If there is a running theme in the post-Penguin blog posts, infographics, PDFs and white papers across the web it’s that creating compelling content for your website is exponentially more important to drive organic search results than it was before the update.
I’m here to tell you today that it’s worthless.
That is, unless you have already laid a strong social media foundation prior to creating your new and improved content.
But Google Said…
Yes, in a well-documented video from 2014, Matt Cutts, the currently-on-hiatus head of Google’s web spam team, said pretty clearly in this video that “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index.” Meaning that all the likes in the world won’t help build authority as far as Google is concerned.
The easy answer is that it’s the best way to get eyes on your content.
But I Have a Keyword Strategy
Good. That’s important. Optimizing around a keyword ensures that the people looking for your product online can find you via organic search.
But, what about the people that aren’t looking for your product?
If the content you are providing is a fascinating and well-researched blog post then it should be thrilling for anybody to read, including the people that don’t know they need your product or service! Now that they associate your brand with something wonderful, when they do decide they need your product, perhaps they’ll remember that post.
So how do you get that post in front of people?
Organic search? Not likely. The answer is social media shares.
After they’re finished reading, the people who loved it will share it. Then those with whom it was shared also share it. The new visitors to your site click around to see what else you offer, and of course they experience more wonderful content and targeted ad copy.
The trick here of course is to create content that is so engaging that the readers will actively search out the share buttons on the page. Just don’t make it difficult on them.
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Social Media Shares as a Metric
How do you know whether you’re creating interesting content?
There are a lot of ways to measure this but they are all less than ideal. As an article from Moz suggests, “the traditional ways of measuring the success or failure of content are broken.” The article goes on to give a detailed account of how content behemoth BuzzFeed measures their content. This is particularly crucial for BuzzFeed because content is their product.
So what metric should you use to measure how well your content promotes your business?
You guessed it. Social media. How many shares does each of your posts gather? If the answer is not many, is this because of the quality of your content or the size of your following?
If the problem is the latter, then you just discovered the next project for your marketing team: increase your followers. Start by reaching out to your employees and asking them to share blog posts and anything else share-worthy your marketing team creates.
Your Competitors are Increasing Their Social Media Presence
In the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report 2013, Econsultancy determined that the social media marketing strategies of 74% of companies surveyed are either “highly integrated” or “somewhat integrated” with their search engine optimization efforts.
While this might be a dated report, the number of people on social media is growing, not declining. Because this is true, companies will be looking to increase their integration efforts of boosting their presence in organic search as well as across social media networks. So should you.
Your Hard Work Deserves to Be Seen
When you create something that you know in your heart is great, it’s a wonderful feeling. That feeling is matched only by the feeling of other people thinking it’s great. Isn’t that why we share our photography, our marathon times, our children’s accomplishments and many other things? We’re proud and we want others to think it’s great also.
The way you feel about your business is probably the same and marketing is the avenue by which you share the amazing business you’ve built from the ground. When people think it’s great, they become customers. But how if they don’t know about it?
Build your social media presence so that you have an audience for your share-worthy content and the two strategies combined will contribute to the success of your company.
Jimmy holds a BA in Social Science from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. When not reading or writing at work, he can be found doing the same for personal pleasure. Jimmy also enjoys playing soccer on the weekends.