As social media marketing has grown, questions about its ability to impact a website’s search rankings have often been raised. Early on, articles suggested that there was not a direct correlation. However, the role of social’s impact was not yet understood at that time.
Today, we know the role that it plays. It has both an indirect and direct impact on rankings and there is plenty of data to support the notion that social media does play a role in search rankings in four ways.
Social Activity Connection
The 2015 Moz Search Ranking Factors survey shows a connection between social activity and a page’s search ranking. Those activities that were noted include the quantity and the quality of tweeted links, Facebook shares, and +1s on Google+ to the page. Social media is not a major influencer on Google’s algorithm, but it does have an impact.
Thus, there is a correlation between social activity connected to a page and that page’s higher search ranking.
Google Analytics show that social media is delivering increased traffic to the websites of businesses that use it in their marketing efforts. Much of this traffic is the result of linking.
OrbitMedia.com reports that Google considers sharing links to be a social activity and it is tracked on your Google Analytics report. Under Acquisition > Social you’ll see Trackbacks. This is Google’s term for links to your site. Social posts with links to your website that are clicked will contribute to this metric.
Another way to deliver clicks to your site is by using a Facebook “Clicks to Website” ad. These ads are specifically designed to get traffic to your site. If you install the Facebook Pixel code on your site, you’ll be able to track specific actions that visitors make.
Strategic Social Media
Google indexes three social sites for web searches. They are Google+, which is owned by Google, LinkedIn and SlideShare, owned by LinkedIn. Having an active presence on these three sites will impact your search rankings, as well.
Pamorama.net suggests that with its direct tie to Google, your ability to grow followers to your Google+ business page and +1s to your posts there will deliver the biggest impact on your ranking.
Making regular, relevant blog posts impacts your search rankings, but that act alone does not involve social media. However, you can use social to promote your blog. The result is a SEO double-whammy! Not only will you give the Google algorithm what it wants, new, relevant content on your site, but you also get the added juice of the social activity that we discussed above with a link back to your site!
It’s clear that being active on social media can positively impact your search ranking. But it’s not just the activity. There must be strategies behind the activity linked to reaching specific goals. Social Media Examiner explored the topic and shared five ways you can improve your ranking using social.
In the meantime, if your business is not active on social, you should think about making some changes. The right activity there can help both your marketing and also your search ranking. Take the steps necessary to add a social program to your marketing and SEO plans.
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Bob Turner is an Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair in Cincinnati, Ohio.