What do social media (SM) campaigns and search engine optimization (SEO) have in common? A lot more than you think. Even though social media campaigns minimally impact major SEO algorithms such as Google’s, having a solid SM presence can help with a business’ visibility and ultimately boost SEO rankings by driving interested traffic to your website. It’s kind of like adding cufflinks to a good suit: It doesn’t necessarily make the suit itself higher quality, but it catches the eye and adds to the overall appeal of the look.
Social media management is a serious job description, and it’s become a crucial marketing aspect for businesses of all sizes. However, a big questions marketers have been asking lately is, “Does this really impact my SEO?” The answer is yes, and you can even improve your SM campaign by understanding how it plays with SEO. According to Matt Cutts, the head of webspam at Google, he’s exhausted himself explaining that social media doesn’t influence SEO—however, that’s a bit of a half-truth. Google is very interested in seeing how social signals might impact algorithms on a less obvious level.
It’s basically as if Cutts was saying that being popular doesn’t have a direct impact on becoming Homecoming King—technically anyone can win (it’s a voting system after all), but everyone knows who the choice candidates are.
Google Shifts Expectations
Google and other search engine algorithms are constantly evolving in order to best match websites with people searching for them. It’s likely that Google will continue to consider the algorithm’s development to include more social signals, regardless of source, which has been a driving factor behind upping SM campaigns in the first place. However, there’s no reason to wait until Cutts gives the green light to start taking advantage of social media success as an added SEO perk.
The most obvious SEO perk of good social media campaigns is better landing page visibility. Your backlinking will naturally be improved, but there are things you can do to shift SM activity to make the most of these benefits. Start by analyzing your SM performance with a tool like TrueSocialMetrics. A good report dishes up competitive intelligence and lets you see how you stack up against the competition. If this sounds Greek to you, don’t worry—a reputable SEO firm has the best analytic tools already at the helm to take care of reporting for you.
Backlinks + Social Traffic
When social media management is done well, you’ll be able to see a correlation between social traffic and how many backlinks you get. Even better, you can even connect sales to social campaigns, too. Of course, this all hinges on your ability to get behind a killer SM campaign. A poor social media presence won’t improve your SEO—it might even hurt it. That’s why it’s paramount to have a holistic tech team in your corner.
Backlinks are a critical part of SEO performance, and creating organic backlink profiles should be a top priority. SEO and SM simply complement each other, and the pairing will only become more important as SEO continues to evolve. Who knew Facebook, Twitter, and the like could be so paramount to your SEO strategy?