I had a chance to talk to social media guru Lisa Thompson who runs a Fort Wayne SEO and Digital Media company, Monster Strategy. She gave me a lot of insight on the role that social media plays in organic search results. Here’s what I learned:
Social media is becoming so vast that in many places the number of social media profiles outnumbers the population. Business owners everywhere are searching for new ways to incorporate social media into their SEO campaign. There are a lot of ways you can utilize social media to increase your ranking on Google’s organic search results pages, both directly and indirectly.
Sharing To Drive Traffic
The most fundamental way in which social media can impact your organic ranking is by driving new traffic to your web pages. A website’s traffic plays an important part in its ranking. Thus, you should always be looking for new ways to increase those numbers outside of organic click-throughs.
Forrester researched the subject and discovered that social media is the second most popular method for finding a website. That data alone should highlight the significance of creating a presence on as many social media platforms as possible.
Sharing To Build Links
Links are another piece of the ranking puzzle. Sharing media that people like is an excellent way to build some new links from quality sites. For example, you might share a video of a new product or service on Facebook. 50 more people then share this video.
Then, someone in one of those people’s networks sees the video and likes it. That person runs their blog, and they decide to write a blog about the video and the product. They then link back to your website in their blog post. The shares on Facebook may not have played a direct role in the ranking process, but the link gained after sharing certainly did.
Factors That Aren’t Directly Evaluated
We’ve looked at a couple ways social media impacts organic search results. It’s now important to point out that there are some misconceptions on the web about factors that don’t actually play a role in a website’s overall ranking. Most importantly, you should know that social signals such as “likes”, “+1’s”, and “retweets” do not play a direct role in a website’s ranking.
That isn’t to say that getting these things aren’t important. Retweets help spread the word on Twitter. “+1’s” on Google+ impact search results for people who are signed in when searching and Facebook “likes” increase a post’s popularity and visibility. These are all good things that you should strive for in your social media campaigns, but they are not variables directly factored into Google’s ranking algorithm.
Google Webmasters have stated that “crawlable” information on social media pages are treated the same as any web page. However, no particular work is being done, nor will ever be done, to directly evaluate “likes” and “+1’s”. So buying 1,000 “likes” for your post isn’t going to improve your organic ranking.
Now that you know what’s important in social media you can create profiles for your business and start sharing. Find the right networks to connect to, download some helpful analysis tools, and experiment with sharing different types of media until you see the results you want.