If you think that social media and SEO are worlds apart then think again, because over the last few years these two have collided and your social media has a big impact on the search rankings. If you want to know exactly how social media affects your Google ranking, then read on.
In September this year, Google’s Matt Cutts posted in a video that ‘Google do not currently use signals like Facebook or Twitter followers for search ranking’. This is because Google won’t use a signal to influence its search rankings unless they have high confidence in the meaning of that signal. So you might think that’s the answer to our question, as to whether social media affects your Google ranking, but there’s more.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the last 10 years is that no one can guarantee top Google rankings in natural search, but social media can help get your company name on the first page alongside your website.
Many customers will find your website in the search results by looking for you by name, this should bring you up on the number one position, after all, it is your company name and brand. Next in the rankings, if you’ve optimised your social media profiles, you should see your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media networks all on the first page. Not only does this look good to your customers and can direct visitors to your social media accounts, but it builds authority for your website and social profiles while giving you great brand exposure.
The above is good but it doesn’t drive huge levels of traffic to your website which is what you want. Social media can help here too, when you add content to your social media accounts whether this is a blog, promotion or video, ensure you include a link to an appropriate landing page on your website. Then each time a follower likes, comments, shares or retweets there is the potential to drive traffic to your website and ultimately convert to sale.
All of this social media user interaction, in turn, sends social signals to Google about how relevant that web page is, how long a user stays there ie what’s the bounce rate and all the other data that Google collects. Therefore, a page that social users like, comment and share is much more likely to rank well in Google’s search results.
Investing in social media over time will undoubtedly pay off by enhancing your brand awareness and driving organic traffic and although your social media goals are not to directly improve search rankings, it’s a great by-product that’s going to give you a helping hand.
The combination of SEO and social media can really make a difference to businesses and having a strategy that is joined up, with clearly defined goals will result in more traffic and a better conversion rate.