Is Social Media Important to SEO?
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others allow businesses to engage with current and potential customers, sharing their values, products and services through posts, updates and pins.
Aside from direct engagement, brands can also get a boost from social media in their SEO – whenever a client conducts an online search through a search engine like Bing, Yahoo or Google, some of the results on the search engine page include social media links. So let’s take a look at how social media affects SEO.
Social Shares Enhance Link Building
Search engine robots crawl the web in search of quality content and high PR links to index. Link building has been one of the core strategies that marketers have used to gain social proof. There are many ways to build links on the web and the best of them is the creation of original content which is in turn shared through social media channels. You can link content on your Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube account back to your website. By doing so, you’re helping search engines understand that your website is credible and as such should be ranked high for particular keyword phrases.
Google Authorship Improves Content Credibility
Through the rel=”author” tag, Google allows you to associate your content with your Google+ social profile, a process known as Google Authorship. This links your bio and your account together with the content you have created, all of which are displayed on the search engine results page. The importance of Google authorship is that your content gains credibility, enabling it to rank higher on search results which is crucial for building trust and recognition with your target audience. A recent suggestion by Google indicates that the authorship markup will be considered when indexing articles on the web, which will boost your website ranking.
Faster Indexing of Content
When you post and share content on social media, search engines can interpret such content as being quality and credible therefore speeding up its ranking on search engine result pages. When you link such content back to your website, you will in turn create high-quality backlinks. This will enable the search engines to quickly index your content and display it on its results pages. For instance, the indexation time for content that has been tweeted several times can be reduced by approximately 50 percent, and the less time it takes Google to find your content, the better.
Social Media Connections and Followers Influence Ranking
The number of followers that you have on social media is a key factor that search engines use to rank your content. The connections however need to be quality and if possible include influencers in your industry. The connections need to be reputable and active when it comes to sharing content, liking and commenting. Having an account with many friends and followers without any activity is considered spammy.
Make an effort to connect with advocates online that are interested in what you have to offer and share your content within their network. This can help you to gain traction and better ranking on search engines.
Targeted Keywords on Shared Social Content Enhance Visibility
The content you post on social media should be optimized for certain keywords that are profitable and convert easily in your niche. Search engines take note of such keywords whenever they’re ranking content. In order to benefit from this, your social media content should be harmonized with your website content and if possible incorporate the name of your company and the keywords targeted. The name, bio and URL are the most important components of your social media profile that search engines are interested in.
So how important is social media to SEO? It’s pretty darn important. It should also be noted that social media can help in leveraging local search – something particularly important for small businesses that have a physical location. But whatever your business size or industry, remember to be active in the networks where your target audience is. The more engagement, the more social proof; the more social proof, the better SEO; the better SEO, the more lead generation; and the more lead generation, the more customers.