When people ask me what they can do to improve their SEO without having to pay a consultant (uh, that's my job) I usually tell them to use their like finger. They think I'm shaking them off and want money in my pocket to tell them anything useful.
I always find that funny. See, if you use a small tool that is attached to your own hand you CAN improve your SEO. "But what does providing 'likes' have to do with SEO?" you might ask. To know why it's a good thing you have to look at some of the requirements for what is called 'social signals.'
But in the case of Google, they don't have to be out there making friends and influencing people. You do. Whether you like it or you don't, it's the real thing and you have to learn to use it the right way.
That means being there; being social in ways that matter. Inviting people to freely lap up your useful, helpful, and usually free website content. You have to have content that matters and people who journey to your website from social media places to read and share (those share buttons you provide on your pages) your content.
Back in May of 2011 (wow, that's a while back) I published this article at Softcity - "How to Become a Social Media Thought Leader Through Example."
When I originally wrote the article you are reading, that article was still online, but has since been taken down. It basically said "BE SOCIAL," But it also alluded to the fact that being social online is just as easy as being social in the real world, with one basic exception. You can reach a much bigger audience online.
How to lead by example?
Here it comes, wait for it... Use that "like" finger on anything that you agree with; that is helpful to you; that is share-able; that is creative; that catches your eye and that you simply "like." If you have, say, an extra 5 seconds, leave a comment and 'like.' Leaving a comment shows you took in the text; video; image (whatever) and you either agree or disagree. The comment enables engagement.
Now if you're lucky, clever or have been able to add value with your few words, people will comment back to you; may agree with you; may disagree with you. Whatever they do, they are interacting with you. See, that wasn't so hard, was it? And, many times, they will like your comment or your share. AND they may share your posts, if they find them useful, etc.
If you give them a link, they may visit your website; they may visit your profile and from there visit your website. Every single one of those clicks, shares and likes are "social signals." The more the better.
Be The First In Line To Like.
This is what being a leader is all about. I was liking before most anyone because I thought it was a truly nice thing to do; and the obvious thing to do. Why NOT? Why would anyone in a real life situation not agree with verbally, or indicate verbally, their agreement or their positive assessment of a statement that they truly do agree with?
You know what? Being social online is much easier than being social in the real world. You can wear your jammies if you want. You can come into the house from the heat in your gardening clogs and wrecked, windblown hair and be social online without all the fuss and muss of clean up. Not to mention the time involved. Why do people think social media is hard? It is the dead easiest thing to do online. Sheesh.
Now, though, many people enjoy it and use it as a relaxing venue. THOSE are the folks you want to interact with. The ones who may become clients/customers at some point in time. ;) And they want to interact, "engage" with you too.
Social Likers - Just The Facts, Ma'am
Clickers, those people who use the like button most often are:
- More Engaged
- More Connected
- More Active
- More Adventurous - They Explore!
The average liker has more friends than that of a normal user. Minimum of 2.4x - double and a little more. If you have 100 friends, they each have 240 friends, probably more.
The average liker clicks on more links that lead off site at a rate of 5.3x (minimum) than the typical user. 1 click or 5 clicks, which is better?
The average liker on a news site - is younger, always on, median age 34. Compared to newspaper readers median age which is around age 54, as reported by the Newspaper Association of America. The younger group engages with a cell phone more often, while on the run, during the day.
Just LOOK at the advantages of being a liker. When I fell in love with that little 'like' button I had no idea that the good I was spreading around would come back to me. There again is that natural ROI (return on investment). It's nice. ;)
Enjoy your social media time.
SEO has changed so much in the past 7 to 8 years and social signals account for some of the biggest changes, additions. Make it fun and you'll boost your ranking while you widen your horizons and enjoy the benefits of far flung friends as well.
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