As with SEO, social media is an important part of any brand’s digital marketing strategy, but for several years now, there’s been a back and forth within the industry about whether social media directly impacts SEO results. To help clear things up, we’ve explained some top reasons as to why social media should be a valid consideration within your SEO strategy and some ways you can look to incorporate it, too.
First and foremost, high-quality social media content can be extremely beneficial in driving traffic, and therefore visibility back to your website or blog.
This can be done in one of two ways; through organic social content or paid social content. With organic social, you can create multiple post variants designed to drive traffic via backlinking in various creative manners, for free. With paid posts, you’re able to select objectives for your content based on your brand requirements (in this instance, traffic-driving), and select target audiences in a much more detailed manner than SEO itself. The price points can be decided completely by you, so depending on your budget, you can invest as much or little as you please and track results as part of a test and learn the process. Implementing this approach as part of a wider content strategy can then, in turn, impact your rankings within SERPs. If you use tracked links within social content (always advised), you can then measure your results, and choose to re-target specific audiences to drive even further traffic.
As part of this, consider how frequently you link to specific pages, how many pages you want to link to at one given time, whether this is one primary area or multiple (one is probably recommended to begin with), and how this fits into your overall social and SEO strategy.
Social profiles rank in SERPs
Google actually enables social media profiles to rank within its results pages. So, to use social to impact your SEO strategy positively, you need to ensure your brand social profiles are optimized correctly. Ensure bios are all up to date, and any blurb is created using insights through keyword research, as well as other hygiene elements such as website links.
Optimizing social channels is especially important if you’re relying on organic search, as the better-optimized they are, the higher up the organic results they’re able to rank.
Social profiles are usually served in SERPs when users search for specific brand keywords, such as the name or a unique phrase that relates to the brand. So, if you usually see a higher rate of search traffic generated through particular brand keywords, this could prove a very beneficial way to improve both your SEO tactics and your social strategy simultaneously.
YouTube is also a big consideration – YouTube video content ranks prominently in both the platform itself and directly in Google (as Google owns YouTube), all you need to see this is to search for a video-related term, or something where a video would be deemed the best way to find something out (e.g. a tutorial). So, ensuring video descriptions and titles are fully optimized is vital for driving searchability in your brand’s video content and the platform itself. After all, video is only expected to continue growing into 2020 and beyond, especially mobile video and longer-form content, so it pays in more ways than one to adopt.
Generally, the social content of both the organic and paid variety has the potential to drive much greater reach and awareness for your brand than SEO.
This is purely based on the fact you’re more likely to be served social content from a variety of brands due to the way the platform works, compared to how SEO works. For example, you only go to Google if you’re looking for something in particular, whereas scrolling through Twitter or Instagram for just a few minutes will throw up a vast number of brand content in your feed, whether it’s organic or promoted.
When creating high quality, optimized social media content for your brand, shares can prove compelling for driving greater reach and awareness. In turn, this can result in better search rankings, as the more a piece of content is shared, the more likely it is to spring up in the SERPs. So, as well as creating shareable content for your social platforms to complement your search efforts, ensure you’re also back linking where possible within the content, to impact at both levels and drive optimal traffic and awareness.
All social platforms rely on hashtags now, even LinkedIn, and using hashtags to search is basically used in the same manner as Google. After all, social platforms could technically be considered their own versions of search engines, especially the likes of Twitter and Instagram, not to mention YouTube as already discussed. Consumers use hashtags to search for trending conversations, TV shows, fashion, news and now even them to discover new places, or read up on reviews before going somewhere new.
Using hashtags isn’t just recommended for your social media strategy to get involved in wider conversations, but it can be hugely beneficial to your search efforts, too. Use hashtags in the right way and you can drive increased rates of conversation (both organically and via paid content or Promoted Hashtags), which can also mean greater traffic to site, and in turn higher search rankings. This also links back to ensuring you give YouTube the right amount of attention – when uploading a video, the platform recommends adding hashtags for searchability, and in turn, will translate over into Google and impact your rankings in the SERPs, too.
For more industry news, whether it’s for social media marketing, SEO, or similar, take a look at the rest of our blog posts, or see some of our latest work. Otherwise, you can get in touch, and we’d be happy to help in discussing how we can take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Arnjen is the founder of Atastic and created the company when he noticed that there was a need for further development in the digital marketing industry. Arnjen started the agency to help website and digital product owners grow their business.
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