SEO and social media don’t operate in silos.
Does Social Media Affect Your SEO Success?
Yes, it does. But how?
Well, let me explain:
The more engagement your content gets, the more it’s likely to rank up high on search engine results pages.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that many businesses overlook. They either don’t see the connection between social media and SEO or just don’t think social media is worth their time.
Although social media signals are not a direct ranking factor, they primarily affect SEO in four major ways:
- Social media generates traffic to your website
- Social media helps build brand awareness and creates an audience for your content
- Social media offers broader content distribution and a longer content lifespan
- Social media improves local SEO
So, to answer the question: yes, social media can directly impact your SEO success.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how these factors affect your SEO strategy.
#1. Social Media Generates Traffic to your Website
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
When people share your content on social media, they expose it to their followers. Some will click to read it, and if they like it, they may share it with their followers.
This process continues until your content goes viral and reaches a larger audience than you ever could have reached on your own.
And the more traffic your website gets, the better it is for SEO. Google looks at website traffic as a sign of popularity and relevance. The more popular and relevant a website is, the higher it will rank on search engine results pages.
#2. Social Media Helps Build Brand Awareness and Create an Audience for Your Content
Social media is a great way to build relationships with potential and current customers. It’s a two-way street — you learn about your audience and what they want, and they also learn a thing or two about your business and what it can do.
People are more likely to buy from businesses they trust, and social media is the perfect platform to build that trust. By sharing helpful and informative content, you position your business as an expert in your industry.
And the more people trust your brand, the more they’re likely to visit your website and read your content when they see it.
#3. Social Media Offers Broader Content Distribution and Longer Content Lifespan
When you share something on social media, it has the potential to be seen by millions of people around the world. And if your content is good, it will continue to be shared even long after you originally posted it.
This gives your content a much longer lifespan than if it were only published on your website. And the longer your content remains relevant and popular, the better it is for SEO.
#4. Social media Improves Local SEO
Social media can also help you collect and manage online reviews. And since Google uses online reviews as one of their ranking factors for local businesses, this is a great way to improve your SEO.
To sum it up, social media is an important part of any SEO strategy. Social media can help you rank higher in search engine results pages and get more organic traffic to your website by increasing website traffic, building brand awareness, and improving local SEO.
Search and Social Media Rankings: What Are Social Media Ranking Signals?
Social media ranking signals are the data that search engines gather from social media websites to determine their rank in SERPs.
This data includes information like:
- Likes and comments
A social signal is like a vote that says, “this piece of content is popular and relevant.”
And while it might not carry the same weight as the other ranking factors, the engagement and traffic they attract directly affect your SEO.
Plus, the mentions and audience size are believed to contribute to also your domain authority score — a major ranking factor if you ask.
Social Amplification: Extend Your Reach, Grow Your Engagement
In a perfect world, publishing a new piece of content would mean the content goes straight to page one of the SERPs, and everyone who reads it loves it.
But, unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Most of the time, your content will get lost in the vast sea of information on the internet unless you amplify it.
And social media is one of the best ways to do just that.
When you share your content on social media, you’re increasing its reach and giving it a better chance of being seen by people who might be interested in what you have to say.
That said, here are six ways social media can help you amplify your content marketing effort:
- Social media speeds up the indexing process
- Social media can result in returning visitors
- Social media helps build relationships
- Social media can lead to more inbound links
- Social media exposes your content to a larger audience
- You can use social media to target a specific audience
- Social media can also make your content go viral
- The more traffic your website gets, the better it is for SEO.
And social media can help you get more traffic by amplifying your content and giving it a larger audience.
Plus, when people share your content on social media, they effectively give your website a vote of confidence.
Brand Awareness is SEO Love, Too
Search engines don’t just rank websites. They also rank brands.
Social media is a great way to increase brand awareness and get your name out there.
When people see your brand pop up in their social media feeds, they’re more likely to remember it the next time they need a product or service you’re offering.
And as your brand becomes more visible and more people become aware of it, your website will start to rank higher for your brand name and other related keywords.
While SEO will help your website get found, social media takes the relationship-building aspect of SEO to the next level.
- Social proof is a powerful thing. When people see that their friends and peers talk about your brand, they’re more likely to trust it.
