A common question asked by companies, bloggers and other internet users is whether social media marketing has an impact on a website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The answer is “yes” and “no.”
SEO and Social Media Marketing do not have a direct relationship. However, before you think that the latter is entirely a different field, it is often thrown into the same “digital marketing bucket.”
Even though there are some differences between these two marketing approaches, they certainly have a symbiotic relationship. Understanding this is essential as a social media presence remains a key driver of web traffic for many websites. So incorporating social media use to your business or brand can give you a boost of incoming web traffic.
To help you understand further on how the two aspects of digital marketing work together, here are some of the key reasons how social activity impacts your SEO.
1.Social media links “somewhat” boost your search rank.
The best and perhaps simplest example here is how a single viral post can cascade to a steady influx of visitors. When a blog post goes viral on Twitter or Facebook, more users will attempt to visit your website to check the source of the viral content.
Furthermore, it has been known in the digital marketing sphere that Twitter and Facebook are sometimes treated like any other pages in the web index of a search engine. This leads us to think that Google and other search engines can mark a social backlink as credible, and thus influence the rank of a particular web page.
2.Search Engines credit social media profiles.
While the number of shares of a post does not directly affect a site’s search listing position, social profiles can definitely influence the top results. More often than not, when you search for a person or brand in Google, among the top ten results will be their social media accounts.
Another way social media affects your traffic is when you can provide users the company’s personality off the bat. They could feel more personal than with your website. When social accounts show up on the search results, people are more likely to check it out first, and giving them the best first impression is crucial.
3.People use social media just the same way they use Google.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and many other social channels are also mini search engines in their own right. There are times when some people do not directly go to Bing or Google anymore. Because of social media’s accessibility, they can easily search for an article, a product, a brand, or a service on their favorite social media platform, most especially Facebook. This works in many different ways.
An example is users see a compelling piece of content. After reading it, they can’t help but want to learn more about who the author or poster is. Naturally, they will search for your company on social media – the very place where they found your content in the first place. Moreover, users check comments and reviews about different companies and services on Facebook. They also check Instagram to view a brand’s product.
Think about it, just because Google does not include social signals as a significant impact on a website’s rankings, it does not mean that they will never count them. The algorithm of Google keeps on changing with new refinements, and it seems that social media use has rooted itself on firm ground in the digital field. You never know! A few years from now, your social media marketing may matter more than the other SEO techniques you have been working on.
It is true that technically search engines like google ignore social signals, but this should never be seen as an invitation for people and businesses to dismiss them. It is crucial that marketers broaden their scope of SEO so as to take into account that people find content on the internet in a myriad of ways.
They should also see the potential of social media to increase the traffic to a given website. The rules of quality SEO are ultimately geared towards an enjoyable user experience, so there is no reason to dismiss social media as another way to foster relationships with a company’s audience.
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