I know that when we do content audits for prospective clients, in many instances we find that the content they’re writing is good enough content, it’s just not getting read. And it goes without saying that if it’s not getting read, it’s not getting shared. And the two, well, they pretty much go hand in hand.
In this year’s BrightEdge survey, 31% of marketers said that social sharing of content as a means to improve rank will be much more important in 2013 as compared to 2012. Additionally, 33% indicated it’s much more important to understand the correlation between social sharing of your pages and rank for these pages in 2013, as compared to 2012. We agree. Social sharing plays a critical role in credibility not only of your content in general, but also of your website or blog as a whole. Shares speak to interest, credibility, reach and trust—all important components of search.
So now that social sharing is being viewed as an increasingly important SEO signal, where are marketers spending their time? The BrightEdge survey indicates that a majority (86%) will focus on Facebook sharing. Google+, comes in at second with 68% of the vote, followed by LinkedIn (43%) and Twitter (41%).
Although sharing itself is critical, most search marketers said that it’s more important this year to identify trending topics in social media, creating a pool of data that will drive sharing for relevant topics—and, as a result, boost rank. Geek talk for don’t underestimate the importance of monitoring and the use of listening tools, identifying trends and keywords being used and SEO’ing your content (social and otherwise) and distributing it appropriately.
I found this study especially interesting because it underscores the importance of search, content and social and how they all work together as a part of your integrated marketing strategy to drive results. Poorly written, non-relevant content will fail, no matter what tactics are in place to share it across the web. And conversely, well-written, contextually relevant, SEO optimized content that is shared across multiple channels by credible individuals and outlets—that’s going to produce results. One phrase I often say when I’m presenting on this topic is especially relevant: How do you know you’re doing it right? If it’s good for people, it’s good for Google. Think of your content, how you write it, optimize it and share it, in that way. And if it’s good for people, it’ll be good for The Google.
Interested in even more data? Make sure you check out the complete 2013 Search Marketer Survey results—that’s what I call the best kind of leisure reading!
What’s your take on these survey results? Have you seen any sort of SEO boost from consistent social sharing? And if not, is this something that’s on your radar screen this year?