This post was last updated on November 26th, 2020 at 10:31 am
Right now, improving your website’s SEO may be high on your digital marketing list. And, for obvious reasons: boosting your search rankings is bound to bring an influx of high-quality search traffic to a site.
But, an SEO strategy can have a lot of different components, all working together to achieve this goal. However, it is very easy to focus on the wrong effort when you don’t have a full understanding of how each of your efforts ties into the grand scheme of things.
In this article, we’ll talk about one misconception many have when it comes to SEO, specifically social media content’s contribution to helping brands improve their ranks.
You might also be interested in HOW TO IMPROVE AN SEO RANKING IN ONE DAY
How Do Search Engines Rank Websites?
Before we discuss social media content and SEO, it’s important to clarify how search engines operate. From Google to Bing or Yahoo, the process looks something like this:
- A web crawler (or spider) jumps from site to site looking for data:
- That data is then indexed in the search engine’s database;
- A user types a query in a search engine bar looking for something;
- The search engines deliver a list of websites that help the user find what they want.
But these websites aren’t put into the SERPs in just any order – they are arranged based on the search engine’s ranking factors.
A ranking factor is a criteria search engines apply when they are evaluating a web page to decide the order in which they appear on the search result pages. These can be:
- Existing traffic
- Page loading speed
- Content relevancy (usually signalled by keyword usage)
- The quality of the backlinks
- User behaviour on the site (such as if the bounce rate is high)
- Metadata, etc.
So the crawler brings back all the data it can find, and then Google and other search engines review the data based on their ranking factors to essentially decide who deserves top listings on the SERP, and who is better left on page 2, 3, or even further behind.
An SEO strategy often means making a website address the search engine’s ranking factors head on to ensure the site is high-quality enough to earn a high position in the SERP.
How Does Social Media Content Affect SEO?
Social media content is not a ranking factor, so at first glance, it doesn’t have much say in a brand’s SERP position. So why do so many brands focus on creating this content, sometimes even within their SEO strategy?
Well, even if this content isn’t a ranking factor, it doesn’t mean your social media efforts won’t influence your SEO at all. Bellow, we’ll go through some of the biggest influences social media content can have on a brand’s SEO efforts:
1. It Adds Traffic
Traffic is a ranking factor, and social media content is a great way to drive traffic to your website since you can integrate links and redirect users to various landing pages you want to put forward.
Social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter are great ways for brands to create an engaging following they can leverage for their SEO purposes as well. This is why many content marketing strategies (which are components of SEO efforts as well), include social media marketing.
2. Boosts Your Content Reach
On search engines, users are only exposed to content that is relevant to their search queries, but things work a bit differently with social media sites.
There, users can stumble upon content they didn’t even know they wanted or needed. So if, for instance, you use your social media profiles to share blog posts, it’s not just the people who follow your page that could potentially see your content.
Users can share your posts on their own accounts, which increases visibility far beyond your own reach. Plus, your content may even be picked up by influencers or profiles with a very large following, not just regular consumers. And this can all translate into even more high-quality traffic that’s coming from social media platforms.
3. These Profiles Can Rank As Well
Social media profiles don’t just exist on these platforms. Your page gets a link that could potentially rank in search engine result pages as well. Most commonly, these links will be featured in branded search results.
Branded searches are when a user searches you by name. Let’s say they saw one of your posts, or an ad, and want to look for more information about you. When they type in your brand’s name in Google, for instance, they can receive links to your sites and social media pages, which they can use to get a better sense of who you are as a brand.
So through them, you can increase your search engine visibility and drive more high-quality traffic to your site.
4. It Can Improve Your Local SEO Efforts
Local SEO is a big priority for local businesses looking to tap into a nearby audience, and social media can certainly help these efforts.
To rank well in local searches, Google and other search engines need to know you’re a legitimate business. So, it needs additional information such as a physical address and the phone number to make that happen.
Through social media platforms, you have more opportunities to add this important information and make search engines see you as more credible. This ultimately helps you improve rankings in local search results.
5. It Boosts Your Social Signals
Social signals are all the likes, shares, views, and other metrics you can receive on social media pages. All your likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and views on YouTube go into your brand’s social signals.
These signals are often used by search engines to verify a business’ legitimacy. Not just that, but if you share content on social media recurrently, search engines also know your business is quite active and brings fresh content to the table.
6. They Technically Are Search Engines Too
Most social media platforms are now working hard to ensure their users can address virtually any need they may have right on the platform.
These platforms come with some amazing search functionalities that allow users to look up information not dissimilar to how they would on a search engine. It’s not a stretch to say some users may discover your page, post, or content through a simple search on one of these sites.
Facebook, for example, now has a marketplace where its users can search for products and services in their area, creating even more opportunities for brands to reach paying customers.
How to Leverage Social Media for SEO
SEO and social media platforms can work together to help a brand reach its goals, but it’s all in the strategy.
Simply sharing content on social media won’t necessarily help your SEO efforts if you do not align your social media strategy with your SEO strategy. Here are some easy ways to do that:
- Focus on valuable content – you need to give your users relevant, high-quality content that they can appreciate. And you can do that by tapping into their needs and expectations;
- Have a posting strategy – each platform has different rules as to how often you can post. For instance, it’s generally fine to have several tweets a day for Twitter, but on Facebook, you should never exceed two posts per day. Remember to create a posting strategy for each platform you’re active on to ensure you are getting your content in front of your audience;
- Leverage different social media platforms at once – setting up social media accounts is easy and free, so it’s a good move to set up accounts on multiple platforms. It’s very unlikely for all your target audience to gather on just one platform, and having multiple networks to share your content increases the likelihood of driving traffic to your site;
- Create complete profiles – remember to tell something about yourself, not just through posts. Creating complete profiles with website links, brand name, logo, descriptions, location, and other information helps consumers and search engines see your business as legitimate!
- Don’t overextend yourself – think of your resources and use them wisely. On social media, quality matters too. If, for instance, you can’t afford to make high-quality videos for YouTube, stick to the platforms that rely on images like Instagram or Pinterest first, and scale from there.
Improve Your Social Presence Today
If you need help tweaking your social media marketing strategy, and improving your SEO efforts, we at Australian Internet Advertising can help your Sydney business leverage the full potential of these platforms, and start seeing meaningful growth.
Start the process by getting a free $500-worth SEO health check of your site, then get in touch with our SEO team now to find out more about how we can help.