How influencer marketing can improve SEO
We all know how crucial it is for your brand to increase traffic to your website.
What you might not know is how influencer marketing benefits your overall search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Influencer marketing isn’t just for your social channels. It has a wealth of benefits that, when combined together, improves your SEO.
In this post, we’ll show you 7 key benefits a good influencer marketing strategy can have for your SEO efforts.
How influencer marketing supports and improves SEO:
- Working with influencers increases the number of backlinks to your site
- Influencer marketing boosts engagement of your own content and increases visibility
- Partnering with influencers helps keep your content fresh and relevant
- Influencer marketing enables you to build trust with potential customers which leads to trust for your brand
- Influencer marketing helps grow your social following
- Good influencer campaigns lead to increased social signals and PR
- Repurpose influencer content on your own site or social channels
Now, let’s dive in!
What is SEO?
SEO is an ongoing process where you make incremental changes to your website to improve your rank placement on search engines. It works by selecting a different keyword for each page of your website and optimising each page for that keyword.
Then, when someone searches for that keyword, your content or website should show up first. For example, if you wanted a list of the best or top jewellery influencers, you might search for “top 10 jewellery influencers” on Google.
You’ll see a list of ranking pages for that keyword. Research by Backlinko analysed 5 million Google searches to see the correlation between traffic and search position.
If any of your pages rank first for a target keyword, you’ll get 37.73% of all traffic to your website. However, with so many websites vying for the coveted first-spot position, just creating excellent content isn’t enough.
Improving your SEO ranking depends on a lot of things such as:
- How much traffic and engagement you drive to each page of your website
- The quality of your content
- How trustworthy your website is
- Whether your page considers user-intent for the chosen keyword
- The number of backlinks to your pages from higher authority sites
- How regularly you update your website and internal content
- The on-page SEO optimisation you deploy on each page
Use influencer marketing to build backlinks
Whenever someone links to your website from theirs, you generate a ‘backlink’. In general, the more backlinks you have, the better your ranking. Working with influencers is a great way to build more backlinks – we’ll explain how.
Editor’s Note: Aim for backlinks from high authority sites. When Google first announced backlinks were a ranking factor, people tried to generate as many links from as many sites as possible (many of them poor quality). Google redefined their terms to give preference to sites with backlinks from high authority sites. Having three backlinks from three high authority sites benefits you much more than 300 backlinks from low quality sites.
Using a tool like Ahrefs will give you a rough idea of how many backlinks you’ll need to get yourself positioned in the top 10 search results for your given term.
Keep in mind, however, this figure is just an estimate and depends on a number of factors as well as the quality of your content compared to the current top 10 results.
Influencers with large blog followings also benefit from a high domain rating. Domain rating is how Google scores each website based on traffic and content quality. A backlink from an influencer’s site will boost your SEO and improve your own rankings.
What’s more, as influencers follow and support other influencers within their field, your content is likely to be exposed to other high profile accounts within their community – increasing the chance of earning organic backlinks from influencers you haven’t even worked with.
Influencer marketing boosts engagement and increases visibility
Another ranking factor Google (and other search engines) take into account is how much engagement your content gets. Engagement includes anything from how many people view the pages on your website, to how long they stay there for, as well as whether or not they visit other pages after their initial page.
The higher the engagement is on each of your web pages, the better your SEO ranking will be.
When an influencer shares content about your brand, or encourages their own followers to visit your website, you’ll experience a significant spike in traffic from new followers checking your website, products or content. If Instagram influencers (above 10k followers) include a swipe up link in their Instagram stories, you can also benefit from a spike of traffic.
And as we’ve just understood, the more engagement and visibility your content gets, the better the chance of improving rankings.
Keeps your content fresh and updated
If there’s one thing search engines love, it’s up-to-date current content. It’s why news publications always make it to the top position on Google when they share a story about a current event.
In the example above, new articles about World Mental Health Day appeared at the top of the search results because it is topical and plenty of publications were writing about it.
This doesn’t mean you need to turn your brand into a news site and post daily content (although daily, high quality content would improve your rankings). It simply means you need to find a way to keep your content refreshed, up-to-date and engaging – using influencer’s content is a great way to do that.
Google places a lot of emphasis on user search intent. This is when a user searches for a specific keyword or phrase they want their query answered which can be seen through Google’s ‘featured snippet’ update.
The featured snippet is a user experience (UX) update from Google offering users a direct answer to their query without having to click onto any websites.
