Does Social Media Influence SEO?

By September 15, 2016SEO, Social Media

SEO is a constantly evolving practice that changes constantly to respond to consumers’ online habits and Google’s search algorithms; however one thing in which many have been questioning is whether or not the use of social media can contribute to search rankings –While Google has stated that social signals do not assist SEO, it is advised that all companies invest in the marketing strategy, as when the two marketing methods are combined, exposure generated can be colossal and businesses are much more likely to dominate online.

Today we are going to discuss why SEO focused marketers should continue their efforts to integrate the two digital marketing strategies…

Social media marketingUsing social media could assist in improving rankings 

A few of the most frequent SEO/social media related questions that we are asked here at RS Digital include:

  • Are links from social sites credible backlinks?
  • How much weight do links form social sites have?
  • If a social post goes viral, will it gain higher rankings in the organic search results?

We believe that backlinks from social media platforms can have some impact on search rankings because on these platforms content can be circulated more than anywhere else, and when posting high quality content, the search engines’ perception of the worth of your content can increase.

Search engine Bing has announced that when deciding where sites rank they take into consideration the number of tweets and retweets a link has raised, as well as the authority of the accounts sharing the link, however Google deals with social media use differently – crawling social sites in the same way as it does websites, allowing for content posted on social media platforms to show for relevant search queries. This means that there is somewhat a possibility that social signals e.g. the amount of links to a specific site can alter the organic search rankings.

Note: Although Google is the most leading search engine, a lot of people still use Bing, and Bing considers social signals quite highly in their search ranking algorithms.

Search engines rank social media profiles 

Although it is questionable whether or not social shares, likes and links influence the search results – social profiles definitely do. When searching for products/services on Google it is highly likely that you will have at least once been provided with relevant social profiles in the organic results, and if not you will have definitely seen Google+ profiles displayed at the top, right-hand side of the page.

Social profiles are very important for companies looking to provide their customers with a more personal experience, and can in fact work to increase sales – with many consumers more likely to purchase from companies which are active on social media.

Top tip: Do not disregard Google+, it may not be as popular as other social platforms, but when it comes to assisting SEO, it could be the best. 

Social media platforms have search algorithms too

Search engines are no longer the only place online that people visit to find information, products and services, In fact, social platforms such as Facebook are by some internet users the first place to visit. Because of this all companies need to make sure that they are on the most appropriate platforms, for example brands with an abundance of visual content could greatly benefit from being on Instagram and Pinterest – using appropriate tags and pins so that they can be easily found. For others Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are most suitable; it is all about understanding where your customers and future customer are.

Top tip: If you already have social media platforms, tart by running searches for your business on social media to see how other see you, this way you can understand changes that need to be made. Also ensure that you don’t have duplicate pages as this can make it hard for users to identify your official brand page.