When it comes to shining online, does social media affect search rankings? Depends. Why? Because Google guards its algorithms fiercely and is elusive when it comes to social linkbacks as a ranking influence. However, evidence indicates that social metrics impact SEO in a subtle way.
The Google Headshakers
Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, when asked whether Google takes social into account for SEO answered: “the short version is, no, we don’t.” Here he is expanding on this:
The Social Handshakers
When it comes to correlation over causation, social media wins hands down. Its SEO superpower lies in its ability to boost the ranking signals beloved of search engines, whilst also influencing the search engine results pages (SERPs). As such, it should figure significantly in your integrated digital marketing strategies.
According to Searchmetrics’ 2016 Rebooting Ranking Factors White Paper:
“The correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high, and the number of social signals per landing page has remained constant when compared to with the values from last year’s whitepaper. … The top-ranked websites in Google’s rankings displays vastly more social signals than all other pages…. This is primarily due to the overlap between brand websites performing strongly in social networks and being allocated top positions by Google.”
Social’s SEO SuperPower Unveiled...
1. Link Earning: The Law of Attraction
Create high quality, trustworthy website content, promote it via social media, and it will attract shares and links naturally from inside and outside your network, increasing your reach exponentially. Like this. Get it really right and your content could go viral, although this is not necessary to favourably impact search rankings. Quality counts more with Google.
2. Brand Dominance: The Talk of the Internet
Disseminate relevant, quality content via social media and your brand becomes ‘front of mind’, i.e. people think of you as a possible choice when buying your particular product and/or service. This can generate webwide mentions which will amplify these key metrics:
- Co-citation: when a website is mentioned, but not necessarily linked, by two different sources
- Co-occurrence: the common presence, frequency of occurrence, and close proximity of similar keywords present across several websites
3. Brand Building & Click-Through Rate: Become a Go-To Authority
By building brand awareness and trust, social media will earn you respect and help to establish you as an authority in your industry. Again, ensure your social media campaigns are of the highest quality, well thought through and trustworthy.
If your brand becomes a name on everyone’s lips, then people may search for you by name; or your brand name may be the one they recognise first in the search results. This will magnify your click-through rates.
2017 user stats: your exponential reach
“Approximately 2 billion users used social networking sites and apps in 2015. With the increased use of mobile devices, this number is likely to exceed 2.6 billion by 2018.”
Social media is one of the best ways to promote content and be found online – so if you want your brand to zap the competition, it pays to make the most of these free smarts. Subtle SEO – and it works!
For further superpower pointers, contact bandv – another FREE resource at your disposal...