Social Media and SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Last updated on: October 30, 2019
about 9 minutes

In the online domain, there have been this unending quest or speculation about the importance of social shares and if these social signals have an impact on search rankings.

Although for Google’s algorithm, various factors are considered when it comes to the ranking of websites. These factors which cannot be predicted due to its constant changes make it hard for one to identify the exact way to increase a website ranking.

Hence, when it comes to ranking a website, various content creators and SEO experts tend to stick to their usual routine. For most content creators, creating unique and highly engaging content is one of their methods of trying to rank higher, however, there’s more to this than just creating content.

Even though content creation is crucial in terms of ranking with the combination of SEO; it makes for a more powerful strategy.

So, what is SEO?

SEO simply means Search Engine Optimization. It is the optimization of websites to enable it to get organic traffic from search engines.

It involves getting both quality and quantity traffic to a website by increasing the reach and visibility of a website. Hence, Social Media Optimization allows you to get more users to your website or webpage without any paid adverts.

For SEO, there are various factors involved in the search engine optimization of a website and this includes; the use of quality content, meta information, link building, page speed, user experience, etc.

What are Social Signals?

Social signals refer to the collective social share’s and engagement of a website. It includes various social activities such as likes, shares, pins, retweets, and votes. These social shares tend to signal to the search engine that end-users have engaged with your brand hence, indicating the level of your brand’s social media visibility. These social activities or engagements contribute to your brand’s organic search engine ranking.

It could also be another type of citation – just like the regular backlinks.

Although Social Signals may not directly influence Google’s search algorithm however, there’ve several speculations as to why high social share signals tend to aide organic search rankings. In fact, the influence of these social media shares on SEO has been a significant topic in the industry.

Now, whether these social signals help with a brand’s SEO – all that depends on the expert’s efforts. It is essential to know that Social Media is more powerful than we could imagine as it could affect a brand’s SEO. Due to this, it is crucial for companies and brands to have a comprehensive social media strategy with the aim of driving high-quality traffic and engagements.

Why Are Social Signals Important?

Apart from aiding SEO, it is essential to understand that Social Signals are important in various ways.

This includes:

  • Bounce Rates: Bounce Rates refer to the number of website visitors that navigate away after reading or viewing one page. However, when you have the right social signals, it could help reduce your website’s bounce rates and even help you bring more repeat visitors to your website.
  • Website Ranking: When it comes to SEO, the ranking of a website is very important. Nevertheless, Social Signals could aide a website’s ranking as a page social signals could influence your other pages thus, helping you improve your website’s overall ranking.
  • Visibility: Most importantly, Social signals bring about an improved brand reach helping you gain maximum visibility.

How Social Signals Impact SEO

Here are how few known facts on how social signals impact SEO:

The more social share’s your content or website has, the more potential it has in reaching a larger audience who would read and link to your content. Using Social Signals, what matters the most is the link your content gets from its social shares.

This means that sharing your content to various social media platforms is ideal but what’s more important is linking back to that content. With this, when people share and re-share your content, your link keeps reaching a larger audience, providing you even greater visibility.

In addition, if you’re lucky enough to have a popular or viral content on any of these social media platforms, it could help greatly to attract various links that could be helpful in the ranking of a website. So, it doesn’t necessarily matter if it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Pinterest you’re using because what matters most is creating high-quality content that attracts an audience. If you do this right, you’d realize that you’ll begin to get more links from other websites.

Grow an Audience

There’s this perception most people have and that is ‘Build it and they will come’. Unfortunately, in an online space with billions of other websites constantly competing to outrank one another, that saying doesn’t do any good. Hence, you must be active and willing to get your brand out there to where you would find your target audience. However, if you think – where could you find your potential audience? Social media.

Using Facebook and Instagram alone is enough to give you the maximum potential of reaching your target audience. To make it even better, with the ease of social sharing, there’s no doubt that Social Media is indeed a great way to grow your brand hence, helping you build a significant web presence and an audience.

However, it is essential to know that to do this, you must have a comprehensive social media strategy to help you reach your objectives.

So how does this affect your website’s SEO? It’s simple. When you have an audience or you’ve built significant brand awareness using Social Media, it increases your chance of getting more visitors because people would most likely click on your brand’s content when it appears in Google search results, therefore, influencing your click-through rates. This is because the more your audience knows and trusts your brand, the more likely are you to receive a good number of clicks in Google.

So, if you do it right and you’re able to increase your click-through rates, then it could you help you rank even higher.

Increases Promotion

How could we forget YouTube? The world’s second most-used search engine. With its billion visits, YouTube should be another source of traffic to your website. Using YouTube, you can impact your website’s SEO performance by creating quality videos that promote your brand. This can result in links for your website thus, increasing organic ranking.

Although you might think it provides no SEO value, when you have a comprehensive strategy in place, you could drive visitors to your website using YouTube. By doing this, you’d be able to build essential backlinks for your website. To do this correctly, you’ll need to have your target audience on Social Media so that you can adequately promote to them.

How to Optimize Social Media for SEO

Now, that you understand why social signals are essential for your content or brand, it is also vital to know how to optimize your social media for SEO.

Create Social Profiles for your Brand

If you’re yet to have an online presence or no social media profiles at all, then we believe it’s time to create one. With various Social Media platforms, limiting yourself to just one social media platform is not ideal. Hence, ensure you have at least two or three social media accounts set up for your brand. This is crucial in ensuring a successful social journey.

Optimize your Social Profiles

Now, that you have your social accounts set up, the next step is to optimize your profiles for better visibility or reach. To do this, it is vital that you have a consistent image and username on all your social accounts to help with your brand recognition. Also, ensure that your bio is clearly written with the necessary keywords that are related to your brand. You could also add a relevant link such as a link to your website or lead magnet to get people to visit your website.

Post Consistently

You’d be killing your Social presence if you do not post regularly. In the realm of Social Media, consistent posting across all your profiles is very important because if you do not post regularly, it’ll be hard for you to build an audience. However, before posting, it is important for you to study each platform to help you decide on what works for each platform. So, it’s essential to ensure that you do not stagnate your Social media profiles. By regularly posting, it could help with social signals like comments, re-shares, etc.

Optimize Social Posts for Shareability

Remember that the purpose of this is to help impact your SEO, therefore; it is crucial that you optimize your social posts or updates for shareability. You could do this by using eye-catching headlines, images and even asking your audience to comment, vote and re-share your post. Also, you could use content tools to get content keywords that could help explode your social post reach.

In addition, do not forget to use your hashtags as they are keywords too. These hashtags will help your post reach a wider audience and you do not want to miss out on that!

Optimize Your Website for Shareability

It is one thing to have social posts that can be easily shared and it’s another thing to have a flexible website that allows for the sharing of posts. In this case, it is very essential that your website has quality content that would make people want to share it. So, it is your duty to create quality, optimized and shareable content for your audience.

Also, to make post sharing easier, you could use some good social sharing buttons to allow people to share your posts faster.

Social Media and SEO: Final Thoughts

Conclusively, it is vital to know that Social Media has a significant role when it comes to your ranking, so always ensure that you focus on how you could genuinely help your customers.

Do not publish updates or posts just for the sake of getting people to visit your website; instead, share posts that will be valuable to your customers. Don’t also forget to engage with your customers to show them that you truly care about them. If they see your brand as valuable, then you’d likely get more social shares and referrals.

Nevertheless, if you follow the above steps, you’d likely be increasing your social signals and ranking soon.

So, Goodluck!

author Karen social media tips


Karen is senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. She drinks 3 lattes a day and enjoys early morning run with her dog.

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