Social media and SEO. There has been a lot of discussions on other forums and between SEO's for years as to whether or not Social media properties can help with your SEO. In this short post we will cover what we know and understand about how social media effects your SEO for websites and videos, and ultimately, your bottom line.
Social Media Benefits Besides SEO
What we do know about social media is that people are using it. Social media isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Will Facebook go the way of MySpace? Maybe, maybe not. But you can bet your last dollar that there will be another platform to take it's place.
So strictly from the standpoint of being able to expand your listening audience, you should most definitely be using social media. People are searching for reviews about your company before they choose you for the particular service that they need, and social media helps provide more reviews and exposure.
We also need to look at social media from the search engine side of things, as far as helping to establish who you and your business are. By having multiple social media properties that are branded with your brand, you make it much easier for Google to identify your company and your brand.
If you don't have any social media properties you are making it much more difficult for Google to justify your company and some suggest that the lack of social media properties are a negative signal to hold back your rankings.
Now if you do have multiple social media properties like a company Facebook page, LinkedIn company page and so on, Google see's these pages and can connect them with your brand. Now when someone does a search for your company, hopefully not only will your website show up, but also your top social media profiles.
One way that our company ensures that this is the case is by connecting all of the sites together where possible as well as adding schema markup on the website telling the search engines that all of your social properties are related to your website.
Then there is also the fact that most of these social media sites have the ability to perform searches from inside their platform. This makes it possible for people to find your services right inside of which ever platforms you decide to use.
Another point to take into consideration is that with social media profiles properly set up AND being active on the sites will also help drive traffic to your site, which is also known as Click Through Rate. Studies show that CTR is definitely a big ranking factor in the search engines, only behind backlinks. More people to your site should result in more sales as well, if you have a site with good calls to action.
So there really are some great reasons that you should be using social media to help grow your company and ultimately your bottom line, whether or not there are any SEO benefits for your website.
Social Media Likes And Shares
Now on to what we do know about the relationship between social media and SEO. As we stated above, it helps reinforce your brand with Google. In our testing we find that this alone does help with SEO as it reinforces to Google that you or your site is not just another spam site. Most spammers don't go through all the trouble of creating multiple social profiles and creating a brand.
What about likes and shares? We have tested both together as well as independently, and have seen some fairly dramatic results.
With Likes, be it on Facebook or Google+, we really didn't see any significant gains. However with shares, that's a totally different story. With social shares we did see a dramatic increase in rankings in Google search. This was very easy to see with video rankings, which makes sense to some degree.
We do know that when a video is shared on another profile that it becomes another embed. For quite some time embeds have been a great way to increase search engine rankings for videos. This is what happens when a video goes viral, it gets shared over and over and viewed over and over. But does the same thing hold true for websites? The short answer - yes, to some degree.
With websites we did see better rankings over time, although be it not as fast or as dramatic as we have seen with video rankings. We did notice that the more Google+ shares that a site has does help it rank better in the searches over Facebook shares.
One last point that we noticed from our testing is that social media profiles that were more active seemed to give us better results over social media profiles that were dormant or had very few posts.
So from our testing, does social media help with your SEO - YES! But the important take away from this is that not only will social meida profiles help with your SEO, but also your Branding, as well as giving you more out reach points to bring in and attract more new customers and clients to your site. It can probably be best summed up by not looking at SEO and social media separately, but instead that the two work together and go hand in hand.
If you aren't using social media as part of your digital marketing and are looking for an Atlanta SEO firm to get it done for you, be sure and click the previous link to check us out!