With ad targeting becoming more precise, large businesses are having a much easier time finding their target audiences. However, for small businesses, advertising is simply becoming too expensive. Global spending on ads surged in 2021, and it’s only expected to increase in the coming years.
Fortunately, there are more sustainable and affordable marketing strategies available for small businesses. For organic marketing, there’s nothing better than SEO and social media, especially when they work together. Let’s talk about how to use these two tools to your advantage for the best results!
Develop a Strong SEO Strategy
To understand how SEO works, Google uses software known as crawlers to index and rank your website’s content for specific keywords. The goal of SEO is to optimize your website’s content to prompt Google to rank you higher for the keywords of your choice. For example, an ice cream shop may try to rank for “ice cream near me.”
In practice, this requires a high-quality website that users (and Google) can easily navigate through unimpeded, high-quality content, and authority, which comes over time. There’s no such thing as “perfection” in SEO, you simply have to get ahead of the competition. Here are some of the most important tips to follow to help boost your rankings.
Build a Strong Website
Your SEO and social media strategies depend heavily on the strength of your website. Your website is the center of your entire digital marketing strategy, so any investment you make in your website will pay dividends to your email, ad, SEO, and social media efforts.
A user-friendly website that both your users and Google can easily navigate through is essential. Without it, you’re building a house on a broken foundation. Most importantly, you’ll need:
- A mobile-friendly design
- Fast loading times
- Clean and clear navigation system
- Proper internal linking structure
- Clear page structure and hierarchy
- UX/UI design
The list goes on, but these are the essentials. The more you invest in web design now, the better your SEO and social media efforts will be in the future.
Remember, you’re not doing this for Google, you’re designing a website for users. From Google’s perspective, they know it would reflect poorly on their search engine if they were promoting low-quality websites to their users, so these factors are a top priority. Design your website for a high-quality user experience, and Google will catch on.
Develop a Strong List of Keywords
Keywords are a foundational pillar of SEO, as they are one of the only factors Google uses to match your content with the right users. You can have the most optimized website in the industry, but how will anyone find it if you don’t have the right keywords? Give Google a chance to match your keywords with the right searches.
Start by brainstorming the obvious keywords of your industry like “used car” or “cybersecurity.” These are known as short-tail keywords, which have the most search volume on average, but also the highest competition. Also, users may have different intent when searching for these keywords.
From there, use your favorite keyword research tool and find related keywords. Diversify your list of short-tail keywords with long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords like “public relations services in Brooklyn, NY” will have significantly less search volume than some short-tail counterparts, but also less competition.
More importantly, the traffic it draws will be the most likely to make conversions like buying something from your website or following you on social media!
To find more keywords, analyze your competitors’ websites and compare your list of keywords in Google Trends for a better idea of relative search volume. Remember, diversity is key!
If your business relies heavily on local traffic, then you should also incorporate location-specific keywords. For example “grocery store near me” or “car repair in Lewiston, Maine.” These are essential for local businesses to attract the right traffic, so they should remain part of your ongoing content marketing strategy.
Have a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is the most important part of SEO. Without it, you’re only trying to rank the same few pages over and over. With a blog (or other content type), you will have endless opportunities to rank, as long as you’re offering value to your users.
Remember that Google’s algorithm is simply trying to find the best content to match with users based on their searches. The best way to rank ahead is to offer the best content!
One important “tactic” to avoid is keyword stuffing. Using a diverse list of keywords is essential, but if you overuse them, Google will recognize it and penalize you for low-quality content, which can destroy your SEO strategy.
Also, you do not want to inflate your word count just for the sake of achieving a higher word count. This is called fluff, and that last sentence is a great example, as the point could have been made with fewer words. The sentence could have started with “don’t inflate your word count” and ended in “just to do so.”
Adding unnecessary words into sentences, repeating the same point twice with different wording, and anything that doesn’t serve a purpose to the user (not Google) is considered fluff. Eliminate fluff at all costs. A 1000-word piece that’s concise and comprehensive will perform better than a 2000-word that’s half fluff.
