A lot of businesses are aware that social media can help them to market their business, but many don’t realize the expanding role it’s playing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Moz, a well-known resource in the internet marketing industry, conducts a bi-yearly study where they determine the likely (and ever-changing) factors that play a role in search rankings. This year, the study's findings included a number of social signals.
So how does a social presence effect search results?
Social Media is Indexed Too.
We tend to think of Social Media as a separate part of the internet, but just like your website, your social channels will also be crawled and indexed. A presence, or lack thereof, will influence content returned to those making branded searches for your business. It is the content, after all, that helps searchers determine whether they'll click through or keep scrolling. Anything branded with your business name (Google, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp) is eligible to show up and should ideally occupy this space. Keep in mind that this also includes anyone talking about your business online (good or bad). You can't always control what users are saying about you, but by establishing a strong presence through social media, you can take up and control more of the precious first page real estate for branded searches.
Social Shares Count As Links.
Social Media shares are arguably the modern day version of link building. Just as you can receive links from other websites, you can also acquire links from social media users. Social links, links achieved through developing and sharing original content through social media, can help search engines determine which websites are credible and serve as trusted resources to their users. Over time, search engines will begin to favor the websites and social platforms who are earning shares by upping their position in search results. The bottom line? Creating quality & engaging content for social sharing will eventually help you increase the online visibility of your business.
Most Social Platforms Are Mini Search Engines.
You may remember an article we published a few months ago which talked about how YouTube is the second most used search engine. Most social platforms, just like YouTube, offer in-platform search functionality to help users find what they are looking for. Users will search social media to find and connect with the businesses and brands they are interested in. Then, a sort of "chain reaction" is set into motion: The more social connections made, the more shares you can expect. More sharing will amount to more engagement. Search engines see engagement as an indicator of credibility, further strengthening signals to them. The result? More visibility.