How does Social Media influence SEO?

December 4th, 2013 by Eva Martin
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How does Social Media influence SEO?

You have heard about why you need social media for your businesses, and social media are most likely already part of your online marketing strategy. You may also have a separate SEO strategy in place. But how can you achieve more? In today’s blog, we’ll explain how integrating SEO & Social Media will leverage the potential for both.

social media & seo

 

Content is Elvis Presley

You want great content. Why? Because distributing good content in the times of social networks and blogs is easier than ever.

So you have a great, informative and entertaining piece of content, it’s perfectly optimised, what now? How do you get anyone to read it? Or even know that it exists?

Try these steps:

  • Include social sharing buttons on your content
  • Link to your other social media accounts from within your posts
  • Encourage interaction and discussion for blog posts and social media posts
  • Share SEO keyword catalogue with your Social Media experts
  • Remember to practice quality over quantity
Elvis and content are king

Great storytelling – Elvis approves

 

Did I mention quality over quantity?

Are you trying to come up with 10 great ideas for your blog every month, and then wonder why none of them really take off? If so, you’re in good company. How much easier would it be to come up with 1 brilliant idea every month, turn it into a campaign, re-purpose the content, get it shared across a multitude of networks, and make an actual difference in your marketing efforts?

Let us tell you a secret: you can do it all with just one piece of content.

If your content is interesting and interlinked, you can achieve a dialogue and active discussions around your topic – and gain backlinks. Google may not be able to recognise quality content as well as humans can (yet), but it can recognise popular content.

 

The Rankings

Google’s search algorithm takes over 200 factors into consideration when determining which results to show for a search query and in what order.

The good people from searchmetrics.com claim that social media already have a significant influence on the algorithm:

searchmetrics ranking factors

Source: Searchmetrics.com

What this means: Results in the organic search results’ top positions have a high number of likes, shares, +1’s and Tweets. These signals, in turn, can be achieved through great social media efforts. So, the better the social media performance, the better your SEO results.

Now, how much influence social media actually have on rankings is a heatedly discussed topic amongst SEOs, and many eye this data sceptically. Nevertheless, even if likes and other social signals don’t have a huge influence on ranks yet, it is not only likely but highly probable to get bigger since search engines have started to incorporate social context into their algorithms. So the earlier you get into the game, the better. Being late to the party in online marketing can be potentially quite deadly.

So why not use Flickr instead of your own photo-hosting, why not YouTube instead of your own streaming server?

 

The straight path is a lie!

When practicing SEO, it is important to not lose focus. Keep your overall objective in mind at all times. Be it an increase in traffic, online purchases or contact form submissions, in the majority of cases a user’s conversion path is not linear but complex and spans a multitude of devices. During their journey, the user will most likely come across and touch on your brand several times on different channels and platforms.

customer journey

We often attribute the entire value of a conversion to a user’s last click or the last channel that brought him to our website. However, this means that we fail to account for the attributing factors.

When thinking of your overall SEO goals, it is useful to imagine a football team. In order for the team to effectively work together you need all positions filled. You don’t want your team to be entirely made up of strikers; you will also require a strong centre field and defenders. In fact, the function of defenders isn’t even to score goals, yet without them the team would just be utterly useless.

 

Bonus Round

Google is constantly looking to improve the look and feel of their search results. We’ve recently found that they’re currently testing the integration of social search results from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Yelp, which could open up entirely new ways of increased visibility if you happen to have a strong presence on these networks.

So, whether you are looking to increase sales in an online shop, achieve better visibility in the search results or drive more traffic to your corporate site: good social media means good SEO.


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