Three Ways On How Social Listening Can Help You With SEO

It was a long time back when SEO was a straightforward process of keyword research, on-page optimization and link building. As Google takes on new updates and adds other factors to its algorithm and learns to assess website quality in a human-like way, SEO becomes intertwined with other marketing tactics. One of these tactics is social listening, which has mainly been used for social media marketing until recently. But wait first; let’s figure out the meaning behind “social listening”. The word describes what social media listening (also called social media monitoring) tools do. They crawl on the Web, news, blogs, forums and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) to find mention of any given keywords. Keywords are usually brand names, words that are industry-specific or people’s names (e.g. a CEO, an author, an artist).

Using social listening for SEO requires proper knowledge and expertise. It’s essential to set specific goals and know the details of how to conduct a proper search. Here’s how to go about it:

1. Find unlinked brand mentions and turn them into links. 

With link building still being at the centre of any SEO strategy, it’s vital to cover all such opportunities. Here’s one thing you might not have thought about: turning existing brand mentions into links.

If your brand has been existing around for a while, or if your brand, company or a specific product has had any popularity at some point, it’s almost sure that there are mentions of about your brand on the Internet: probably on blogs, forums, news sites or just somewhere on the Web. Not all of them will link back to your site: writers don’t care about endorsing anyone else but themselves; they don’t have your SEO goals in mind, and the thought of linking might’ve never even crossed their minds. But, that doesn’t mean they would have a problem with adding a link if you ask them. So, the only real challenge here is to find the link fewer mentions. To be unbiased, you won’t be able to get connection fewer mentions with every social listening tool: you’ll need one with the Boolean search mode. With Boolean search, the operator sets up the search query manually using the Boolean operators, such as AND, OR, AND NOT etc. In this case of finding link fewer mentions, the user should type their brand name as a keyword and add AND NOT link:*. Tools that have Boolean search as their choice include Awario (disclosure: I work for the company), Talkwalker, and Brandwatch. This is where social listening is significant.

2. Monitor new links to your site.

Current link building means understanding where and how your backlinks are being built. First, it’s beneficial to know marketing purposes: what if you can get more out of the website that already links to you? Second, you’ve got to know if your backlinks are coming from quality sites, because, as we know, links from the spammy and unreliable sites can seriously affect the rankings.

With social listening, you find out about any new links available anywhere on the Internet in real time. To start looking for new connections, type your site’s URL in a website/web page field, which is available in most social media monitoring tools, and select to search from limited sources: the Web plus news/blogs. This will omit mentions that come from social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).

3. Find guest blogging opportunities

Any SEO will tell you that guest blogging is a decent link-building strategy. It will not bring you an immediate rankings boost, but it’s a solid, tried and tested way to build up your site’s reputation. This is why finding guest post opportunities are an ongoing task for many marketers. While there are always a couple of blogs that are easy to find but difficult to get featured on, there are also other blogs that are harder to find because they are not in the first two SERPs of Google. They might be more relevant and have a more dedicated audience — that’s what usually happens in smaller communities. These blog editors are also more likely to publish your articles/blogs.

Guest-blogging opportunities can also be found with social listening. To find relevant blogs, type in the keywords that describe your industry/ market and wait for the tool to find:

  • You will find all blogs that talk about this topic: you can go through them and find the ones you didn’t know about.
  • You will get to know about the social media influencers in that industry. Go through the profile of the people in the list of influencers to see which ones have a website with a blog. You’ll be surprised to find out just how many have a relevant site with a loyal audience.

Social listening is full of opportunities. It’s just new, not-totally-explored-yet technology that slowly changes the way we do digital marketing. Try using it for SEO, and you might get surprised to see the changes you never expected to see.Because in SEO, you can expect the unexpected!

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