This is a surprisingly controversial topic in the marketing world – does social media actually affect your search engine ranking? There are plenty of people on both sides of the scale, and they’ve all got their reasons for thinking the way they do. Let’s explore this some more: does social media marketing play into SEO?
Quick refresher – what is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and essentially, having good SEO puts your website at or near the top of search engine results. So when one of your potential clients types your company name into a search engine like Google, they’ll immediately be directed to your website. SEO is a way to drive organic, natural traffic to your website. Even without advertising, if you have a high SEO ranking, people will be coming to your website.
Search engine optimization is based on keywords or keyphrases that appear both in your web content and the search engine results. For example, if you wrote a blog post about airplanes, your focus keyphrase could be something like “fuselage.” You’d want to include that keyword multiple times throughout your web content for the highest optimization. Then, when someone types “fuselage” into their search engine, your site should be among the top results!
Do social media sites have their own versions of optimization?
Well, sort of. Each social media platform has its own algorithm which affects which photos or posts are reaching more people. In a way, the algorithms are like social media SEO! However, your social media posts in and of themselves don’t really have SEO in the same sense as your website. Hashtags and geotags can increase your reach for sure, but it’s not quite the same thing.
However, social media profiles aren’t just confined to that specific platform; they also rank in search engine results. They’re often on the first page! So, your brand can increase your search engine visibility and drive more traffic by having high-quality social media pages. Take a second and Google “Blackwood Creative.” Notice how our Facebook page appears right below our website on the first page of Google? Try searching for your business – you may find that you’re getting more search engine visibility than you think! But if not, it may be time to optimize or create a social media profile for your business. (And we can help with that!)
What is the biggest argument on either side?
As we mentioned earlier, this is a surprisingly controversial topic among people in the marketing industry. Some people believe that there’s no social media/SEO connection, but some do; it may be helpful to break down both sides to see what people are saying.
The biggest “evidence” in favor of social media not affecting SEO is the fact that Google released a video back in 2014 saying…well, pretty much exactly that. The man in the video, Matt Cutts, who no longer works at Google, says that metrics like Facebook likes and Twitter followers, which indicate a profile’s influence, don’t affect your SEO rankings.
Neil Patel encompasses the viewpoint of many people who believe social media has a great impact on SEO ranking. In some cases, he posits it may actually be the “new” SEO. He says in an article, “Nowadays, people don’t just go to Google and Bing to look stuff up; they also use social media channels to find what they’re looking for…We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines.” So, basically, they focus equally on “social media SEO” in itself (or the algorithms/tricks used to increase social media reach) as they do on SEO marketing.
Either way, your business should be doing both social media marketing and SEO optimization! But the reasons why could be a whole other blog, so maybe we’ll save that for later.
So, does social media marketing have an effect on your SEO ranking?
Not in the way you might think. However, social media does have an impact on the factors that affect SEO rankings, so it indirectly affects your rankings. But what does that even mean?
One of the major players in the marketing game is website traffic, and social media affects your site traffic by providing more visibility to your content. When your followers share your social media content within their networks, they’re going to send more traffic to your website, thus boosting your rankings.
Additionally, social media is one of the very best ways to increase your business’s reach. On search engines, people really only discover your business when they search for a specific keyword. Through social media, on the other hand, your content will be put in front of people who didn’t even realize that they needed your content. Better content reach translates into high-quality traffic which, again, affects your rankings.
So…it kind of plays into your SEO ranking, but not exactly. That doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable, though! There are so many reasons your business should be on social media – and you’ve come to the right place if you’re ready to get the ball rolling. If your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, reach out to our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Contact us today!