Social Media and SEO: The Impact
SEO. It’s just three little letters. But they’re three little letters that can have a huge impact on your business. Ultimately, where you rank in search engine results can be the difference between a customer choosing you, or going to a competitor. Understanding thje impact of how social media and SEO work together can send your business soaring up the search engine results. And let’s face it, how many people will still be looking for what they need by the time they reach page 5+?
Learning the art of search engine optimization (SEO) can sometimes feel like a foreign language. The honest truth is, most small business owners just don’t have the time or resources to become SEO experts. But thankfully, you don’t need to. Just a little bit of SEO knowledge can take you far. And knowing how social media impacts SEO is the first step.
Social Media’s Impact on SEO
SEO has become significantly more user-friendly. In fact, there’s a whole host of tools out there that you can use to help you optimise your content. One of the biggest breakthroughs for SEO is that it’s now starting to factor in social media presence when calculating rankings. So, by sharing quality, consistent content with your community on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform you like, you’re sending out a signal to search engines that your brand is engaged and active. Sharing content is like sharing a bat signal to search engines. You will be found.
Consequently, by keeping up with your community, you’re also gaining:
- Increased online visibility and traffic to your website
- Increased authority and brand recognition
- Broader content distribution and longer content lifespan
- Improved local SEO
Still confused? Don’t worry, we’re going to break it down and explore exactly how social media impacts SEO.
How Social Media SEO Increases Online Visibility & Web Traffic
Firstly, let’s start with the obvious. Effectively, content marketing’s goal is to increase leads and sales for your business. In other words, the more people that view your content, the more opportunities you have to convert viewers into customers. So, how do you get those views?
You need to be where your customers are. Internet users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms. We love social media because it’s snackable. There’s no need to pencil in an hour to catch up with world news and scroll our social feed. It’s easy to find five minutes and a thumb-swipe to catch up.
For this reason, it pays to create good content that draws in a loyal and engaged following. Because regular social media use sparks a chain reaction.
Let’s say, hypothetically, you create an interesting post that’s of value to your community, and then share it on social media. The act of sharing makes it visible. It, therefore, stands to reason that, posting regularly and consistently increases your visibility. Which, in turn, means your posts get noticed by other social media users. These users then share your posts further, which effectively increases your visibility. Thus, it becomes an exponential virtuous cycle. Hypothetically.
Take the advice of Fleetwood Mac. Never break the chain. Keep sharing high-quality content and your visibility will grow with each post. That’s the power of the social media positive feedback loop.
Social Media Increases Authority & Brand Recognition
Think about some of the biggest global brands — Nike, McDonald’s, Apple. Know what they all have in common? They’re instantly recognisable.
While we may not be able to promise you the superpower of those brands, getting your company logo, slogans and colours out there makes a huge impact on your brand recognition. Creating profiles on some of the biggest platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Instagram and using clear and consistent branding across them, is a surefire way to get noticed. Your customers will be lovin’ it.
See what we did there? We bet you instantly thought of McDonald’s. And all because of that tiny, two-word phrase we slipped in. That’s the power of brand recognition.
With recognition comes authority. If people can find and recognise your official social media homes, they will interact with them. And for boosting your SEO, this is vital.
Links and reviews are a surefire way to rank higher with search engines. The more inbound links and reviews your brand receives, the more popular it becomes. And it’s this popularity that search engines measure.
They don’t just want to deliver related content. Search engines want to deliver fresh, active, and useful content. Reviews are a huge factor for local SEO marketing (more on that, later!), accounting for 13% of ranking factors in local searches and 7% in general searches.
Broader Content Distribution, Longer Content Lifespan, Better SEO Results
One of the most interesting ways in how social media impacts SEO is that it can actually increase the lifetime of your content. Without social media, you click publish and the blog is sent out into the world. If you have regular blog readers, or people signed up to your mailing list, they may receive one, or two prompts to go and read that blog.
However, with social media, you can bypass this. You control the distribution. You can decide exactly when, where and to whom you’re spreading the word. This, in turn, keeps your blog ranking high on social media. Additionally, it can get further boosts by being re-shared by your community.
The Impact of Improved Local SEO
Remember how we mentioned local SEO, and how reviews make up 13% of ranking factors in local searches? Let’s take a more in-depth look.
If you’re a local service company, or run a business that doesn’t really work at a distance, local SEO is vital. It’s also pretty handy even if your business is based online. Being visible and transparent about your location adds a degree of trust and authority to your brand. It’s also how you beat off the competition and ensure that your brand is top of the list when people in your local area need your service.
The quickest way to boost your ranking here is to ensure that you’ve clearly and consistently filled in your social media bios. Have you included your trade? Your location? Your geographic phone number?
Also, have you claimed and verified your local Google My Business (GMB) listing? It’s a free service for local businesses that means your brand will show up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
How Social Media Impacts SEO in Summary
Ultimately, social media provides businesses with an online platform where they can share their content, and drive visitors to their website.
Think of it as ads in the local paper, or bylines and advertorials in the national press. Except, you control the content and its publication. Social media just spreads the word. And that’s exactly what you want for SEO.