6 ways social listening can help your SEO

6 Ways Social Listening Can Help Your SEO

6 Ways Social Listening Can Help Your SEO

Gone are the days when SEO was a simple process of keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building. As Google adds other factors to its algorithm and learns to judge web page quality in a human-like way, SEO becomes intertwined with other marketing tactics. One of these tactics is social listening , which was mainly used for social media marketing until recently. In this post, I explain how social listening can benefit your SEO.

First thing: learn the meaning behind “social listening”. This term describes what social listening tools (aka social monitoring) do. They crawl the Web, news, blogs, forums, and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) to find mentions of any given keyword. Keywords are usually brand names, industry descriptive words, or people names (e.g. CEO, author, artist).

Using social listening for SEO takes the right knowledge and skills. It is very important to set specific goals and know the details of how to do a proper search. Here’s how to do it:

1. Find unlinked brand mentions and convert them into links.

With link building still at the core of any SEO strategy, it’s important to include all such opportunities. Here’s one you might not have thought of: turning existing brand mentions into links.

If your brand has been around for a while, or if your particular brand, company or product has become popular at some point, there are almost certainly mentions of it. to your brand on the Internet: on a blog, forum, news site or somewhere on the Web. Obviously, not all of them will link back to your site: writers are not interested in promoting anyone other than themselves; they don’t think about your SEO goals and the idea of ​​linking may never come to their mind. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll have problems adding links if you ask them. So the only real challenge here is finding the unlinked mentions. This is where social listening is involved.

To be fair, you won’t get unlinked mentions with every social listening tool: you’ll need one that can. Boolean search mode . With Boolean search, user sets up search query manually by using Boolean operators such as AND, OR, AND NOT etc. So in case of search the mentions are not link, users should enter their brand name as a keyword and add AND NOT the link: yourite.com/. Tools that have Boolean search as their option include Awario (disclosure: I work for the company), Talkwalker and Brand watches .

2. Track new links to your site.

Modern link building means knowing where and how your backlinks are being built. First, it’s helpful to know the marketing purposes: what if you could get more out of the site you linked to? Second, you must know if your backlinks are coming from quality websites, because, as we know, links from spammy and untrusted sites can seriously affect your backlinks. ranking is important.

With social listening, you can learn about any new link anywhere on the Internet in real time. To start looking for new links, enter your website URL in the website/website field, which is available in most social media monitoring tools, and choose to search from limited sources: Web plus news/blog. This will exclude mentions coming from social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). You can also use the bind operator : if your engine offers Boolean search.

3. Find guest blogging opportunities.

Any SEO will tell you that guest blogging is a sensible link building strategy. It won’t give you a sudden ranking boost, but it’s a solid, tried-and-true way to build your site’s reputation. This is why finding guest posting opportunities is a constant task for many marketers. While there are always some blogs that are easy to find but cannot stand out, there are also others that are harder to find because they are not in the first two pages of Google. However, they may be more relevant and have a more loyal audience – which is often the case in smaller communities. These blog editors are also more likely to publish your articles.

Guest blogging opportunities can be found through social listening. To find related blogs, enter keywords that describe your industry (or rather, a range of topics you want to write about) and wait for the tool to find them:

  • All the blogs talk about this topic: you can browse through them and find the ones you don’t know.
  • Social media influencers in that industry (those with large followings who talk a lot about your topic). Go through the people on the influencers list (all of the tools mentioned before offer influencers) to see which people have a website with a blog. You’d be surprised how many people have the right website (maybe not as good as it is) with a dedicated audience.

Have some other way to find guest posting opportunities using social listening tools. All of them go beyond your usual methods and are worth a try!

4. Monitor your brand reputation.

In 2010, a terrible story appeared in the New York Times. In it, the author explains how a negative reputation can help a brand rank better on Google and cause more sales, as bad reviews have created links and buzz around the brand. The whole approach gets a name: negative advertising. Sellers are intent on acting badly, making their customers angry and therefore more likely to write enthusiastic, albeit angry, reviews.

Of course, that’s not a good thing for Google and, after the problem became clear, they announced that they have put together an algorithmic solution for low-ranking brands that provide a great user experience. least. We don’t know how it works at the moment, though they talk about a “world-class sentiment analysis system” their “At some point. However, we know it works. There are no similar cases.

You’re probably not one of those terrible marketers willing to torture their customers just to get a higher Google ranking. However, social media crisis still happens even with The best of the best purposeful brands . A social media crisis can not only lead to long-term reputation problems, but also cause a serious drop in rankings.

This is why it is important to monitor the sentiment around your brand. A social media tool with built-in sentiment analysis will help you spot any suspicious spikes in time and address the issue before it goes viral or becomes large enough for Google’s algorithms to found that.

5. Increase brand mentions.

While link building is still absolutely essential in SEO, it’s becoming less and less. You can see how hard Google is working to find the true value of web pages, understand their content, and increasingly be able to value the Internet the way humans do. The Internet is more than just links. Today, it’s more about being popular, going viral, and being heard in its many different angles. Above all, the Internet is about social media: put together, the most used sites without any dofollow links.

What does it tell us? That is, we should turn our attention to irrelevant mentions. It’s not just our speculation. In 2017, Gary, Google Illyes Webmaster Trends Analyst said in keynote mine at Brighton SEO as follows :

“If you publish high quality content that is highly cited on the internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but social media mentions and people talking about your brand, crap like that. Then you are doing very well. ”

At the same time, we know that Panda’s Patent Talking about “implied links” as a signal can be no less important than backlinks. An implied link is defined as “a reference to a target resource, such as a reference to a target resource, that is included in the source resource but is not an explicit link to the target resource”. Sounds like a mention!

This is why you should work to increase brand mentions. With social listening, you can first track brand mentions. Knowing when, where and in relation to what the brand refers to appears will certainly give you a better idea of ​​how to develop further. For example, should your marketing strategy focus more on social media? If so, on what platforms? Or maybe you have to switch to forums and blogs (e.g. try marketing on Reddit ?).

Second, you can apply new techniques to increase brand mentions, such as social selling and influencer marketing.

6. Learn from your competitors.

All of the tips above can be used to track your competitors and discover where they get their links, where they post, what influencers they work with, etc. This can be used in your own SEO and marketing strategy.

The workflow is simple: everything you’ve done for your brand can be accomplished using your competitor’s brand name and URL. Creating a different alert for every important competitor will make the task easier and allow you to see your progress against your competitors in a clear and detailed manner.


Social listening is full of possibilities. It is this new, completely unexplored technology that is slowly changing the way we do digital marketing. Try using it for SEO and you may see changes you never expected to see.

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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