How does social media impact SEO? This is an oft-debated question, and everyone wants to know its answer. As the ties between SEO and social media are not clear, you will find various opinions and solutions. If you are also a part of this ongoing debate, fret not, we have an answer for you. Google and Bing crawl your social media pages, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, it is still unclear or proven how much these social media pages impact your website ranking in SERPs.
Moreover, how many followers you have on Facebook or Instagram page doesn’t directly affect your search engine optimization. In other words, if you share your website links on your Facebook page or Twitter, don’t expect that your SEO efforts will get a big shot in the arm. There’s no doubt that SEO and social media are not correlated, but they both work together in some ways.
How Does Social Media Impact SEO?
If you think that social media contribute to your website ranking, it’s not true. It does not directly impact your SEO ranking, but the web links you share on your social profiles help to increase your brand exposure. Social media can influence your SEO efforts in six different ways:
- Drive more organic traffic
- Expand the reach of your content
- Boost Local SEO
- Boost YouTube SEO
- Increases SEO Authority and Brand Recognition
- Increases Online Visibility
However, when you share links on your profiles, there is no search engine ranking, but it generates social signals when more people share your content across social media. When hundreds of thousands of people share your content, it indicates that the content was helpful to the target audience. However, Google doesn’t count it for ranking your site, but most ranking websites indeed have more social shares.
Organic traffic is considered a significant factor when it comes to ranking in SERPs. Social media platforms impact your website traffic and provide you with more online visibility. When more internet users share your content on their social profiles, they are likely to visit your website, which will help boost your search engine rankings. According to one case study by CognitiveSEO, their SERPs ranking increased for the search term, ‘Google images.’ They reached 8th position from the 74th position in a single day, and the reason behind this rapid rise in Google ranking was the traffic from Reddit. Over 20,000 unique people land on their website in just one day from Reddit.
Expand the Reach of Your Content
Let’s say you are creating high-quality content that is creating a high impact on your visitors and sharing it on your Facebook page. You can repurpose your content for shorter blog posts on Medium and LinkedIn that drive them back to your website. The click-through and good engagement ratio might not influence your SEO efforts, but it can get more eyeballs on your content. This can indirectly impact your domain authority (DA), organic traffic on your website, and backlinks.
Boosts Local SEO
Having a good social media strategy can boost your local SEO efforts in various ways. Social media platforms help with local search engine optimization because search engines crawl your social profiles they grab your social reviews. All your reviews displayed on social media can show up on the search engine result pages. The local SEO businesses who want to drive more organic traffic to your location, social media platforms can be helpful. The social reviews can increase/decrease the chances of someone showing up to your local business when a user puts a search query. Search results shown below are for a local service’ best restaurants in South Carolina’ below:
When you search on Google, chances are you see a YouTube video at the top. YouTube videos get ranked in SERPs, and they will be the first ones to show up. The most popular and relevant videos are shown for specific searches.
When the video gets a higher rank in the search results, you will see the video carousels after some top search results. Make it a priority to optimize your YouTube channel and YouTube videos for search engine optimization. Once you optimize your video titles and descriptions with the most searched and relevant keywords, you can boost your online visibility within YouTube and search results. For instance, take a look at the following screenshot about how to delete a Facebook account, taking up almost the entire space of Google’s first page.
Social Media Increases Brand Recognition and SEO Authority
For a search engine, Facebook likes, Instagram followers don’t matter for search engine optimization. Brand recognition is different from popularity metrics like Twitter followers or Facebook likes. Matt Cutts, the creator of Google’s Safe search, once said, social media pages like Twitter and Facebook are treated differently in Google’s web index. So, if something occurs on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, Google can crawl it. Google can return that in its search results. However, if you have many followers or likes on Twitter and Facebook, Google has no signal in its search ranking algorithms.
Social Media Increases Online Visibility
Will Google or any other search engine ever include more social media signals in their ranking algorithm? We can’t say anything. It may be or maybe not. No matter what the future holds, it’s evident that social media can influence your SEO efforts. However, social media doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO. It comes with long-term benefits and has a positive influence on your search engine ranking. Studies indicate that social media shares and higher ranking in SERPs correlate. However, many experts say that social signals don’t directly affect search engine rankings.