Each year, the web becomes more and more dominated by social media. But with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and the social web came a big question: Does social media affect search rankings?
The answer: Absolutely. If you’ve incorporated social media into your existing SEO strategy, you’re likely seeing better results than a competitor who has yet to realize the potential of social media and its impact on car dealerships.
But why is that? What causes social media activity to influence search engines and add authority to pages?
An Introduction to Social Signals
Social signals is a term used to describe the effect a page’s social media exposure has on its search engine rankings. When you share a link to your website on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus, you’re creating a social signal that tells Google and Bing “Hey, this content I just posted is interesting and/or informative. You should give it a little more authority in search results to make sure others get to see it too.”
Think of social signals the same way you think about SEO: the more high-quality links, the better. Because each time someone shares a link to your site on Facebook or Twitter, search engines are picking up on the fact that your content is interesting and your overall search engine authority will increase.
Benefits of Applying Social Signals
Apart from the natural clicks you’ll receive, and the rankings that come with increased social media exposure, social signals provide a number of other benefits to not only grow your site’s authority, but drive business as well:
- Lower Bounce Rates — One of the metrics search engines use to rank an individual page is its bounce rate. A page’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave without viewing another page on the site. The reason this is important is because search engines want to send users to a page that’s useful. If one of your landing pages is causing users to run for the hills the second they land on it, Google is going to catch on and that page won’t rank well.
- Increased Brand Visibility — When it comes to business, especially local business, visibility is everything. If your business can’t be found online, people will question its legitimacy. Social signals give your business another way to be discovered, and allows for customers to publically recommend you. And that leads to…
- Higher Conversion Rates — While search with intent is still the best way to ensure high conversion rates, social signals allow customers and followers to do the hard work for you. Because as your followers share your content and review your business, their followers can see that activity and are more likely to convert thanks to the recommendation.
In a way, social signals can be thought of as word of mouth. If one person is talking about something cool, it can spread quickly through word of mouth. It may not necessarily go “viral,” but it will reach the people who are interested in what’s being shared, and that’s what is important.
How Dealerships Can Take Advantage of Social Signals
In order to properly incorporate social signals into your existing SEO strategy, you need to understand the mind of a social media user.
So ask yourself: How do I use social media?
If you’re checking up on the latest from friends and family or looking for interesting content, such as news and pictures, you’re right up there with the average Facebook user. If you’re interested in sharing links and information, you’re fitting in well with most Twitter users.
Now, in order for you to get the average Facebook or Twitter user to interact with your business and create a social signal, you have to post interesting content that’s relevant to your product or services.
Car dealerships are a great example of businesses that can generate incredible return through social media, as they have the ability to quickly build a following by posting pictures and links relevant to their particular dealership.
Whether that be a Chevrolet or Hyundai dealership, you can target car lovers, local residents, and car buyers by posting quality content that will illicit a response.
Content Dealerships Can Utilize to Increase Social Signals
- Blog Posts — Every dealership needs an active blog. Because when applied correctly, a blog will not only help boost search rankings, it will help your business take advantage of social signals. Produce content that car buyers will find interesting. Discuss the aspects of car buying, such as acquiring the best loan or picking out the right car. If your content gets people talking about the car buying process, you have the opportunity to make a sale.
- Inventory — Your existing inventory can make for good content if you’re taking the time to write unique stories for the cars you’re looking to sell. By being informative and having fun with your social media strategy, users will interact with you on a more personal basis, allowing you to connect and pave the way for future business.
Social Media is Not Going Away
Car dealerships can no longer treat social media as the digital elephant in the room. It’s not an option if you want to in build search engine authority and increase brand awareness, it’s a must.
People spend more time than ever online using social media sites, and use it to not only interact with friends and family, but brands and local businesses as well. If you can take the time to craft a social media strategy to go along with your SEO strategy, you’ll find that there’s no limit to potential growth.
Watch Wikimotive’s Erin and Amanda Ryan Discuss Social Signals
As part of the popular automotive podcast Auto Dealer Live, Wikimotive’s Erin and Amanda Ryan have started a weekly social media segment to inform car dealers of the latest social media trends and offer advice to dealerships just breaking into social media.
In this first episode, the pair talk about social signals! So if you want a fun, condensed introduction to social signals and the benefits of social media, check out the video below!