Social media SEO refers to the practice of using social media platforms to improve search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. It involves leveraging social media channels to increase website visibility, drive organic traffic, and improve search engine rankings.
How Can You Improve SEO Using Social Media?
- Optimize your social media profiles: Ensure that your social media profiles are complete, accurate, and aligned with your brand. Use relevant keywords in your profile descriptions and include a link to your website.
- Share high-quality content: Create and share valuable, engaging, and shareable content on your social media platforms. This can include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. High-quality content is more likely to be shared, increasing its visibility and potential for backlinks.
- Use relevant keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords in your social media posts, captions, and hashtags. This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your content.
- Encourage social sharing: Make it easy for your audience to share your content by including social sharing buttons on your website and blog posts. When your content is shared on social media, it can attract more visibility and potentially generate backlinks.
- Engage with your audience: Actively engage with your audience on social media by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. This helps build relationships, increase brand visibility, and encourage user-generated content.
- Build a strong social media presence: Focus on building a strong presence on relevant social media platforms. This includes regularly posting content, participating in industry discussions, and networking with influencers and thought leaders.
Why Social Media Is Important for SEO
SEO involves optimizing your site so that it appears in search results for people searching for your product or service and encourages them to visit your site. The same is true for social media, which puts your content and name in front of those who are interested in what you have to offer.
Did you know that social media platforms function in much the same way as they used to? Hashtags or keywords in the post copy (or both) are now used by every major social media platform to categorize their content. Users can follow topics or hashtags in the same manner as they follow accounts. Each post that they interact with informs the platform of their interests.
- 54% of social network users search for products on platforms.
- Social media users are more likely to trust the product and service recommendations of other users than celebrities.
- 71% of consumers who have had a good experience with a particular brand on social media will recommend it to their family and friends.
- Social media pictures on product pages increase the likelihood of a consumer purchasing a product by 6x.
Both SEOs offer similar reach. Each day, there are 5.6 billion Google search queries, 2 billion Facebook searches, and 1 billion YouTube videos watched. Only a small fraction of these searches are relevant to your work, but you get an idea.
By using social media, you can conduct audience research through polls and posts. In the comments section, you can interact with your customers and gain valuable insight into their needs and wants (while also responding to any questions or concerns).
You can then use this valuable information to improve the quality of your offer, including keywords and SEO content.
What Is the Impact of Social Media on SEO?
Let’s get right to the point. Here are the five main ways that social media affects SEO:
- Content Amplification – Helping your content be discovered and enjoyed more by people, even when it is not on the first page of search results
- Brand Awareness – Building your online presence by exposure so that your name is familiar when it appears in search results
- Trust & Credibility – Supporting your reputation in your industry when someone searches you online due to a referral
- Link Building -The more places that your content is discovered, the greater the chance it has to earn SEO-friendly backlinks (inbound links) when cited by other websites
- Local SEO – Increase your local ranking and presence through customer reviews and business profiles
These areas have an indirect effect on your ranking and SEO. Social media SEO is crucial for all businesses, regardless of their size and industry.
What About Social Signals? Is Social Media a Ranking Factor?
You might have heard that social signals are a Google Ranking Factor. According to this idea, social media posts, engagements (likes and remarks), shares, or follower counts could directly affect ranking.
Google DOES verify your legitimacy by using your social media accounts, but it is usually only your NAP, which is your name, address, and phone. Google is very picky when it comes to NAP accuracy. It will, therefore, check all listings of your business to ensure that the contact information is correct. Google may decide not to show your business when someone searches for local businesses if your email address is incorrect or your website link differs.
Google may or may not verify social media profiles to verify the expertise of a website’s author. E-A-T does not have a single ranking factor but rather a group of signals that combine to create one: trustworthy content and sites will be ranked higher.
Google SEOs also stated at different times that Google’s algorithm does and does not take into account when content receives a large number of social shares or traffic. Not helpful. What is helpful, however, is that Google utilizes data from Google Chrome to determine website traffic volume and frequency from any source.
The majority of other social signals are the result of indirect ranking signals. This includes the traffic to your site, positive engagement with the content, and increased links that help it rank higher.
Bing uses social media accounts, just like Google, to verify the credibility of a brand. Bing’s algorithms also take into account the number of social shares a piece of content receives. Bing uses social content even in its knowledge panel.
Use Social Media for SEO
In the previous section, I discussed five ways that social media affects SEO. We’ll now discuss how they work.
1. Content Amplification for Indexing and Ranking
In an ideal world, you would always be able to publish new content on Google’s first page, which would make everyone happy.
- More than 25% of users click on the first search result
- Only 75% of users click on results after the first page
Page one offers a limited number of opportunities. From images to answer boxes and videos, page one has it all. Even a keyword strategy that is on point can’t generate traffic by itself. If you don’t have a content creator, or if your YouTube or image SEO isn’t up to scratch, then all of your content will start on the second page or lower.
