Social Fortress in SEO, A Digestible Guide

Social Fortress SEO

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Any competent digital marketer will tell you that building a presence on social media is crucial to success. But did you know that you can use these online profiles not only to generate exposure for your brand, but also to improve your site’s rankings on SERPs?

In SEO, this is called a social fortress. It’s a relatively simple but effective technique that could give your SEO efforts a much-needed boost. If you’re curious about this strategy and want to learn more about how you can use it to your advantage, read on!

 

But first, what exactly is a social fortress?

Cambridge Dictionary defines the word fortress as “a large, strong building or group of buildings that can be defended from attack.” And a social fortress is exactly that: it’s a fortified structure that serves as a foundation for your brand’s online presence and digital reputation.

In simpler terms, a social fortress is a collection of social properties for your brand. These properties may include:

  • Facebook pages
  • Twitter accounts
  • Instagram profiles
  • LinkedIn pages
  • YouTube channels
  • Google profiles
  • Other social platforms

 

Social fortresses make use of the above-mentioned platforms to generate trust for your website. Why is this so effective? For one, the websites above are all high-authority pages, meaning both Google and internet end-users place a lot of trust in them.

 

 

Do social fortresses still work for SEO?

Many argue that with the introduction of the nofollow link attribute, social fortresses stopped sending link juice to money sites. Furthermore, social fortresses are considered user-generated-content (UGC), which is one of the lowest quality links. As UGC is easily obtainable, it further dilutes the authority that these links possess.

Therefore, this makes social fortresses ineffective and a waste of time due to the combination of both the nofollow tag and its nature.

 

The benefits of having a solid social fortress

When you create profiles for your brand on websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like, you’re essentially putting yourself in a position to benefit from the power of such platforms. Here’s what I think are some of the SEO benefits of building a solid social fortress:

 

Builds trust in Google’s eyes

Social platforms generate lots of traffic and have great SEO metrics, to begin with. With many SEOs trying to get themselves on top of search engines, it is commonly said that Google favours businesses more as compared to affiliate websites (usually run by SEOs).

Businesses will normally create social media accounts for themselves. As a result, any backlink that originates from these properties is a step closer to making your website look like a proper business. By increasing your website’s trust in Google’s eyes, your website is likely to be treated as if its higher quality, improving your keyword rankings.

 

 

Increased brand awareness

Your social fortress will serve as the foundation of your online presence. The more avenues you exploit to get your brand out there, the more people you’ll eventually reach. This will indirectly improve your website’s SEO as there will be more people visiting your website. More visitors are a sign of a quality website that Google favours, and thus helps with your SEO.

 

Free high-authority backlinks to your site

High-authority backlinks are increasingly hard to get these days, more so if we’re talking about getting them at no cost! Taking advantage of your social fortress helps you create high-quality links to your website without having to do lots of spending and outreach.

Although most of these links are labeled as nofollow, these platforms provide your website with trust and authority. As Google is moving towards Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthy (EAT) metrics, having a social fortress will help you in addressing these metrics.

 

More visibility and digital trust

Brands that have active and value-adding pages are more likely to be seen as legitimate industry leaders than those who only have a website. As many marketers may know, the Rule of 7 dictates that consumers will only buy something from you after seeing or hearing from you 7 times.

After these 7 touchpoints, one of the ways your audience will try to get in contact with you is through your website. Browsing your site, submitting forms, and making purchases on your website are user-based metrics that have been known to improve keyword rankings.

 

 

Protect your brand’s reputation

Creating a variety of social media profiles and building pages for your business will give you a lot of protection from negative PR. Due to the authority these social websites have, it is easier to get these pages to rank for your brand’s name.

Securing the first page of the SERP for your brand keywords protects you from any negative attacks that you may receive. These attacks ruin your brand’s credibility and therefore may affect your bottom line!

 

Syndicate your content

With a social fortress, you can automatically syndicate your content to them. This means that whenever you upload a blog post, you may choose to automatically publish it to your social fortress. This gets more eyes on your content and therefore generates more traffic to your website!

Furthermore, automatically syndicated content will help your pages get indexed faster. As this is done using RSS feeds, there will be a statement before/after the content that states the origin of the content.

Search engines crawl these links and attribute the content back to your website, helping you get your context indexed much much faster!

If you’re not automatically syndicating your content, do remember to include a link back to your website so that interested readers are able to view it at its source!

 

 

Building your SEO Social Fortress

Ready to build your social fortress? Follow the steps below.

 

Create and verify your accounts.

The first step is to make a list of the social accounts you plan to make. Decide what name you’re using (you should obviously use your brand’s name) and make it consistent across all platforms. Don’t forget to verify your accounts!

Here are some of the platforms that I include in my own social fortresses:

  1. Instagram
  2. Youtube
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. Gravatar
  6. Pinterest
  7. Diigo
  8. Tumblr
  9. Reddit
  10. About.me
  11. Blogger

 

Brand the pages and keep them updated

Next, customise the profiles to reflect your branding. Update the bio pages, descriptions, and profile and banner images as needed. Make sure that the accounts accurately reflect your brand and that your contact details and company info are easily accessible. Keep everything consistent with what you have on your website.

 

 

Connect the accounts

Link these accounts to each other. Facebook has fields that you can fill out with your Instagram handle, for example. YouTube has similar fields for you to connect most of your handles too.

As most of the platforms above have similar features, you should connect as many accounts together as possible. Connecting these accounts builds a connection with one another and tells Google that you’re a legitimate business.

Any trust and authoritative metrics from each platform are also stacked together before being passed to your website.

 

Post content and engage

If you’re active on social media, sharing your new posts with your followers helps generate some traffic and user signals.

If you’re not active on social media, you should set up automatic content syndication so that your posts will automatically be shared to these platforms. I use IFTTT for this.

 

Have a set activity schedule

Similar to SEO, you should regularly publish new content to keep your website fresh. This improves your website’s crawl budget and you’ll create topical relevance for yourself. With topical relevance, it makes it easier for you to rank newer content!

Therefore, for you to maximise the benefits of your social fortress, you also have to put in the effort to keep your profiles active. The more active the page is, the more traffic it gets. And the more traffic and engagement you get on your socials, the greater the SEO benefit they will eventually bring to your website.

Conclusion

 

Conclusion

Although many may argue that social fortresses or domain authority stacking have stopped working, there’s really no harm in setting it up for yourself. If you still need data before making your decision to implement a social fortress, here’s Matt Diggity’s test on it.

However, whether you’re a business, doing client SEO, or are an affiliate, making your website look like a normal business will help.

It is known that Google has over 200 factors that affect keyword rankings. Some are confirmed by Google, some have been tested for correlation, while many others are still speculation.

Before doing anything in SEO, you should always ask yourself, does doing this look natural? Do businesses build and connect their social media profiles? Well, at least, I believe they do.

If you liked this post, do join my SEO Telegram Channel where I share my thoughts on the latest news, updates, and knowledge bombs!

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