5 Ways On How To Leverage The Use of Social Media In Local SEO

Social media is a game changer. A quarter of the global population are active social media users, and this rate is likely to swell in 2017. Social media platforms are no longer confined to reconnecting with former classmates or sustaining new relations. They are used as marketing channels and trading tools by small enterprises and multinational corporations.

Social media and SEO work hand in hand in aiding businesses boost their profits. Although “likes”, “shares” and other social media interactions are not (yet) considered as page ranking factors, these are indicators of a quality content required by Google’s ranking algorithm. In essence, an effective presence on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms indirectly benefit a business’ SEO strategy.

SEO is the core of any digital marketing game plan. If your business name doesn’t come up on the first page or the first five entries in Google, you know that you’re in trouble. The challenge is not only in making it to the top but getting the attention of the right people at the right time. Local SEO, which is geocentric, allows businesses to target local consumers at the exact time they’re in the buying stage—when they’re searching for a certain product or service.

In 2017, know how you can leverage the use of social media in local SEO. Here are few tips for you.

Highlight your services and location

In local SEO, there two essential factors you should keep in mind: the services you provide and the locations these services are available. If you own a restaurant, your target markets are locals and tourists within your geographical location. Services and location are the core of your on-page signals, which according to research has the greatest impact on localized organic results.

In creating content for your social media account, remember to consider adding images, maps, and information about your business (name, address, and phone). Put yourself in the shoes of users. What are the fast facts you need when looking for a service or product? Also, take note of title tags and elements that will boost your credibilities, such as testimonials and external reviews.

Use the right keywords

Keywords are among Google’s 200-page ranking factors. Keywords in title tags are influential on-page SEO signals. These are considered the second most important piece of content on your page after the main content. It’s also advisable to use keywords as often as possible to boost your ranking. Remember to write keywords in the first paragraph or first 100 words of your content. This technique is a helpful relevancy signal.

“If you have a Facebook page, note that local businesses appear in Facebook search under Places. Thus, use your keywords in the subcategory,” according to optilocal.org.

Monitor your reviews

How can you further improve SEO? Reviews matter especially on social media platforms that can be easily viewed and shared. Review signals are among the top eight local ranking factors. Be aware of review quantity, review velocity, and review diversity. Studies show that a business needs seven to 10 reviews to build credibility online. Social media platforms, especially those with business features, provide review and feedback tools.

What do you do with negative reviews? Customer feedback on your social media pages can do more harm than good if not managed well. If you get a bad review, think long and hard before responding. You can’t appear defensive or in anger. However, make sure to acknowledge the comment. This will show your customers that their views matter to you. Quickly troubleshoot the issue by knowing the basis of the complaint. Addressing it not only puts out the fire, it can even save your business from a potential disaster. Contact the complainer offline, if you can. Probe well. Before posting your online response, let coworkers read the draft. Seek feedback.

Encourage user-generated content

What are the best social media management techniques for your business? Google is yet to consider interactions as ranking factors, but the impact of likes, shares, and comments cannot be understated. This is the digital version of the power of the word of mouth. The more people in your location talk about your business, the more business opportunities you get.

For 2017, plan campaigns that will encourage user-generated content. You can run a promo where customers take a photo with your product for a chance to win a gift. You can also start hashtags where customers are invited to share positive experiences with your services. “Regarding the SEO and the website traffic, users, comments, and reviews can be a source of long-tail search queries including color variations, sized, models or specific uses,” optilocal.org notes.

Put priority in content

In using digital marketing, your online content is your face to prospective customers. Online users are quick to identify “recycled” materials and unoriginal articles and have no qualms in pointing these out. Google puts premium in original, relevant, and interesting content. You should also take note of the content length as more words are preferred over short entries. Post only original materials. Duplicate content can negatively affect your search engine visibility. Update your social media pages as often as necessary as Google favors recent updates especially for time-sensitive searches.  

What is “quality content”? First, it must fulfill what the user wants from it. The main content must be well written. “For all types of web pages, creating high quality [main content] takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort expertise and talent/skill,” Google notes. The content must be presented in a functional layout. Content length is also important, but its amount “depends on the topic and purpose of the page”.

Businesses and brands have no other option but to adjust to this age of constant connectivity where online users are no longer avatars, but consumers who socialize, shop, and do their business online. Social media is the new marketplace for new relations and profitable ventures. Know how to maximize social media tools to your advantage.

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Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

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