To an innocent bystander, Search Engine Optimization seems like a complex sort of wizardry that brings a website from virtual obscurity to the top page of Google results. Even from the inside of this industry, we have to agree. There are a dazzling array of different items that go into the pot when cooking up just the right algorithm to attract Google’s wandering eye.
Social media has become one of the most important ingredients in recent years, as you can plainly see in this infographic:
Here are eight of the most important ways social media affects SEO:
1. Social media helps your site get indexed faster.
Search engines find websites quickest when there are a lot of links acting as arrows, pointing to content that matters. It’s as if every person who re-tweets your content is saying, “Hey, check this is out, Google!” A study by SEOMoz found that a post which receives three or more re-tweets gets indexed 50% faster.
2. Social shares – a new form of link building.
Link building is as old an SEO strategy as building a website. From the earliest days of the internet, marketers knew that one person reading and linking to a piece of content tended to have a Domino effect, causing many more people to read and respond. Call it “hype” or “word-of-mouth marketing” or what you will, but link building is a strategy so effective that shysters have built software programs designed to do just that (not that these computerized spam-bots work well, mind you, but they do exist). Social media sites are, by far, the quickest and easiest way for internet users to share links which in turn adds value to your overall marketing and SEO strategy.
3. Influencers act as effectively as the search engines themselves.
Nothing beats making a quality connection with a social media influencer who has engaged followers in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Suddenly, you have the opportunity to get your content in front of all these fans or even receive a ringing endorsement from the influencer him or herself. For instance, one mention of CampusLIVE by the infamous Lindsay Lohan drove 4,500 Twitter followers to the brand’s webpage. (Of course, that’s an extreme example of a celebrity who was paid to blog about a brand… there are plenty of “social media celebrities” who will tweet you for free.)
4. Social media complements your SEO work by helping you build credibility.
Google + profile authorship links your content to an author bio, so it’s less anonymous and seen as more credible. You can see journalists on most newspaper and magazine sites posting mini-profiles along with their content to garner a following. Your brand, too, can take advantage of this trend to drive recognition and trust. Although recently Google decided to no longer show authorship photos to everyone in search results, it is still a vital part of any SEO and content marketing strategy. Here is a great article that explains why Google Authorship still matters.
Update: Google Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search.
5. People can find your social network business page by searching relevant keywords.
When we create social media pages for clients, we make sure the profile page contains a few carefully-selected keywords. Whether consumers are searching for these keywords in a Facebook Search or on Google, your Facebook business page is likely to come up. For instance, when you search “Oreo”,after Oreo.com, the next pages to come up are:
– The Wikipedia page for Oreo
– Oreo on Twitter
– Oreo on Instagram
– Oreo on Youtube
– Oreo on Tumblr
– Oreo on Vine
6. Social networks improve your Local Search footprint.
Checking smartphones for new social media posts is a bit of an obsession for many Americans. Just look around any bus stop, coffee shop, or restaurant and you’ll see at least one person guilty of surfing through status updates. Social networks like Yelp, Foursquare and Urban Spoon recently got a huge bump in prominence with the latest Google Pigeon update. To get more bodies in your brick and mortar establishment, you’ll definitely want a full presence on these social networks with accurate directions, business hours, and photos. It’s also been noted in recent algorithm updates that the more positive reviews a business has across these various social sites, the more likely Google is to rank that website higher in the search results.
7. Social networks keep your business listings fresh.
When you share content on social media sites, your website gets a ping — which is a signal that the site is still “fresh” and relevant. Pages with updated content fare best in search results and, therefore, receive the most traffic over time. By the same token, you want your social media pages to look bustling as well, so the network deems your page to be authentic and valuable. Also be sure to update your website regularly by blogging and sharing your blog posts across your various social networking sites. Check out these 8 blogging tips for businesses here + these 8 SEO blogging tips here.
8. Social sites give you additional metrics.
We tend to forget that social networks are, in fact, giant search engines themselves. Facebook and Twitter let you search metrics to see what content is most popular, when people are reading, how many people are sharing your content, etc. HootSuite has a great white paper on how to get started tracking social analytics if you haven’t started yet.
Mod Girl Marketing Helps Businesses Ramp Up Social Media & SEO.
Did you know… we can customize an online marketing consulting package for you that contains all the elements you need to succeed in creating better brand visibility? We can help you with social media marketing campaigns, keyword research, search engine optimization, and more! Whatever you need, we have a team of specialists ready to help! Contact us today.