Can you remember what life was like before social media?
Social Media has become such a huge part of everyone’s day to day lives, whether it is used for business or pleasure, that it is almost impossible to think of a world without it. It holds so much power in society as it is used not only as a tool for people to communicate with one another, but to educate and create revenue for businesses worldwide. It was through social media that I learned of a new Pope being elected, it was where I was told Amy Whinehouse had suddenly passed away and through Social Media that I was told there was a new prince of England, when Prince George was born. Social Media can connect with the world at such a fast rate, faster than any newspaper can be printed or for an e-mail to be sent that it has become intrinsic in the world we live in.
It helps provide jobs for those in need and is a foundation for those to reconnect with people in their lives they once thought lost. It allows many (often prepubescent) children to follow and become obsessed with celebrities as they feel a connection and closeness with their idol who otherwise, would be so disconnected from the world we live in, take Justin Bieber for example with over 43 MILLION followers, through simply ‘following’ a fan back, or ‘re-tweeting’ a comment he can make them the happiest person alive.
I could go on and on about the many benefits it has brought to the world, and the many uses it provides everyone but my main focus for this article is the huge impact it has on SEO.
Social Media’s Impact on SEO
It cannot go amiss that Social Media also affects SEO. Whether you are a new business, or a business that’s been running for a long time, it is integral that you have Social Media at the forefront of your company. Obviously your website can still work and rank highly without Social Media, but based on new statistics and findings, it is apparent that not only can Social Media help aid your companies SEO but cut corners around time is takes for your website to get indexed and for pages to be found.
What is understood from this, is that if you use Social Media on a regular basis, whether it is Twitter or Facebook, this can have a direct impact on your rankings on Google. A survey taken in 2012 found that sharing Facebook Posts in particular could impact Google’s algorithm, giving you a slight increase in rankings. This is not something however which is set in stone, there is no clear statement from Google to say that they prefer the likes, comments or shares on a Facebook post to keywords. Rather it should be noted that if you have more Facebook Shares, you are more likely to rank higher on Google. So take note, next time you have a promotion, or you are writing an blog post, try entice your audience to share, comment or like your post, as this will provide your website with the push it needs to get higher rankings. A good tactic many companies use is offering a prize if you share the post, adding an incentive will bring in more people who may not have previously been interested. If your posts do not have share buttons, include them, remember they can only help you!
Indirect impacts to your SEO are pretty obvious, as mentioned with sharing and likes, the more something goes around the better your website will rank, and then your website will be noticed. But what about a direct impact? Google has always noted that they want your website to be personal. They want to ensure that the person running the website is authentic, knows what they are talking about and can provide the customer with the answers and service that they need, whatever it is they are after. I had talked about this in my previous blog post ‘a change is coming in SEO.’ noting the importance of a ‘family friendly site’. A little personalization to your site will go a long way. Google will pick up on this and put your site above those that are trying to trick the system, with robots spurning out nonsense content and obvious spam. The high level of activity on your website through social media will therefore show to Google that you are authentic and you are valuable to your customers and Google will reward you with a high rank.
Keywords have always been an integral part of SEO, and they still are. However, using them within Social Media may seem difficult. You are limited with the amount of characters you can use in Twitter and therefore writing a catchy tweet which includes the relevant keywords may seem like a challenge, but not impossible. What you should be aware of, is that tweets are indexed on Bing. Therefore if you use Bing, or you want to reach out to an audience that are prominent on Bing, sending out tweets frequently, but not incessantly, will help your audience to find you if they type in that specific keyword to Bing. Further still, if you wish to focus on being found on Google, (as many often do) Google plus activity will aid in this. Setting up a Google + account is straightforward and being active and prominent on this form of social media will help you become indexed more within Google.
It may be a slow process to become a professional and fully qualified in all areas of social media, but once you get the hang of all the different types of Social Media available, (and there are a few) then you will start to get a feel of what works best for you, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Google + or all three. Just know this, once you start with Social Media, you won’t look back! Want to learn a little more about Social? Click here.