- The more familiar consumers are with your brand on social media, the more likely they will buy from you.
- Social media can also help build relationships with the influencers in your industry.
If you can get influencers on board to promote your brand, that alone is enough to boost your website traffic and improve your SEO.
Authentic social media brand storytelling is effective because it humanizes your brand and makes it relatable.
People are more likely to connect with a story than with a list of facts, and when they feel connected to your brand, they’re more likely to loosen up and buy from you.
Social media is the perfect platform for sharing your brand story.
You can use social media to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your brand or share stories about your customers and how your products have helped them.
When you tell your brand’s story on social media, you’re increasing your brand awareness and building trust and credibility.
The truth is, there’s no direct link between social media and SEO.
Nor are there any guarantees that being active on social media will directly impact your website’s SEO.
However, there is an indirect relationship between the two, and it’s one that you can take advantage of to improve your SEO.
How does Social Media Influences SEO?
#1. Grabbing Link Opportunities
Social media offers you the opportunity to show your content to the whole world. You just have to use it right.
And yes, it can be quite complicated.
First, how the audience receives the content can mean the difference between a successful social media campaign and a flop
And since the method is majorly passive, you need to be very strategic for it to work. Remember, you’re relying on other people to share your content.
The second challenge is figuring out what content will work best on social media. You need something share-worthy, or else you’re just wasting your time.
And lastly, you also need to be aware of how social media can help (or hurt) your SEO.
The principal idea here is to use social media to get more exposure for your website and content so as to drive more traffic and links.
More traffic means more opportunities for people to link to your content, and more links translate to better SEO.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that’s often overlooked.
It goes beyond sharing your content on social media and hoping for the best.
You have to promote it as well.
No matter how well-written and informative your blog post is, it won’t get any traction if it’s not promoted well.
That said, here are a few best practices for promoting your content on social media:
- Formulate a Social Media Marketing Strategy: Don’t just post randomly. Have a plan and a strategy for all your social media promotions. That will ensure all of your posts work together to achieve a common goal.
- Create a Standard Operating Procedure: You need a standard content sharing procedure to ensure that all of your content gets shared strategically and consistently. That should help you avoid any gaps in your social media promotions.
- Create a Standard Operating Procedure: You need a standard content sharing procedure to ensure that all of your content gets shared strategically and consistently. This should help you avoid any gaps in your social media promotions.
- Prioritize Evergreen Content: Evergreen content is the kind of content that’s always relevant and doesn’t go out of style. That is the content you want to focus on because it will continue to drive traffic and links long after publishing.
- Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of your social media campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not. This should help you make the necessary adjustments to your social media strategy and improve results.
#2 Enhancing Brand Awareness and Search Visibility
Social media mentions play a significant role in determining your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The more social media mentions you have, the greater your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
And guess who agrees with this statement? Search engine giant Google.
Social media plays a critical role in forming your brand perception and identity.
The way you present yourself on social media will influence the way people see your brand.
So, why not interact with your customers directly and increase their satisfaction levels?
It’s a great way to connect with customers, get feedback about your products or services, and enhance your brand’s visibility.
Backing this up with data, companies active on Twitter report a 19% increase in customer satisfaction (source: Cloudtalk).
The idea is to improve the sentimentality around your brand name. That includes customer reviews, social media interactions, public forums, and any other type of mentions — anything publicly visible and can be associated with your brand.
Here are some helpful tips to enhance brand awareness and improve your search visibility:
- Get people to speak positively about your brand: This is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. Give your customers a reason to talk about your brand in a positive light.
- Increase your social media following: The more people follow you on social media, the greater your reach and the more you’re likely to be seen by potential customers.
- Create shareable content: Content is still king. If you create high-quality, shareable content, people will be more likely to link to it and share it on social media.
- Monitor your brand mentions: Learn to keep track of what people say about your brand online. This will allow you to quickly address any negative sentiment and turn it into something positive.
- Claim your Google My Business listing: This is an absolute must for any business that wants to be visible in local search results.
- Optimize your website for SEO: Make sure your website is correctly optimized for both search engines and users. This includes things like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
- Add social media sharing buttons to your website: This makes it easy for people to share your content on social media, increasing your reach.
