your sphere of interest, you want the platform AND the client to understand that YOU are the best answer.
- Business listings on Google: If you work with a local audience, a local business listing on Google+ and Google Maps is a no-brainer, if you can get verified. The requirements for these change all the time, but at the time of writing (Oct 2015), if you work with an international audience as many translators do, you may be better served by a Google Brand Page… Look, I’m not convinced that simply signing up for a thousand different platforms is the best use of your time. But Google is Google, so in this case, I say go for it.
- Make sure you link to your website on every single platform you’re on. This directs traffic (when people click though) and is a form of link building – both of which count towards SEO.
- If you use Facebook for professional purposes, consider adjusting your Privacy Settings so your public posts are searchable in search engines. (Settings > Privacy > Who can look me up? > Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? > Yes).
- Become familiar with the keywords used by your potential buyers on your platform. The ideas under “So what can we do?” in this post are a good starting point for this. Make a point of using those precise words and phrases. This sends a signal to the person AND to the search engine that you’re a good match. Remember those sociolinguistic lectures (or Marie Claire dating advice columns), where they said that reflecting your partner’s body language builds rapport? It’s exactly like that 🙂
And there you go. Sorting your social really can help with your SEO, too.
A Social Media Challenge!
Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.
Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.
Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.