You don’t have to stop creating content. It’s just that you need to find another way of getting it seen! Enter social media.
- Shared pages and posts on social media drive traffic to these pages regardless of their rank on Google. More traffic means greater chances of being noticed by Google. This can be due to a large volume of traffic detected by Google Chrome or visitors linking to your content from outside social media. It can also lead to faster ranking (if using an SEO plugin or manually indexing your site in Google Search Console) and higher rankings or opportunities to rank.
- Social posts reach an audience that is already interested in your business and its content. They are more likely to click through and engage. Sharing relevant and helpful content regularly will help you build your audience, as well as potential future website traffic.
- It’s also possible to use social media to drive traffic towards older content that is still relevant. We recommend that you regularly update your old content, but that may not be feasible for everyone.
If your content encourages strong user interaction ranking signals (such as longer sessions, deeper scroll depth, and viewing more pages), then you have some SEO magic.
2. Brand Awareness
To grow your business you need people to know about you. You can’t attract new customers, whether you are a local shop or a global brand.
Social media is the next step.
- You can use hashtags and keywords to make your posts and profiles more visible and encourage people to follow you. By commenting on relevant posts, you can increase your visibility among those who interact with the post. This allows you to be seen by all your followers when your customers post about your products or services.
- Create branded hashtags that encourage people to tag you and share their experiences. Even an account without followers can make a video on TikTok that goes viral quickly and results in thousands of followers.
- Influencer marketing has become a huge thing for a good reason. The influencer will tag your business and amplify it in front of their large following.
What is the relationship between social media SEO and this? Traffic is key.
Social media can increase your company’s visibility, which will lead to more visitors coming from these platforms. Google can see this behavior if they are using Chrome.
3. Trust in Your Business
Trust in your business is just as important for growth as brand awareness. The more expensive the offering is (hello B2B!), the more research your customers do before contacting you, including researching the type of business you run. This increases their chances of getting a response.
- Social proof has become a significant factor. People want to see testimonials, awards, statistics, and more. Social media is an excellent way to collect and share this social proof.
- As previously mentioned, 54% of social media users search for products and brands using social platforms.
- It is possible to show your expertise and be helpful by creating how-to content. If you don’t have a hugely successful website, sharing the content on social media will get it seen more quickly.
- The more consumers know about your business through social proofing and the content you share via social media, the more likely they are to remember you when they need your service or product.
The research that people conduct on your business doesn’t just focus on what you sell or whether it is effective. They are looking at all the little cracks and crevices.
Are you good to your customers and employees? Are you environmentally sustainable? What are your concerns? Give back to your community.
It’s hard to cover all these topics on your website, but you can easily show your human side on social media.
4. Link Building with Social Media
One thing is constant in the SEO world: links play a huge role in ranking.
Inbound links are links that lead from one website to another. This other website gives you an official thumbs up from Google. The higher the quality of the website that referred you, the better your outcome will be.
The social media platform itself does not give you links. Website links on your profiles are direct traffic unless you have smartly tagged the links with Google UTM builder. Links to the content that you share and other accounts post fall under referral traffic from social media.
Social media, when combined with brand awareness and content amplification, can lead to more backlinks.
It is a link that’s just waiting to happen for every person or business who views your social media content. In my blog posts for the Forge and Smith website, I often cite other websites as sources of data. Some of these I found via social media.
5. Social Media Supports Local SEO
Local SEO is important for some industries, such as hospitality and dining, and small businesses that have brick-and-mortar shops. You want to be on the first page of a search for your local service, whether it is a voice or regular search.
Remember when we discussed NAP (name address phone number) earlier? The importance of NAP in local SEO is enormous. This is because the proximity to the searcher’s location is a key ranking factor.
- You can also use social media to share your location and contact information with Google.
- Social media posts are a great place to utilize local hashtags and local keywords
- You can now publish posts on your Google Business profile.
You’ve probably noticed that this is a common theme: social media has a positive impact on local SEO through increased traffic and visibility, which can have repercussions on search rankings in various ways mentioned.
Facebook reviews appear in Google search results. Although they don’t affect rankings (unlike Google Business Reviews), the presence of these reviews in search results may influence a user’s decision whether to click on a link.
Make sure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) on social media matches the footer of your website and any location pages. Ensure that you have the correct hours on Facebook, Google Business, and any other relevant sites that people will check. Also, update them to reflect holidays and other closures.
Use local keywords and hashtags in your social media profiles.
SEO and Social Media
Social media SEO is an important dynamic that you cannot ignore. This is a great way to create a community and humanize your brand. It also allows you to elevate your message, your work, and your message.
You’re probably now convinced of the power of social media search engine optimization. Enjoy optimizing!
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