- Participate in online conversations: Get involved in online discussions relevant to your industry. That is a great way to get your brand name out there and increase your visibility.
- Run social media ads: Social media ads are a great way to reach a new audience group, those not following your brand.
#3 Forge Partnerships and Develop Relationships
Social media is a great way to forge partnerships and develop relationships with other businesses in your industry.
For example, you could partner with a complementary business to offer joint discounts or run a joint marketing campaign.
There are different levels to building a partnership, from simple mentions to full-fledged joint ventures.
- Mention or Tag Other Businesses in your Posts: This is a great way to get noticed by other businesses and build relationships.
- Share Other Businesses’ Content: This is a helpful way to show that you’re interested in what they’re doing. It will also get them to notice you.
- Collaborate on a Project: This could be as simple as co-hosting an event or webinar or something more complex like developing a new product.
- Create Joint Ventures: This is the highest level of partnership and usually involves a long-term commitment. Joint ventures are usually between businesses of similar sizes and have complementary products or services.
- Participate in online chats and forums: This is a great way to get involved in relevant conversations and develop relationships with other businesses.
To make the most of your partnerships, we suggest you do the following:
- You can start by listing all the accounts you want to build a relationship with.
After that, you want to go through the list and ensure you’re giving each account the attention it deserves.
This may mean liking and commenting on their posts, sharing their content, or sending them a direct message.
- The key is to be genuine in your interactions and focus on offering value.
Don’t just try to sell them on your products or services; focus on building a relationship first.
It’s also important to be patient. These things take time, so don’t expect results overnight.
#4. Building Authority and Trust
The disparity between SEO, social media, and content marketing is that while SEO is focused on improving your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), social media is about building relationships and developing a brand. On the other hand, content marketing is about creating valuable content to come across as an expert over time.
People trust the information you give them, and the same trust will slowly extend to your brand.
Note that Google will not just rank your website for its sake. They’ll first evaluate it for authenticity and trustworthiness and rank it accordingly.
Here are some ways to build authority and trust with social media:
- Use social proof: Social proof is when you show potential customers that other people have used your product or service and liked it.
This could be in the form of customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, or even social media posts from happy customers.
- Be an expert: Use your social media platforms to show that you’re an expert in your industry.
You can do this by sharing valuable content, answering questions, and providing helpful tips and advice.
- Consistency is the Key: Be consistent with your brand voice and messaging across all channels.
The idea is to get people to recognize your brand regardless of where they see it.
- Be responsive: If someone has a question or complaint, respond quickly.
This shows that you care about your customers and their experience with your brand.
Related Read: Benefits Of Doing Social Media Marketing In Singapore
#5. Elevating Content Lifespan and Engagement
We’ve already discussed how social media makes your content discoverable. But that’s not all it does.
Social media can also help you extend the lifespan of your content and increase engagement.
Content that would normally get lost in the shuffle can be given new life with a social media post.
You can also use social media to increase engagement by sharing content that encourages people to interact with it.
This could be in the form of a poll, a contest, or even just a simple question.
Here are some ideas on how you can use social media to extend the lifespan of your content and increase engagement:
Share old content: Just because a piece of content is old doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant.
You can give your old content new life by sharing it on social media.
Just add something extra, like an update or a new perspective, to make it interesting for your followers.
Share behind-the-scenes content: This could be anything from photos and videos of your team at work to a tour of your office or factory.
People love getting a behind-the-scenes look at businesses. It’s an excellent strategy to increase engagement and get people interested in your brand.
Content shareability depends on how well it resonates with your target audience.
In other words, your content has a good chance of performing better if it’s relatable and engaging.
If people don’t find it interesting, no matter how much effort you put into promoting it, they will not share it.
That said, a good piece of content meets the following criteria:
- It should present a solution to a problem
- It should educate the user on topics that interest them
- It must entertain the user in some way
- It must connect with the user on an emotional level
- It should be shareable (i.e., easy to share on social media)
- It’s well-formatted and visually appealing
As you can see, a lot goes into making a piece of content shareable.
What’s more? Great content is multidimensional.
It has layers that make it exciting and engaging, and it has a little something for everyone.
You can tell if a piece of content is engaging by looking at the number of likes, comments, and shares it attracts.
If people interact with it, that’s a good sign that it’s resonating with them.
