How your social media strategy can boost SEO

SEO and social media may seem like entirely different digital marketing strategies at first glance. However, the two have a much more important relationship than you may initially realise. Let’s explore this in more detail and investigate how your social media strategy can boost your SEO.

Discover how to create a winning social media strategy

How does social media boost SEO?

The impact social media has on an SEO strategy has long been debated. Do your social media efforts impact SEO? The short answer is that they do not directly affect your SEO performance. If you consider how easy it is to manipulate likes, follows, comments, etc., this would make it too easy to manipulate the search engine algorithms. Also, with how much content is posted on social media every second, Google just couldn’t keep up with it.

To put that into perspective, around 300 million photos are posted to social media daily. That’s on top of over 500,000 comments and nearly 300,000 status updates every minute! Source: Bernard Marr & Co.

But that’s not the end of it. Despite what we’ve just said, your social media efforts can influence SEO. Certain elements within a social media strategy can influence the factors that go on to impact your search engine rankings. This is often referred to as social SEO. Here’s a look at how social media boosts SEO:

Increased traffic

The first (and potentially most apparent) factor is that social media helps drive traffic to your site. Sharing links to pages on your site, blog articles, or other content helps drive traffic. There’s some evidence to suggest that higher traffic can positively impact search rankings.

But getting someone to your website is only half the battle. Whether they come from social media, organic search, or direct, you need to keep them on your site. The longer someone spends on your site, the better.

PRO TIP: For new pages and content on your site, the clicks you receive from social media can also help speed up the page’s index rate. Share any new or updated content on social media to showcase a page that needs crawling and (re-)indexing to search engines. Give it a try!

Increased engagement

Chances are that the people you are sharing links with on social media already follow you and have some interest in your business. Whether you share a link to a blog, video, eBook, or guide, your followers will probably find value in your content.

As a result, traffic from social media is much more likely to engage on your site and spend longer viewing your content. In Google’s eyes, this is a good thing. The more time users spend on your site, the more valuable your content will appear to Google.

High-quality, valuable content is essential for gaining higher search engine rankings. As one of the top-ranking factors, you must showcase to Google that your content is valuable and relevant to your users’ needs. The increased engagement through social media is just one way you can showcase this.

Quality signals like these can make all the difference in gaining those coveted top-ranking positions. In turn, this will help drive more organic traffic to your site. It will also help build trust with your audience, resulting in a much stronger online reputation.

Discover untapped keywords

Keywords are the heart of any SEO strategy. While you may already have keywords you are ranking or want to rank for, there’s always the opportunity for growth. Whether you use a keyword research tool or just Google, there’s always potential for discovering more keywords.

Social media is one place you may not think of, but it is a great place for discovering untapped keywords. Whether it’s current trends, social listening, or competitors’ social profiles, it can help you discover potential new keywords, including long-tail keywords with a high conversion potential.

Content creation

Another way social media can boost your SEO strategy is through content creation. A quality content marketing strategy should be a central focus of any SEO campaign. Without it, you’ll struggle to gain any ranking improvements regardless of your chosen keywords.

Content marketing plays a crucial role in SEO. Alongside giving search engines something to rank, high-quality content can help to grow your backlink profile, boost your website visibility, improve the user experience, attract high-quality leads, and grow your brand online.

Social media followers’ interactions, engagement, and feedback can help shape your content marketing strategy. You’ll gain valuable insight into your audience’s needs and preferences, which you can use to create more valuable and meaningful content.

Another method you can use to aid content creation is social listening. Social listening involves monitoring social media channels for any mentions of your brand or specific keywords. This helps you monitor your real-time customers’ opinions about your brand, products, or service.

Social listening lets you gain real insight into your customers’ needs, wants, and pain points. Once you’ve gained a deeper understanding of your customers, you can create content around what they find most valuable. You can also focus on other strategies in your business to make more informed data-driven decisions for better online growth.

Build your backlink profile

Sharing content on social media is one of the best ways to grow its reach and visibility. It’s even more effective when your audience also shares your content, which leads to greater impressions and views.

Another content creator or copywriter has much greater potential to include a mention or link to your original content. Providing this link comes from a quality site with good authority; you’re onto a winner! For anyone who knows the struggles of link-building, this can be a much less-labour intensive approach.

That’s because valuable backlinks like this are the backbone of stronger rankings. When a third-party site links to your content, it acts as a vote or a reference. The more links or references you receive from quality sites, the higher quality your content appears to Google.

There’s also the potential to pass PageRank. Websites that link back to your site with a do-follow link help pass PageRank onto your site. The more quality backlinks you receive, the higher your PageRank and search rankings will be. The more authoritative a site is that links back to you, the greater the benefit.

Typically, the top-ranking result in Google will have 3.8x more quality backlinks than the second position. There are also no-follow links (which social media sites use), but these don’t pass PageRank and will not positively affect your rankings and authority. However, they do help increase traffic and potential customers to your site (as outlined above).

If you want to benefit from gaining strong backlinks, consider:

  • Creating high-quality, valuable content, including blogs, guides, topic clusters, etc.
  • Grow and strengthen your social media following.
  • Promote your content through different channels, including social media.
  • Outreach and grow connections with relevant influencers.
  • Conduct a backlink gap analysis with your top competitors.

Boost credibility through creators’ social profiles

One way to build the credibility of your content is to attribute its creators. This is most commonly done through author bios outlining the creators’ experience and expertise on a subject or topic.

However, search engines go beyond just using your website to establish an author’s credibility. You guessed it, they also use social media. Using the information about a content creator allows search engines to build a more credible picture of the author.

The best way to implement this is to include an author bio with your content and relevant links to the author’s social media profiles (such as LinkedIn). The author bio only needs to be short (2-3 sentences will suffice) and include a profile picture. Then, tag the relevant author with each piece of new content.

Benefit local SEO efforts

Businesses that rely heavily on local searches can benefit greatly. Building up your followers and positive reviews on social media can positively impact your local SEO efforts, including the 3-pack map results that display at the top of local search results.

Tips for integrating social media and SEO

You can help your social media strategy boost your SEO efforts in several ways. We’ve already covered one of the most important tips for creating high-quality content and sharing on social media, but there’s more. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, these social SEO tips can help:

  • Align your chosen keywords with your content and social media strategy.
  • Revisit high-performing evergreen content by evaluating their success and resharing.
  • Reshare content on a topic that is trending or receiving a lot of searches.
  • Make sharing your content on social much easier through social icons and links.
  • Optimise images for both social media and SEO.
  • Focus on creating social media posts that elicit an emotional response.
  • Grow a solid social media following and engage with your audience.
  • Use the data and insights from social media to learn more about your audience’s needs.
  • Make effective use of relevant hashtags.
  • Optimise your social profiles by aligning them with your website and completing all profile sections.

While not a direct ranking factor, your social media strategy can significantly influence your SEO. From greater traffic to building trust and credibility, the days of treating both strategies like separate entities are gone. By following the tips outlined above, you’ll be in a much better position to gain those higher rankings to help grow your business online.