People often misunderstand the relationship between their Facebook advertising strategy and SEO (search engine optimization).
This likely stems from a broader misunderstanding of the relationship between social media and SEO in general and how one can help the other.
It seems a great number of digital marketers spend too much time speculating how much social signals affect organic search, and not enough time building effective and engaging social media strategies.
Does Social Media Help SEO?
Although the digital marketing industry agrees that a strong social media presence can boost a website's organic rankings, no one is sure exactly how much weight search engines give to the so-called "social signals". Don't worry - once you begin engaging your target market on sites like Facebook, you may realize that the indirect effects are actually more valuable anyway.
How can you leverage your Facebook advertising spend to enhance your SEO campaign?
First of all, you must stop thinking of Facebook advertising as merely a way to sell products. Sure, this can be accomplished, but if this is your only objective, there are more viable avenues to pursue anyway. (see: PPC & AdWords Management)
Instead, start thinking of social media as a way to open a direct line of communication with your customers. You can use this opportunity to establish an emotional connection with your potential clients. Since Facebook is such a robust site, advertising on Facebook is a great way to achieve this. The indirect effects this kind of engagement can have on organic search are simply invaluable.
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It is well known that social media and link building often go hand in hand. When strategically implemented, your social media and link building campaigns should forge a symbiotic relationship. Well-crafted social media posts will naturally create links across the web, as your followers share your site on places like forums, other social media sites, blogs and comment sections, etc.
At the same time, your link building campaign will increase traffic to your site both directly and indirectly, which should improve your Facebook following. You must learn to capitalize on this symbiotic relationship between link building and social media.
Since Facebook has so much personal data about their users, you can really hone in on your target market. The ability to target users by age, location, age and interests will allow you to show up in the feeds of users that are most likely to be interested in your business. Once you begin building your audience, you need to determine the best way to engage with them. Remember, the typical Facebook user is not looking to buy anything right then and there. Instead of using your ads to try and sell to people who just aren't in the mood to buy, use this opportunity to engage and entertain.
This is where advertising on Facebook can become valuable. Statistically, Facebook will only show business posts organically if your Facebook page has a high level of engagement to begin with. This can make it difficult to gain followers, especially in the early stages of a campaign. This is why you should not try to sell with your paid posts. Use your paid Facebook posts to drive engagement and strengthen your brand. Post links to entertaining articles related to your industry, run some contests - anything you can do to incentivize your followers to engage. Increased engagement will actually lead to more impressions for your organic Facebook posts.
Facebook advertising will inevitably help you promote your brand to a larger audience, which increases the overall awareness of your brand. If this leads to more people searching for branded keywords, Google will take note of that. They will view your brand as popular and authoritative, and reward that with great rankings. You can expect to see improved rankings across the board - not just for your branded keywords. The image to the right shows State Farm's Twitter and Facebook pages rank second and third for the search query "state farm".
Gaining exposure and building your brand are very important for any business, especially startup companies. Because gaining exposure alone does not necessarily generate revenue in and of itself, business owners often underestimate just how important it is.
Rank your Facebook Profile in Search Engines
Think of search results pages as land you trying to conquer. Have you ever searched for a branded keyword and noticed how many different social media profiles show up? Your social media profiles will often rank below your homepage for your branded keywords. When people are researching a company, they often will check out their social profiles first. Hypothetically, you could fill up a whole results page with your various social profiles, enabling those interested in your company easy access to tons of information about your business.
There is a reason why practically every major corporation spends millions a year strengthening their social media presence. Strengthening your business' image on these outlets enables you to interact with your customers on a level that was never possible before. Social media is a critical component of any SEO campaign, and advertising on Facebook is an extremely valuable tool to enhance your existing social media strategies.