There has been some debate over the years as to whether or not you can improve the SEO ranking of content through social activity.The answer is yes, you can, but this has not always been the case. Only recently did Twitter open its platform up to Google to allow for the search engine to crawl posts. Not only does this result in your tweets showing up in Google searches, but it also allows you to influence the page authority of content you post.
For example, if you tweet out a piece of content, and that tweet gets a lot of engagement, Google will weigh that into your page authority, which leads to a higher SEO ranking for that content. This also works with Facebook posts, but not with LinkedIn. Engagement on Google+ can influence your page authority as well but not for long, obviously.
If your brand posts quality content targeting a specific keyword, phrase, or longtail keyword, and that social media post gets a great amount of engagement, that’ll positively factor into the keyword ranking. Google favors quality content, which naturally gains higher engagement, thereby ranking your content higher than a similar post that gets no engagement.
The same is true for Bing. The second-largest engine revealed in 2010 that it considers how often people share and engage with content posted on social media, and hasn’t shown any signs that it’s changed its stance on this today.
So how can you take advantage of this? Let’s take a look at how employee advocacy can boost the SEO ranking of your content through social media engagement.
How to Use Employee Advocacy to Boost Your SEO Ranking on Google
Employee advocacy is a great way to consistently promote any content or posts you’d like. With an employee advocacy program, people in your organization can opt-in to easily share and promote content and messaging about their industry or company, while taking the guesswork out of what to do or say.
To go about properly boosting your SEO ranking through social media, you first need to identify the keyword or phrase you’d like to rank for. Then, find or create content, such as a blog post or ebook, that targets that keyword. Once complete, craft a series of captions containing the keyword you’re targeting for use on social media. Don’t forget to use appropriate hashtags and tagging to really highlight your content.
When posts are shared on a regular basis, employees consistently have the opportunity to engage with your content. Google’s algorithm will take this engagement into account when weighing this piece of content’s page authority and search ranking.
Lina Forrestal, a social media marketing manager, tested this strategy at CA Technologies and saw great results. She identified different types of content that targeted specific keywords, wrote a long caption that included the keyword for each piece of content she’d post, and she’d share each one on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. She did this several times per week, sending requests through GaggleAMP for employees to engage with these posts.
In order to avoid looking repetitive on her company’s feed or doing a disservice to the personal brands of her coworkers in the employee advocacy program, she varied her posts. She’d share posts at odd hours and request coworkers give these posts a simple like rather than a retweet or share.
Within a month, and without making any other changes to the company's SEO strategy, these specific pieces of content ranked higher on Google.
“We found a correlation between GaggleAMP and employee advocacy positively impacting our SEO,” Forrestal said. “We tested this by measuring the results and the activities, and we found that it rose our ranking higher than it was before. GaggleAMP played an integral part of that because it allowed us to do this at scale.”
With positive results, Forrestal expanded this formula to other keywords and product lines within CA Technologies', netting similar results.
What Else You Can Do to Influence Your Presence on Google
To be successful in your social strategy, it helps to understand what Google’s algorithm prioritizes.
Google strongly values reviews. If your company has a lot of reviews - negative or positive - they’ll show up higher in Google searches when people search for your brand. So what should you do about this?
Through employee advocacy, you can send requests to employees at your company to write reviews on Indeed, Glassdoor, Google, and more.
Think about it. Employee advocates are the exact people you want writing reviews about your brand. They’ve volunteered to promote your brand and initiatives on social media, so it’s safe to say they’ll write glowing reviews about your organization when asked.
This ensures that when reviews of your company show up in Google searches, you’ll have positive representation.
As you know, it’s incredibly important to have a strong representation in both social media and Google searches, but it’s helpful to know that your social strategy can impact your SEO strategy. Leverage employee advocacy and GaggleAMP to cover your bases in both areas.
Ramin Edmond is a Content Strategist for GaggleAMP. He oversees the company's editorial calendar and all its digital content including blogs, case studies, and press releases. Outside of work, Ramin likes to run, hike, and take pictures of Boston's best views. You can get in touch with Ramin at REdmond@GaggleAMP.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.
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