Social media in real estate part 15: SEO & social media – search & social success

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first” — Wendy PiersallAs explained in my blog a couple of weeks ago, you can use social media to increase your search footprint. It is important to remember though, that social participation does not equal search visibility. Just because you are blogging, and posting links to Facebook and Twitter, it doesn’t mean that your website will rank highly in search engines results pages.

So what can I do to get search visibility?

One of the main things that search engines take into account when ranking your page is determining the number of inbound links to your website. Inbound links are basically links from other websites to yours. Generally speaking, the more inbound links your website has, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).When it comes to SEO and Social Media though, inbound links don’t matter per se. The sharing rate of content is what is important.Social success equals search visibility. Social success is not necessarily having thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter. Social success is having your followings sharing your content on Facebook and re-tweeting your tweets to their networks. When your network of followers is sharing your information to their networks, your content is being shown to people you are not directly connected to! The higher the quality of content, the more shares and re-tweets you will get. In terms of search visibility, the higher the sharing rate of your content, the quicker your social network presence will grow, and the higher your website will rank in SERPs.“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first” should be making more sense to you now!

Seeding your content

The easiest way to get your content shared to as many people as possible when you first start your social networking is to get friends, family and good clients to share your content when you post it. This is known as content seeding.The idea behind seeding content on social media is to build a strong base of engaged fans and followers so that when you share quality content, more people see it, which results in growing your networks quickly and results in more likes, shares, tweet and re-tweets.

The evolution of Search because of Social

Search engines like Google and Bing are constantly tweaking their search algorithms to keep up to date with an Internet that has moved from static and slow to dynamic, social and real time. It is rumoured that Google makes up to 500 changes to its search algorithms every year – that’s more than one change per day!Search engines are now looking for social signals because they want to show people the most relevant search results. The best way for them to determine whether something is relevant is by measuring how many other people have said it is relevant.Over the last few months there has been a lot of hype (for some of us at least!) surrounding the latest updates to social search features from Google and Bing. As part of their constant tweaking, both search engines have incorporated both organic (the “normal”) search results as well as social results into their SERPs. Social media is becoming a critical component of ranking your website in SERPs.What this means is that if one of your friends on Facebook or Twitter have liked, shared or tweeted about whatever it is you are searching about; their social interaction will appear in your search results.Let’s think about how this will work in your favour: You are already doing everything right when it comes to social media, and you have posted a blog that gets picked up by Google. I come along and perform a search for whatever your blog was about and your website and your competitor’s website both appear on the SERP. The difference between you and your competitor is that you have a social media strategy and they don’t – and as a result, one of my friends has already shared a link to your blog and their face and name is appearing next to the search result for your website. Which search result do you think I would click on? The one my friend has effectively recommended to me, or one where I have no affiliation to?

In Summary...

What you have to remember when it comes to the link between social media and search success is that it’s about the social signals and the rate of sharing of your content. When you, and then the people in your networks share your content, you’ll get an influx of traffic to your website, but you won’t likely win a listing straight from Facebook. It’s about brand building.Where you will get results from is search - where people are already looking for real estate agents. The social sharing will be helping your content to rank well in the SERPs in the first place. The social sharing tells search engines that your social networks, brand, and website are all popular with real people.It is crucial that you are getting likes, shares, re-tweets and mentions on your social networks to gain visibility through search engines. It’s word-of-mouth marketing on digital steroids! As search gets more social, your social footprint gives you exponential reach into the social networks of your fans and followers from a simple share, like, re-tweet or mention on a whole new large-scale reach.Another key thing to remember is that all of this relates to posting or sharing quality content. You will not have any social or search success if the content you are posting is irrelevant or of a low standard.Don’t forget to Share (Send), Like and Tweet this article with the buttons below! ;)

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