For those of you who use digital marketing to promote your business or your personal projects, social media and SEO are most probably already part of your strategy. But have you ever thought about how they influence each other, and if they should be considered as interconnected methods, instead of two separate entities?
There has been a lot of talk in the world of digital marketing when it comes to how much social media impacts a website’s SEO rank. The most controversial statement came in 2014 from Matt Cutts, back then the head of Google Web Spam, who said in a famous video that social media does not impact search rankings.
A lot of things can change in a time span of 6 years, and the discussion is still open for debate. But, while social media is not considered a ranking factor per se, it certainly does influence your search engine ranking. Let’s see how.
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A Strong Social Media Presence Brings More Traffic
One of the main reasons your business should be on social media is to get more traffic to your website. But don’t rely on social networks alone to get you high rankings just from the clicks your website gets from them. In fact, there’s a correlation more than a causation between social media and SEO.
Here’s what we mean by that.
By being engaged with your audience on social media, your brand gets more visibility, and more chance of being included in future branded searches. Social media shares directly raise awareness about your brand and campaigns.
Let’s imagine that you are a small business that sells leather men’s shoes at an affordable price. You share a lot of engaging and informational content on your social media platforms. You also encourage your followers to share pictures of them wearing your shoes to show their style and versatility. Because your brand is so engaging on social media and your followers love interacting with you, they will be more likely to perform a branded search next time when they are looking for a new pair of affordable leather shoes.
Being Connected with Your Peers Contributes to Link Building
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social networks are fabulous channels for entering communities. You can connect with your peers, be present when social events are taking place, participate in debates, and engage in industry trends.
By being active on social networks, you can build a good reputation, which increases your chances of being linked to your peers’ websites. Link building is one of the most valuable ranking factors available, so you should make it a priority in your digital marketing strategy.
One of the most effective ways of getting backlinks from authoritative sites in your niche is by creating high-quality content that answers your audience’s questions and targets their needs. That way, when you reach out to an influencer to ask for a guest post, they will be more likely to consider your request, knowing that you can deliver quality. Moreover, if your content is informational, helpful, and factual, then other websites in your industry might link back to you.
Brand Recognition – the True Value of Social Media for SEO
When it comes to connecting social media with SEO, it’s clear that Google and other search engines do not care about how many followers you have on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This number is not indexed and will not influence your SEO ranking.
But all these social networks are incredibly efficient for building brand recognition. Publishing high-quality content and getting people to share your content, engage with you, and talk about you will help put your brand on the map. But, it’s not only about content. You should strive to keep a consistent overall image on all your social media profiles so that your target audience will easily recognise your brand. Use the same logo, images, and tone of voice across all platforms.
Once your brand is popular enough, these actions on social media will start having an impact on SEO, and your brand will begin showing higher in the search results.
Social media plays an important role in local SEO too. As Google shows the NAP of businesses on Google Maps, so does Facebook on the business page of a company. Google will still not care what number of social media followers a Facebook business page has, but the fact that its NAP appears on a website will be taken into account in local searches. That’s because what matters to Google most is to provide users with helpful information, not just vanity metrics.
Moreover, Facebook is connected to Google Maps, which directly impacts SEO for small businesses, so it should be a must in your SEO strategy.
Content Marketing and Social Media
In the context of how social media marketing can influence search engine optimisation, content marketing can show a common characteristic: just as a well-kept social network presence helps with brand recognition, so does the quality and novelty of the content you publish online.
But the main difference is that content on your website can be highly optimised for SEO, while the content you publish on your social media doesn’t do anything directly for your SEO ranking.
In conclusion, if you think social media does nothing for SEO, think again. Your digital marketing plan should be seen as a holistic plan for everything that means online presence.
If you’re not sure how to juggle all these digital marketing elements, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals. Australian Internet Advertising offers complete SEO services and social media marketing services, combining them for the best reach and brand reputation that you can get.