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Does Social Media Impact SEO?

     -     Dec 18th, 2018   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

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Julia Germeyer, Seventh Gear Communications – Guest Post

It’s widely understood that maintaining an active social media presence is good for business yet many marketers have trouble explaining why and how to their partners. We know we’re supposed to have social media profiles yet we can’t seem to explain to our decision makers how it impacts overall marketing for the firm. To help clients, prospects and others better understand, FlashPoint has provided a summary of key reasons below.

First, let’s look at the more obvious ways:

  • Social media is great for building your brand and reputation among clients and prospects.
  • It can be an effective recruiting tool to highlight your firm’s culture to prospective employees.
  • And in terms of online reviews, social media has quite an impact.

Let’s also be mindful that there’s the research aspect, too. If one were to input a partner’s name or firm name in Google, among the top search results would be links to a LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, or some other social media network. Statistically, since 2015, Facebook and Twitter URLs ranking within the top 100 pages on Google’s search results increased dramatically proving the point that social media does matter. Check out these graphs from HootSuite as proof:

Facebook Results:

Twitter Results:

 

However, there’s still a piece of the puzzle that’s missing.

What is the impact of social media on SEO? 

Google has gone back and forth on whether or not they directly account for social media in SERP rankings. While it’s fairly certain that social media doesn’t directly impact SEO rankings, there are a number of ways it influences search results indirectly.

The Relationship Between SEO and Social Media

The most important SEO factor in social media content is links. There is a direct correlation between increased backlinks and better SEO authority. The use of social media drives traffic to the firm’s site, thereby increasing the firm’s website rank on Google. Social shares, likes, and comments on their own do not impact search ranking, but when the social content contains links back to the website, that web page’s SEO authority increases organically.

Next, consider that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are treated like any other web page in Google searches. It stands to reason that Google’s search algorithms crawl social sites for content matching appropriate search terms. The content posted on your firm’s site may not turn up in Google search results from Facebook, but the more backlinks the content gets from social media, the overall Google ranking for that site is increased.

Finally, social sites are search engines, too. Keywords on social media sites are used in a variety of ways:

  • Link previews
  • Link URL
  • Hashtags
  • Headlines (ads)
  • Categories (Pinterest)
  • Within the posts
  • On the profiles

Also, it’s important not to ignore the impact of YouTube as it’s still the second most popular search engine and is owned by Google.

Guidance for Businesses

  • Regularly post quality content from your blog and other original content that links back to your site. Remember that social media posts that contain images will get better engagement than posts without images.
  • Make sure social profiles are up to date and accurate. Eliminate duplicate profiles, update contact information, and polish the About Us section to include appropriate keywords.
  • Use appropriate keywords in URL page names and article titles and ensure the link preview settings are correct.
  • Include calls-to-action like ‘click here’ and ‘learn more’ to encourage users to read the whole webpage on your site.
  • Consider the role of video in content marketing and social media in general. From a SEO standpoint, having a YouTube channel will benefit search rankings. And from a content marketing standpoint, most of the content consumed in the next few years is expected to be from video.

Closing:

Having a social media presence does not guarantee better SEO on its own. Firms still need a social media strategy that supports overall marketing and SEO efforts. And just because a firm is posting original content regularly (to the website or social channels) doesn’t mean traffic will increase. What we tell clients is that businesses need a mix of organic and paid content on social media, over an extended period of time and as part of a larger content marketing plan, to achieve results.

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