How Social Media Affects SEO

Social MediaYou do not need to be an internet marketing insider to know that social media marketing is important…and that its importance is going to continue to be a factor to companies’ search marketing success into the new year (and many years to come). But, what you may not realize is that social media in itself—the presence on any platform, how many likes or followers you have, etc.—are not actually ranking factors for your website. So, how exactly does social media affect your SEO?

It’s All about the Traffic

No matter how many iterations any search engine’s algorithm has gone through, a site’s popularity has always been (and will likely always remain) a ranking factor. And one of the best, most powerful or accurate indicators of popularity is traffic—the number of unique visitors to a site. So, when you can increase the number of new viewers clicking on your site, the better your ranking potential.

Social media has HUGE potential to drive traffic your way, thereby indirectly boosting your organic ranking.

How to Use Social Media to Increase Website Traffic

For many internet users, social media is often an end in and of itself. In other words, users have to be compelled to leave the platform and their network to explore your website. So, the first way to make your social media work for your SEO is to post content that inspires curiosity and/or promises to meet a pressing need.

But do not just post content that gets users curious about you with no outlet for that curiosity. You need to include a quick portal to get to your site—links—so that viewers bypass search altogether. It sounds counterintuitive, but when you are attracting new viewers from social media platforms, you do not want to run the risk of them finding your competitors in organic search results.

But you aren’t that new to social media. You’ve probably already done this. So, what else can you do to generate website traffic via social media?

Be proactive but not pushy. Here are two approaches:

Tap into Relevant Conversations

Conversations relevant to your brand or industry are happening beyond your own Facebook page or Twitter feed. Find them and join in. There are a number of tools you can use to search the web—social media and other forums—for keywords relevant to your products and services. These tools allow you to find where users are asking for product/service recommendations, giving informal reviews or simply sharing who/what/where/when info that helps you keep the pulse of your target market.

When you find conversations going on about/around/in your industry, jump in. Do not push your products or services, but genuinely engage with your audience. Be helpful and informative. Make those with whom you’re engaging curious about your brand. Make them want to know more about you…and give them the link to where you want them to find that information.

Build in Links and Linking Opportunities

When you tap into conversations relevant to your products, services and/or industry, pay attention to names/handles that pop up frequently—these are likely industry influencers. A mention/link from these individuals can send scores of new viewers to your site (the inbound link itself—if from an authoritative, relevant source—has SEO value). To get a mention or link, first link to the influencer’s content. That may be enough to inspire a reciprocal gesture. If not, make the direct ask.

The success of your social media marketing by itself and as a website traffic generator depend on quality content, and producing that alone can be a full-time job. If you do not have the resources to maintain an engaging social media presence, let the professionals at help. Contact us to schedule a free social media marketing consultation.