Whether social media affects SEO has been a long-debated subject in digital marketing. Back in 2014, Matt Cutts stated that social signals, such as the number of likes or followers a brand has on social media, do not influence a website’s SEO or rankings.
The reason is that these signals can be easily manipulated. There are even platforms out there where brands can pay to gain followers and likes, which, if search engines would add social signals to their ranking factors, would mean search results would also be filled with low-quality sites that have just figured out how to play the system.
But does this mean social media and SEO have nothing to do with each other? Not exactly.
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Social Media’s Role in SEO
Social media can’t directly impact your search engine optimisation efforts in the sense that these platforms are not a ranking factor per se. But, they do support your strategy to improve your SEO rank.
Here are the 6 main areas that social media impacts SEO:
1. Supports Content Creation and Distribution
Content marketing is essential to any SEO strategy. Search engines love content because it’s one of the best ways to engage an audience. If users spend a lot of time on your site, then that’s a good sign that your site is worth a better rank.
Regardless if we’re talking about blog articles, product pages, or other content you create for your audience, you can use social media to distribute it and get people to click on your links and spend time on your website.
But how can social media help with your content creation efforts? Well, a good social media marketing strategy involves giving your audience something they want, even in terms of content. Social media can even be a place where you can find essential topics or keywords to add to your content marketing strategy.
2. Helps Prolong the Lifespan of Your Content
A big focus in your content marketing strategy is to create content that is evergreen, meaning content that isn’t just relevant at one specific point in time. This is why many brands focus on broader topics that can allow them to stay relevant, and even bring updates to the content whenever needed.
The problem is, even if you focus on such topics, and do your best to keep it fresh, the content still may be short-lived if you cannot keep a good influx of traffic coming to it. This is where social media can help you address this issue head-on.
You can post these updates on all your social networks and let your audience know you’ve got a new take on the subject, even if the link itself is (1) older, and (2) has been shared before. Plus, think of how social media shares work – you may not be the only one posting your content. Your audience may be doing so as well if you’re providing them relevant and high-quality content.
3. Improves Online Visibility
Consumers want to interact with their favourite brands and businesses on social media – in fact, they expect them to have a social media account and be active there. Social media platforms are now used to bridge the gap between the consumer and the business they choose to patron, and it’s often the first place people turn to for customer service queries and even news or updates about your business.
And the better you are at running these accounts, the more online visibility you get, which can help consumers trust you more, and spend more time on your website.
5. Improves Brand Recognition
Think of really big brands such as Nike, Apple, Coca Cola, or whatever other brands you like. Chances are, you can recognise the brands just from a logo, motto, or some other element you know they use.
This happens because these brands have amazing brand recognition – people not just know them by name and know their products, they are able to recognise them even with little information.
Through social media platforms, you have the chance of reaching new audiences, even if you only stick to organic (non-paid) engagement. The more active you are, the better chances you have of people seeing your name, logo, or page, which increases your brand recognition tremendously.
6. Enhances Your Reputation
How likely are you to shop from a brand you’ve never heard of before? Say you scroll through social media, and see a piece of content from a brand, click, read the article, and then see that brand is having a sale.
If you’ve never shopped from them before, you may think twice before adding a product to the cart. Instead, you do a bit of research to see if other people have shopped from them and what they have to say about:
- Product quality
- How they resolve conflicts or issues with the orders
- How serious their business is, etc.
In other words, you don’t trust them yet, so you need to build that trust. And a common way people begin that process is by doing a branded search – typing the brand name on a search engine to find out more.
Through those results, Google will actually add links to your social media accounts as well, giving the user as much information about your brand as possible. So when a person clicks on your Facebook profile, they should be greeted by an active page filled with high-quality content!
Over to You
Social media may not make or break it, but it definitely influences your SEO, so it’s a good idea to start improvising your strategy.
Let Australian Internet Advertising assist your Sydney business in reaching its goals through social media and SEO. Get in touch with us online, or call us at 1300 304 640, and let’s start working on your SEO strategy!