3 Things You Need to Know about the Relationship between SEO and Social Media
The SEO industry has greatly evolved in recent years as a result of a number of revolutionary algorithm updates by Google and the increasing focus on content. Among the areas that online business owners, digital marketers and SEO companies place increasing importance on is social media and the role it plays in their overall SEO strategies.
For a long time, agencies and companies have believed that social media has a moderate to high impact on their rankings. Google has however mentioned that Instagram followers, Facebook likes and other social signals that point to social influence and authority have no effect on search engine rankings.
Here, we look at the connection between SEO and social media and how you should be thinking about integrating social media in your SEO marketing strategies, seeing as social signals do not at the moment factor into rankings. Below are some things to consider when assessing the impact of social media marketing strategies and your SEO strategies.
Links from social media may or may not improve your social rankings
Fine, social signals related to a brand’s influence are out, but are links from social media profiles considered credible backlinks by Google? For example, do links from blog posts that have gone viral on Instagram improve the posts’ rankings? Most agencies and marketers are of the opinion that social media links significantly affect your rankings.
This is because even though Google indicated that it does not factor in social signals, it does treat pages on social media sites like any other webpages it indexes. This means that if something does appear on social media pages and Google is able to crawl it, that information is returned to the search results.
Agencies such as Sage Mauk SEO interpret this to mean that even though the influence of your profile may not affect your rank, links appearing in social media can be considered credible backlinks and therefore influence the rankings of the page links point to.
Social media accounts rank in SERPs
Even though it is unclear how social media shares influence rankings on SERPs, there is no doubt that social media accounts affect the content of users’ search results. When you search the name of any of the world’s top brands, the company’s profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. will feature highly in the top results.
Furthermore, in a number of cases, Google displays the company’s Google+ account information in the sidebar at the top right of the SERP. Pages on social media are seen to be more personal than pages on the company website as they are a way of quickly getting a feel of the company’s online personality.
When users need to find out more about a brand they know little about, they can head over to the company’s Twitter or Facebook profile. Therefore, if a brand’s social media profile appears at the top of an SERP, users are equally as likely to follow the link as they would be to follow a link to the brand’s landing pages.
Social Media Platforms Have Robust Search Functions
Major search engines such as Google and Bing are not the only search tools people use to look up brands online. They also use the search function on social media sites. These platforms are therefore seen to be SEO arenas, meaning that social media search engines should also be factored into your search engine optimization strategy.
There are a number of means of optimizing your social media content. To begin with, if you have an active Twitter account, there’s a high likelihood that people will find your brand’s new app after logging into Twitter and searching for tweets related to content marketing. Similarly, generating visually appealing content will make it visible on Instagram and Pinterest by using the right hashtags and pins.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, a user can look up your company by logging into Facebook or Twitter and assessing the influence or presence you have on each platform. Keep in mind that Google+ and YouTube are also search engines, so it’s a good idea to post quality content on those platforms.
As a business owner or a digital marketer, you cannot afford to ignore the impact of social media on SEO. You should, in fact, expand your understanding of SEO and consider the numerous means by which internet users find content. You also need to consider the benefits that additional traffic from social media can have on your rankings.
In the end, the internet is all about creating relationships, growing audiences and sharing ideas. At its core, it’s social. So there is no reason why SEO strategies should be any different, especially when the principles that govern SEO are, in the end, aimed at making the internet more useful for both work and play.