Social media marketing without a doubt impacts search engine optimization (SEO).
I’ll explain more in a minute, but first, let me clear up a huge misconception and hopefully save you some time in a worthless debate…
Does Google’s Algorithm Use Social Signals?
My answer to this question is simple. It doesn’t matter!
It does not matter if Google uses social media signals like Likes, Shares, Followers, or any other social media metric in their algorithm. That’s because we can see the benefits without getting bogged down in the minutiae.
For example, do you really need to know exactly why eating fruits and vegetables are better for your body than processed foods? Or exactly why working out is better than a sedentary lifestyle?
The answer is no. The results you see from eating whole foods and working out will speak for themselves. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and be more productive. Why?
Again, it doesn’t matter. If scientists couldn’t prove without a shadow of a doubt that whole foods and working out were better for you, then would you just ignore the clear benefits?
Of course not! So let’s stop the endless social media and SEO debate and instead focus on the clear benefits outlined below.
But first, some background…
How Google Ranks Pages
Let’s take a step back and talk about how search engines work and how they rank different websites…
Imagine you’re searching in Google for ‘best New York City dentists.’ Essentially, Google scours the internet to find all the relevant pages for the phrase ‘best New York City dentists.’
Then Google has to rank all of those pages so that what they believe are the most valuable pages are at the top of the results. How does Google decide which page is listed at the top of the search results?
One of the biggest factors is the website’s authority – or, more accurately, the web page’s authority. A page that has a higher authority will be ranked higher in the results than a random page that has no authority.
How is authority measured?
One of the biggest factors is links to your website. Generally, the more links (from relevant, legitimate websites) that you have, the higher your website’s authority is going to be. Think of a link like a vote in your favor.
And that brings us to the first benefit that social media can have on your SEO…
1. Distribution Network to Get More Links
Social media is a distribution channel to promote your content, which ultimately leads to more links to your website.
If you’re creating lots of content on social media and you have a nice following, then that kind of buzz will lead to more people knowing about your website and linking to your website.
And as I just mentioned above, these links will help boost your website’s authority, and that will boost your website higher in the search engine rankings.
2. Higher Content Standards
If you’re active on social media, then you’re creating content.
At minimum, you’re publishing content on your social media profiles. But most likely, you’re also publishing content on your website – probably on a blog. And publishing high-quality content impacts your SEO results in a very positive way.
Here’s the important point: being active in social media forces you to raise your content standards.
If you create boring or spammy content on social media, no one’s going to Like it on Facebook, it’s not going to get tweeted, no one will +1 it, so it’s not going to spread, and you’re not going to build a following.
The only way that you’re going to build a following on social media is with really useful and engaging content. And essentially that’s what Google and all of the other search engines want to rank high in the search results: excellent content.
So, a byproduct of social media is the fact that you’re forced to create really good content. And if you’re creating that content on your blog, that can help you generate more free traffic from Google.
3. “Piggyback” on Top Social Media Sites to Get SEO Traffic Faster
If you’re just starting out and your website has zero authority, it can be hard for you to rank high in the search results right away. But fortunately there’s a shortcut and we call it ‘Piggyback SEO.’
Here’s how Piggyback SEO works…
First, you create a page on a high-authority website. And because Google already trusts this website, your page can get ranked in Google much faster and easier than a page on your own website. And if you include a link back to your website in that content, then you can drive free traffic to your website.
Many of the major social media sites have really strong authority, so you can “piggyback” on them to get your business ranked quickly in Google.