Is there a link between SEO and social media? Does Facebook affect search? Are hashtags good for SEO?
It’s commonly asked if social media affects your SEO, and it’s a valid question. Of course, depending on whom you ask, there will be a different answer if there’s a direct link between SEO and social media – but here’s how social media can help your SEO.
You can’t ignore social media, and you certainly can’t ignore SEO for your business. Both channels are critical for product discovery and research, eventually helping people make purchasing decisions (and buying your product or service).
What is the Relationship Between SEO and Social Media?
Whether or not social media links have a significant impact on SEO has been debated for a while now. Some SEO experts will say one thing, and critics will argue the opposite. The correlation between SEO and social media is a grey area.
After years of announcements and discussions from the Google team, we can now be confident in knowing that social signals directly correlate with organic rankings but don’t directly impact those rankings.
Websites that tend to be ranked at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) will have a strong social presence and content across all their social media platforms. So, indeed, Google will rank websites with strong social profiles, but such profiles won’t directly influence rankings. Websites as a whole have to perform well to rank highly.
How Does Social Media Affect SEO?
The research undertaken by CognitiveSEO shows that shares, likes, and comments on your social media posts are important signals to which Google and other search engines may pay close attention to.
There’s a correlation between the average amount of interaction and site ranking – as the best ranking pages on the SERP are often sites with more social shares and interaction. Social media profiles rank among the top search results, specifically when it comes to branded keywords.
For example, if you do a Google search for “Zara”, their Twitter and Facebook pages appear under their sites top position. The result also shows previews of the brand’s recent Tweets, highlighting the relationship between SEO and social media concerning Google’s first-page content.
Why is Social Media Important for SEO?
Social media indirectly influences factors that impact SEO rankings, so it’s important because it can potentially drive traffic to your site or blog. When you create quality content that connects with your target readers, they become advocates – because you offer them something valuable.
Social media marketing means using social media networks to market a product or service. The initial goal of social media marketing is typically to increase brand awareness, with the ultimate result of increased traffic and conversion. In addition, however, social media marketing can play into your SEO strategy.
Content writing and creation is an excellent way to attract more eyes to your brand’s site. As long as it engages your audience, content can be in any form, including:
How Does Social Media Help SEO?
While there may not be a direct ranking correlation between social media and SEO, the benefits of social media do feed into SEO. If you are trying to improve your SEO rankings – invest in your socials.
1. Boost your content performance
Social media is the place to share your content – it’s a huge opportunity you don’t want to miss. But, unfortunately, when you post content on your website and don’t put effort into sharing it elsewhere, it’s just going to sit there.
You probably would’ve put an awful lot of work into creating it, and not sharing it is a waste. Social media sites give you access to a wider audience than your website alone. The more people visiting your site’s content = the more positive user signals can benefit your search rankings.
2. Gain more backlinks
Traffic alone isn’t the only reason to share content on social media. The more your content is in front of more eyes, the higher the chances of someone linking to it. Backlinks are a significant part of SEO – they show search engines that people find your website content valuable.
Content can easily spread through social media, and you don’t need a huge following for it to do so. All you need is one person linking back to your content or site for more people to see it, which is where social media swoops in as the best place to get started.
3. Rank your social profiles for search terms
How your website ranks might be a worry of yours, but you don’t have to put as much thought into how your social profiles rank. When people look up your business using branded search terms, your social profiles have a chance of ranking under your website.
People are already searching for your brand with branded search terms, so they’re interested in what you have to offer. Your social media profiles can give a different perception of your business and provide additional information for those searching for it.
4. Increase quality website traffic
The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase awareness and gain more website visitors. Staying active on social media, posting the content your audience wants to see, and linking to your new content are all ways of bringing more traffic to your website.
Your target audience will be on social media somewhere, whether Facebook, Instagram or even Pinterest. If you’re struggling to bring in visitors, social media is great for attracting visitors and gaining quality website traffic.
5. Build trust with your audience
Consumers have an overwhelming amount of options available to them – making it harder to make the best choice. There are businesses around that aren’t reliable, so it makes sense why people are cautious about whom they choose to engage.
Many businesses have social media profiles, which is where people expect to see legitimate businesses. However, a poor social media presence can be a red flag to your potential customers. With social media, you can build on the trust you’ve created with SEO and humanise your brand to relate to your customers.
6. Improve your local SEO
Social media can affect your local SEO. Your business’s name, address, and phone number plays an important role in local SEO rankings. If you keep your business contact information consistent across your website and all social media, Google may just consider your business more credible.
Some social media platforms, like Instagram, let you geo-tag your stories and posts. Doing so is a great way to increase visibility in your local community and expand your reach. For example, Instagram users can search for content that’s tagged to a specific location – it’s the perfect way to attract your locals.
Do You Have a Social Media Strategy for Your SEO?
Social media may not be a ranking factor, but there is a link to SEO. As social media and SEO correlate through social signals, the signals strengthen the factors that Google considers when ranking your site.
So, if you don’t have a social media strategy for your SEO, start today. Sharing your content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or alike opens up the possibility of people linking back to your site. As a result, shared material could increase your blog’s visibility and, ultimately, SEO rankings.
Google values quality links when it comes to SEO, so sharing your content through your social media presence can only benefit your website’s SEO.