Social Media Marketing & SEO: How Your Ranking is Affected
Whether you know it or not, social media marketing directly impacts your business’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts…and search engines themselves influence your social media presence. To analyze this phenomenon, it is important to first take a look at the changing landscape that has been occurring in these sectors. In recent months, some experts have claimed that SEO is “on its way out” as an information portal and that social media is going to reign supreme with regard to how we obtain our info. From our perspective, nothing could be further from the truth right now – and we don’t believe it will ever be the case based on the relationship search engines and social media have with one another today.
Is there some validity to this argument? Yes, in that social media has significantly impacted the way in which we share and discover content, but it hasn’t completely taken over the way in which we look for a website or content via platforms such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Because social media marketing has become one of the many factors such search engines take into account when indexing content across the web, let’s now delve into top three ways social media could continually impact your company’s rankings in the major search engines.
1. The New Form of Link Building: Social Shares
Link building has always represented a prime factor taken into consideration by search engines to determine whether other websites across the Internet deemed a site “a quality source of information;” in fact, for years, businesses would apply various link-building tactics both credible and legitimate to garner more links to their website for the purpose of gaining higher rankings.
Today, the game has changed a bit: Links are primarily achieved through developing original content that is, in turn, shared across social media platforms. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks assist the search engines with understanding what sites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.
The key here is to be sure your most compelling content is being shared on social media outlets – not only to gain traffic from your audiences on each channel, but from search engines over time.
2. Google Author Rank, aka “Author Authority”
Google’s search engine protocols have become more integrated with “social cues” and features for this growing social network ever since the launch of Google+. But what makes this whole process so unique is that Google allows an author of content to associate that content with his or her Google+ profile, ensuring that his or her account and bio are linked to the content in search engine results. By including, for example, the “rel=author” tag on your website, linking the websites you write for in the bio of your Google+ profile and including a link to your Google+ profile in every article you’ve written, your author listing will appear in the search engines.
Why is this important? Because you want to build credibility for your content appearing in search engines, thus further driving recognition and trust with your audience and content creators.
3. Better Ranking for Social Connections and Followers
The consistency of quality connections, followers and friends on a social media platform is also a factor in how content will be ranked – similar to how search engines interpret more social shares on a piece of content as a sign of credibility. This shouldn’t be confused with simply focusing on the raw number of followers an account boasts; it is all about the amount of QUALITY connections, followers and friends an account has that helps to determine whether they are a reputable source when they share content…and not just an account with a number of spam followers.
A recognized company’s social account is more likely to rank for the content they post than users with a following of low-quality or a low number of followers. Our advice is to look to connect with “influencers” and online advocates that are genuinely interested in your offerings to ensure that they begin to share your company’s content with their network.
Remember: In social media marketing, what you’re after is helping your operations gain further traction in search engine results.