Search engine optimisation doesn’t exist in a vacuum, the relationship between search engine optimisation (SEO) and Social Media is symbiotic in nature; meaning that the relationship benefits both parties. The cycle of interaction between social media and SEO starts with the publishing of quality content; content that is interesting, readable, succinct, well-written, and persuasive.
Support In The Community
If quality content is published and properly optimised - using tags, keywords, descriptions, titles and so on - the readers of the content will share it, link to it, and/or bookmark it. This sharing, linking, and bookmarking by readers will increase the online presence of the content creator (for example, their site has more subscribers now because they published the quality content that caused their readers to share it, link it, and/or bookmark it). One of the best examples of sharing content is the ‘share’ button on Facebook. This is used to great advantage by animal shelters looking for adoptive or foster families for animals that need a new home or a place to stay while waiting for their new home.
Another example is the ‘share links’ opportunity provided by the PTC site WordLinx. They encourage the sharing of links and even have a URL-shortening sister site called MoreShare to make sharing the links even easier. The increased online presence of the content creator also means that they are creating a community that supports them. This supportive community will purchase from them, download software or applications from them, signup for other opportunities advertised by them, share their quality content and/or advertise their website(s). All of these behaviors increase the size of the community which again increases the amount of support the content creator has.
Becoming The Reputable Authority
The content creator also receives a higher page rank as a byproduct of the supportive community, which creates, maintains, and reinforces their reputation as an authority in their niche. Their reputation as an authority in their niche leads to gaining authority in the search engines (i.e. higher placement in search results). The increased authority in the search engines leads to a group of new users discovering the website or content organically (i.e. via their own searches in the niche). These new users increase the size of the community and the amount of support.
And then the cycle starts over again with more quality content being published, more readers linking to it, bookmarking it, sharing it. If done right, the cycle is not only symbiotic but self-sustaining.