Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media marketing may seem like two completely separate marketing elements, but do they have the power to work alongside each other to help your business grow?
The digital marketing industry has been buzzing about how each tactic can influence the other. And the term “social media SEO” has been doing the rounds. Social media SEO refers to how your social media activities have the power to boost your website's traffic through search engines - and vice versa. The topic has gone through numerous case studies and researchers continue to explore this topic. The reason this has become such a big topic in the digital marketing community is because social media is important to SEO in more than one way. Not only does social media boost your SEO activities - it makes them even more valuable and lucrative.
However, it is important to note that social media doesn’t directly help your SEO. That is: your social signals don’t directly assist your search engine rankings. The links that you share through Facebook and Twitter will, however, get your brand more exposure but they will not be seen as a ranking signal by Google and related search engines.
Even though social media platforms are not used as ranking factors on a basic level, they do hold significance. It may not be such a direct significance but they do have an indirectly positive impact on a page’s rankings.
With the above in mind, social media does play a role in helping businesses get their content and brand to a much larger and more targeted audience. It is this exposure that helps SEO as it provides greater engagement, more backlinks and creates larger real estate for your brand on the search engine results pages.
By understanding social media and SEO, and how they can benefit your business, you will gain larger reach than before. Below, we outline what Social SEO is and how it can benefit your business.
Introducing Social SEO
Social SEO refers to using social media as a way to increase your website's search visibility in the search engine results. As stated previously, social media doesn’t directly impact your ranking but the social signals that are generated from these platforms do help in building trust and driving brand awareness - which indirectly helps in your SEO efforts.
Below, we take a look at this in greater detail.
Does Social Media Support SEO?
The impact of social media on SEO is still an ongoing debate and marketers are actively researching this concept. According to Damien Martin of Shufti Pro, “Bing certainly ranks pages with more shares higher than pages with fewer shares,” so when it comes to Bing, we know this to be true. It is also important to note that this is also stated in Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines. Therefore, we know that social media impacts a page's ranking on the Bing search engines.
Then there is search engine powerhouse Google. Google has stated that social media doesn’t directly affect search engine rankings but some groundbreaking studies have proven a correlation between rankings and social shares. No one knows for sure but we do not that Social Media plays an indirect role in rankings and this is something marketers cannot ignore.
4 Points Marketers Should Consider When it Comes to SEO and Social Media
1. Social Links and your Search Ranks
We know, based on Google's statements, that social signals do not add to your website's authority. However, does Google consider these links to be authoritative backlinks? Think about it like this: if a blog post you share on Facebook goes viral, would those links boost your search rankings?
According to While Cutts, Google crawls social website for information in the same way it does other sites, stating: “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, and so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it then we can return that in our search results.”
Cutts stated this in 2014 and since then, Google hasn't commented on the issue further. But as this conversation continues to grow in marketing circles, a study by Optinmonster in 2019 stated that social popularity does indeed help Google rankings.
Therefore, social media may not directly impact search ranks but links published to social media can be seen as credible backlinks, ultimately improving your page rank.
2. Social Media Channels Are Search Engines
Today, we are not limited to Google or Bing when it comes to researching something online. In fact, we are able to use social media channels to find what we are looking for. So with this in mind, Search Engine Optimization should actually include what we search for in social media search engines.
Think about it like this: If you are active on Facebook then it's possible people will find your content when searching for specific topics through Facebook search. And when it comes to A platform like Instagram, hashtags for SEO through the platform are key.
3. Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engine Results
The debate still lies in whether social shares affect your website ranking in the search listings but your social profile definitely influences content within your search results. In fact, social media profiles are usually some of the top results in search listing for brands online.
And because social profiles are more personal than other web pages, many users will click through to them before they click through to a website.
4. Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engine Results
The debate still lies in whether social shares affect your website ranking in the search listings but your social profile definitely influences content within your search results. In fact, social media profiles are usually some of the top results in search listing for brands online. And because social profiles are more personal than other web pages, many users will click through to them before they click through to a website.
There is no reason social media signals won’t end up directly playing a role in search engine results in the future. Therefore it is important that brands build their authority through social channels and when designing their SEO strategy.
If you are looking to implement SEO and social media for your business, Nexa is here to help.
Contact us today for all your Search Engine Optimization and social media requirements.