September 17, 2015

4 Ways How Social Media Affects SEO

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Picture of Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


As social media and search engine optimisation become more and more interlinked, it is vital for users to understand how these two traffic sources can support each other for further traffic and revenue.
While each has their own separate identity, running your social seo strategy as part of a unified campaign provides a tremendous lift to your results.

1. Traffic

While Matt Cutts stated last year that social media does not directly impact your search engine results, it can impact your indirect strategy.

The problem with using social media according to Cutts is that often Google is not able to access all of the information from social media.
However, he continues to say that “I’m not saying not to use Twitter or Facebook, I love to tweet, there’s a ton of people who get a ton of value from both Facebook and Twitter. I think both of those services represent a fantastic avenue, it’s a way to drive visitors and traffic to your site.”
The benefit of using social media traffic is that you are driving very engaged users to your website. Unlike other sources of traffic that are not focused, usually social media traffic comes from a targeted campaign towards your connections and connections network.
This means the people landing on your site stay longer and visit more pages than your average user. If you have Google Analytics set up on your site, then Google can analyze these results to determine the value of the visitors to your site.
Furthermore, Google can reference your analytics to ensure you provide value to visitors based upon your social media activity. Remember that Google first and foremost, wants to provide their users (searchers) with the most amount of value per search.
If you can prove that your social media traffic does that, then it provides the type of ranking signals Google loves to see.

2. Social Media Link Building

Traffic is just the start of how social media benefits seo. Remember, a large part of Google’s algorithm is based upon quality links to your website.

Some of the highest quality links in the world come from social media. As Search Engine Journal stated, “your social links have an inherent authority, particularly if they stem from trusted social media platforms.”
This means when you are on YouTube, you should include a link in the description of the video. Additionally, putting in profile links can be particularly helpful. It shows Google that you have natural, relevant links from high authority websites.
(Source: YouTube)
Even no-follow social links still provide valuable information to Google. As we discuss in the next section, your social links are just one part of the ranking factors Google uses from social media information.

3. Social Domain Authority

Your social media activity affects your domain authority. These are the set of ranking factors Google uses to decide how much organic traffic you receive.

Here are a few things social media can do to improve your domain authority.

  • Social Shares– Both social shares on a page and site-wide affect your rankings. Google looks at social proof as a measure of the authority of your website. They want to know the number of Tweets, likes, Pins, and shares you have on each page.
  • Authority of tweets– Do you get a lot of tweets from users with less than 100 followers? Perhaps you have a major star like Katy Perry (75 Million followers) hanging on your every word, and retweeting you.

Just like social backlinks have more juice than other sites, one influencer sharing your information could mean more than 1,000 smaller retweets. This principle is universal throughout social media.
The one caveat here is relevancy. If you have own a fashion line, then you want Katy Perry tweeting for you. If you run a fish and tackle shop, Google might not consider her influence exactly relevant.

  • Google+- While the site is becoming irrelevant, the social network may still have some direct effect on rankings. That is because Google would probably not ignore ranking factors from the only social network they fully control.

4. Social Media Engagement

This leads us to the final way social seo strategy. Social media engagement can be a significant indicator of the quality of your website.

That is because if you create share-worthy content, you drive social authority and traffic to your website. Just as we started out with traffic to your website, we come full circle.
The content you create on your social network must engage users to get them to take action and visit your website. It is a continual loop between social and seo efforts.

Final Thoughts

You need to focus your online marketing efforts on your social seo strategy. The combination between these two organic traffic methods can provide small business owners some of the best lifts to their traffic and conversions on their website.
If you need some help setting this up, please feel free to contact our SEO company in Sydney for a free initial consultation.

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        As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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