How Social Media Can Boost Your SEO Rankings

posted this in
Social Media, SEO
on October 16th, 2013

Last week we introduced a new series on the blog to help businesses understand the importance of social media and how it can solve common problems that many business have.

The first problem we’re going to address is businesses who are having trouble being found online.

Many businesses rely on SEO to be found in local search results. And while having a great SEO strategy is important for your website, incorporating social media into your strategy is important, too.

Here are three of the main ways social media can affect your SEO and what you can to do leverage social media to improve your rankings.

Google indexes your social media pages

If you search for a business on Google, you’ll usually notice that their social media pages are included in the top results.

Google pays attention to the keywords that are included in your social media posts, as well as the information in your social URLs and page descriptions to determine how your content (like blog posts) ranks.

What you can do:

Start by making sure your social media pages have accurate information about your business, including your:

  • Correct company name
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Website address

You also want to make sure your business is categorized (on Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare) correctly (if you can choose a category while setting up your page) and that your business description mentions some of your important products and/or services.

Here’s an example of how the categorization looks on Facebook:

It is also good practice to fill out any other fields that are available (business hours, company logo, link to a video) to increase visibility.

More shares on social media can lead to higher rankings

There are several studies that show a high correlation between social media activity and search engine rankings.

Google’s responsibility is to make sure users are seeing the most valuable, relevant content when they search online. If your social media posts are being shared and linked to frequently, the content may rank higher because Google may consider it to be of greater value for users.

What you can do:

Create valuable, interesting content that your customers will want to share with friends on social media. And make it easy for them to share the information by sending it out on your social networks and implementing social share buttons (like ShareThis) on your website.

It’s also important to focus on building a community of quality followers on your social channels who will share your content. It’s one thing to have hundreds or thousands of followers, but are they all interested in your content?

Quality followers will be the most interested in what you have to say and share your posts and content with other people.

Google Plus posts are included in search results

When you search for a business on Google, recent activity from Google Plus can show prominently in search results.

What you can do:

When posting content on Google Plus, use the link function in the editor tool.

Links embedded in the post itself are indexed by Google, while links inside the body of the content are considered “no follow” and are not ranked.

Also incorporate important keywords and hashtags into your posts to help increase the ranking.

Social media and SEO go hand-in-hand

Ever since social media has become popular, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not social media is the new SEO.

The reality is, SEO will always be around in some way as long as search engines exist. And there are many, many other things that affect your search engine rankings, not just social media.

Social media has just become another SEO tool for businesses to use to be found more easily online.

So start using social media to improve your SEO by:

  • Optimizing your profile information for search.
  • Using important keywords in your social media posts.
  • Sharing your content across your channels.
  • Building a community of quality fans so more of your content gets shared.

Still unclear how social media can affect your SEO? Get in contact with us!