Are you looking for a way to improve your search engine rankings?
If so, you may want to consider leveraging the power of influencer marketing. By partnering with social media influencers who have a strong online presence and a loyal following, you can drive more traffic to your website and improve your SEO.
In this guide, we'll explore the key benefits of influencer marketing for SEO and share some tips on how to develop a successful influencer marketing campaign.
The basics of SEO
SEO consists of three types of optimization:
- Off-page, and
Everything you do on your website's pages to make it search engine friendly comes under this SEO category. Some of its most significant elements include:
SEO title and meta description: These elements are displayed when someone searches for a certain keyword. As per Google, the accepted title length is up to 70 characters, and the meta description's length is 155.
Heading tags: Adding the right heading tag (h2, h3, h4) to create a flow of information helps Google understand it better. It also improves the reader's experience as they can navigate how the information is formatted.
Internal linking: Internal linking involves adding links within your domain from one page to another. The better your internal linking structure is, the faster Google finds and indexes newly created pages.
Alt-text: If you have added images to your page, always write descriptive alt-text that lets Google know about the image content.
Keywords: These are the search terms a searcher uses to find your content. Always include your primary keyword in the title, heading tags, and the first paragraph of your content to make it search engine friendly.
The things that help search engines understand your site structure and make it easy to browse fall under this category.
XML sitemaps: This HTML file contains all your site's indexable URLs. This file aims to identify and index your site's content. If you want some pages to not get indexed, upload another file, robots.txt.
Page speed: The faster your site loads, the longer users will stay and find answers to their queries. Google has a Page Speed Insights tool to help you identify all the issues slowing down your site with recommendations to resolve them.
Mobile-friendliness: With Google's mobile-first indexing update, all your site's pages must be mobile-responsive. By doing so, more traffic is brought in.
All the tactics you use externally to boost your SEO rankings fall under this category.
Backlink building: Getting a link from another relevant and high-authoritative domain builds up your domain's rating. This is by far one of the most important ranking factors.
Your website will attract more visitors by repurposing your pages' content and distributing it on the right social media channels. In addition, this signals to Google that your content is relevant to your target audience.
Influencer SEO improves off-page tactics by creating high-quality sponsored content that drives more backlinks and brand awareness. Let's discuss this in detail.
How can influencer marketing improve SEO?
Influencer content can boost your search presence, bring in backlinks from high-authority sites, and deliver your brand message across the masses. Here are three key benefits of working with influencers.
Help you build quality backlinks.
When influencers create content around your brand, they naturally link to your domain. A blogger might mention your software in one of their listicle articles, or a social media influencer might link it. If the influencer is a subject matter expert, this link can be treated as a high-authority link, boosting your site's ranking.
Even though almost all social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) offer no-follow links, it can still benefit SEO. For instance, when reputed influencers with a large following mention your brand, it increases the chance of getting links from other relevant sources. It happens because of the higher engagement and reach due to the influencer's audience.
However, there is still an ongoing debate about whether links from social platforms are a ranking factor for search engines. Evidence supports the hypothesis that links can help influencer marketing SEO. Here is a statement made by Matt Cutts in 2014.
Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we can crawl it, then we can return that in our search results.
Going by this, it can be assumed that Google crawls the content on these platforms and picks up links from there.
Besides, if an influencer mentions your brand on any social media channel, it can go viral, be picked up by search engines, and show rich results in SERP.
Additionally, Google also shows social media posts on its result pages. So, any of the posts created by influencers have the potential to rank in search engines.
Here's an example of one of the famous creator, Lily Ugbaja's posts that appearing on Google's first page.
Increase in branded keyword search
One key benefit of working with an influencer is increased brand reach and recognition among potential customers. Influencers who generate content such as product reviews, how-tos, or a list of their favorite tools capture their audience's attention.
It is always a good idea to collaborate with influencers who share your target audience as well. You will be able to create more relevant posts that influencers can promote and drive engagement to your audience. Doing this can lead to an increase in branded keyword search, which can lead to increased brand awareness increase sales and recognition.
