Does Social Media Help My SEO Efforts
Deciding which marketing strategy is the best or most profitable in today’s crowded space, my short answer is there isn’t just one. The best way to create a marketing strategy is to use more than one that works well together. When you stop to think about it, each strategy will actually help the other grow, this means the most profitable strategy your company can take is to use multiple strategies at once. Making sure they are working together. We ask and answer the question does social media help my SEO and what are social signals.
I want to talk about how social media helps SEO. Of course, there is a third strategy that you cannot ignore, Content Marketing. But, I feel content marketing and SEO are so tied into each other I want to focus more on how social media should be the center of all strategies. Social Media is the most fluid and for most companies it is also the hardest and most frustrating to achieve success.
It directly affects SEO and Content Marketing, but again I am going to treat SEO and Content Marketing as one strategy that is affected by Social Media. Social media can affect your efforts in direct and indirect ways, but either way, it affects your strategy by enhancing it. Here is how you can leverage Social Media to your benefit.
So Does Social Media Help My SEO — Common Question
OK, so you have probably heard that Social Media has a direct affect on your SEO, but that is simply not true. It’s true that some social sites are crawled by search engines such as Google. Your posts can even be indexed, you could possibly see a Yelp post, a directory listing, or even a Twitter or Pinterest post show up in the SERPs. But, these have no direct impact on your search rankings. However, from time to time you will see tweets show up if you are doing a branded search. Social media posts do play an indirect part of your SEO, known as social signals. If you have a good social media post and one of your users shares it, or if someone shares a blog post onto social media, the likelihood of other people seeing the page and sharing it as well goes up. If your content is good and enough people start to share it, this could lead to backlinks and more mentions on social media. These two things are known to have a direct impact on rankings. It is true that shares do carry some weight in the different search engine algorithms (more on that later). Google still will not admit this, 1 of hundreds of things they won’t admit. However, there have been several different studies that show a correlation to suggest otherwise. However, this is only shares that come from your site, when someone retweets or shares the material from the social media platforms there doesn’t seem to be as strong of an impact. The reason for that, is retweeting or sharing from Facebook doesn’t mean someone actually read your article.
Visibility and Traffic
This should be a pretty obvious benefit from your social media channels. The overall goal of any campaign you do in marketing is to get more people to your site. When people like your content or are familiar with it, they will keep coming back for more. When it’s shared on social media such as Facebook your reach is carried to new audiences. Your reach won’t come overnight, you will need to spend time on social media (possibly a lot of time). Your social media accounts will need to contribute a lot of content, always reach out to new followers, be sure to engage with influencers and you will be well on your way to gaining your following. When you have engaged followers like that on your social media channels they will happily share your content and more and more people will be aware of you. This leads to more visibility and you get more traffic.
Optimize Posts For Searches
This is a strategy that will require you having good content on your website. But, you should already have good content on your website anyways. Allowing you to have a secondary, and in some instances more than that, channel for search. As you probably know Google will add news articles and other knowledge graph information to the top of their search results. But, what you might not know is that Google will also favor social media updates or posts in their search results. Of course these will only remain at the top of Google for a temporary amount of time, but it’s a key position. Be sure to optimize your social media posts for that exact opportunity.
These aren’t easy positions to obtain, so make sure you have strong content to back up your post. A good article, a detailed video or even a good infographic is usually enough as long as it’s strong content. Be sure you have an accurate and descriptive title, optimize the text you post with it for a specific type of search. Let’s say your article is a how to change the oil in your car. You would want to frame your post something like this “Have you ever wondered how to change your oil at home and save money”? Of course, if your content is season specific, be sure to get as specific as possible in order to maximize your chances of showing up in the SERPs.
Increase Brand Awareness
Getting a good branding advantage is a significant SEO advantage. If you are looking for an increased online brand presence and let’s face it who isn’t. Then increasing your reputation on social media channels, by doing some of the things we have already discussed, such as increased engagement and other high-quality content syndication will lead to that improved brand presence. The next logical step is more branded searches on Google. Did you know that the more branded searches you receive, you are more likely to rank higher for non-branded keywords. Having a strong brand presence on social media can help your SEO with a broader search visibility across the search engines. It really all comes down to giving your audience a strong, quality user experience. That’s the beginning and you can use what we have discussed earlier to run with your increased brand awareness.
What Does Bing Say?
Bing has said and still does say that they look at the social authority of a user. They pay attention to how many people each person follows and how many follow you back. This actually does add some weight to a listing in their regular search results. Bing is the second most used search engine, unfortunately, they are a very distant second, to Google. But, they have been very clear that their algorithm does incorporate social signals into their search results. Bing has been steadfast on this issue, where Google has flip-flopped a couple of times. Come on it’s Google, are you surprised? The good news is that Bing’s market share is growing, although slow. So companies would be smart if Bing is included in their overall SEO Strategy.
What Google Says?
Google has said and more importantly Matt Cutt’s has said, that Google’s algorithm does in fact ignore social signals, however that should not be a reason for digital marketers to completely dismiss social media’s impact on SEO when it comes to Google. Google’s outlook on the topic is that marketers should expand their concept of what search and SEO are. Marketers should take into account the many ways users actually find content on the web. He has also said that marketers should think about the positive effects a website will see from increased traffic from Social media. Also how that can potentially have a positive effect on search rankings. Cutt’s does also talks about the prominence of having your brands social profiles on the first page in the search results.
In the end, the internet is all about building relationships, expressing who you are as a brand, growing your audience and sharing ideas. This sounds social to me, so why wouldn’t an SEO best practice include being social. One of the rules of SEO is to help your site make the web more enjoyable and useful to people. Hence the more social you are, the better your SEO will be.