Most marketers understand the importance of SEO. Search marketing engages leads guides relevant users to your website, and converts traffic. Organizations that understand SEO agree that it is effective and worthwhile, undeniably increasing online visibility.
On the other hand, social media marketing is often a target of skepticism. If social media is utilized at all by an organization, it is often treated a distinct marketing outlet. In reality, social media and SEO are correlated, compounding the endeavors of the other and creating a holistic digital marketing strategy.
Why Are Business Owners Still Skeptical?
As a business owner or organization director, skepticism is to be expected. Before money is spent, you should be confident that your marketing efforts will return fruitful. However, social media skepticism often stems from a few common questions – we hope to address these common concerns and demonstrate the value of this marketing channel.
Is My Target Audience Actually On Social Media?
While specific platforms have risen and fallen in popularity, social media has flourished since inception, continually amassing a great, dedicated following. To offer perspective, if the population of Facebook were a country, it would be the largest in the world, encompassing nearly a third of humanity. Despite the extensive user base, organizations often overlook the huge, viable target audience present on social media channels. Simply due to size and popularity, it is extremely likely that your primary demographic is present on various social media channels, likely interacting with a service or product offered by your active competitors.
Will Social Media Hurt My Brand?
Brand awareness is a significant element of social media. Organizations often join social channels for the sole purpose of introducing their brand to a broader audience. A startling 52% of brand discovery happens in public social platform feeds. While positive brand promotion is important for business growth, social media is a public platform with potential for brand endangerment without a predetermined vision. Do you have a vision for your organization’s social presence? Launch from this platform.
Can Marketers Really Define Social ROI?
There is no way around it – social marketers struggle to define ROI. 55% of social marketers have cited ROI measurement as their primary challenge. Organization owners passionate about measurable ROI observe these statistics and shrink back from social media engagement. In reality, challenges associated with defining ROI revolve around a lack of targeted goals and conversion analysis. Determining a key objective, establishing a strategy, and defining performance indicators is the straightforward formula to tackling social media with a measurable plan.
Does Social Media Impact SEO?
Organizations may wonder about the influence of social signals on search engine rankings. In 2014, Matt Cutts of Google stated that social signals do not directly affect search rankings, contradicting his 2010 claim that they, in fact, did. On the other hand, research has proven that social signals do indeed influence search marketing success. Social media itself is not a ranking factor at this time; however, it has significant impact on search engine standings.
Yes, social media and SEO are separate marketing channels – but they have the potential to significantly impact each other, creating a holistic digital strategy.
How Does Social Impact Search Marketing Efforts?
Social Media & SEO Have Overlapping Goals
The purpose of search marketing is gaining visibility on the web, ultimately increasing organic website visits and converting traffic. Social media is about winning the right visibility, sending traffic to your website, and converting. Although methodology is different, these goals overlap.
Social Media Content Is Indexed
Like your website pages, much social media content is crawled and indexed by search engines. In his 2014 video, Cutts stated: “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, and so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it then we can return that to our search results.”
Content pointing back to your website promotes the content’s relevance, and Google recognizes the weight of the relevance. For example, sharing a blog on social media and receiving visits to the content from social influences the success of the post. The correlation is clear: increased converting traffic improves Google content rankings. Increased traffic shows Google that your page is worth visiting, improving your placement and further driving business to your website.
Furthermore, social profiles are indexed, often ranking in search engine results pages. Searching influencers, such as Oprah Winfrey, will often return social media profiles and pages. Within relevant search queries, organizations can experience the same result – in recent years, Facebook and Twitter URLs ranking within the top 100 on Google.com have substantially increased.
Social Media Builds Authority & Trust
Website authority is a critical SEO factor. Pages and domains with greater authority often rank above those lacking. Of course, web authority grows over time, enhanced by relevant backlinks. When other authorities link to your content, Google views this as a vote of confidence. Social media is an extraordinary tool in link-building efforts. Content is syndicated with shocking speed on social platforms. Every chance to share excellent content to a relevant audience increases content distribution and, ultimately, link-building opportunity.
Beyond website authority, social media builds trust within your audience base. 43% of internet users utilize social media during purchase research. If someone is interested in your brand, they are likely to search your name on a social media channel and evaluate your presence.
Social Media Increases Reach
We have already hinted at the potential social media has to spread your content to a broad, relevant audience. Reach is increased as you and your fans & followers share links. Sharing on social media is a great way to drive traffic, bringing your business to a new audience that will click on your links, browse your pages, and even make purchases. Furthermore, social sharing builds trust as customers are more likely to click on content shared by friends and family than independent content.
Social Media Channels are Search Engines
People perform searches on social media channels, as one would on Google or Bing. If your content is relevant to the search, someone may discover your brand while searching for a relevant term. On platforms that utilize hashtags, users perform search queries and properly categorized posts appear. Thus, “search engine optimization” as a marketing tool extends beyond Google and Bing into robust social search engines.
The Undeniable Correlation Between Social Activity and Rankings
In recent years, Hootsuite performed an experiment solidifying the correlation between social activity and search engine rankings. After completing research, Hootsuite found significant results: content shared on social media experienced a 12% increase in search engine rankings and content shared and boosted on social media experienced a 22% increase.
RivalMind: Social Media Marketing
At RivalMind, we are passionate about encouraging holistic digital strategy, centered around an organization’s key goals. Our search marketing and social media teams work in tandem to craft a powerful marketing plan.