We just got done working with a client who was on a 6 month contract with us to help launch and keep afloat a new business in a local market. This company went through all the good stuff, and while this is not a local SEO post by any means, we’re going to cover something that’s often overlooked and left out in an inbound marketing campaign. So what am I talking about? Well, I’m not sure if it has a proper name, but we’re going to look at building links to your second tier properties – aka your social media accounts.
I’ll start by saying I am definitely not talking about link spamming your damn near un-utilized Pinterest account so it gets 1000 blog comment links. What I am talking about is utilizing your web presence to make sure that all of your highly-used social media profiles are linked up the best they can be. This is course has two benefits:
1) Your social media accounts are there to create content and network, and that content can rank easily for highly profitable long tail keywords. Your Pinterest Pins, your Tweets, your Facebook Page Notes, your Youtube videos and more can and will get indexed, so why not make them rank? Who wouldn’t love not only to have their website in the top 10 SERPs, but 2-4 other pieces of high quality unique content spread across your social web as well?
2) Providing highly targeted, awesome content for your niche to your sites will attract more shares and followers… Duh.
Let’s Get Linking
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that a lot of social media sites allow links to your other social media profiles, and that’s mainly what I’m talking about. I don’t care if it’s a followed, no followed or cloaked link because we want anything that will bring a visitor back to your other marketing channels. But don’t worry, a lot of the links you can snag will be followed and count towards making your other profiles that more “authoritative”.
I’m not advocating that you go and create 100 social media profiles just for the links, as that will never work… Well, not unless you’re a company with 20 social media employees that can handle actually being a part of those communities. Without a well-built social media profile, you won’t get much benefit form having a ton of empty/barely used profiles… Plus, it looks sloppy.
I’ll keep this pretty simple and straight forward, as you know how I can ramble on and on and on and… Alright, I’m shutting up. I will list a few examples just to get your minds going and let you take it from there. Just sit down and visualize social networks you are utilizing now, then make a list of the ones you have time to join and participate in.
The Usual Suspects
I’ve started to see a lot of companies push two links from their bio line and this is not a horrific idea. I’d be inclined to list your website and Facebook account… Or whatever are your most important ones. There are also a ton of web-based Twitter apps that pull your profile data – including the link – and add it in there. If you’re active enough on Twitter, a ton of those third tier profiles will stay indexed. There are also tons of websites now utilizing their user account creation through Twitter authorization, and your data will be pulled in from that as well. For example, our Inbound.org member profile links to our Twitter.
This is the perfect example of an authoritative social media network, and while it’s mostly just a business card, it is nevertheless a place I’d want my social links on. You can build a nice little branded profile here and link to just about anything you want, and it even pulls in your other social media content via their “app system”.
This is essentially the same thing as About.me, and I apologize as I don’t know which one launched first, but they are both cool. I cannot imagine Google loves this kind of site all that much, as it might be seen as “SERP Pollution”. As it stands right now, there are about a million profile pages indexed in the SERPs, so why not take advantage?
TheFancy & Pinterest: I’m a huge fan of TheFancy, even more so than Pinterest, and while it doesn’t have half the traffic as the big pin, it’s a site worth marketing on. We utilize it for our luxury marketing company, as Linkbuildr itself doesn’t need to be marketing fancy pictures of products and things. You get the option to link to the usual suspects but definitely not to your Pinterest account.
Pinterest has the same kind of setup, as you can see from our account here. These two sites are great for the right type of business and it’s a place where you definitely want to link to more than just your website. I’m not kidding when I say a lot of brands just don’t bother to link up their other profiles better, with a perfect example of that being Nordstrom’s Pinterest profile. They only link their website but you know a brand that big will be heavy on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube as well. We have ours set up (for Luxury Branded) but we’re not exactly as active as we should could be on The Fancy.
Directories: Looking back at my post Link Building Tactics in 2011, I mention these three directories that are examples of hand built links that won’t get you into trouble. There are other sites like this, but for our post here we’ll use these three for the sake of getting my point across.
Manta has an awesome option for linking and listing your social media profiles, and looking at SEOMoz’s profile page for our example shows what I mean. You can also add links in your bio besides your homepage, and this is just the extra benefit. Besides that, being listed on this business network will send you leads…. Hint hint!
This is another great place you’re going to want to have a company listing from, as it’s something that provides a whole lot of information and services. It’s also a social place that gives you options to connect with other businesses and link to your social accounts.
