Columnist Paul Shapiro talks about how social networks can help you get more links.
In the past, I asked a group of experienced marketers how they thought social media marketing could help them with their SEO efforts. The answers I got were close to what I had hoped to hear:
Even though these are all good points, let’s talk about how link building can help a brand’s social media and SEO efforts work together.
A simple way to get your message out there is to use social networking sites.
If the right people see the content, it can lead to more backlinks for your site.
There are clear connections between social shares and backlinks that show that social media can help you get backlinks.
Let’s look into how this integration works on social media.
Google+ has a great system for finding link opportunities and organizing those link opportunities for outreach.
It even has a built-in messaging system for actually getting in touch with these people.
There are many ways to find links on Google+. Searching for journalists on Google can be easier than it used to be.
For example, you can use an advanced search operator to find a journalist by publication, such as search site: plus.google.com inurl: about “contributor to” mashable.com.
The “find people” section of Google+ can also be used to look for coworkers. You can use the “find coworkers” function to search. In the “company name” field, write the name of a magazine or newspaper.
Assembling a Link Building Team
It is possible to use Google+ Circles to organize and divide your outreach lists.
A Circle for journalists from the same publication, a Circle for people who have written about the same thing, and a Circle for bloggers with whom I’ve had success building links in the past.
As soon as someone links back to your site, you can move them into the group of people who have done well.
One of the great things about using Google+ for link building is that its built-in outreach engine can be used in many different ways.
Once you have an outreach Circle, you can choose to share an update only with the people in that Circle.
If people in the Circle have come back to you, you can also choose to send them an email with that news.
Check the “Also send email from you to [Circle Name]” box, and they’ll get an email with the new information.
You can also send a message to people or even start a Hangout with them (news or video). In place of email, this is a great way to get in touch.
In order to build links with Twitter, you need to use it.
Twitter is the social network I use the most, and it is also a great way to build links for your site.
Tools like klear or Followerwonk can be used to find subject matter experts and their websites quickly.
Once you know your prospects, you can use Twitter Lists to keep them together. You can easily import them into Electoral with a tool like this.
Segment your lists and keep in touch with people regularly, building relationships with them over time.
If you want to find a Twitter user’s email address, you can use a tool like All My Tweets to load all of their tweets on one page. Then, you can use Control + F in your browser to look for patterns that look like email addresses, like “at domain dot com.”
If you can’t find someone’s email address, Twitter Direct Messages are a good replacement and can be more private than just mentioning them when you want to link to them. They have to follow you before you can send them a direct message.
You should also be doing some basic social listening on Twitter (and other networks) with a tool like Social Searcher, like when you use the tool.
Keep an eye out for people who talk about things that are related to your website’s niche.
You might be able to ask them for a link. The old “I see you talked about [topic], so I think you might like [link]” line works well.
In general, people love to link to video content, but most businesses rely on YouTube for their whole online video strategy.
YouTube.com gets all the backlinks for your video content, not your company’s website. This is because of the way you think.
To avoid this, your company could host videos on its own website or use a service like Wistia, which lets you control embedding so that people link to your website instead of the YouTube video page.
If your company doesn’t want you to host your own videos but instead wants you to use YouTube exclusively, you can still use that video content to build links through a link reclamation process:
Put the YouTube.com URL into a backlink checker like Majestic. Ahrefs. or Moz’s Open Site Explorer and get a list of websites that link to the video.
You can ask these websites to link to your company website instead of the YouTube.com link.
Another option is to look at your company’s YouTube Analytics. If you click “Traffic Sources,” it will show you any websites that have put the video on their site (but not necessarily linked to it).
It’s possible to get in touch with those websites and ask them to link to your company website.
Getting your link-building efforts in front of the right people is a big part of the battle. Paid social ads can help!
In this case, you can use Facebook ads to target people based on where they work.
To reach journalists who might link to us, we’d look for places like Wired, The New York Times, and Mashable as places to work.
A service called LinkedIn advertising can help you do this, but the ads can be a little more pricey.
As you can see, there are many ways to build links with social media. If you want to break down marketing “silos,” this is one of the ways to do it.
Social networking has become one of the main ways we communicate today, so those platforms are an excellent place to do link outreach. The tools built into social network sites can help you find links, get in front of influential journalists who might not have seen you otherwise and even help you keep track of your outreach.
Social media and SEO are like two peas in a pod, and building links is a great way to take advantage of this today.
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