When considering if social media plays a role with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, you need to think about how your brand is appearing on the various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and so on. It used to be that SEO was mostly about links – building a lot of them and the more the merrier. Whoever got the most links was the king of the sandbox, so to speak.
Today, things have changes considerably for SEO. Quantity took a backseat to quality – finally – and everyone is still scrambling to get with that program. You’ll never get the results you want or climb upward in the search result rankings based on quantity of linkbacks or pure hits alone anymore. You have to have credible content – quality content that is relevant and put together with finesse. And that includes content for your social media outlets as well as your website.
Social media continues to climb in importance – there’s just no way around it. People are addicted to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube, and they aren’t going away. The content on these sites is just as weighty to the public as any website alone could or would be, and the credibility factor from being included in these social media outlets is just as important. Content shares, re-tweets, likes, link shares – these all add a considerable amount of weight to your brand and therefore add credibility for the same.
Search engines like Google and Bing pay attention. While their algorithms might not be built around social media, there is no way that social media doesn’t play a part – even if it is purely the added weight and credibility that makes your brand and website rise naturally in the rankings without focused SEO campaigns. Using social media is the quickest way to get your brand and message noticed. The more you are noticed, the more credibility you start to build, and the more weight you carry. Really, for as complicated as the whole SEO thing is, it is pretty simple at the end of the day.
You want to be active on your social media channels – make sure you are posting and tweeting regularly. Make sure that the content you are posting has value and offers something that others can understand and buy into. This gets you the shares and likes and re-tweets that build your brand and play into SEO rankings. Make sure you interact with followers – when they comment, reply. One of the quickest ways to fall off the radar is to put something out there and never follow up – don’t be guilty of that.
Social media signals – likes, shares, re-tweets, +1s – equal votes for your website and brand. Social signals are difficult to fake – they are generated by actual social media account users. This is why these types of signals are beginning to carry more weight for content than links alone ever did. The more you can put into your content to build your brand and get it out there to generate more social signals, the better your ultimate SEO results are going to be.