In order to get placed in the featured snippet, ensure your content answers specific queries succinctly and specifically.
Influencer content gives you an easy way to keep your content fresh and updated (and increase the chance of winning the featured snippet position).
Many brands struggle with creating original, innovative and engaging content on a daily basis. However, working with influencers gives you access to captivating, and shareable content. Thus, collaborating with them is a crowdsource for creativity where influencers create content for your site.
Influencers have the power to create a domino effect and encourage their followers/your target audience to also create their own unique content related to your brand. This way you increase the quantity of content for your brand and increase the amount of user-generated content. In turn, this increases your brand’s awareness, number of brand mentions, and website traffic. All benefiting your brand’s overall SEO ranking.
Influencer marketing builds trust for your website
The ultimate aim for your website should be to create a hub where people trust your knowledge and see your brand as an industry expert. Where people come to your website directly to source information. In Google’s eyes, this is the sign of a trustworthy site.
Those who run ongoing influencer marketing campaigns can use their campaigns to build trust for their website. When an influencer shares content about your brand, their followers listen and trust their verdict.
When they trust you, you become an authority. This level of authority means they’ll refer straight to your website when they need information. This leads to more engagement on your website, and as we discussed, the more engagement your site has, the better your SEO ranking.
Working with influencers expedites the process of improving your ranking by building trust with the people who matter: your potential customers.
Grow your social following
Growing your social following boosts your SEO indirectly. Although the number of followers doesn’t have a direct impact on how well your website ranks on search engines; having more followers means more people traffic to your website.
ASOS, for example have very active social channels and receive 5.25% of their total traffic from social media.
This might not sound like a lot but it actually accounts for over 5 million new monthly visitors. So although social traffic might not be the largest proportion of your entire traffic, increasing your social following has an impact on the amount of traffic your site receives each month.
One of the best ways to increase your social following while working with influencers is to work with influencers long-term so they become brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are a step up from a single brand-influencer relationship.
When you initially work with an influencer, you might work on a campaign basis whereby the influencer needs to produce a certain number of creative assets in exchange for a gifted product or payment. Brand ambassadors, though, are usually paid monthly or by affiliate payments and produce content about your brand on a regular basis.
Brand ambassadors work well for increasing your SEO because those who constantly mention your brand in their day to day lives will likely drive a lot of traffic to your website and social channels.
Influencer marketing increases social links, signals and PR
When an influencer shares content relating to your brand, it reaches an established and engaged group of individuals within minutes.
It helps you cut through the noise to increase social links and signals. Now, Google have stated social signals don’t have a huge effect on SEO rankings, however they do take it into consideration.
Social signals are when people share your content or website on their social networks. For example, someone might post a link to your product on Twitter and their followers might retweet it.
This doesn’t generate backlinks in the same way as if someone shared a link to your site on their website, but it does tell Google people are interested in your content. What’s more, as increased amounts of people share your content on social channels, an increased amount of people could click through to your site.
Repurpose content to create outbound links
Another way way to boost your SEO from your influencer marketing efforts is to repurpose influencer’s content in your own content.
Cosmopolitan x Häagen Daaz repurposed influencer’s content in an interesting way. Instead of just posting about the new guilt-free gelato (only 150 calories), Cosmopolitan asked nine influencers what they refuse to feel guilty about. By using influencer’s content within their own posts they were able to create an empowering piece of content combining brand partnerships and inspiring stories together in an authentic and genuine way.
They then took this content and turned it into an informative and relatable blog post.
What’s so effective about this strategy is that it allows you to naturally add outbound links to your website. We’ve mentioned the importance of links for SEO, but outbound links are important too. Outbound links are links from your site to another. They help search bots categorise content into knowledge hubs.
You don’t want too many outbound links as it encourages people to leave your website but including some in your content is imperative. However, when you link to influencers’ content within your own content, you help search engines better understand your niche as well as increasing trust in your website – two things that improve your SEO.
Wrapping things up
There are many benefits of influencer marketing but improving your SEO is often overlooked. Armed with the strategies listed above, start using influencer marketing to support your SEO strategy.
Whether you’re looking to increase the number of backlinks from influencers or increase your social signals, start using your influencer marketing more effectively today.
Find out how Zine can improve your SEO by managing your influencer campaigns from start to finish.
I’m Content Marketing Manager here at ZINE. I create content that helps and guides forward-thinking companies better understand their influencer marketing strategies.