A long time ago, in a land far far away, was the headquarters of a company called Google. They never used to consider the popularity of other people to rank websites. They used to rely on the quality of the content and the type of backlinks that a particular website was getting.
But soon everything was about to change. Because they wanted to live an exciting life. They started integrating the social signals as part of their algorithm. And soon the websites would have a hard time ranking on page 1.
Let’s be serious now (I loved that bit of storytelling though 🙂 )
It is true that Google has backtracked on their stance about social signals directly affecting the rankings of websites. But that does not prevent the SEOs from ranking their websites with the help of social signals.
Is it possible that these social signals are indirectly affecting their rankings?
That is quite possible.
And for that reason alone, I’m writing this article. Because it is an interesting topic to research about and dig in.
You will be surprised by what I was able to find out.
Social media does have an impact on your SEO strategy. But it might not be what you think.
Let’s dive deep and check out the 6 ways that social media has an impact on SEO.
You get traffic from social media
If you have built up an audience on your Facebook page, or Twitter or any other social network. And you share high-quality links to your website or other websites, sharing relevant information that your audience loves. Then you are bound to get some traffic to your website as well.
That is valuable traffic that you are receiving. And Google can see that.
In Google’s eyes, your website seems well rounded. You don’t rely solely on search engines to receive traffic. And you produce good enough content on social media that people like to click on it and visit your website.
Social Media Profiles Do Rank in Search Engines
Love it or hate it, you have seen social media profiles rank for some of the most competitive terms out there. And if you can create an optimized social profile for a particular keyword and create backlinks for it, you will see it rank just like a normal website, if not better.
Not just that. You have also seen social profiles rank for a lot of brand name searches. Like for instance, if you searched for the keyword “Rolls Royce” in Google, you will definitely their social media profiles in the results.
Why does this happen?
Well, Google knows that you are searching for a brand name, and it wants to give you the full picture of what that brand is all about. And social media profiles are a great way to do that because they are much more personal than webpages.
That’s what a normal person would like to see.
If you’re researching about a company that you know nothing about, what would you do?
Check out their website?
Or would you go on their Instagram and Twitter to check out what kind of things they tweet/post about?
I’m assuming it’s the latter option that you’d choose because that would give you more insight about the company.
Never Say Never
Google might have backtracked on their stance about social signals, for now. But remember, that is not a permanent decision.
And as different link building strategies like guest blogging, etc. are becoming less and less reliable as a way to judge the authority of a webpage, Google will most certainly be looking for different signals to look for authority and value.
And it is possible that very soon, the social media presence of a person will come into play.
So to avoid your website falling off of page 1, it is better to start building your social authority right now. And it’s not even that hard to do. You only need to focus on some key social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
You can add Pinterest if you are in the wedding niche or anything that has a lot of things that people would like to see before buying. Pinterest and Instagram are the perfect social networks for those kinds of niches.
It Is Easier to Get Links with Social Media
I know it sounds surprising. But here’s the thing, Google considers both sides of the coin when someone is linking out: the authority of the website linking out, and the authority of the website receiving that link.
So, if you are actively promoting your content through social media, and someone links to your social profile, you are indirectly receiving a link to your website, albeit in a much safer environment.
Because that link will be filtering out everything bad and will only pass on the good link juice, all thanks to that social network.
Social Media is Very Important for Local SEO
It is reported that as much as 80 percent of the people use their smartphones to find businesses near them. This means that if you are not leveraging your geography, it is possible that your competitor’s shop 2 blocks down the road is getting the customers that you should be getting.
Not just that, websites like Yelp take this to a whole new level of leveraging geography. They not only allow the businesses to list themselves in a specific geographical area, they also allow the customers to openly talk about their experience with the business.
And if you manage to have a lot of happy customers leaving a ton of positive reviews, you can start planning your vacation to Paris very soon. Because the most positive reviews you have, the higher your listing will be on these websites. And not just that, Google will see these reviews and also list your website higher as well.
I know this sounds like an endless party. And it is.
But the key here is to make sure that your geographic information like Name of the business, Address and Phone number matches across all the platforms that you have profiles on. This is very crucial because even a single misplaced comma can end up with you having a lower ranking in search engines.
Bing Is Right Behind Google
A lot of people forget about Bing. And they shouldn’t because it is the 2nd most-used search engine in the world. And its market share has been steadily growing for the past couple of years.
So it is a better idea to optimize your website for Google as well as Bing to leverage everything that you can get.
And while Google might not be directly considering social signals as a ranking factor, Bing does.
They have clearly stated that they do look at the social authority of a user. And this social authority does influence the rankings of that website in their search engines.
What is this social authority you might ask?
Social authority is just a cool term used to define how many followers you have, and how many people you follow.
In an ideal world, if you are serious about internet marketing and SEO, you would want to have more followers than the people you follow.
But then again, everything is compared to your competitors. So it might be a good idea to see what your competitors are doing with their social media accounts.
At the end of the day, you want to have a website that is optimized for everything: Search engines and social media. This will give you the biggest edge over your competitors.