Boost Your Social Strategy With SEO Data

We all know that a great social strategy can help your SEO efforts — gaining visibility and shares, helping create relationships, etc. — but thinking about things the other way around is a little bit trickier.

In other words, can you use your SEO data to help improve your social media strategy? Although this method isn’t quite as popular amongst small business owners, it absolutely can help.

Your SEO data is full of interesting facts and trends about your audience and your online visibility, all of which can help improve your social efforts.

One man who is very knowledgeable as to the ways and means of SEO data and how it can impact social media is Scott Langdon, Managing Partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility. He uses SEO data all the time when trying to improve his company’s social strategy. He explained that there is a lot of untapped value in this approach and offered a few tips regarding this very topic.

Top Ways To Use SEO Data To Help Your Social Efforts

When you think about using SEO data for social reasons, one question surely comes to mind: What can SEO data give me that social data can’t?

Let’s get one thing straight: you should definitely be using the social media data you get from social networks or tools like Buffer. This information is a huge factor in understanding your social community and helps you keep it growing and succeeding. The SEO data you use will just help supplement this data.

On that note, below are a few different ways you can use your SEO data to improve your social media efforts.

Keywords: Find the keywords you’re targeting and look/listen for those on social media.

When listening to social media, you need to make sure that you’re not only listening to mentions of your actual company or brand name. There are many instances where your clients/customers aren’t going to say your name directly, and you can use different social tools to monitor other terms being used in your social community; however, you have to know what terms to look for.

This is where your SEO data comes into play. Some of the best insight you can get from the social web will actually come from discussions about your industry overall, not a specific company or product/service in that industry. In other words, look at the list of keywords you are targeting in both your paid and organic search and then bring those into what you search for and track on social media.

You might “listen” to these words by either setting up an alert on one of the social tools you use or doing a search each day on different social networks (including Twitter, where you may want to also try a related hashtag). It’s as simple as that. Below is an example of the keyword term “semantic SEO” that I setup an alert for on Mention, one of my favorite social monitoring tools:

Social Growth: Track your social growth and compare those numbers to your SEO efforts.

This might sound like an obvious one, but many companies don’t take the time to align social and search data. Social data isn’t necessarily just the number of clicks you get for certain posts — it’s also watching the growth of your followers on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and even LinkedIn.

A good way to make this happen is through the tool, Cyfe, which allows you to set up a dashboard for your company (or one for each client) that shows the growth of all your social accounts. You can then take those graphs and compare them to your SEO data.

Below is an example of a dashboard which was created:

(Click to enlarge.)

We can then use these graphs to see what we were doing when it came to search. Did we launch a contest at the same time our Twitter followers went up? Was there a blog post that got us a lot of Google+ followers? If you find any trends, try to host another contest or write another article of the same type and see if your followers continue to grow.

Traffic Surges: Monitor traffic surges, and push those pages out on social media.

If an article or a particular webpage gets even a small surge of traffic or improved rankings in organic, push that article out on your social channels. You may have written about something that is just now getting the search volume you’ve always wanted, but that search volume might not be from social media (at least not yet).

It’s your job to watch your SEO analytics closely to see those articles getting a high click-through rate (CTR) so you can then promote those same articles on social media once again (even if you already did a few weeks prior).

This also goes back to the whole ideas of aligning your SEO with your social actions. Hopefully, if something is getting attention on search, it will also get attention on social.

SEO Data Gives You A Good Starting Point

Although not necessarily a tip about using SEO data for social reasons, it’s important to note that what you find through your SEO numbers is an excellent place to start your social conversations. SEO Manager at Adobe Warren Lee said it best:

Social conversions can inform keyword strategy, and search keywords can inform social content strategy. This process is a virtuous cycle because social engagement boosts search performance, which increases social signals and drives more social conversations.

The idea here is that the data you get from each can help inform the other. Never limit yourself to only using social data to help your SEO efforts (which is common). Pay attention to what is doing well in search, and use that to help you find the conversations happening on social that will really help grow your business overall.

Do you know any other ways you can use your SEO knowledge and data to improve your social media strategy? Any stories of things that didn’t work for you?

About The Author

Steve Olenski
Steve Olenski is currently Chief Relationship Officer for 20Nine. He brings a truly unique perspective having served in various marketing roles at brands such as Oracle and Prudential to the agency side where he's been a creative director and copywriter. He's also established himself as one of the leading writers in the space earning the respect of many CMOs including the former CMO of Walmart who refers to Steve as “The Distiller of Truth” and “The CMO Whisperer." In addition to Marketing Land Steve has written for Advertising Age, Adweek, Business Insider and Forbes.