Everyone uses social media. Every business has a Twitter, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn account, even Instagram and Pinterest. So how important is social media for SEO? Does it impact your rankings at all?
How Important Is Social Media?
Google has stated that it doesn’t count social media influence in its rankings. Having a lot of likes or followers will benefit you on that social media site, but won’t impact your search rankings. Links from social media don’t count, either. There are just too many posts and comments on social media sites for Google to effectively crawl them. It’s also too difficult to determine the quality of a link posted on a social media site because it’s not necessarily.
But that doesn’t mean that social media posting is useless for your SEO efforts. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – just because there isn’t a lot of direct influence on search rankings doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of indirect influence.
Promote Your Content
Having a good social media presence does give you content visibility. If you have new content, or evergreen content that could be regularly shared, social media posts highlighting this content can bring in visitors. This can also be a part of a linkbuilding campaign. Just because the links you share on the social media site don’t necessarily help your search rankings, the content shared on social media does give others something to link to. Don’t be afraid to share content multiple times - each post may only reach a small portion of your actual audience at a time.
Use Great Images
On social media, the first thing that users see of your post is the image. This image may also help users determine whether or not they want to click on your post or whether they want to continue reading. Images can be eye-catching and draw attention to your posts, similar to having catchy, viral headlines.
You can also optimize the file name of the image (or other media) before uploading it to social media. Title the name of the file by using the keywords that make sense for the image and for your SEO efforts. Best practices are to use a hyphen (-) in between each word in the file name.
Make Your Content More Shareable
You can get visitors to your site to do some of the work for you when it comes to sharing your content on social media. Add social media share buttons to make it easy for users to share your content. This will allow your content to be visible with audiences that you might not be able to reach on your own.
Optimize Your Profile
You can use your profile to create better brand recognition, to help users understand you and your content, and to direct users back to your website. Keep your profile picture and description the same across all of your social media accounts to make it easier for users to find and recognize you on different platforms. Also include a link – your website is usually the best thing to include, but if you have a campaign going on, you can direct users to the sign up for it, for example.
Engage with Your Followers
Organic linkbuilding can happen. But instead of just waiting for users to link to your content on their own websites on their own, you can establish a relationship with your followers. These followers can be turned into true fans of your brand and are more likely to link to your site and to encourage others to visit your site as well. Having more visitors and backlinks does impact your search rankings.
If there are social media influencers who could be a good fit with your brand, you can approach them to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. These influencers can link to your site on their own and can reshare your content. Most likely, this relationship will be reciprocal – they may be willing to share your posts and give you a backlink in exchange for you doing the same for them.
Most social media platforms have opportunities for paid ad campaigns. With the number of users on each social media site, this can be a great opportunity to reach users who may be interested in your brand but who may not already be a part of your audience. Similar to paid ad campaigns with Google, you can select which audience you want to target with a social media ad campaign. On Facebook, for example, you can boost specific posts to use as the ad that you want more users to see.
Search engines may not use social media directly to calculate search rankings with their algorithms, but your social media presence can still have a great impact on your search rankings. Social media can drive users to your site, provide you with a greater audience for your content, and can even generate opportunities to create backlinks. There are a lot of benefits that can come from having a good social media presence that can indirectly affect your search rankings (site traffic and backlinks do directly affect your search rankings). This means that social media is still a part of SEO.