Today’s post is from our guest, Zachary Jarvis. You can learn more about Zachary in his author profile below the article.
Google wants people to have the best experience when they are using their search engine. If it doesn’t provide the best results, then people have the option to use another search engine – well, they did. Google now has 77.43% of the global search market followed by Chinese site Baidu with 8.13% and then Bing and Yahoo with 7.31% and 5.6% respectively.
How did Google dominate? By providing the best results. That means making sure the pages it puts first in the ranking are the most relevant and the most likely to solve the problems posed by the four and a half billion searches it receives a day. There are also two billion monthly users of Facebook and 800 million on Instagram to mention two social media platforms.
Social media is becoming more relevant to the people searching – so Google is beginning to rank social media as a much more important part of its SEO algorithm. Google’s Mobile First Indexing is already being rolled out in phases. Even though it’s unclear exactly how the focus on mobile will affect Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranks, there have already been trends that have boosted the importance of social media for page ranking, and that seems likely to continue in the future.
How does social media affect your Search Engine Result Page (SERP)?
Google already takes social signals (like, retweets, shares, +1s etc.) into consideration for its page ranking. Although it’s unclear of the exact relationship – a higher number of followers on Facebook and Google+ correlates with a more visible page ranking. As the user base is much lower for Google+, it may be that Google is giving preferential treatment to its own social media platform, which may be a good reason to add Google+ to your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) portfolio.Just like Google sweeps web pages for ranking signals, it does so with social media also. Click To Tweet
Every time a social signal is generated, it can be measured by Google – just like it sweeps through websites to find backlinks. Again, no-one has a definite idea of how social signals are weighted against other factors like keywords and backlinks, but it is clear that they are recorded in a similar manner. Social signals are likely to become more important as they become more relevant to the consumer.
Think about your own experience, how often do you visit a new website because you’ve read a blog about it and how often have you visited a new website because you found out about it on social media? If an organic social media presence makes a website interesting to people that use search engines, then Google will put it towards the top of the page ranking as a result. (The machine learning is also smart enough that it can tell if you’re buying followers with bots.)
Other benefits that social media can bring to your website ranking
Having a strong social media presence, which generates social signals, will have a positive impact on your SEO – there are also other benefits. A strong social media presence gives you a whole new channel to drive people to your website. If you put out entertaining and informative content when it generates likes and shares it also drives brand awareness.
Social signals can also improve your existing SEO efforts. The social media posts that you put out linked to your website can include keywords and phrases that help your website in search results. If you are writing blogs to increase your backlinks, you can also promote those blogs on social media. If those blogs are then shared by people, the relevance of that blog makes the backlink more valuable while generating even more social signals.
Of course, your content has to be good. You can no longer get away with listing keywords in rough paragraphs – you now need to provide properly written blogs. There are also hidden benefits to this. Not only is it more likely to get read and shared, the content is also likely to have phrases in it which are more conversational.Social media sets you up for ranking well in voice search which accounts for 20% of Google searches. Click To Tweet
This sets your SEO up for voice search. Google already says that 20% of its search is done through voice – and with the popularity of voice assistants, Amazon Echo and Google Home some people think that voice may account for up to 50% of search by 2020. Voice is going to be an important component of the Mobile First Index – and having conversations with your audience through blogs and social media will help prepare you for this.
Practicing your copy skills on social media and blogs can also have the benefit of better understanding the tone and language that your audience responds to. This can lead to people interacting with your site more – as well as clicking through on organic links because the meta description is more appealing to your potential audience. If the quality of your site is better and more relevant to your audience, that’s also something Google ranks on.
Why social media and SEO are a win for everyone
When social media and SEO are done right, then it’s better for everyone. People get a more relevant and entertaining customer experience; businesses get a higher conversion rate because of increased visibility and ease of use and Google benefits because it is recommending a better website.
Using social media shouldn’t all be about improving your SEO – at a deeper level, it should be about improving the relationship that your business has with your customers. Social media makes the customer experience better and helps to promote long-term loyalty that has a positive effect on the lifetime value of your customers. As a benefit, it also has a positive impact on your SEO – which is great, because more people can find your business so you can solve their problem.
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