Definitely yes. Social media and SEO work together. But, it is also true that social media is not amongst the direct ranking factors of Google.
Yes, many people suggest many reasons why social media must be directly affecting Google’s SERPs. Like:
- The links we share on social platforms, send ranking signals to the pages we are linking to.
- The number of social mentions/engagement for any content must be a ranking factor.
But these as of today, have no proof of relevance. Because most of the social websites make these links nofollow and thus they do not pass on any value to your page. Also, search engines like Google do not attempt to crawl or index the ocean of posts being created every moment. Thus, it is clear that both of these arguments are not that valid.
And one of the major reasons behind both of these scenarios is, that it is difficult for Google to establish the authority or reliability of the social profiles involved in the action.
Then how does social media help in SEO?
Hootsuite recently ran a study in 2018 and performed SEO on articles, some with social marketing and some without. And guess what? Articles with a good number of shares saw an average 22% boost!
Do you know what Google says about the topic? Matt Cutts in 2014, said in a video that, metrics such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers, which indicate a profile’s authority and influence, do not affect search rankings.
This burst the belief in the bubble that social signals might DIRECTLY affect SEO.
But, yes, considering the Hootsuite results there must be some indirect factors working that affect your SEO and website rankings.
So, let’s have a look at some of these.
Here’s Why SEO and Social Media Work Together
Here are a few of the reasons why, despite everything, social media still contributes to SEO.
#1: It can attract backlinks for you!
While backlinks are a major direct factor they are pretty difficult to attract too.
Social media is a great place to get your content amongst your audience directly. And if your content is good, it instantly gets shares and likes. And marketers have seen a rise in the rankings for popularly shared content.
And it is readily misinterpreted that these shares are serving as links. But, in fact, your content is getting traction and is getting in reach of content creators. These content makers then tend to link to your articles and your content tends to rise in rankings. As simple as that!
So, be it Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, if your content is good, you can attract easy backlinks through targeted social media marketing.
#2: Be Found:
We have seen a lot of great content being stuck at the 5th or 6th pages or even later. Chances are slim that anybody would reach out to you there. But, as we said earlier, sharing the post on social media can take your content out there right in front of your audience’s screens.
And a strategy that really works is updating the article with new insights and reposting or retweeting the article. This majorly improves your rankings while it takes minimum effort.
#3: Build your Brand:
Good social engagement and an active community on social media is a great asset. Because it works in more than one way.
Firstly, when people know your name and trust your brand, they are more likely to click on your result in the SERPs.
Reason: They know you and trust your reputation.
Secondly, branded searches. Consider the scenario where you have a good number of Instagram or Twitter followers on your profile called Planet Daily, which is a news website. So, you are out there and people know you.
Now, they may search, ‘Planet Daily News’, instead of just ‘News’. These are called branded searches. And eventually, as these searches gather numbers, Google may think that maybe this a good result for the keyword ‘News’ as well.
Thus, your ranking improves!
#4: Boost your local SEO:
So, what you need to do is build a keyword-rich description, a good and clear services description along with your working hours, and an address and phone number that matches your Google My Business profile one on a maximum number of social platforms.
Another action point is, collecting reviews and ratings. Your Google reviews and ratings and as well as your Facebook ratings are part of Google results. So, make efforts in collecting good ones from all platforms be it Google or social media. Also, do not forget to connect your social media accounts with your GMB profile.
Google reviews are a great factor that contributes to higher map pack rankings. And Google says that, 74% of people who do a local search visit a store that day. Aren’t good local search rankings worth the effort?
#5: Do not forget Bing!
Bing has openly stated in its Bing webmaster guidelines that:
“Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results… [t]hese positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.”
And since Bing’s market share is constantly increasing and if you are aiming at US’s market, then you must take Bing seriously.
Additonally, we would like to add, that maybe today there are no direct ranking factors in Google relating to social media. But maybe someday in future Google may add an algorithm that takes some attributes of social presence as ranking signals. As today’s user is actively interacting with content on social media and it is becoming more and more a prominent source of credibility and reliability of any brand.
As we saw in this article, maintaining your social profile well and directing it to reap SEO benefits can work. Although there are no direct signals. Still, we can safely say; Yes, Social media and SEO work together to give website rankings and sales.
Please tell us which tip you found the most useful and interesting. If you have some strategies with you, please mention that as well. We hope you liked the article and it was useful. Thank you for your time.