Increased website traffic
Influencer marketing campaigns can significantly increase web traffic, impressions, and clicks in search engines. Influencers already have an engaged audience so they can give your brand the required exposure. This exposure creates a chain effect where people talk about and share your brand. Search engines recognize these as positive signals leading to improved search engine rankings and visibility.
For instance, if an influencer sends a bi-monthly newsletter to an audience of 20K, you can collaborate with him and ask him to feature your brand. Your brand will get exposure from its newsletter audience, and by linking to your site, you can see increased traffic in your analytics tool.
Note: There is no confirmation that social mentions are a ranking factor. Traffic from these sources, however, indirectly shows search engines that your content resonates with others, contributing to an improved ranking.
How to measure influencer marketing's impact on SEO
Use free and paid analytics tools to analyze SEO performance from influencer marketing campaign's data.
Two key free tools are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools give you insights into various metrics, such as
- Traffic source, medium, and channel.
- Number of sessions and time spent on different pages.
- The number of impressions and clicks over a specific time.
- Geolocation and device breakdown of incoming visitors.
- Keywords people use to find your brand on search engines.
Using these tools lets you see if you got significant traffic or ranking boost during a specific time. If you did, you could analyze if you ran any influencer campaigns during this period and whether that increase can be attributed.
Apart from these free tools, there are various paid influencer marketing tools and SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, etc., and get detailed reports.
Also, use UTM parameters and specify the campaign name, source, and ID to collect influencer marketing data for different campaigns.
Influencer Marketing SEO Best Practices
To reap the SEO benefits of an influencer marketing campaign, follow these best practices:
Work with genuine influencers
Influencer marketing is beneficial if you work with influencers who share authentic content and have a loyal audience. With the advent of influencers on different social channels however, many have started gathering fake followersto get brand deals. These fake followers can negatively impact your brand reputation and SEO efforts. For instance,
So, use fake followers checker tools like Phyllo to identify and avoid fraud influencers. Phyllo offers various APIs to get creator-consented data to evaluate the influencers and make an informed decision.
Learn more about the role of authenticity in influencer marketing.
Create an SEO brief for influencers.
A well-created brief can get you and the influencer on the same page to avoid future miscommunications. Also, it helps you remove blockers and ensure your investment is profitable.
Here are some of the most-mentioned items in your SEO brief:
- Campaign summary that outlines the goals, KPIs, and target audience.
- Description of the type of content you want influencers to create and share. Here are some key user-generated content formats you can explore:
- Text-based posts: Social media posts, newsletters, etc.
- A list of keywords you want influencers to include in their content.
- Important brand guidelines to follow regarding your brand's tone and voice.
The quest to rank higher in search engines is never-ending. Black hats search engine optimization tactics like paid links or keyword stuffing no longer work.
But, one underrated tactic to boost rankings, increase conversion rates, and increase site traffic is to work with key social media influencers. Having a large following makes them more credible and authentic. Having such a large reach can increase engagement and ranking of your website for search engines.
- What is influencer SEO?
Influencer marketing SEO is a digital marketing strategy where brands partner with influencers to improve their business' SEO rankings. It involves building a comprehensive SEO strategy that outlines the keyword usage, influencer campaign goal, and content to be created.
- Does influencer marketing help SEO?
Influencer marketing can boost search engine rankings and web presence in many ways. It can help you gather quality and authoritative backlinks and increase engagement via social mentions and shares. All this contributes to increased awareness, strengthens your domain's link profile, and boosts search engine rankings.
- How do you track influencer marketing data?
Use free tools such as Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console (GSC) to track website traffic growth, keyword rankings, and growth trends. GA will give you a complete overview of the source, medium, geography, and engagement rate. Use GSC to identify top-ranking, branded, and long-tail keywords. To get even more specific, add UTM parameters to all influencer marketing links.