SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. It’s the driving force behind increased website visibility, organic traffic and overall online success.
It involves the process of optimising various elements on your website to improve its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPS). Ultimately, there are over 200 ranking factors that can determine the relevance and quality of your website!
Each factor plays an important role in the all encompassing SEO puzzle but one piece has blurred the line between conventional SEO and social media marketing.
Introducing social signals, a metric that measures the level of engagement and activity on your social media platforms. So what does this have to do with SEO? While social signals are not direct ranking factors, they do have indirect implications on SEO.
Let’s explore why social signals matter for SEO and how you can optimise them to your advantage. Before that, let’s take a look at what social signals are and how they are generated.
WHAT ARE SOCIAL SIGNALS?
In layman terms, social signals refer to any interaction between a user and a social media profile (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…). These interactions can come in the form of likes, comments, follows and shares.
The signals indicate the quality and relevance of your content to its users. They also have an indirect impact on SEO, helping search engines understand and identify the reliability of a user, profile or post.
According to Google’s spokespeople, social signals are not ranking factors as they have no direct influence on rankings. This is due to the spam/fake accounts epidemic across social media, which makes it challenging for search engines to rely on social signals.
Google does pay close attention to social media pages nonetheless and this incidentally impacts SEO in several ways.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SIGNALS IN SEO
The relation between social signals and SEO is a topic of ongoing debate among SEO experts. While there is no definitive agreement on the matter, there are multiple reasons why social signals matter for SEO:
- Trustworthiness: Search engines seem to consider social signals as a form of validation and relevance indicator. This means that when your content receives significant engagement, it can be seen as a sign of trustworthiness.
Trustworthy content plays a big role in Google’s E-E-A-T concept and social signals are an indication that users find your content legitimate.
- User Engagement: The more engagement you receive, the better it is for SEO as engagement reflects the level of interest users have with your content.
Good content will lead to higher levels of engagement, increasing page views and lowering bounce rates. These are all positive signals to search engines and can contribute to improved SEO rankings.
- Increased Visibility: There are millions of active users across social media, making it a great platform to increase your business’s visibility. When your posts receive significant engagement, they are more likely to be shown to a wider audience through social media algorithms. This can potentially direct users to your website and increase the chances of people sharing or linking to it.
Organic backlinking is invaluable to SEO and it all starts with reputable and trustworthy content.
OPTIMISING SEO THROUGH SOCIAL SIGNALS
When done correctly, social signals can have a significant impact on your SEO strategy. Here are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your game plan:
- Create High Quality Content: Creating good content is undoubtedly one of the best ways you can leverage your social signals. Focus on creating content that resonates with your target audience by providing unique or informative content about your niche.
You should also create sharable content which users can pass around. All in all, creating high quality content will increase the likelihood of users engaging with your content and sharing it with others.
- Build Your Audience: You can’t generate social signals without an audience and you can’t find the right audience without good content. After you’ve established good content production, you can now focus on building your audience.
Promote your social media profile on your website and other marketing channels. Share them to your personal profiles and encourage your friends and families to spread the word.
Additionally, use appropriate hashtags to increase content visibility and attract relevant users.
- USe CTA’s: A CTA (call to action) encourages users to share, like or comment on your posts. It’s a great way to increase user engagement as it also has the potential to direct users to your website.
For example, you can get users to click the link on your website to find out more about a specific service or product. CTA’s usually come towards the end of a post and remember to make them clear and compelling.
Be that as it may, avoid sounding pushy and over promotional or you’ll end up driving your audience away!
- Stay Active and Consistent: Consistency is key in maintaining an active presence on social media platforms. It demonstrates your commitment and reliability, which can positively impact social signals.
Regularly post relevant and engaging content to keep your audience interested and involved. You should also develop a content calendar to ensure a consistent flow of content across all social media platforms.
The world of SEO is constantly evolving and social signals have become an influential aspect of SEO. They have an indirect impact on SEO although they are not direct ranking factors.
This uncertain nature between social signals and SEO has been a topic of debate for more than a decade and there’s no definitive formula as of now. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that incorporating them as part of your strategy will help your SEO efforts one way or the other.
From indicating trustworthy content to increasing visibility, the importance of social signals cannot be denied. So don’t forget to optimise your social signals with the right practices and with a little luck and patience, you’re bound to get that ranking you deserve!