Influencer Marketing positively contributes to the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your website. As you already know, for your website to gain high organic traffic, it needs to attain a high SEO ranking for its most important searched keywords.
And the key purpose of SEO is to generate organic search traffic. The people who visit your site through organic search are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, therefore your sales will inevitably grow.
It can be a complex science to improve your SEO ranking. However, if you choose to work with influencers you can help speed up this process. Top Influencers are already known online and are regularly searched by their fans. They have built up a name for themselves.
When it comes to the search engines, success breeds success. Google (and other specialist search engines such as the one in YouTube) reward influencers for their popularity and strong content. They often reward the influencer with a high SEO ranking on his or her online platforms, reflecting their successes. There is likely to be a flow-through effect for any brand that works with the influencer.
Key Factors Affecting Your SEO Ranking
SEO is a highly complex science that is constantly evolving as the search engines change their algorithms. If you operate a website and/or blog, you need to focus your attention on these key success factors.
You can split key SEO factors into three categories:
- On-the-page SEO – things you can do to your website or social media content to encourage Google to improve your SEO Rankings
- Off-the-page SEO –things you can do to improve your SEO external to your website, e.g. building backlinks to your content
- Violations – “bad things” you do that Google penalises you for, usually spam or “black hat” techniques where you try to game the search engines (but fail)
Important things you should consider when improving your SEO rankings:
- The direction of the content you publish – design your content to provide value rather than to simply make sales. Too many brands make their blogs and social media pages glorified sales pages
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Basic technical issues, e.g. use H1 and H2 headings, image alt-tags, the anchor text you use on your links, the absence of intrusive interstitial pop-ups
- HTTPS encryption
- Decrease image size (We recommend under 100kb – the smaller, the better)
Even the best influencer can’t gain you traffic if your site contains poor content full of technical errors, damaging links and slow.
In most situations when you work with influencers they will operate on social media platforms rather than through your site. But if these posts link back to your site, you will still need to make sure that your website is SEO-friendly to gain SEO benefits from the influencer relationship.
How Does Influencer Marketing Affect Your SEO Ranking?
While there is a large range of factors affecting your SEO ranking, you can actually help improve your SEO ranking with influencer marketing.
1. Important Bloggers May Document Your Collaboration with an Influencer
There are many bloggers who write about influencers, what they are doing and who they work with. We have even done it here, and have documented numerous case studies relating to influencer marketing. One such example was when we discussed 5 Influencer Marketing Strategies that Changed the World and used real-life successful influencer campaigns. High-profile blogs, such as HubSpot also write on such topics. For example, they recently reported on 10 Impressive Examples of Influencer Marketing Campaigns.
If you happen to be a brand that is referred to in such an article, you will ultimately benefit from the exposure. You will particularly improve your SEO ranking if you manage to receive a do-follow backlink in such an article.
Because bloggers undertake research to write their articles, you often gain benefit in multiple ways. For instance, one of the brands that Hubspot referred to in their article is Glossier. As part of her research the Hubspot author, Karla Cook linked to an article on the Quartz blog about Glossier. This included example influencer posts and a section on how Glossier believes every woman is an influencer.
This article, in turn, contained a link to a New York Times article – Endorsed on Instagram by a Kardashian, but Is It Love or Just an Ad? This article includes numerous links, including to Khloe Kardashian’s Instagram account where she promotes skincare products like Glossier.
Brands like Glassier improve their SEO ranking due to all of the backlinks in these blog posts. Many of these are on high-profile sites that the search engines give a very high SEO ranking. Glossier will even gain some benefit from the links in this article.
2. Influencer Marketing Can Improve Your Own Social Media Followings
Because the best influencers are well known and respected, people regularly search for them.The algorithms of search engines recognize the popularity and authenticity of these influencers and boost their SEO ranking as a result.
But Google is not the only relevant search engine here. Each of the social media channels has some form of search engine. These social search engines reward popular influencers on their network. The more people who find the influencers accounts, the more people who will see their posts about your brand. If they are interested in what they see, it is only natural that they will click through to your account and follow you too.
Increasing your social media following may not be your main campaign goal, but it is a natural side effect of using influencer marketing.
3. Influencer Marketing Creates Fresh Content for Your Brand
Although some brands keep a tight rein on content relating to their product, many are happy to let influencers create relevant content to share. They recognize that influencers know their audiences better than anybody, and understand what types of content work best with their followers.
Allowing influencers to create new content allows you to revitalise your brand. You may even choose to republish it on your own site.
Search engines take a close interest in content quality, keyword usage, readability, and the quantity and quality of social sharing. If you want to keep on building up on your SEO you constantly need to produce fresh, entertaining, informative content. Influencers are specialists at creating content that resonates with their audiences.
Influencers can take this a stage further by building up customised hashtags for your campaigns. They then encourage their followers to create additional content themed around the special hashtags.
By allowing influencers and their followers to create compelling content about your brand, you are effectively crowdsourcing your content. And the more this content is shared, the bigger boost you give to your SEO ranking.
4. Influencer Marketing Allows You to Use a Wide Range of Media
Evidence shows, that you will attract a greater volume of traffic if you vary your content, using a wide variety of media. Some people respond well to blog posts. Others prefer podcasts, video, or slideshows. However, everyone responds well to influencers they follow and admire.
