In this article, you’ll discover how to use social media for SEO and how they influence the ranking of your website within the SERP.
Whether you’re an SEO expert or just a neophyte, you may have already asked yourself if social media help your Optimization or not.
The answer is yes, they do. But not in the way you imagine.
As you may know, in SEO, you can never be sure of (almost) anything, being the algorithm a secret.
Sometimes, however, Google spills bits of information here and there. They are like spying from the Search Engine’s keyhole.
The pieces of information, in this case, are two videos by Matts Cutts, the former head of Google’s webspam team.
In the first video, Cutts comments on Danny Sullivan’s article on Search Engine Land. Cutts confirms that Google uses links from social media as a ranking signal.
In a more recent video, Cutts specifies that Google considers links from social networks no different than any other. It means they’re not a ranking factor. The search engine index social pages as it does with any other website, but it does not grant them any special treatment. Think about it: anyone can create multiple and fake social profiles, so it would be easy to manipulate the ranking with multiple link postings, unnatural clicks and phoney engagement.
Also, the crawler cannot keep up with the frequency of sharing and updates in social networks.
So: social media don’t have a direct impact on ranking, but does it mean they don’t have any impact at all? Far from it. By sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms, you will reach a broader audience and help your SEO, too.
Social signals are the complex of shares, likes and comments on a page. They are the clue of how much a page is visible and how the public perceives it. Although they’re not a direct ranking factor, they still influence the positioning of a website within the SERP.
The correlation between social signals and the ranking position is indeed strong, but how so?
So, while your activity on social media hasn’t a direct effect on your ranking, it affects it nonetheless, and in many aspects. Here you’ll discover why you should invest in social media marketing and how it will improve your SEO.
With their billion-strong user base, social media is the most relevant content sharing platform and is also the place where your potential audience dwells. If you provide it with quality content, people will share it and consider it as a reference. As a result, you will get more and more backlinks from quality websites.
If you gain engaged followers, you gain influence and so relevant backlinks. It will make your site gain authority, and your ranking will benefit greatly.
Also, social media posts get indexed fast when they become viral. But even if they don’t get indexed (it’s the case of links on Twitter), if they get many mentions, Google will consider your content relevant for a specific topic and will improve your ranking for it.
Social media is also the place where your audience can interact with you. In this way, you can address their questions and increase your brand reputation increasing your ranking and mentions.
Also, social networks will let you understand how they react to your content and what they find more interesting.
In this way, you know how to create the next exciting blogpost, increasing your chances of link earning and improving your authoritativeness.
At this point in the article, you already know.
It is not different than regular SEO best practices.
It may sound simple, but it is the hardest part of any social media strategy. To be honest, it’s also the whole point of any social media strategy.
Find out what your audience might find useful and promote your quality content through social media to a committed fanbase. In this way, you will earn more backlinks. Hubspot’s Dan Zarrella points out there is a clear correlation between social media shares and the number of backlinks. The more your content is shared, the more likely influent bloggers and website owners in your industry will notice your work and consider you an authority, putting links to your content on their pages.
Provide your audience with original, quality content instead of trying to sell them your products. Let your social channels speak about your values, share them with the public, create a community.
Establish a dialogue with people, be close to them and produce content they may want to interact with and share. Listen to what they have to say and answer them. Seriously, find time to reply to users’ comments and messages.
You may find influencers among them and, well, influencers are the most valuable source of backlinks because Google knows who’s who on the internet, and prizes backlinks earned from much-followed accounts.
To build a rapport with your followers can encourage them to become ambassadors of your brand. They will not only increase the number of visits on your website but also it will make them speak about your brand in their online conversations. As a result, they will provide you with more mentions, and so a better ranking.