Note that there’s no harm in repurposing and re-sharing your best-performing posts or content on social media.
The bottom line is that social media has a significant impact on SEO.
It’s not just about getting more traffic to your website; it’s also about improving the quality of that traffic and making your content more discoverable and shareable.
#6. Satisfying Your Audience’s Interests and Needs
Your audience should be your priority when creating content.
It’s not about what you want to say. It’s about what your audience wants and needs to hear.
In other words, your content should be designed to satisfy their whims, needs, and preferences.
The question is, how do you know what your audience wants?
You can start by monitoring their online discussions. Find out what they like or dislike and use it to shape your content strategy.
Another great way to get insights into your audience’s interests is by conducting surveys and interviews.
You can use the information you gather to produce content that’s interesting and relevant to them.
You also get inspiration from a competitor whose content is already performing better. Don’t copy their content strategy, of course. Instead, use it to improvise and come up with something even better.
While at it, you do not want to ignore dissatisfied customers.
If anything, try to make sure your content addresses their specific pain points and complaints.
If you can show them that you’re a brand that cares about its customers and is willing to go the extra mile to help them, they’re likely to be more open to doing business with you.
Last but not least, don’t forget about Google Analytics. It provides valuable insights into how people find and interact with your website.
The principal idea is to work on your brand image and create a solid online presence that will make people want to do business with you.
A well-optimized website is essential, but it’s not enough.
#7. Finding More Content Ideas
Social media can be a great source of content ideas.
Look at what people are talking about and see if you can produce something helpful and relevant to them.
You can also use social media to track trending topics and breaking news.
You can begin by scanning your own social media account and that of your competitors.
Take note of the topics that generate the most engagement and see if you can produce something similar.
You also want to scan the comment section for ideas.
See if there are any questions that people are asking that you can answer with your content.
Another great way to develop content ideas is by monitoring online discussion forums.
You can find many relevant topics discussed on platforms like Reddit and Quora.
Go through some of the popular questions people ask on social media.
For Twitter, go through TweetChats and look for content ideas. For those who don’t know, TweetChats are the scheduled events during which Twitter users come together to discuss a particular topic.
You can also search for a term on YouTube and see what content is produced around it.
You’ll be surprised at the number of ideas you can get from this simple exercise. See the top-most videos pop up under that. You also want to look at the comment section and see what people are saying about those videos.
Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to social media when looking for ideas. You can also find a lot of inspiration from traditional news outlets.
Keep an eye on the headlines and look for stories relevant to your niche.
You can also find some great ideas by reading books and articles from thought leaders in your industry.
Make it a habit to read at least one blog post every day. This will help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in your industry.
#8. Conducting Keyword Research
Social media functionality goes beyond just creating and sharing content.
It’s also an excellent platform for conducting keyword research.
You can use social media to track down the keywords people are using to find information related to your niche.
Find out what people enjoy reading, what content they follow, and what questions they ask.
You can also publish “ask the expert” type of posts to get feedback from your audience.
See what words they use to describe your products and services. You can also find some great keywords by monitoring the hashtag section on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
Just enter a keyword related to your niche in the search bar and see what comes up.
You’ll be surprised at the number of keywords you can find this way.
After finding the right keywords, the next step is to use them in your content.
Make sure you sprinkle them throughout your blog posts and social media updates. But don’t overdo it, or you’ll risk getting penalized by the search engines.
Use keywords in the following places:
- Headings and subheadings
- Introductory sentence
- Anchor text
- Title tags and meta descriptions
Alternatively, use Facebook ad targeting to look into your audience’s behaviour and get an idea about the kind of content they would like to see.
Using this data, you can gather information about your audience:
- Education level
- Relationship status
- Place of work
#9. Including social media in Your SEO Efforts
Maybe you didn’t know, but search engines also rank social media pages, especially those of popular brands.
That’s why it’s important to include social media in your SEO efforts.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Create a social media profile for your business on all the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date.
- Publish high-quality, original content regularly.
- Engage with your audience and respond to their queries and comments promptly.
- Use relevant keywords in your social media updates.
- Make it easy for people to share your content on social media by adding social media buttons to your website and blog posts.
- Monitor your social media activity and SEO results to see what’s working and what’s not.