You know the importance of SEO. You also know the importance of social media in promoting your business. But do you know how they work together?
Social media and SEO are often treated as two distinct aspects of a marketing strategy. In fact, in many companies, content marketing and social media marketing are handled by two different people, or sometimes even two different teams. However, social media and content go hand in hand, and it’s better to fight the battle on two fronts than to treat your approach to marketing as two separate wars to be won.
Social media, when used properly, can be a driving force behind your visibility on the web. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between SEO and social media.
When you share links on social media, you accomplish a few things. First, you grow your audience as your fans and followers share your links. However, this isn’t the only benefit; increased shares provide more opportunities for your company’s content to appear in search engines results, and this in turn increases the strength of your primary keywords. Further, social sharing can increase trust; customers are far more likely to click on content shared by friends and family than content they come across independently.
Branded Search Opportunities
In large part, SEO is driven by keywords. When web users use the words you’ve targeted in your marketing, your business is more likely to come up. The more popular your site is, the higher priority Google will place on it for both your exact keyword matches as well as similar phrases. As your social media presence expands, the more likely it is that those new to your business will search your company name and related keywords, creating stronger associations between your brand and the chosen keywords Google will use for future search results.
The correlation is clear: the more traffic you get and the lower your bounce rates are, the better you rank on Google. Higher traffic shows Google that your page is worth visiting, improving your placement and further driving business to your website. 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.
Social Media as a Ranking Factor
Social media definitely has advantages as a way to boost your presence, but does it actually play a role in ranking? Do articles that are liked and shared more rank higher? As with many things Google, the answer is more vague than definitive. Google is famously ambiguous about the exact components of their algorithms, and they’ve gone back and forth over this issue a few times, with no clear answers. Google’s former webspam head Matt Cutts stated in a video that social media shares do count as a ranking factor – but then contradicted himself in another video years later. So, does Google really use social shares to rank? Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t, but the truth stands: social media can help your spot in the SERPs, whether formally or informally.
Google may not be completely forthcoming about the extent of social media’s impact on ranking, but there’s no denying the connection. A strong approach to social sharing and networking can certainly improve how you rank on search engine results pages, helping to build your business and your presence online without a significant investment. Want to make sure your social media strategy supports your SEO objectives? Contact RivalMind today to learn more about how we can improve your approach to social media.