Understanding how social media helps SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can make your website more competitive among more than 1.3 billion sites online. With so many competitors, businesses can no longer just put up an eStore and expect customers to stroll in. There’s too much competition.
According to CognitiveSEO, in its report on how social signals affect SEO, strong presence on social networks correlated with better rankings in search engines. Brands placing emphasis on social media stand out above the fold on the search engine results page.
You want to get the word out on your product, without cutting into your business’ margin. However, digital advertising costs, according to a 2017 Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) report, have risen an average of “12% … across channels and is rising five times faster than inflation.”
Website traffic specialist, Neil Patel, says, “Monetary constraints need not stop your internet marketing campaign. You don’t need expensive email marketing software or to purchase the most expensive keyword phrases.” By understanding how social media helps SEO you can beat the competition and reduce costs over time.
How Social Media Helps SEO: Sheer Numbers
Learning about how social media helps SEO on your website can help you drive an affordable, sustainable marketing campaign. User-friendly and inexpensive, social media allows you to reach users worldwide.
Hootsuite, in its, “Digital in 2017 Global Overview,” reported that social media users around the globe number 2.789 billion people. That’s 37% of the world population. A large number of those users are also buyers, and YotPo’s survey in the U.K. showed that eCommerce customers often use social media to learn about products before buying online. You want to make sure that you are getting your piece of the pie.
How Social Media Helps SEO: Algorithms
Google treats Facebook posts and Twitter tweets like individual pages. According to Matt Cutts, on Google Webmasters, “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index.” However, he also commented, “to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any [social media] signals in our web search ranking algorithms.” The sheer volume and dynamic nature of social media don’t allow the search media giant to crawl and index most social media content.
If search engines cannot thoroughly crawl, index, and rank social media, how does social media help SEO? Search engines, like Google, Bing, Baidu, and others work because someone writes code, or algorithms, telling the computer what to do. The Google search engine has goals distinct from the Yahoo search engine. That’s why each search engine gives different results.
In the case of Google’s search engine page ranks, somewhere around 200 ranking factors decide where your webpage ends up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. These ranking factors play a role in determining how social media helps SEO.
Search Engine Journal says,
“When other industry authorities read and link to your content, Google will read your backlink’s matching anchor text and consider your content more relevant. … When your content earns a lot of these high-quality backlinks, you hit three important ranking signals: number of backlinks, link authority, and link diversity.”
Search engine ranking algorithms, according to the journal, heavily weigh links and link quality. Social media boosts the opportunities for internet users to build those backlinks.
Search engine algorithms notice big numbers. Social media has them. You need them too.
Social Media Earns you Backlinks
Social media provides the perfect tool get your content in front of qualified viewers. In fact, if you organize and coordinate your website content and your social media content, you’ll find that with very little effort, you can take bits and pieces of your website content to generate an effective social media marketing stream.
By getting your content in front of engaging viewers, social media will earn you backlinks. These links, says Google, weigh heavily in search engine page ranks. Because social media helps get more visitors to your website, it will get you backlinks. If visitors from social media like your content, some of them will link to it. Some will link from their Facebook or Pinterest accounts, and others may have blogs or websites of their own and link there.
Social Media Brings You Qualified, Skilled Site Visitors
Social media gets you visitors who are accustomed to liking, sharing, and linking. With their pins, shares, and tweets they already know how to engage with content. That’s a characteristic that you want from your site visitors. If social media users end up on your domain, clicking, sharing, and pinning, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Gigablast will notice it.
Clickers, readers, likers, and tweeters in that end up in eCommerce store not only have effective engagement habits, but many will be highly qualified customers. Visitors who like to read news about the Amazon Rainforest on Facebook, for example, qualify as clients for a retailer specializing in herbs from that region, like Raintree Formulas, than many other internet users. Shareaholic reported that “collectively, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% the same time last year.”
As your website receives more and more qualified visitors from social media, search engines will recognize that internet users from that niche look to your site for reliable information. In addition, most influencers, today, spend time on social media. When these social media users and influencers find and link to your content, your brand begins earning authority. Search engines take link authority seriously.
How Does Social Media Help SEO through Link Diversity?
Social media covers diversity that will also help get your web page ranked, once it starts generating backlinks. Take a look at diversity in social media, in general. First, social media networks provide diverse platforms appealing to groups that vary in their socio-economic situation and other variables. PracticalEcommerce lists “105 Leading Social Networks Worldwide.” Many others exist.
Social media reach most ethnicities, races, industries, organizations, domains, interest groups, socio-economic groups, language families, and other groups, providing diverse opportunities for engagement and linking to your website. These platforms provide you an excellent opportunity to boost diverse backlinks to improve your site’s SEO.
It’s no surprise that CognitiveSEO’s 2016 Study of 30 Million Shares, on social media found that the best-ranking pages correlated with largest social networks for a particular brand. It makes sense that brands that spend time and effort interacting with social media users would also be good at engaging with visitors to their websites. You will also find that as you develop your social media marketing strategy and learn how social media helps SEO, your understanding and relationships with customers will take a change for the better.
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