It is one of the big questions in the world of SEO – Is Social Media important to SEO? The answer is that it certainly does but perhaps not in the ways that first spring to mind, through ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and so on. The read-across between SEO and social media operates at a deeper and less direct level. But it does exist and it is important.
In 2016, Google confirmed that their algorithms do not take social media activities into account so that links which come from Facebook, Twitter and other such sites do not count as individual links like website backlinks do. However, this does not mean that these activities should not form part of an SEO campaign. In the vast majority of cases, the websites that rank highest will also have a significant presence on social media.
Content and Social Media
Good quality content is always crucial to successful SEO. If it is shared on social media, although this does not count as individual backlink, it will be picked up by other sites and help improve rankings in the process. This was illustrated by an experiment conducted by Hootsuite which analysed blog posts to find if their rankings change over time. They concluded that there is a “…positive correlation between social engagement and change in rank”.
Reaching a new audience
Beyond link building, social media can also support a website in other ways. It can significantly help in building an audience and reaching people who might not otherwise be accessible. There are billions of people all around the world interacting with the various platforms. If a website can cut through this and reach its target audience then the possibilities are endless.
It also has a role in building trust around your brand. When social media is used well, it can contribute heavily towards creating a strong brand awareness. When people are exposed to a brand through social media, they will get to know and trust it, meaning that they are more likely to click that site’s content on the result page. This will help build the click through ratio which plays a significant part in Google’s algorithms.
Social Media on Search Engines
The social media sites themselves also rank highly on the search engine results page, meaning that if someone was to search a company name then its own social pages will be amongst the highest results. This, again helps to build trust in a brand. If the brand’s social pages are optimised to their full potential, it becomes more engaging to the user and ultimately drives more traffic to the site.
It is not clear whether Google will ever include social media and direct social signals in their algorithms. As it becomes more and more influential, it may become difficult to resist. Regardless of this, the role that it can play in successful SEO is very clear. The bottom line is that it helps promote a website’s content and build its brand – If done well these factors will almost certainly improve its organic rankings.
Here are Verkeer’s 5 top tips for Social Media and SEO:
- Always remember to add your website link to your social media channels
- Ensure you have an active social media channel. Nothing’s worse than going onto a channel and seeing little to no previous activity for a number of months/years
- Treat Social Media content like SEO content, meaning keyword inclusion and structure are key
- Boost your followers. The more followers you have, the more chance there is of having your content shared.
- Repost/Share the new content from your website on your Social Channels.
At Verkeer, we can optimise social media in order to best contribute to successful SEO. If you want to learn more about how we can help your business in this way, then please get in touch.