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The Role of Social Signals for SEO Rankings

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social signals for seo rankings

How do you evaluate the success of a specific piece of website content? How can you tell if your last blog post was successful? The pins, likes, shares, or views you get through social media websites certainly give you some hints. Those are the so-called social signals.

When the social media followers talk about your brand, they are creating a positive social proof. That drives purchasing decisions. But how are these social signals affecting your SEO rankings? Will your website start reaching the higher positions in Google search results if you start getting more attention from your social media presence? It most certainly will.

If you perceived social media merely as an audience acquisition channel, it’s time to change your viewpoint. Your marketing efforts on those platforms have a direct impact on your search engine optimization results.

Understanding Social Signals

Traditionally, SEO practices are related to keywords, backlinks, and anchor text links. Google algorithm updates, however, are forcing webmaster to constantly shift their practices. Currently, the search engine is focused on providing relevance to its users. John Mueller, Google Webmaster, confirmed that.

We don’t know much about the latest update to the algorithm since Google is keeping things mysterious, but we do know that the change is not meant to punish websites, but to reward the ones that offer relevant and high-quality content.

The thing is: the social media audience also rewards such content through engagement.

How Social Signals Impact SEO Rankings

Through social signals, Google is getting important information about your website. Let’s discuss the details, shall we?

Proper social media activity creates repeat site visits

When people follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, you keep them updated. They repeatedly visit your website and already know what to expect. That reduces the bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site as soon as they view a single landing page. Due to the fact that you developed a brand via social media, the visitors will be willing to spend more time at your website.

The bounce rate is an SEO metric that webmasters often underestimate. It doesn’t directly affect your SEO rankings. But… there’s always a but.

When you lure your visitors into exploring the site beyond the landing page, their activity will boost the session duration metric. Now that’s a factor that Google certainly takes into consideration.

If you offer great content and you promote it via social media, you can turn one-time explorers into repeat visitors.

A high ranking  signal indicates a satisfied audience

Why do you strive to achieve high Facebook ranking for your business? It’s because you want potential buyers to see social proof. They will perceive your brand as a reliable when they see positive reviews from unbiased users.

We already know that positive ranking on Yelp and Google Local affects the search results. Social media, however, also sends user satisfaction signals to the search engine.

Social media boosts your potential for inbound links

High-quality content is not enough when you focus on building your web presence. You must include social media in the mix, so you’ll turn your online project into a recognizable brand.

If you make your web pages highly popular on social media, they will attract backlinks. This may be a viral article, infographic, video, or any other kind of content. Search engine optimization has always involved link building as the main focus. Proper social media activity has direct influence over that factor.

Videos help with the promotion

Let’s make our own experiment. Try searching for best jeans on Google. Naturally, you’ll see the usual results that lead you to websites. However, you’ll also see videos! That’s an aspect that’s directly linked to a social media platform – YouTube.

social signals for seo rankings

When you create videos to promote your brand, they will be included in Google’s result. There’s a trick that helps you boost the effect of videos on SEO: feature them on your website.

Social networks bring you traffic

We can never know what precise factors Google’s results are based on. The organic click-through rates, however, are definitely important.

An SEO case study from November 2017 proved that theory in practice. The company achieved over 130,000 Facebook shares to its web page, and the Google ranking for the targeted keyword phrases went to #1.

Social presence improves conversions

Having high click-through rates is important, but so is the engagement at your website. That’s exactly why webmasters invest so much in high-quality content. That’s why it’s important to rely on professional assignment help services, which will develop engaging content with proper calls to action.  

Conversion rate optimization is a different strategy from SEO, and it heavily involves social media. If you’re doing great with CRO, it means you’re sending better signals of content quality and time-on-site metrics. Google will appreciate that!           

What Should You Be Doing to Use the Full Potential of Social Signals for SEO?

Okay, now we know why social signals are important for SEO. The big question is: what social media marketing strategies should we rely on when we’re trying to improve the website’s SEO rankings?

Content is still in the main focus. Yeah, yeah; you’re bored reading the same thing over and over again. However, the mere fact to keep in mind is that informative, entertaining, and valuable content will attract more activity on social media, thus sending better social signals to Google.

Here are few tips to help with that:

  • Post great content every day! This will keep your brand in people’s social media feeds, so they will constantly revisit your website.
  • Use captivating visual content. People’s brains are focused on visual processing, which is why images, graphics, and videos are so successful in getting their attention on social media.
  • Respond to the critique in the most constructive way possible. This shows you’re listening to your customers so they will be more willing to interact with your page. When they do interact with your social media pages, they will come to your website, too. Naturally, that will affect the Google rankings.
  • Cover all fronts! Establishing your brand’s presence on all social media platforms may be too much at first. You might want to focus on one platform at a time. However, it’s important to keep expanding the reach, so you’ll start sending social signals from multiple bases.
  • Provide simple social media buttons at your site, so people can easily share, like, comment, bookmark, and tweet.
  • Include connect buttons on your web pages, so people can instantly find your social media profiles.
  • Do not forget Google+! It’s Google’s social media platform. That should be enough to convince you to start using it for SEO purposes.  

Conclusion

The SEO landscape is ever-evolving. We’re constantly seeing new trends and it’s not easy to focus on them all. The good news, however, is that the focus is still the same: user experience. Make your brand known by providing truly valuable content, products, and services for your customers. Engage with them on social media, so you’ll improve that experience for them. Engage them with cool content, too!

Everything you do to improve the user experience affects your popularity on social media, and that will eventually lead you to boosted SEO rankings.

Laura Buckler
Laura Buckler writes eye-catching and web optimized content for the Internet. She writes blog posts, web copy and web content. Laura loves her job and loves her family, and hopes to one day earn a living from her writing jobs and contracts.
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