Businesses understand the importance of social media. Some people might view social media as an entity that is independent of the rest of their digital marketing efforts.
Not only does social media offer many benefits, but it also helps with other aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, but it can be difficult to understand the relationship between SEO and social media.
Search Engine Optimization & History of Social Media
Although we can say with confidence that social profiles don’t directly or causally affect a site’s ranking, there is more to it. This history of SEO and social media gives us a glimpse into the grey area.
Google, and no one else will ever know the exact search algorithm’s functions. We must rely on public announcements. Here’s the scoop. Danny Sullivan, a 2010 Google researcher, reported that Google used “social signals” to rank organic search results. This sounds pretty definitive.
Matt Cutts, the former leader of Google’s webspam department, later confirmed that “social pages are ranking signals”. The story does not end there.
Cutts changed his statements in 2014 by stating that Google didn’t treat social media profiles like ranking signals but as their own organic search results. Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends analyst, confirmed Cutts’ 2014 take two years later.
We can confidently say that social signals are a link with organic rankings but do not directly impact those rankings. It is just that websites that rank high in the SERPs will likely have strong social presences and content shared across all platforms.
Google will rank websites that have strong social profiles. However, those profiles don’t directly influence the rankings. To rank well, websites must perform as a group.
How social media can help with SEO
Social media is not a ranking factor. It won’t directly impact your rankings. Although there is no direct correlation between them, SEO benefits from social media can be beneficial.
It is crucial to invest in social media if you want to improve your SEO. Here’s why.
1. You Can Boost Your Content Performance
You are missing a great opportunity if you don’t use social media to share your content. You can share all types of content that your business creates on social media.
If you don’t share your content online, it will just sit there. It is likely that you put a lot into it. It is a waste not to share it. Social media gives you access to a wider audience than your website.
The bottom line is that the more people visit your site and engage with its content, the greater the positive user signals and the better your search engine rankings. Although the impact is indirect, it is there.
2. You have more options to gain backlinks
Not only is it a good reason to share your content on social media, but so is bringing in more traffic. You increase the likelihood of someone linking to your content if there are more people who look at it.
SEO is a big part of backlinks. These links show search engines that others find your website’s content valuable. If content is useful to users, it can be ranked higher. Although you might have some amazing content, backlinks are not guaranteed if they go unnoticed.
If people discover your content via social media, they might share it with others. Even if you don’t have many followers, content can easily spread through social media. It takes just one person to link back to you to make it visible to more people. Social media is a great place for this.
3. Social Profiles can rank for search terms
Although ranking on Google is a major concern for businesses, it’s possible that you haven’t considered how social media ranks. Your social profiles can rank alongside your website when people search for your company using branded search keywords.
Why not rank higher in branded searches if you have more opportunities? People are looking for your brand so they are already interested in what you offer.
Although most people will visit your website when searching for your brand, many others may be interested in what you share on social media. Social media profiles can offer a more complete view of your company than just your website and give additional information to those who are interested.
If you’re still unsure and are trying to decide, creating active social media profiles that bring up research opportunities could help.
4. Increase your website traffic
SEO’s ultimate goal is to improve visibility and bring more people to your site. But, increasing traffic to your site is not the only way to increase its rank. You can increase traffic to your site by being active on social media and sharing the content that your audience is interested in.
You can be sure that your target audience is somewhere online, with so many people using social media today. These people may not have discovered your business via search results, but could benefit from your products and services.
Social media is a great way to attract people to your site if you are just starting SEO, especially since SEO can take several months before you see results. Businesses that struggle to get visitors to their websites can learn how to use social media to increase traffic.
5. Trust is built through good social profiles
SEO can be a great way to build trust with your audience. Consumers have an overwhelming amount of choices today. Although having so many options can be great, consumers often find it difficult to make the right choice.
Many businesses aren’t trustworthy and don’t offer consumers anything. This is why people choose to be cautious about the businesses they engage with. Nowadays, most businesses have social media accounts. People expect to find legitimate businesses on these pages. Consumers can flag non-existent or poor social media.
Social media is a great tool if you have been using SEO to build trust with your audience, and improve your online reputation. This gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand. It allows you to share your uniqueness and engage those who are interested in learning more.
All the things you do online to grow your business should be coordinated. Both SEO and social media have their benefits, but it’s even better when they work together.
Although having a social media profile for your business may not be enough to improve your SEO, you can still do it. Reach out to Night Owl Sites to find out how we can help with your social media efforts, SEO performance, and help your website meet your company KPIs and generate more leads.