Does Social Media Influence SEO?

Ian HancockStuff

SEO and social media should no longer be seen as separate areas of activity but as part of an ecosystem working together. Quality content is the primary driving force for a site’s success and social engagement relies heavily upon this. Content that is easily shared and syndicated through social media is becoming favoured and brands need to be on board in creating content that is share worthy.

The world is becoming more social. Today children are being brought up communicating on social media platforms. This generation will become tomorrow’s consumers and will spend more time on these sites interacting with companies. Currently people are spending more time on social networking sites than search engines and this gap is set to continue.

From a study carried out by Searchmetrics, Google + was found to have a correlation of 0.37 with search rankings. This was higher than any other social networking site. The fact that Google is trying to make Google + an important part in most things it now does, shows the importance it is placing on social media. As Google + has now become integrated into Google search results and Facebook data into Bing, the notion of a direct correlation between what happens in social media and search results becomes more obvious.

Google’s mission is to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. If it can derive information from social media to fulfil its mission, it will do so. SEO and social are both discovery avenues that create brand awareness, drive leads and engages customers. The impact that social signals have on search algorithms is continuing to grow. Social shares indicate that your site is liked enough to be shared and is considered a mass endorsement by Google.

Content syndication through social media is a great way of sharing your content without
getting in trouble by Google. You can have your content appear of various sites but it’s not considered as being duplicated in any way. Plus it’s quick and easy to do!

A share, like, retweet and +1 can increase your social capital as well as your search credibility. These are all relevant and can be used by search engines as “social proof” much like links. By gaining a massive amount of links you boost your SEO signals and site visibility but social shares also indicate authority to Google. However, the social approach helps to put the human element back into a search to achieve a perfect mixture along with algorithms.

How Does Social Effect SEO

How to combine SEO and Social

By giving users the opportunity to share your content, you are enabling your site to increase social signals to Google. Ensure you add social media buttons to your site and your blogs.

1. You could potentially create video content to showcase your products. Optimise the video by using keywords in the title and add tags with targeted keywords. You could upload a video to YouTube or even create a 6 second GIF on Twitter’s Vine.

2. Influence influential people on Twitter. If you have a link from your site tweeted by an influential user it can boost search rankings and increase referral traffic. If you use tools such as WeFollow and Twitter you can search users who may influence your potential customers. Create a blog they may be interested in and tweet them with a link to the content. People are generally flattered if you approach them directly and are more likely to share your content.

3. Start integrating Google + into the social icons on your site. Invite followers from Twitter and Facebook to join. Any articles or blogs you have, syndicate them out on Google +.

Our SEO Birmingham team can advise you on how to integrate social media marketing into your SEO campaign.