Utilizing Key Areas Of Your Content
We’ll take a look at what you control that you can use easily for pushing some worthy link juice over to the right profiles. This should have been first on the list here, as you can get right to it and quickly be on your way worrying about other more important tasks. The key places I like to do myself and recommend to clients are:
Author Bios: This is so painfully obvious that I cringe having to write about it. While your blog is the go-to spot, I’m also talking about making sure the right links are located in your guest blogging bio’s as well. If you’re an avid guest blogger then this is an extra boost that will surely help, as well as bring in more followers to your most important social profiles. In the picture below I just utilize Twitter and Google+ but by the looks of it I could make it look prettier to attract more followers.
Utilizing Your Website: Besides the author bios, I like to make sure the right pages are going to be linking out like your homepage, “contact” pages (or “about us”) and the sidebar of your brand’s blog. Those are all the right spots without being intrusive to your readers. Those pages should also send a good amount of link juice over, although I know a lot of folks noindex their “about us” and “contact” pages.
Viral Campaigns Are The Best Option
A lot of companies have been utilizing Facebook and Twitter for viral marketing efforts whether that be a contest, a sweepstakes or just damn good content. So this is obviously the best method for getting links to those accounts naturally and by the boat load. Pinterest, being the latest social media all star on the block, has already seen a lot of contest action, there is even a Pinboard for contests on Pinterest.
Real World Results For SERP Domination
Ok, so to illustrate this whole picture in your head as clearly as possible, we can take a look at real SERP results to showcase just what I’m really talking about. You can literally have multiple top 10 results that all funnel back to your brand if you have the right things in place. Taking advantage of other social media networks while they’re hot and authoritative can lead to a lot more traffic, especially if you jump on keywords that are emerging and trending. The one big downside to this is if that social media site drops from its strong position with Google, your content marketing efforts will now be lost. But don’t worry, there will be another social network rock star coming out next month.
So sticking to Pinterest here as an example, we can look at the search term 2012 Halloween Contest and this is what I get at no 1:
While not the most exciting of results, lets take a look at how the retail world can benefit from unique and/or cool content powered by social networks. I find that Pinboards rank better than the pins themselves, mainly because of the constant action changing on these boards, as well as the amount of internal links. You’ll find Pinterest pins will rank much better if they’ve hit the front page and have had a lot of activity. I am going to totally pick keywords at random here, and hopefully they serve the purpose needed. I recently got a luxury cat bed hot on Pinterest and TheFancy for fun, so let’s see what we have in the SERPs.
This is a great example of how a pin board can rank well albeit, this is not the most competitive of keywords. As for user experience, who wouldn’t want to shop for their cat’s luxury bed by browsing that pinboard? Ok, so I’ve talked enough about Pinterest and I’ll let you explore it more, so let’s talk about ranking Videos, Tweets and Facebook Page Notes.
Youtube Is A Marketing Weapon
Don’t be afraid to use it, and please for the love of spaghetti monster, don’t make a picture slideshow video. I’m a watch guy and say I was in the market for a 2012 model from Breitling. I’m most definitely going to hit the videos first as I’m going to want to see reviews in motion from professionals in the industry. Naturally you’re going to find videos ranking for these terms, and if not you’re at an advantage being a shop that sells them.
Taking something more current and of the times, we can look at a keyword that is going to bring in a lot of organic search traffic over the next few months. The Samsung Galaxy S3 phone is something that’s crazy popular and the folks at PhoneArena.com did a 25 minute long video review of it. On a side note, check out their text based review as it’s a shining example of how to do amazing content.
This video gets people talking, links to their review on the site, and in the end this video will go to over 1 million views come Christmas… Easy! Oh, and how did I find it? It ranks high for the search term “samsung galaxy siii review” on Google, although you can find them in the top 10 on Bing as well!
Tweets CAN Rank
I’ve been noticing tweets showing up more and more in the long tail lately and if you have an authoritative account, this can be used to your advantage. From what I can tell, the reason they can rank quite well is because A) you’re getting a lot of reTweets on that update and B) a lot of Twitter apps pull your tweets and display them on their app site, which is really linking back to your original Tweet. I imagine that it will have to be a very specific type of search query to be able to rank well, so take notice of when, where and why they show up in your searches.
Just to give you an idea of how Tweets can rank, as well lead to other Twitter powered apps to rank the content, let’s take just one thing @GuyKawasaki tweeted about in the past month and see what we come up with in Google.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
I don’t really have much else to say other than take notice as to what ranks within your vertical for all types of search queries that will bring in revenue for your business. Keep your content unique and high quality when playing around with this tactic as you’ll be rewarded in the long run. I know that sounds lame and perhaps it’s been over-stated, but if you’re building a brand for the long haul, don’t skimp.