Social media and SEO have a complicated relationship. Google and other search engines flip back and forth when it comes to how much of an impact social media should have on search engine results pages (SERPs). But while they decide, social media is already impacting businesses’ online traffic.
Social Media and SERPs
For now, individual social media posts do not rank on SERPs, but social media profiles do. That means that search engine users can find your business through its profile on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook as well as its website.
SEO and social media marketing services work together to make your business more visible to potential customers. Linking is one way these two services coordinate to bring you results. For example, if you are creating high-quality content on your website and sharing it via social media, the likes and reshares, which are links within the social media platform, will help boost your SERP ranking.
One way algorithms rank social search results is through social signals, which are measures of interactions on social media. Sharing, liking and commenting all operate as social signals that search engines use in their algorithms. Bing currently uses social signals in its rankings, and Google has confirmed that it does so for certain social platforms.
In addition to its effect on your SERP ranking, social media has infinite potential for linking opportunities that will direct users back to your site and increase your traffic.
Social Media Platforms Are Search Engines
Peer recommendations, live updates and personalized responses are commonplace in today’s social media, so more and more people are using it as a resource for their buying decisions.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are great social media platforms for sharing content and directing users to your website using organic or paid methods. As search engines begin to incorporate social media platforms into their algorithms more heavily, creating high quality content on your social pages will be more important than ever. Looking toward the future, search engines are seeking to partner with social media platforms because they know capturing the social media audience is incredibly valuable for businesses.
In addition to keyword searches on social media platforms, using hashtags is a helpful organic search strategy. In most social media platforms, you can search for and follow words, products, businesses or trends using hashtags (#). Hashtag use and well-planned social media marketing can work together to help people find you more easily through a social media platform’s search engine. Think of hashtags on social media as the rough equivalent of keywords for Google.
Social Media Builds Authority and Trust
Social media presents a unique opportunity to build familiarity between your brand and a large audience. Once customers find your brand on social media, they are able to learn about your products, understand your values and even interact with you. Connecting with customers in this way strengthens your relationship with them and builds loyalty.
In fact, if a potential customer uses a conventional search engine and then finds your business in the results, they may still seek out your social media accounts as a way to validate your reputation and level of activity.
More and more people are turning to social media to research goods and services before they buy. By leveraging this opportunity to engage with consumers, you can create brand awareness while building your audience.
When posting to social media, your brand can establish itself as an authority in your industry. The next time a follower of yours needs car maintenance, for example, instead of Googling “car maintenance near me,” they’ll simply enter your shop’s name because you have already proven your expertise to them.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of our culture — and your brand’s success. By pairing your social media efforts with your SEO efforts and linking between the two, you will achieve maximum visibility to prospective clients. And as search engines roll out algorithms that favor social media, your rankings will continue to climb.