You don’t need SEO experts to tell you that the search engine ranking of your website is important for business. Higher rank means greater visibility for the website and consequently, increased business.
The need therefore is to focus on factors that enhance your search engine rankings. And alongside traditional SEO factors like keyword optimization and link building, social media is today emerging as an important factor for search ranking.
The Social Media – SEO Link Exists Because
- Matt Cutts of Google and Duane Forrester of Bing have acknowledged that social signals carry certain weightage in determining the search ranking of a website. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.
- Google wants to popularize its own social platform, Google+ and may tweak its algorithms more towards according greater significance to your Google+ presence in determining your website ranking. Read here the opinion of 12 SEO experts on this topic.
- Austin based SEO firm Tasty Placements conducted an experiment which revealed conclusively that search engine rankings for a website that has active social media presence (Google+, Twitter and Facebook) increased by a maximum factor of 14.36 as compared to the control website which was not optimized for social media at all.
Now the question is how to use this information for the benefit of your own website? So let us consider the ways in which social media impacts your search engine ranking.
Top 3 Ways in Which Social Media Affects Your Search Engine Ranking
- Relationships are a Measure of Relevance for Google
We know that Google aims to deliver the most relevant search results to users.
When a user signs into Google Search through his user account, Google considers content recommended by people in his social circle (his relationships) as more relevant and presents them at a higher position in the search results page. So if your website has been +1ed by maximum people, chances of an enhanced ranking in a personalized search are high and will contribute to your business by just that much.
- Social Media Can Create a Buzz and Enhance Website Traffic
While we commonly believe that higher search engine rankings enhance website traffic, the reverse is also equally true.
If you have created some really great content for your blog and tweeted about it or shared it on your Facebook page with a back link, people are likely to click on the link to your site. This increases traffic to your site, which convinces Google that you are offering something of value to searchers and your search ranking is bumped up.
- Social Media Enhances Link Building
Link building remains an important SEO factor. Social media enhances link building (and thus search ranking) in two ways
(a) directly by prompting your followers to like, retweet or +1 your content and thus create a link back to you
(b) indirectly by allowing you to arrive at the right content ideas depending on the buzz in the relevant social media circles. When you have an active social media presence, you are more tuned in to what your customers want. Naturally content which they want (and find useful) has greater chances of being shared and thus enhances your link building and hence search ranking. Here is a great read on this topic
What Does this Mean for Regular SEO?
Let me assure you that contrary to popular belief, regular SEO is not ‘dying’ and is unlikely to do so for sometime at least. Social media optimization is merely an additional SEO tool, admittedly one that looks likely to become more powerful in the future.
As we saw the link between social media and search engine ranking is more indirect than a causal direct one.
So for now, traditional SEO still rules and social media adds an edge to it.
This post was written by Yasir Khan, founder of Quantum SEO Labs. The company offers social media and SEO strategies for clients in diverse niches.