What You Need to Know About Social Media and SEO

SEO and social media

Social media strategy and search engine optimization (SEO) are each important in their own right for businesses looking to gain visibility and attract new customers (as well as engage with current clients). Social networks like Twitter and Facebook give companies the opportunity to reach out to potential customers and – with the right strategy, the right content, and careful management – boost sales. Smart SEO efforts can also boost visibility and make it easier for people to find your website and your products.

Whether or not social media activity affects SEO/search engine rankings (particularly in Google search results) has been somewhat unclear over the years, according to Kissmetrics. Matt Cutts – a software engineer and former head of the web spam team at Google – stated in a December 2010 video that social signals did indeed factor into Google rankings. However, in January 2014, Cutts said in another video that social factors (e.g., number of Twitter followers) don’t affect a Web page’s ranking.

Still, digital marketing experts have advised businesses not to abandon social media campaigns in the wake of Cutts’ 2014 statement. Consider the following three reasons why activity on social networks is still essential to a strong SEO strategy.

1. Social sites are search engines too. Although you might think of search engine rankings as being nearly synonymous with Google rankings, remember that people use the search function on social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to look for things, too, according to Kissmetrics.

Many of us will scout a company out on Twitter and/or Facebook before purchasing their products and services. For example, in 2011, Twitter reported an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. As a result, having a strong social media presence that lets people find your business using social network search engines can boost your visibility and relevance in the realm of SEO (if you expand the concept to encompass more than just traditional search engines).

2. Social media increases your authority in Google’s eyes by increasing the number of external links to your content. Sharing high-quality content via social networks means that more people will see it and potentially want to share it or use it as source material for their own content, according to the Forbes article “6 Social Media Practices That Boost SEO.” That means you could increase the number of external inbound links to your website, which could influence your Google ranking by helping your company/site gain authority.

3. Increased brand awareness/visibility on social will help lead people to search for your brand more often on Google.  Establishing a strong social media presence and interacting with current and prospective clients on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks will make people more aware of your brand because they’ll see it mentioned in posts/comments/tweets. That boost in online brand presence will likely lead to more people searching for your business, and more branded searches could increase your ranking for non-branded keywords, according to Forbes.

Ultimately, both social media and SEO are important areas of focus if you’re looking to achieve success and grow your business. Our expert team at Traffic Jams can help your company boost brand awareness and maintain a highly relevant website with a holistic and targeted SEO approach and customized social media strategy. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today by emailing sales@trafficjams.com  or calling (855) 599-9998.

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