So you want to improve your SEO and your social media ranking? That’s a logical wish if you’re like 67% of businesses who use social media marketing and nearly half now use SEO to market their services.
However the truth is, few businesses understand the relationship between SEO and social media well enough to use them together. This article will give you the leg up you need to make more informed decisions about your social media channels and your content marketing. So let’s dive into the world of SEO and social media, how they affect each other, and how to integrate the two for better results!
How Social Media Affects SEO
Let’s break down a few common misconceptions about how social media affects SEO.
On the “not so positive” end, it is true that links from social media do not count as backlinks from other sites. As important as backlinks are to your SEO strategy, you want to be clear that inbound links from Facebook and other social sites do not count as backlinks.
Further, it’s questionable at best if there is a direct impact on your page or domain authority. This question has been hotly debated by SEO professionals for years. exploring the merits of “social signals as a ranking factor”:
“Google Values Social Signals (Indirectly)” August 27, 2022
“Social media isn’t a ranking factor” June 29, 2021
Way back to Matt Cutts himself on December 18, 2010
Follow any #SEO person on Twitter and you’ll see the discussions erupt. Where we land on the topic is this: it’s highly unlikely that on their own, links from social sites and high social ranking are the missing link in your SEO strategy.
But that said, it does help in other ways that support the value of your SEO and your business as a whole.
First, I want you to remember that social media is meant to be social. People who use social media sites as merely a megaphone to blast out their latest opinion or their new deal have lost the point of why social networks exist in the first place: for connection and community.
The biggest gift of a well-designed social strategy is that it gives you an organic audience who are genuinely interested in your message.
From there, many SEO-related signals can grow.
At the highest level, social media channels can help:
- Search engines find/discover and then crawl your site. It’s true that inbound links from multiple (many) domains is an important piece in a well-developed SEO strategy. Just remember to watch the inbound links and manage any spammy or troublesome links quickly so it doesn’t affect your ranking.
- Build traffic to your website. Readers who see your content on a social site and want to read it will click over. This is a golden opportunity to draw free traffic to your website and should be a no-brainer.
- Finally, you can leverage social media to increase exposure to your SEO content. With the right audience, it’s easy to align both your SEO content strategy with your social strategy. The goal is to build a community of people who want your message and then, give them content they want to read. This is at the heart of Google’s latest update (August 2022 – the Helpful Content Update). I’ve been calling this the “be a good human as you create content” update, because that’s what it’s all about.
By aligning your content strategy and social media engagement in this way, it’s easier to find the right readers to share your content. And this will give you a boost in traffic in both the short and long term.
So Why Does Google Ignore Social Media?
Google crawls every page on the web that it can find, and that’s no exaggeration. Google has indexed hundreds of billions of web pages to date, and that includes social media pages. So, if they index social sites, why do they ignore social signals?
Partly, it’s because anyone can create links on social media. There’s nothing stopping you from creating 100 Facebook accounts and linking to your website, or paying others to do so. For that reason, Google does not use social signals as direct ranking factors.
Also, social shares happen too frequently for Google to keep up. They crawl through certain pages every day, every two weeks, or every year, depending on the traffic. Social shares can happen at any time, so it wouldn’t be a fair measure to use in their search algorithm for many reasons.
If SEO and social media relationships are core to your business, here’s how you can improve them.
Integrating SEO and Social Media Effectively
Remember that social media and SEO can have a mutually beneficial relationship, even if they don’t directly impact one another. Here’s what you can do for the best results between the two strategies.
Improve your website
Your website acts as the foundation of your entire digital marketing strategy. Not only is it the home base for your SEO efforts, but it’s where you direct traffic from your emails, ads, and social media campaigns. Everything you do to optimize your website now will pay dividends for your SEO and social media strategy later.
Most importantly, you should focus on mobile optimization, fast loading times, UX/UI design (aka user experience), and general SEO best practices like image optimization and proper tagging. Improving your website with attention to these specific details will go a long way toward improving user engagement and conversion rates.
Share new content
Content, whether long or short-form articles, memes, videos or podcasts all count in the realm of what you can share on social media. Getting creative and strategic about your content calendar, holidays and other notable calendar-events you want to participate in, as well as knowing what news you want to speak about, is important.
You don’t have to share everything you create, but having a plan to share new, updated and timely content goes a long way on social media. Because think about it, on our social sites we’re in the moment. How often, other than Facebook Memories, do you go back in time to read old content? Not very often. We read what’s fresh on social media.
Don’t feel compelled to share everything you write, unless it’s relevant to your community. And if you struggle with creative ideas for images or videos, remember new blogs will help fill the gap with the added bonus of when that same content is SEO’ed correctly, it will help drive traffic from Google, Bing and other search platforms.
Add social buttons to your blog
This is one of the easiest steps on this list. It ensures that if someone is compelled to share your blog posts, they can do it with a quick click of a button. Additionally, overtime you can teach your social audience that you blog regularly.
From those new blogs, it’s smart to link to your most popular or important posts so new traffic is alerted to the other goodies you have on your site. This easy add-on can be a game changer especially if you write about newsy, trending or timely content.
Get professional help
Finally, the best thing you can do to boost your social media and SEO efforts is to contact the professionals. SEO and social media are both time-consuming strategies that take a while to yield results. If you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing, or if you don’t have the time to commit to your strategy, then you’ll be left playing a guessing game.
If you want the fastest possible results for your strategies, hire professional SEO content services, especially ones that offer an SEO and social media package. These will help you build a proper strategy that yields long-lasting, organic results.
Start Your Strategy Today
So, does social media help SEO? Yes. But now you know it’s not in the plug-and-play way people expect or wish it did. It takes effort and strategy to make your strategy hum. That said, SEO and social media are like peanut butter and chocolate; great on their own, but better together. With the right help, you will see results that last for years.
Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips for your business, and check out our SEO services for more information!