"Social media as a link building technique does not work"

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"Social media as a link building technique does not work"

"Social media as a link building technique does not work"

You write a great article and share it on social media. Your fans will read the article and share it again via social media and start linking to your article. That whole process turns out to be wrong, explains Rand Fishkin of MOZ in this video. There is no correlation between social media shares and getting links. What does that mean for your SEO strategy? 

The main points from the video:

  • BuzzSumo investigated the correlation between articles and social media shares. More than 75 percent of all articles received no share at all. More than 90 percent did not receive any link.
  • This means that the oversized portion of all content on the internet in the form of articles yields absolutely nothing. It does not generate any traffic. There is no conversion.
  • BuzzSumo also examined the correlation between social media shares and links. There isn't one: just because something is shared a lot on social media, doesn't mean it will generate links. In fact, many people share articles on social media without ever reading them themselves. Recognizable?
  • Rand states: Google does not look at the number of social shares but at the interaction. Because interaction does create links.

Social media and link building tips 

Rand's story can seem quite technical. A few practical tips to translate this story into your own business situation:

  • The medium is the message. When you communicate via Facebook, Twitter, the form and content of your message is adapted to the medium. On Facebook, 'nice' content such as a nice quote or funny cat video scores better than a link to an article with background information. Because that's not what you're on Facebook for.
  • Social media brings visitors. If you share your content in the right way (i.e. appropriate to the medium), people will click and view your content. What you can take into account is that the content that people share says something about those people. So if someone shares an article with the title “Why I love the Netherlands”, that person shows that he or she loves the Netherlands.
  • Not everything fits on social media. Social media is just one way to generate traffic and attention for your content. SEO, with which your content ranks higher in Google, is another tool. Link building is important for SEO.
  • Provide interaction. Interaction here mainly means: the content gets you moving. You think it's REALLY good content, you really want to do something with it, it's something you like to share. This results in a number of actions: the content is shared via social media, people sign up for your newsletter, get in touch (conversion) and some will continue to use it on their website and newsletter, creating a link.
  • Social media is not link building. Do you sell bricks and do you need links to rank higher in Google, then social media is not the means to bet, but link building. You use social media to entertain people, build your name and create a bond. By creating content that scores well on social media – a photo shoot with kittens in a brick city, for example – you do ensure attention and traffic. But that only lasts for a limited time: social media is all about new things. Link building ensures lasting links and lasting positions in Google.

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