Build Off-Page SEO
Some of your SEO value will be determined off of your website, and social media is part of that. Backlinks, which are links from other sites to yours, serve as a vote in your favor to let Google know that your content is credible. However, they aren’t the only off-page factor, and they will come with time if you have a consistent SEO and social media strategy.
In the meantime, get your business listed on all applicable business listings and directories. Start with Google My Business and optimize your listing by answering every prompt and responding to customers when they ask questions. From there, use any location-specific or industry-specific listing you can find!
If you want to expedite these processes, you can always hire professional SEO services to help boost your campaign. Once you have the content on your website, there’s no limit to how much you can benefit from it, so consider it a one-time purchase for a long-term investment!
Use the Most Effective Social Media Platforms
This depends heavily on your industry, target demographic, and location. For example, if you’re trying to attract other businesses, use LinkedIn as your primary platform. If your target audience is Gen Z, use TikTok or Instagram.
Of course, this will require some initial market research. This can include A/B testing, trying different platforms and seeing which sticks, or some basic demographic research.
Also, the more social media platforms you have, the better. However, that’s only if you can manage all of those platforms consistently. For small businesses, we’d recommend sticking to two or three that work the best for you, especially if you don’t have a marketing team.
If you’d like to expand your social media strategy to different platforms, consider hiring outsourced social media services. The right services can manage your platforms and maintain your brand image however you want it.
Direct Website Traffic to Your Social Platforms
SEO and social media can have a very mutually beneficial relationship if you use the right tools. In the early days of a social media strategy, it’s especially important to build an organic following. One great way to do this is to leverage existing traffic you may have on your website.
Adding social widgets to your blog or content pages is the easiest way to do this. It’s free to do on most CMS platforms, and it can help you build a lot more exposure for each content.
Another great strategy is to add your social media to your internal links or calls to action (CTAs). If you want to generate new followers and you have a blog post that’s driving traffic, end the piece with a CTA like “keep reading our blog for our latest tips and like us on Instagram” with a link to your Instagram page.
Of course, you don’t want to do this with all of your CTAs, as you likely want to make different conversions. However, it could give you a short-term boost if you have a few popular posts.
Share Your Content
Sharing your content on social media will help your off-page SEO, direct new traffic to your website, and expose your content to a broader audience. Not only will your followers see your new blog post, but they’ll be more inclined to share or engage with this new content on the social media platform of your choosing.
For off-page SEO, this won’t count the same as a backlink, but it will still help indirectly. The easier it is for Google’s crawlers to find your new content, the better it will be for your SEO.
Another indirect benefit is building new website traffic. Of course, this is its own benefit, but it also helps SEO. The more engagement you have on your website, the better your SEO value.
Also, this is a great way to add new content to your social media if you don’t have enough of it. Creating a few posts every day can be challenging over time, so why not use blog articles and website content you’re already producing? All you have to do is hit the “share” button, which will take a small load off of your back a few times a week.
Lastly, make sure you post at the optimal times and use hashtags or trending topics sparingly, but when applicable. The more organic traffic on your social media platform, the better.
Track Your Campaigns
Without campaign tracking, there’s no way to know how to improve your strategy. Even the most successful companies will always have room for improvement on both SEO and social media. No website ranks at the top for every desired keyword and no company has a greater Instagram following than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fortunately, tracking is simple. You can use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to understand how traffic is coming into your site and how your search goals are performing. Most social media platforms will offer plenty of options for tracking as well.
While different companies will have different goals, there are some important metrics for all brands to track. On your website, the most important metrics include:
- Bounce rates
- Engagement rates
- Conversion rates
- Keyword rankings
- Domain authority
- Organic traffic
For your social media campaign, it’s important to track engagement rates (likes, shares, comments, etc.), new follower rates, and conversion rates. For both SEO and social media, it’s important to track your ROI, cost per conversion, and overall conversion rates.
As time passes, keep diligent track of how these strategies perform and make changes as necessary. For example, if you discover you have a high bounce rate on your website,
Integrate SEO and Social Media Strategies Today
Now that you know how to combine your SEO and social media strategies for the best results, put these tips into practice today for the best results. SEO and social media campaigns work best in tandem, especially organically, for long-term, sustainable traffic that will lessen your dependence on expensive ad campaigns.
Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help getting the most out of your strategy!