Can Social Media Impact SEO?

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Can Social Media Impact SEO?

Just float a simple question to the digital marketing fraternity: ‘Does social media impact SEO?’

You will get ten different answers instantaneously. Some will say yes, some will say no and others will say, a little bit of both.

In our opinion the “little bit of both” opinion is where today’s situation lies. Social media and SEO do cross paths and social media can impact the organic success of websites. Let’s take a look at four ways in which this can happen:

1. Potential to create links

It is common knowledge that activity in the social media realm can increase awareness of a brand or website content. This increased awareness can easily lead to link creation. E.g. a popular video post by a brand can easily be picked up by a blog and create a link to the brand’s website and the video, thus contributing an SEO impact.

2. Increase in Volume of Search Queries

Social media can also help you reach a wider audience. This in turn increases the overall awareness of your brand. This then results in more people searching for your site/brand/page. This triggers Google’s algorithms and as more people are searching for your brand it is considered more popular and thus gets a higher ranking.

3. Brand Signals

Another thing that social media can help you with is co-citation. Co-citation simply means getting mentioned on a blog or site without a link. This co-citation is considered a brand signal. The ability of social media to increase awareness and trigger online dialogue can result in increased co-citation.

4. Traffic Volume and Site Engagement

Social media, used right, can immensely increase traffic to a website and traffic is one of the main factors in search engine ranking. Many a times it is your blog posts, videos, event listings, or interesting content instead of your homepage or main category pages that increase traffic to your site. If these items get the site visitor to stay for a while before moving on to another page(s), Google will reward you with an organic result. Search engines can gauge these metrics i.e. bounce rates, time on site and pages per visit, giving you a better search result and ranking.

Remember, SEO Isn’t limited to Google

Although the first thing you think about when SEO is mentioned is Google – and yes, Google is the most popular search engine – but what you should realize is that today all social media sites have a search of their own. With increased usage of social media, usage of these searches have also increased (YouTube is today the second largest search engine).

Considering this statistic, imagine how SEO can be used to impact ratings on social media. Social media ranking factors are not as clear as Google’s and they may not be as easy to manipulate, but they provide a very potent opportunity to increase visibility within social media channels.

 

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