Ever since the beginning of the seo craze years ago, webmasters have been debating the pros and cons of social media activity and its impact on search engine rankings, specifically in relation to Google. Spokespeople for Google, including Matt Cutts, the Head of Google’s Webspam Team, have adamantly denied suggestions that social media directly affects a website’s rankings on Google, but this article will explain why social media does correlate with search engine visibility and rankings.
Social Media Marketing Can Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Website
I recently asked my boss if I could create a Twitter account to prove that building a network on social media may lead to greater visibility and presence online. Within a few days, our company had nearly 100 followers, about 10 “favorited” tweets, and several “mentions”. In addition to being active on Twitter, we setup a Bitly account so we could create custom links and track how many Twitter users actually followed the links. We immediately noticed we were getting activity on our links, and our website traffic was increasing as well. So how does this correlate with search engine rankings?
The more frequently your brand is mentioned and seen on the web, the better your search engine rankings will be. This is especially true with Google’s own social networking site, Google Plus. The more circles you join, the more active you are, the more your content is +1’d and shared—the more your traffic will increase and the more Google will like your website. Google also likes it when you use other popular social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Social Media Gives You a Platform to Interact
Jason Demers, a contributor for Forbes, discussed The Three Pillars of SEO for 2014 in a fantastic article published earlier this year. It’s no surprise that social media is one of the three pillars mentioned in the article. Not only does social media drive traffic to your website, but it also gives you an opportunity to interact with followers and potential clients. You may be thinking—“social media is for companies involved in business-to-consumer marketing, but I focus exclusively on business-to -business marketing in my industry.” If this is your mindset, I have great news for you. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of social sites on the web that were made specifically for b2b marketers (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Explore B2B are great places to start). No matter who your target audience is, you need a social strategy to improve brand awareness.
Like Link Building Much?
For years link building has been the central focus for seo’s and marketing firms. Link building is still alive and well, though the quality standards have changed drastically since Google’s Penguin 2.0 and subsequent 2.1 update. It’s no longer valuable to simply create a bunch of spun content and blast it out to various sites around the web. Instead, a webmaster or marketer is encouraged to take special care when planning a link building strategy. Interestingly enough, link building can be accomplished in the social sphere, and in some cases can be more effective than submitting content to content submission sites.
Community web forums like Reddit give companies and webmasters an opportunity to share content they’ve produced on a blog or external website. When a link is posted on Redditt, users are able to rank content and make comments, which can bring a lot of brand awareness if the content is high quality. Marketers and webmasters can also build relationships online and share links to offsite and onsite content when the opportunity arises. Social media users will be upset if you’re bombarding them with promotional messages, but if the relationship is solid, they won’t mind a link here and there.
Tying it all Together
Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to the advantages of social media marketing and it’s effect on search engine rankings. Just remember, like any smart company, Google doesn’t show all of its cards to the public. Though spokespeople may say social isn’t extremely important, you can’t argue with the results. For more information on digital marketing and advertising, contact us for a free consultation.