If you like the sound of influencers, work with them to produce content that best suits their audience. In doing so they can represent your brand across a wide range of media. Most influencers focus on a range of platforms, including blogs, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. So you could easily get your influencers to post a photo on Instagram, a video on YouTube and a blog post endorsing you on their blog.
As well as gaining variety by crowdsourcing your content, you also interact with people holding a wide range of skills and ideas. You have the chance to tap into their strengths to build your campaign across the full gamut of multimedia.
5. Influencer Marketing Helps Build Inbound Links
Google still considers quality backlinks to be an essential part of its algorithm. As Moz observed in their Ranking Correlation Survey 2015, “Despite rumours to the contrary, the data continues to show some of the highest correlations between Google rankings and the number of links to a given page.” Moz ranks domain-level link features, closely followed by page-level link features, as the most influential factors in Google’s algorithm.
The key factors for the importance of backlinks to your SEO rankings are the
- Source’s authority
- Quality of the page linked from
- Relevancy of the linked material
This emphasizes how important it is that you generate high-quality backlinks from respected sources to your site. Influencers have the capacity to do this.
People regularly search for influencers – both on Google and on the social media sites. If you connect your brand with the influencer then you will most likely receive a boost in your traffic. Also, if they give you a do-follow backlink to your website, you will automatically boost your websites domain authority in some way. As a result, your website SEO ranking will be effectively boosted.
Many influencers have their own websites and/or blogs. These people have built up sufficient reputations that they have followers who consider them influential. As a result, it is likely that Google looks upon their websites/blogs favourably. Hence, Google would look upon any links these sites make to you as being quality links. Aim for website backlinks with a Moz domain authority over 50.
In turn, when an influencer shares your link, there’s a good chance other people will probably do so as well if they like the content they’ve been exposed to.
How Can You Optimise Content on Social Media to Improve SEO Ranking?
To an extent, this is more of an issue for the influencers who promote content rather than for the brands themselves. However, it is still relevant when a brand creates content for its influencers to share. And it is also highly relevant for brands wanting to reuse content that an influencer has already shared on their behalf.
1. Optimising Your YouTube Content
Google owns YouTube. So it should be no surprise that YouTube includes the world’s second largest search engine.
If you want the videos you create to have a good SEO ranking you first need to do some keyword research. Google shows a selection of YouTube videos on Page One of its results for a selection of “video keywords”. If you optimize our videos around a video keyword you are optimizing for both Google and YouTube. If you focus on other terms you can only optimize your video for YouTube.
Once you have your list of keywords, go into the Google Keyword Planner – you will need a Google AdWords account for this. You want to ensure that any keyword term you chase has at least 300 searches per month. If it does, it is likely to be a searched-for term on YouTube as well as in Google.
As with all content you or your influencers share online, any video you make needs to be top quality. To gain ranking on YouTube you need user engagement. You won’t receive this unless your video is of the highest quality.
Most Important Factors for YouTube Ranking
YouTube looks closely at a range of factors relating to user experience. If your video is shared with an influencer who has fans who already like his content, then you already have an advantage. Specifically, YouTube looks at:
- Audience retention – The percentage of your video that people usually watch
- Comments – the more positive comments, the better
- Additional subscriptions to the channel after people watch the video
- Shares – again the more times your video is shared on social media the better
- The number of people who add the video to their Watch Later playlist
- Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down engagement
While it will usually be your influencers who upload your videos, rather than you, you can help them by
- Including your targeted keyword in the video title and descriptions
- Giving your video a title that is at least 5 words long and includes your keyword (preferably at the beginning)
- Carefully writing the description. Include a link back to your website and write a quality description of at least 250 words. You should include your targeted keyword term 3-4 times, including once in the first paragraph.
- Include some targeted tags
2. Optimising Your Instagram Content
Although not as powerful as Google or YouTube, Instagram does include a built-in search function. And hashtags improve your presence on social media.
This is one of the reasons why everyone raises the importance of creating unique hashtags.
Alike YouTube, Instagram is also picked up in Google searches. Instagram photos, particularly from influencers provide important backlinks that can help improve the SEO ranking of your website.
If you search for an influencer on Google you may find their Instagram profile or posts in the rankings along with their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Later’s The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017 provides you with some excellent suggestions on how to find the best hashtags to use for your campaigns.
3. Optimising Your Twitter Content
Again you can accompany any tweets your influencers create with relevant keywords. As with Instagram, you can include relevant hashtags on Twitter to raise your social media presence. Using a popular, relevant hashtag, will help you connect with your chosen target audience even more.
Conclusion – Influencer Marketing Boosts Your SEO Ranking
Brands and marketers must remember that it is people who read their online musings – not machines. They don’t really care how awesome you think your company is. They come online for a purpose. What they really want to know is how your product or service can help them to achieve their goal.
Google has refined its search algorithm over the years. It knows that the majority of people who search for terms do so for their own needs, to solve their problems. Therefore, it now rewards web pages and other online content that make it easy for searchers. The search engines in the social media sites work the same way.
Influencers have already established credibility and authenticity, with their followers, their social media sites and with Google. Therefore, it makes sense to work with influencers. They can help you to improve your SEO ranking, improve your brand awareness and ultimately influence your target consumer to buy your product or use your service.