The relationship between Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complicated and often misunderstood, and in a perpetual stage of change. In reality, they are complimentary areas of focus that can drive their own results, and can help to amplify the results achievable by the other.
Understanding the Roles
The role of Social Media grows increasingly more important. It provides an organic means of increasing exposure, awareness, engagement and investment in your brand. With 45% of the global population utilizing some form of social media, social sharing and social influencing has become big business. And with 48.2% of Baby Boomers, 77.5% of Gen-Xers, 90.4% of Millennials and over 95% of the emerging Gen-Z market active on social media, the right strategy can help you to sidestep the limitations of traditional demographic marketing. Think of Social Media as a means of delivering your message to your audience in channels that have their attention.
SEO is more of a behind-the-scenes approach, with the goal of delivering your audience to you by showing up in Search. It’s about optimizing your online presence to help you rank higher, making you more visible to Google users who are seeking information about, or actively searching for products / services that you offer. There are a lot of moving pieces within an effective SEO strategy, and we refer to those pieces as ranking factors or search signals which brings us to…
Social and SEO ‘By The Numbers’
According to most recent edition of Local Search Ranking Factors by Moz, Social Signals are the least influential of key ranking factors accounting for only 2.82% influence over the Local 3-Pack and 3.47% over the Local Organic Ranking. Compare that to factors such as Google My Business (averaging 25.12% influence over the Local 3-Pack) and Link Signals (with 16.53% and 27.94%, respectively) and it becomes easier to understand the tenuous relationship between Social and Local Search.
Bridging the Divide
Regardless of the nature of their relationship, integration of both a Social Media and SEO strategy is important to any business or organization. It’s all about casting the widest net possible, and there are opportunities to narrow the divide between the two. Here are are few examples of easy changes you can make…
- Create high-quality content for your website with social sharing in mind. Not only will this help you to create a more personalized web experience for visitors, but it will increase the likelihood of social sharing and further engagement.
- Add Social Sharing Buttons on your website, making it easy for customers to share your content on their own social media profiles.
- Add follow links within the bio section of your social media accounts. Unlike no-follow links, doing this holds SEO value, and can drive additional traffic to your website.
- Compliment the keywords strategies you’re employing in blogs and on landing pages by incorporating those same keywords into thoughtful social posting.
- Ensure your articles have appropriate tags, such as open graph, which allow the content to be shared in an optimized way, with a chosen thumbnail, title and description.
As we said at the beginning, the relationship between Social Media and SEO is complicated and will continue to evolve. What’s important to realize is that both are important means of increasing the visibility of your business and creating new opportunities.