Social media is rapidly becoming one of the largest resources used to promote businesses and brands online. In fact, there are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages alone.
Social is the internet’s free tool to help sell, promote, story tell and communicate at a personal level with audiences. There are also paid options to help accelerate brand awareness, interaction and ultimately conversions.
Because of its popularity, some of the biggest digital marketing questions today are about the benefits of social media on SEO. People also ask about how to use it to help boost your website’s ranking on search engines. While these are very important the answers aren’t necessarily straightforward.
Does social media really benefit SEO?
It was once believed that Google used social media to help search rankings, but a video released back in 2014 by Google’s Matt Cutts debunked this theory. He said that the search engine does not directly factor social media into its ranking criteria. However, there are ways you can still use it to your advantage.
The more you share quality content on your social channels, the more likely you are to be seen by your audience – it’s a given that you need to be in the public eye to be noticed. When you post great content including links, images, videos and creative copy on social platforms, you open up more possibilities for your brand to be seen by the masses, bringing more potential customers.
This opens the door to possibly being seen by tens of thousands of people all with a single click or tap on a screen but, most importantly, without the help of search engine rankings. It also helps that it increases your authority in your field, which is something that Google looks to reward.
This case study shows how a company shared content through Facebook, achieving over 130,000 engagements. In turn, it helped their webpage shoot up to rank at #1 compared to other companies using the same keyword variations at the time. This positive engagement can also help build your brand and, crucially, build an audience and a following around your brand.
It’s a fast-paced world and to be in with a chance of growing your business you have to be proactive. Google loves a click-through rate as they impact all websites and improve search engine rankings. Creating a great social presence will help you with this, pushing your brand and its image to the public in effective ways. When your business appears in someone’s search, your link could have more chance of being clicked on as it is already recognisable to the user because they saw you on social media.
Social media pages show up in search engines
Consistent interactions made through social media and authoritative SEO reinforce brand reputation. In turn, search engines will index your website higher.
This is why having a strong online brand presence is important. If your business’s name, image and branding are uniform throughout your social presence, then they have a higher chance of appearing on SERPs.
Here is an example; when you search ‘BBC’ into Google, the third result is their Twitter account. The BBC is already a strong brand with a large social following and this helps to further boost their engagement. It proves that with the right amount of work, your social media channels can appear and rank highly.
How to optimise your social media accounts
If you want to give your business the best chance at success, follow these simple steps:
- Use the same name variants throughout your online presence (@yourbrand YourBrand)
- Research and use trending keywords in your profile’s bio
- Keep your profile pictures the same on each account
- Try to keep your tone of voice similar
- Persevere – it takes time to grow a following, but high-quality content posted regularly will get you there
Spend some time looking at similar brands and keep an eye out for any duplicate accounts that may damage your search results. Your business needs to be as clear as possible and ideally unique on social media to give it a fighting chance. Duplicate accounts could create problems. Do your research before creating any names or handles to give it the best odds from the outset.
But it’s not just about optimising your accounts – you need to use them, too. Create content that’s worth sharing on social media, and use Facebook and Twitter to get involved in conversations. Most importantly, engage with your audience; be responsive to comments and shares, and keep in touch with your followers.
There are over 3.725 billion active social media users, and each of them has an average of 7.6 accounts. Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. As each year, month, even day goes by, it is evolving and becoming a bigger part of how we find information.
Search engine algorithms are also always changing, so one day social media could have huge benefits for your SEO and rankings. If that day were to come, then everyone with a social presence will be already on the right path to success, so make sure you don’t get left behind. Until then, get to know the best practices available to you today to help build your brand online.
BONUS POINT: Social media is for news!
It is estimated that almost 4 billion people will be active on social media by 2021. Because of this, social has quickly turned into a search engine of its own. Users won’t always look for information through Google or Bing anymore. With more users posting on it every day, it has become a one-stop shop for quick-fire, up-to-date information.
It’s obvious that you’d want your business to be in the public eye as much as possible. In this continuous, digital, informal conversation taking place on social media, it has become a great way for people to come across your business when searching for keywords that may not be linked to your brand directly.