Duracell's Success With Social SEO
Traditional contextual links transfer authority from the landing page they exist within to their destination. The level of authority or “PageRank” a particular landing page has dictates the amount of equity that will be passed to its corresponding platform.
Regarding this process, webmasters can create specific instructions (rel=follow) that signal to search engines whether or not link equity can be transferred at all.
With social media, all links are automatically created with the “rel=nofollow” attribute in place, which prevents any equity from migrating from one social media platform to another destination.
Despite this, there exists a direct correlation between user engagement and organic visibility, indicating social SEO does indeed have unique strengths.
Read Between the Lines and Continuously Test
As an avid proponent of social SEO, I have conducted hundreds of tests to observe whether or not social media influences organic growth. These tests have indicated that it is not the links being shared across multiple social media channels that support SEO, but rather level of user engagement generated by the use of these platforms.
When you can create content that attracts hundreds of shares, you can appear on premier search listings for a limited amount of time. But content, placement, and formatting all play a role in the performance of applied social SEO: when you publish content within a particular website that has a high Domain Authority, is well optimized, and generates significant social shares and dialogue simultaneously, you can maintain first page rankings for one to six months depending on your keywords and competition.
Duracell, YouTube and Social Media Marketing
An online video my team managed and optimized for Duracell back in 2012 is a great example of successful social SEO use.
At the time, Duracell had a partnership with the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers' all-star linebacker Patrick Willies. The goal was to maximize the video’s views and referral traffic, so we decided to leverage the top-of-mind awareness all four brands commanded by placing the terms "Duracell," "NFL," "Patrick Willies" and "San Francisco 49ers" directly into the video title.
We optimized the video description by incorporating Duracell's "Trust Your Power" campaign into the message of the video. My team also included several external links that allowed viewers to visit Duracell's Twitter page and website in order to drive referral traffic, user engagement and conversions.
Of course, we also supported the video with a transcript, optimized its tags (which was still a supportive practice for referral views back then) and sent out a press release to boost potential audience awareness.
Three weeks after launching the video on YouTube, we had attracted 3,450 views.
We then decided to develop a comprehensive social media calendar that aligned with the brand's peak online activity as recorded by their analytics profiles. We adhered to the schedule best suited for social media interaction with the video suggested by the data for Facebook and Twitter engagements.
Once we were able to broadcast our video to a consistent, robust audience that continued to share our content with their friends and followers, our results blew up (in a good way). Over three more weeks, we went from attracting 3,450 views to 2,012,935 and landed the first position on Google's search results.
Despite the fact that Duracell had created a plethora of new content around this partnership and their "Trust Your Power" initiative, this singular piece of content still ranks at the top of Google when searching for this campaign, suggesting a highly successful use of social SEO practices.
Julian Scott Connors is an experienced search marketing director who has developed complex, wide-scale search and social campaigns for brands that include: P&G, The Source, Papa Johns, GiveSmart, and more.
A published author on the concept of "Social SEO", Connors contributes to a number of recognized publications and speaks are digital marketing conferences throughout the country.