How do we know if our social posts affect our SEO? We’ve been told it does, we’ve been told it doesn’t. And with Google’s ever-changing algorithm, how are we supposed to keep up?
Let’s review what we’ve been told about Social and SEO:
Social affects SEO: ✅
Social does not affect SEO: ✅
Social posts are indexed the same: ✅
Social posts aren’t indexed: ✅
Social links hold the same weight as any other web page: ✅
Social links don’t directly affect your Google search rank: ✅
When Google crawls social sites, it is simply too difficult for the crawlers to tell the difference between “bought” likes and “real” likes. Google is unable to tell if the information they’re obtaining for those social sites is accurate. There is just too much possibility for manipulation of these pages for Google to use it to influence their ranking decisions.
This doesn’t mean social media isn’t important to your SEO efforts. Social has an indirect effect on organic rankings. There should be a holistic approach to increasing your google search ranking. Start by creating useful and valuable information for your site. Then, use your social media outlets to get that information out there. Think of Social Media as your way of distributing your content. In this way, social media helps drive your Google ranking.
There is a correlation between popular links on social media and higher ranking sites. That is simply because, the better the content, the more likely it is to be shared on social media. AND, the better the content, the higher the Google rank. This is a correlation, not causation. Those social shares and likes didn’t cause the higher Google rank, the valuable, relevant content did that.
Social media also encourages other sites to link to your content. Every time your content gets viewed on a social network, it could result in reposts and possibly citations of your content in articles posted on their site. This earns you links to your content. Every time a valid site links to your content, that gives you a ranking boost. The more diverse your external links, the better you’ll appear to Google.
Most social outlets have their own form of SERPs (search engine results pages). Consumers can sometimes be just as likely to search for things through Facebook as they are through Google. You can get a better feel for a company and what they’re all about through their social media accounts more than their website. If you have a post showing up on the top of those result pages, it will be more likely for your account to be clicked on. Make sure viewers can then easily get to your site through your social page if that is your end goal. One more thing to mention: The fact that popular social media posts also appear at the top of Google’s SERPs. This means that social media can have a direct effect on your SERP ranking.
Be sure to add social sharing to any pages that you’ve created that you feel have valuable content. This creates an easy way for people who enjoyed your product or blog post to share it with their friends. Hello, free advertising!
Social Media is also the best possible way to create brand loyalty via the web. It is the only way to really connect with your followers. Make the most of it by engaging with your followers. Like their comments. Comment back to them. Thank them for liking your posts! Build relationships. After all, that’s what social media was created for in the first place, right?
So get out there and make friends and connect with people! And hey, why not increase your SEO in the process?