Alright, first things first, before we dig into the various reasons why SEO and social media are related to each other, we should first understand what exactly is SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing quantity and quality of traffic that is directed to your website through organic search engine results. But what exactly can you do to run the SEO in full spin? Which of these needs a change? Your design? Your content? BOTH! But also so much more than that. When you optimize your online content in a way that a search engine (E.g. Google or Bing) likes to show it as top answers for searches of a particular keyword, its SEO work is on-point then.
For example, if you compose an article on “Dog vs Cats”, you’d want it to pop on top of the search engine’s list. (P.S: No, I’m not trying to start a dog vs cat war, I love them both!) All I mean is, you have to work your charm through your words in the article, with keywords being kitty, puppy, doggo, cute, pets and something mainstream or the ones that are most searched and SEO will help you put your article in the top searches of the search engine! If you don’t do that, the search engine (mostly Google) won’t bump your article to the top.
But is it that simple? Uh, no!
When we start going deep into the world of SEO, we get to know that Google changes its policies every other month, if not every other week. And since 90% of the world uses Google as the top search engine, it is important to always have it in consideration. There’s a learning curve to begin, but once you’re past that, you’ll have to be very vigilant of all the new tactics and tricks coming out every now and then. There are approximately more than 2 million blogs written every day and in that cluster of blogs, getting your blog to the top is a very challenging job. Click To TweetIf it takes you hours to compose your blog, the few minutes that you spend on its SEO strategy will be undoubtedly the most important minutes for that article to be in the top 10 searches of the search engine.
But! Before being totally intimidated at the sheer volume of all the things that you’ll have to learn and manage in SEO, be positive, as SEO, once broken down into components, is actually not all that hard to handle.
Now for its relationship with Social media;
I’ll try my best to demystify everything that you wish to know about the strategies of SEO and social media, and how it can improve or boost up your business online. To answer your first thought, does social media help your SEO work or vice-versa? YES, in short. For the detailed version of the answer, you’ll have to keep reading!
“The top-ranked websites in Google’s rankings displays vastly more social signals than all other pages. This is primarily due to the overlap between brand websites performing strongly in social networks and being allocated top positions by Google.” – Matt Cutts.
However, this statement was short lived as a cruel twist of fate for a majority, or luck for some, just a few months later, Matt declared how the social signals or traffic like Facebook likes and shares, and Twitter’s followers, do not influence or affect any search rankings. Now, this left the marketers a little baffled as they had grasped the concept of social signals to be a sign of quality, hence putting social signals the main factor of Google’s algorithm. Matt’s statement worked as a game changer.
Now that social signals and traffic are out of the picture, marketers have to come up with new strategies every day, many have claimed social media to be the new SEO! SEO and social media are not two different entities anymore, both of them have to work together to create value for the reader/viewer. If you are a business owner who is new to the online marketing world, or a stabilized business owner who is looking for ways to market the products online, you’ll have to ask your SEO team and your social media team to put their heads together and come up with ways to bring more visitors to your website.
Following are a few ways of:
How Social Media Impacts the SEO Strategies.
“Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.”-Brian Honigman.
With social signals out, does the posting or sharing of links on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platform boost the post’s search ranking? Online marketers believe that links of your website that are obtained through different blog posts on social media actually do have a huge effect on the rankings.
Google stated how it did not consider the times the post had been liked, shared or tweeted on social media networks, but then retracted and said it was in their search rank algorithm to do so, Bing agreed too.
“Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index, and so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it then we can return that in our search results.” –Matt Cutts.
The authority of the traffic might not affect the search ranking. But these statements make me think how the links published or tweeted do have an influence on the page’s rank.
Social Media As Search Engines
Google and Bing aren’t the only sources to search for something now. People like to check the business’ page on Facebook or Twitter before they go to their website. Content promotion on social media platforms is the new SEO system of finding your desired stuff online, because optimized content nowadays, might not get the attention that you long for, as it won’t be in the top searches. What you need to do is to turn your organic content into social media content so that the traffic can be driven from the social media platforms to the website. Even YouTube and Google+ and Instagram are considered search engines now.
“We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines.”- Neil Patel
The traditional thinking of Google, Bing, and sites like these being the only search engines should take a back seat as companies expand their concepts about SEO.
Social Media Presence
Now that we’ve established how social media can act as SEO too, we can not rule out how well social media works in respect to improve your online reputation. And your online presence determines how people may reach out to you and this social engagement is super important when it comes to SEO. Social media helps with making connections too.
“If more people engage that’s a clear sign that their algorithm is showing this right content; if not, their systems will audition other content instead to find something that generates that interest.” – Moz
Alright yes, this might seem to be a branding advantage rather than an SEO advantage,. But trust me, let me wow you with one simple fact. The more engagement you have on your content on the social media, the stronger your reputation will become online, making people search you on search engines and BAM! You get your name in the top 10 of the search list.
“The more branded searches your brand receives, the higher it’s likely to rank for non-branded keywords.”
All in all, I think just because Google has ruled out social signals as rank boosters in the SEO system, online marketers should not dismiss the concept altogether. Rather, they should broaden their concept of SEO and search engines, and they should strengthen their social media game.
After all, the world-wide-web is basically relationship building system, where expressing of ideas, and being super social is the norm. And in all of this, fits SEO perfectly, making the web user experience fun and enjoyable.
Okay, your turn: I’d love to get your insights on how else do YOU think social media affects SEO? Leave a comment to let me know!