The link between SEO and social media continues to be one of the most debated topics amongst online marketers today. But however little (or how much) social media can influence search engine results for your brand / business, we can all agree that these two areas of expertise need to work together.
Search and social are two tightly woven strategies. Whilst we can’t be sure that signals from social media sites (such as Facebook and Twitter) directly affect rankings, we do know that they contribute towards your SEO efforts. Here are 5 ways that social media can impact your SEO:
Drive Traffic to Your Website
Google’s advice surrounding social signals remains vague to this day. And the inner workings of search engine algorithms will always remain a secret. But what’s certain is that social media has the power to drive a large amount of traffic to your website. Social traffic counts towards your total organic traffic, which has a positive impact on your domain authority. And website authority, as we already know, can directly impact search rankings.
Social Media Profiles Appear in Search Results
Social media profiles can rank on search pages. This gives businesses an opportunity to take up precious digital real estate, driving out competitors with a similar name or offering. In addition to increasing your visibility online, you can also encourage customers to connect with you through social platforms. Which is a great way of building trust and loyalty.
The Potential Benefit of Social Links
Google’s Matt Cutts revealed a few years back that there was a correlation between links on social media sites and website rankings. But the correlation didn’t necessarily mean causation. So nobody is 100% sure just how much social media link building can boost ranking effectiveness. But it’s very clear that social linking does have an influence, however indirectly.
Attract External Links
Link building campaigns can be time-consuming and expensive. But with a voice on various social platforms, your business has an easy (and free) outreach tool to attract natural linking through content sharing. Posting your blog posts or articles on social media not only gets people clicking through to your site, but it can also be used as link bait. With the possibility of another website or social media page linking back if your content is useful / relevant.
Boost Brand Awareness
Ultimately, the best way to gain a search engine’s trust as a high authority brand is to do it organically. This means that you need to have a good content strategy, as well as a branding strategy. Having a social presence allows you to reach untapped audiences, get your brand noticed by the right people, and connect with customers on a much deeper level. By increasing awareness, you can drive more traffic to your website and build your brand reputation online.
For more guidance on how social media signals affect Google algorithms, take a look at this Google Webmasters video discussion hosted by Matt Cutts.