How Does Social Media Impact SEO Strategy?
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When trying to promote a brand, marketing specialists focus on two different aspects:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing
Social media marketing is all about attracting more followers, teaming up with influencers, and boosting awareness. Search engine optimization targets the audience, too. But the method is different: you develop content with the hopes to rank high in search engine results.
Is there a point where these two strategies meet?
Do Social Media Directly Improve SEO?
If you were looking for a straightforward answer to that question, that’s it.
Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, answered the question: are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm? How much do they matter?
He explained Google treats Facebook and Twitter just like it treats any other page. It crawls them and returns specific results. But the number of likes and followers you have makes no difference.
That’s when we’re talking about the direct effects. But the second part of the question (how much do they matter?) is a bit trickier to answer.
Social Signal and Its Effect on SEO
Through various experiments, marketing specialists realized that social media activity does make a difference on the search engine results page. Hootsuite helps us shed light on the matter through this study. It shows a clear link between higher rankings and social media shares.
Go ahead and check backlinks here. Are you getting many from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? If you are, they are highly likely to affect your rankings.
Hootsuite’s experiment showed that if the content performs well on social media, the search rank is likely to be boosted.
Of course, Google doesn’t confirm this as a fact, and it’s impossible to know exactly how much the search results position would be affected by the links you get on social media. But we know that social media get you more visits. If you keep the bounce rates low with high-quality content, Google will note that.
So, we’re getting back to the good old link that always existed between social media and SEO: high-quality content is key to success.
Let’s clarify the exact social signals that are likely to affect SEO:
- When your content gets shared a lot, you get more visits.
- Bloggers like to share content that’s popular on social media. They notice it. They see that people react to it, so they consider it authoritative. As a result, you get more backlinks.
- Backlinks are known to improve the rank on search engine results. We’re talking about naturally obtained links without any manipulation. Social media helps you get them!
- When your page ranks better thanks to the visits and links, it becomes even more popular on social media. That brings more shares and more visits, and we’re into a great circle of beneficial effects between SEO and social media.
Social Media Affects SEO Authority and Brand Awareness
The Hootsuite study we mentioned above found a positive relation between boosted social engagement and improved search engine rankings. Brand awareness had something to do with that.
Your social media marketing strategy is mostly targeted to boosting brand awareness. For that purpose, you team up with influencers, you organize contests, and you share great content that triggers discussions. When more people start following you, they see your content in their feed, on a daily basis. They see influencers mentioning your brand. Unless the domain name generator tricked you into choosing a silly site name that people can’t pronounce, they will remember it.
When they search for your brand on Google, its active social media profiles will appear in the results. As we already said, Google indexes them just like any other page.
But your website will also appear at the top of the results.
What’s the easiest way to get your site at the top? Make your target audience search for your specific brand. For that, you need to build awareness. Social media is the master tool for that.
How to Build an SEO Strategy Using Social Media
Is there a way to blend your social media and SEO strategies? Yes. There are few ways to do that, in fact.
- Build Relevant Following on Social Media
That’s what your strategy is all about, isn’t it?
You want as many followers as possible, so they will share your links and you’ll build brand awareness among them.
This means that you don’t want to buy pages that already have followers since they are not relevant to your marketing campaign. Buying followers no longer works, so don’t even think about that.
You’ll gain massive following only by sharing high-quality content and teaming up with the right brand ambassadors. Those are two of the most consistent advertising trends of all times.
- Don’t spam your followers with too many posts and stories. Post only when you have something to say.
- You may ask them to share your content now and then, but don’t beg them to do that all the time. If you post great content, they will share without being asked to.
- Share their content, too. When someone features your products on Instagram and tags the brand in the product description, share the post through a story. Other followers will get inspired to do the same. When you give them exposure, they give you exposure. This helps you increase brand awareness, and we already talked about its link to SEO.
- Create Content Worth Sharing
Social media gets your visits and engagement.
That’s how it affects the search engine rank in the most obvious way.
We come down to the crucial factor of success for both SEO and social media marketing strategies: good content.
Ask what your followers want from you. Find out what struggles and questions they have. Then, deliver solutions.
Genuine Marketing Always Works
When you have a great product or service and you promote it without lying to your audience, you’ll get great results. The quality will increase social media activity. When people start talking about your brand, Google will take notice.