ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

How I used Social Media to Improve my Website’s Ranking & SEO

How you can do it in 2021!

Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

Years before I started working for TemplateToaster, in fact, the time I was in college (and even before it), I became obsessed with the idea of blogging. This, I feel is a phase in almost every teenager’s life; to make a living by writing on the internet, which has of course evolved into becoming social media influencers in the year 2021.

It is not just about typing away on your computer and hitting ‘Publish’.

But this time was definitely before TikTok went viral and before sharing screenshots from Twitter became mainstream on Instagram. You know, when people were still Snapchat-obsessed and memes like these were the norm:

Image from Pinterest

Either way, what I’m trying to say is that social media wasn’t quite at its peak as it is today. The potential was not yet reached, unlike today, where social media continues to subvert and define the culture and has become a major source for all types of content.

I started food blogging because I wanted to blog. Yes, you can call me a stress baker (baking was like meditation to me) but it was never a full-blown talent, cannot even consider it a hobby. I never had a problem with being consistent with my blog (a problem many bloggers do face) but there was one reality I had to face pretty early on while blogging:

It is not just about typing away on your computer and hitting ‘Publish’.

For the first year or so, my website hardly had any traffic (actually it may have only been my mom and my English teacher). And while it was discouraging, I still didn’t stop putting on more articles, hoping that someday, someone will come across my recipe of caramel flan, love it so much that they’ll pass it down to their generations-to-come.

In retrospect, there may have been a lot of mistakes that I made: quantity over quality, not using original images. It could've been that my site was sandboxed by Google, which I really do not think is a myth.

But it gets worse than that.

Like I said, blogging is not just about writing your article. It’s mostly how you strategize to position your article/website on the web, aka, Search Engine Optimisation. Because if you look up caramel flan on Google, this will show up:

Image by TemplateToaster

14300000 results in 0.68 seconds. And my article would not even show up on page 25!

Anyway, here’s where my team and I discuss in detail, the Blogging Mistakes that many Writers on the Internet still continue to make:

I was first introduced to this solution (SEO) in college by my peers from the Blogger’s Club (shoutout to you, Celia!). This was also the time that curiosity for social media had started to rise and I thought, why not mix the two for my own blog?

This article is a collection of how Social Media not only ramped up my Website’s Google Ranking and SEO but also helped me grow in my own niche.

Let’s dive right in.

High Shareability

Imagine this; you share the link of an article with a friend through text/email. Then you send the content of the same article but this time the content is on Instagram, in the form of an Instagram post.

Which one is your friend more likely to open, read, interact with and even share further?

If your answer is not ‘Instagram Post’ you’re probably not even on Instagram!

It’s a no-brainer that people respond more to images than texts. So why not use it in your favor to build your brand presence outside your blogs. You can do this by providing social media buttons on your blog posts so that your readers can share your work in one click. Like this:

Image by TemplateToaster from TemplateToaster’s Blog

Or, you can do this the other way where you reach your readers through the pictorial or video form of your content (but don’t give away too much) on any social media site, so as to arouse intrigue and make them click the link in your bio to know more (which should very obviously be the link to your blog).

I think BuzzFeed does this best.

Screenshot by TemplateToaster from BuzzFeed’s Instagram

Because now I really want to know WHY Rosamund Pike buries her awards (?) and why is the reporter ‘cackling’. When I do click on the link in their bio after reading their caption, I will not be taken straight to the Rosamund article but I’ll have to look for it in a plethora of similar articles with better, if not equally enticing titles that make me want to click on and read more and more.

You can do this on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.

I started doing this by posting screenshots of my written material before I started making and editing separate graphics for my articles to be posted on Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat (again, thanks to my Blogger’s Club friends). I did not have a separate page for my blog so I used to post them on my personal profiles.

Either way, almost anyone who visited my page or looked at my posts would click on the link and it got me not only 4 times the web traffic but also around 200 more followers on Instagram and 70 more on Tumblr in just 4 months!

More eyes on your content

The end goal is to drive more and more people to your website. Having a social media of your blog or business website will not directly increase your site’s ranking. It will happen when more and more people will visit your site (taking into account, the bounce rate of your blog).

People will only ever come across your blog when they need the answer to a query. But with a social media account, you can take your content straight to your regular followers and present them with a solution which they don’t even know they need.

Because I don’t want to search up “10 Most Effective Ways to Build an Email List” right now and I DEFINITELY would never look up “Why does Rosamund Pike bury her Awards?”. But now that I have the luxury of access to the information at one click, why not?

Online mentions and reviews

It’s true.

Google’s Gary Illyes discussed at Pubcon Pro 2017, the importance of online and social media mentions of your business, blog, or brand in ramping up your Website’s ranking.

“The context in which you engage online, and how people talk about you online, actually can impact what you rank for.”

— Gary Illyes

So better conquer the platforms where your target audience usually hangs out so that they can mention and tag you. This way, the followers of people who mention you will also be able to reach you in just one click. Without tagging, they are most likely to just read your name, scroll past and forget the next minute they read the mention of another brand.

Building Community

Now for why building your blog’s community on social media is the way to go in 2021.

Blog commenting, according to me, has largely become a thing of the past. Or, at the very least it is mostly used for Outreach Marketing. If you really want feedback of your work, start a discussion and let unique readers, other than your usual followers, actively take part in conversations, there’s no better way than social media posting.

I say this for many reasons, one of which being because social media comments are mostly in a short, informal tone, it hardly leaves room for individualistic and original opinions. Social Media comments are instant and work like any other social group; where the majority opinion rules.

This means that if most of your comments are positive, it’s almost sure that every person that reads it and then refers to the positive comments to validate their own opinion is predicted to like your work more than they originally intended.

Why? Because majority of the community seems to love it.

I built my blog’s community largely on Tumblr where I even used to take content suggestions from my followers.

My blog is not live anymore because I never really did it for baking, but for the sake of writing and because I’ve always believed that one should write what one knows. Hence, this article.

I realised that Social Media can have a major impact on SEO, if done right but it is not as talked about in SEO. I hope this article helped you plan out a better Social Media Strategy for your own brand.

— Written by Abeden Parkk

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