SEO and Social Media: “Can They Work Together?”

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If you are an auto shop in 2016 and you want more cars in your bays then it’s practically a guarantee that you’ve come across a lot of wild marketing acronyms, slang or other clever nomenclatures that essentially boil down to two things: search engine optimization and social media marketing.

These two things are developed, specific and so distinct that any marketing company worth their salt will absolutely have to differentiate these departments. With that said, however, is there anyway that SEO and social media marketing can work together to get you better results than you would get with either of them on their own? Unequivocally: yes.

That’s not to say however that you can’t have one or the other, but the power of both combined is measurably more effective than one or the other running on its own.

SEO by itself is ultimately a means of convincing Google that your site is the BEST possible search result for the product or service that you provide. If you have just a website, this is doable. If you have a website AND social media profiles backing up your brand message, you are sending a considerably more powerful signal to Google that not only are you the authority in the area for your service or product, but that you are also active and engaged in your community, your customers and anyone else who is interested in your brand or offerings.

To help hammer this point a bit more, here are the top three questions we receive in regards to combining a Social Media and SEO marketing program.

1) Do You Make Social Media Recommendations To Your Clients?

Absolutely! As I mentioned above, we will recommend a social media service to any of our clients on SEO. It gives you another powerful resource that you/we can use to help convince Google of your authority status in your area. There are more serendipitous effects as well: for example, social media is the leading form of client outreach currently and how they interact with your website and how they interact with your social post absolutely has an effect on the bottom line of your site’s ranking. Given two equal websites, the one with a social program will practically always rank better than the one without it.

2) What Social Signals Are Best For Rankings?

As with anything search engine related, what’s “best” is a constantly rotating in and out of popularity. The best social signals frankly are the ones that YOUR customers are using. Most likely, that’s Facebook and Twitter. Beyond that, G+, although not as “social” as Facebook and Twitter, have huge implications on your rankings as well – although to be fair, this has more to do with the technical side of G+ and not the social side.

3) Do you stuff your Social Media posts with keywords?

Absolutely not. Ranking is much more than just putting keywords into places they otherwise wouldn’t be. In fact, that’s a quick way to get you on Google’s ban list.

First and foremost, context of the social message is considered by Google, so for that reason, our social posts will always be on-topic and on-point for the demographics we are targeting.

Secondly, the big prize for social media should be engagement. Even though that’s not a direct goal of the SEO department, the positive engagement gained from a successful social media program can and will improve your rankings. Likewise, having no engagement or bad engagement could in fact hurt or hold back your rankings – especially if a competitor in your area is rising to the social occasion.

To sum everything up and make it a little easier to digest:

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At the end of the day, Google is concerned with one thing: making money. They do that by keeping people coming back to their search engines, and they do that by making sure that people get the best possible results for the things they are searching for. If you have a social media program, you allow Google a much closer look at your business and give yourself more resources for them to rank you for – it helps create a “picture” for Google that you are more responsive than your competitors in your same area, etc.

At the end of the day you don’t need an SEO plan to have a successful Social Media campaign. You also don’t need a Social Media plan to have a successful SEO plan. However, if you want to give yourself the best possible chances for ranking, especially in an ever-increasing competitive arena where your competitors ARE competing, then the success of a combined Social Media/SEO combo simply can no longer be ignored.

Written by Charlie Needham

Charles Needham is the Search Engine Optimization Manager for Autoshop Solutions, and has led the team since 2013. With over a decade of experience across the full-suite of digital marketing disciplines, Charles understands not only how internet marketing works at the individual service level, but also how they come together to create a stronger marketing program than they could on their own. With this knowledge and experience, he has helped hundreds of brick-and-mortar automotive repair shops and nationwide eCommerce sites dominate their competition and improve their visibility online.

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