Written by: Brooks Clifford of BigRedDog Solutions
A common question we are often asked by our clients is “how do social media and SEO work together?” Well according to Matt Cutts of Google,
Google treats social media pages like any other webpage; for those pages that can be crawled, Google certainly does. But he also goes on to say that Google does not
use factors such as likes
as any means to rank your website. So to answer the question – we’ve provided 3 key ways on how social media and SEO work together.
#1. Social media pages show up in SERPs (search engine result pages).
If you do any Google search on a large brand, chances are you’ll see a few of their social media accounts right at the top of the SERP. This is in fact part of the optimizing process of the search engine specifically for brand related searches. Just because it may not be an organic keyword or keyword phrase (what we often think of in terms of SEO ranking) a mistake business often make is disregarding these as important and leaving them out. As a result for businesses who choose to ignore social media they may see a very vanilla looking SERP page on brand specific searches.
#2. SEO isn’t just Google.
When most people hear the term SEO they immediate think of Google, as if Google is the almighty God of SEO (well they kind of are). But in reality SEO is simply the term for search engine optimization and social media platforms are certainly search engines themselves.
Don’t underestimate the value of showing up in social media SERPs, especially sites like LinkedIn, Yelp, Angies List, and industry specific sites like Houzz.com for example. All of this sites (plus many more) have search functions directly built into the homepage and are used by millions of users weekly.
#3. Social Media generates traffic volume & engagement.
This is often a strategy that is done through either paid campaigns or posting links to videos, blogs, events, or other interested content that is posted on your website.
Whether you use social media organically or through paid ads –no question it can help drive traffic back to your website. That certainly influence Google’s SEO algorithms and having good volume & engagement will help strengthen your overall ‘SEO juice’. Looking at metrics like bounce rate, page views, time spent on website and all help paint a picture as to what your traffic is doing and the level of engagement.
I don’t think I need to sell you on the idea social media can add value to your brand/website. The same would be true for SEO purposes – it can certainly add value. Yet it would not be hard to find a dozen examples of websites with very strong SEO rankings and a weak social media presence (or visa versa) – so don’t put too heavy of a weighing factor on the relationship. Keep in mind that social media pages do show up in SERPs, they work as a search engine themselves (and for that reason your pages should be well optimized) and can certainly be an asset to driving traffic and more importantly customers to your website.