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The joys of search engine optimization

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Here are the four biggest mistakes by social media marketers in search engine optimization, and how to avoid them:

1. Misunderstanding the relationship between SEO and social media. Top-performing social content and top-performing web content have something in common: quality. Content shared on social that gets lots of shares, likes and comments will probably get similar engagement on Google’s authority signals. That said, don’t create social media plans just to goose rankings. SEO and social media work together in an overall marketing plan.

2. Not sharing content strategically. If you’ve got content generation on one side of your enterprise and social on the other, integrate them. Instead of sharing only new information, analyze the performance of past work and recognize what is bringing you the most eyeballs. Create a bank of best-performing evergreen content and rotate it into your social media calendar.

3. Expecting overnight success. SEO takes time to pay off; impatience won’t help. One of the main reasons SEO is a long-term strategy is because of the huge volume of content online. That wasn’t the case 20 years ago—but it is now.

4. Not keeping up with SEO advances. Sometimes people cling to tactics that don’t work anymore. For example: A popular practice at the beginning of search engine optimization, keyword stuffing is when content on a page is loaded with particular keywords. Now it looks ridiculous and lowers the credibility of your content.

Familiarize yourself with updates like Panda (which cracks down on keyword stuffing), Penguin (it penalizes low-quality links) and Hummingbird (enables a deeper understanding of search intent). Google modifies its rankings to choose the most relevant content based on an individual’s search history, so authority, keyword matching, freshness and engagement are more important than ever.

— Adapted from “What Social Media Marketers Get Wrong About SEO: The 4 Biggest Mistakes,” Hootsuite.

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