If you are a savvy small business owner, then you are probably always looking for ways to update and perfect your digital marketing strategy. After all, things always evolve in this industry and you need to be on your toes if you want to stay relevant and competitive. If you are not new to SEO, then you may be aware of the search rankings Google is using to decide where in the SERPs to place your content.
But, there is one aspect of online marketing that, although not directly, can also influence the success of your SEO strategy. And, the best part about it is that not everyone is aware of it. We are talking about social media.
In this article, why are going to tell you more about social media SEO, explain if and how social media platforms can influence your SEO ranking, and how to leverage these networks to grow your business.
What Is Social Media SEO?
We know what you are wondering:
What do social media and SEO have in common? Can my social media posts actually affect my SEO efforts and if so, what can I do to benefit from this?
The answer’s not a simple yes or no.
Back in 2014, Google’s former webspam team, Matt Cutts, made it clear for everyone that social media sites are not seen as ranking factors by Google, but their own organic search results. In other words, while there is a relationship between social signals and organic SEO ranking, they don’t influence each other directly. All the links distributed on various social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, can help you attract more visitors to your business website, but they are not perceived as ranking signals by the search engines.
So, Why Should I Care About Social Media SEO?
That’s an excellent question! If my social media efforts aren’t going to boost my rankings directly, why should I worry about this when creating my SEO strategy?
Here’s our answer…
Take a look at some of the top-ranking sites in Google searches. Did you notice that they all have strong social signals? The thing is that the more you post quality content on social media, the more people are likely to find and share your content. Those social shares generate social signals that indicate that your content is useful and relevant and that could have an influence on organic rankings.
But, nothing is really certain in this space. Some studies claim that there is a direct relationship between a high number of social shares and organic ranking, but correlation doesn’t always mean causation.
How Can Social Media Help With My SEO Efforts?
If you are a bit confused by now, it’s understandable. Even digital marketing specialists can get a bit overwhelmed by the relationship between SEO and social media. The point is: social media can help with your SEO efforts but not in the way you would imagine. The number of social shares won’t influence your ranking because it would be impossible for Google to tell if these shares are authentic. However, there are some ways your social media efforts can actually make a difference.
- Help Improve the Performance of Your Content
By sharing your blog posts on your social media profiles, you are putting your content in front of a larger audience. The more people are accessing and engaging with your content, the more that tells the search engine that your article is useful and relevant to their needs.
- Build Brand Awareness and Authority
Social media is more engaging than SEO. With every piece of content you share on your social media profiles, there’s an opportunity for engaging your target audience, compelling them to click through your links, share your content, like it, and even start a conversation. All these interactions (and, more than anything, the way you respond to them) can help you establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry and build your reputation.
For example, let’s imagine you are a hair salon and you just shared an article on your social media sites about how to care for greasy hair. People start commenting, asking for advice, or telling about the tips that help them manage greasy hair. You engage with them and provide valuable, helpful, and informative answers. And, because your readers found your content so useful, they share it with their network too. That won’t necessarily count as a backlink, but it will help build your brand awareness and authority.
- Get More Traffic to Your Website
When it comes to SEO, one of the major goals is to generate more traffic to your website and with that more opportunities for conversions too. Increasing your site’s organic ranking isn’t the only way to do so. Sure, you can also use paid advertising to generate more traffic, but social media can also help you achieve that. Regularly share your content on your social media profiles and use hashtags to put it in front of a wide audience.
- The Human Component
A lot of businesses focus so much on the technical side of SEO that they forget about one of the most important components: human interaction.
SEO isn’t only about optimising your content for the best keywords. Google puts an emphasis on the user experience – meaning did the user have a good time browsing the site? Did they find what they needed? Did they have a pleasant experience?
Social media is all about experience and creating interactions. By sharing your content on your social media profiles, you are facilitating these interactions all while encouraging prospects to visit your website and to generate views, clicks, and conversions.
How to Use Social Media to Boost Your SEO
Now that you know how social media can influence your SEO efforts, let’s see what strategies you can use to benefit from this indirect relationship:
Create High-Quality Content
Whether it’s for your blog or social media, don’t create content just for the sake of doing it. We know that there is a lot of pressure on businesses and content creators to produce as much content as possible, but a content marketing strategy that focuses on quantity rather than quality can easily backfire. People are more likely to share and click on a social media post that leads to a well-researched, well-written article. And, the more visits and engagement your article gets, the higher the chances it will rank higher in organic search results.
Make Social Sharing Easy
As we’ve established, one of the ways social media can help with your SEO efforts is by directing your target audience from your social media profiles to your website. They see a post on your social media profile and find it interesting, click on it, read it, and then decide to share it with their network. This snowball effect can bring more traffic to your site and boost your ranking. But, picture this: a user finds your article in Google search, likes it, and wants to share it, but they can’t find the social sharing buttons. That’s a lost opportunity right there. By making social sharing easy, you improve your brand’s visibility.
Practice Social Listening
If you want to be successful at reaching your audience, then you need to understand “their language.” Simply put, you need to know what keywords they use when they are looking for a solution to their problem. That way, you can use those keywords in your blog posts, landing pages, and social media content. Of course, you can do keywords research to see what words your audience is using to look for your products and services, but you can also practice social listening. For example, you can pay attention to the conversations your audience is having on social media and the language they are using.
Optimise Your Social Media Profiles
Make sure that your social media profiles are complete and consistent across all networks. Don’t stop just at your business name, description, and contact details, but optimise your images too. It may seem none important, but on social media, the quality of your images and the right format can influence users’ likelihood to share your content. And, as far as SEO goes, images that are relevant to the content, have the primary keywords in their alt attributes, and use the right format can help boost your rankings as they make the user experience better.
Whether you want to monitor the number of social media shares per post or see how much social referral traffic you’re generating, it’s essential to keep an eye on the metrics that are relevant to your business goals. This is how you can tell if your social media efforts are actually helping you with your SEO, be it indirectly.
Do You Need Help with Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
When it comes to digital marketing, almost everything is interconnected. Your web design affects your user experience and a bad user experience affects SEO. Social media can help you promote your content, build brand awareness, and generate more traffic. More traffic tells Google that your content is relevant and it should be at the top of the search engine results. As you can see, nothing is in a void and everything is interconnected one way or another. You just have to see and understand those links and learn how to leverage them.
This is exactly what we do here at Australian Internet Advertising.
If you are still unsure how social media and SEO work and are connected to each other, do not hesitate to contact us. Learning how everything digital marketing works and mastering it is part of our goal together with using this knowledge to help our clients grow.
We are here to answer any question with great pleasure and passion. Our goal is to make sure that you and your business get the best advice. And, so far, we’ve been able to help numerous businesses, both big and small, rank higher in organic search results, drive more traffic, generate more conversions, and boost their sales.
Get in touch with us now to find out more about what we can do for you. We can set up an initial 30-minutes consultation during which we can discuss your current strategy, your goals, and what we would do to help you achieve them.