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Your Firm Can Use Social Media to Build Authority and Valuable Links

seoMuch has been written about using social media to build a community, engage with potential clients and establish expertise. But what about the SEO benefits your firm can gain from a social media marketing strategy?

The potential value of social media activity for a firm’s own SEO efforts is often underrated. The two do not exist in a vacuum – social media, blogging and website optimization must all be part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

Content marketing and organic link building have achieved prominence after Google’s two most recent algorithm updates. It is important your firm’s SEO efforts expand accordingly.

Probably the most discussed (and rehashed and discussed again) changes in Google’s release of Penguin are those that make regularly updated and unique content very important. Content is king. (Really, it always has been - only now everyone is talking about it.) But search engines have also incorporated changes that add weight to social signals, things such as likes and shares, within their ranking algorithms. And each of the two major search engines is now incorporating data from social media sites into their results: Bing with Facebook and Google with Google+.

As a result, it is more important that ever to align your firm’s SEO and social media marketing practices. In terms of link building, this means creating a diversified link portfolio and engaging in more thoughtful keyword linking.

Blogging: Members of your firm should be blogging. And those blog posts should be distributed through appropriate social media outlets, like LinkedIn or Facebook. When writing blog posts, take advantage of internal linking opportunities. Chose one or two keywords and link them to appropriate pages on your firm’s website. Just make sure that you do not over link (spam) or continuously link the same words to the same pages. Google now punishes such behavior.

Blog posts gain a lot of traction, especially if they are picked up and discussed in social media circles. Make sure to thank those that link to your work and participate in discussions about topics that interest you. This helps you to both build authority within your field and valuable links to your website.

Building links from social media sites: Using social media for marketing purposes is, of course, much more than blogging. It also involves strategic (and, again, diversified) posting to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at a minimum. And some of those posts should contain targeted links.

When posting content and links on social media sites, be sure to use established landing pages. For example, if you are discussing bankruptcy solutions, link to your firm’s bankruptcy practice area page. The older the url, the more weight it has with search engines. Creating a bunch of new landing pages just to link to from Facebook or Twitter can be counterproductive.

Online marketing is necessarily becoming more complex as search engines attempt to crack down on sketchy practices and SEO cheaters. Integrating your social media activity into a comprehensive marketing strategy will help your firm stay ahead of the changes.

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