How Does Social Media Impact Local SEO Rankings

Social Media MarketingThe main purpose of a social media account for a small business is to give your business a face and a voice. People love interacting with the people and companies they patronize. And this isn’t a phenomenon that is reserved for celebrities and large corporations. With the continued expansion of the social media platform, having a profile on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr, and many more is simply no longer an option. It is a vital part of any small business’s marketing strategy. It is an essential part of your branding efforts and gaining more brand recognition, which is vital to your ongoing viability. However, social media can help you achieve other things as well.

For small companies, social media can help you establish relationships with your customers. Social media provides you with a way to communicate with your customers in a way that has never been able to before. It also provides you with a near instant, very inexpensive way to keep your customers abreast of special events, new products, special sales and more. It also provides a way for customers to become more acquainted with your business. Consumer behaviorists have shown that many customers spend time researching a company online before they ever set foot in a physical store.

SEO

The purpose of SEO, however, is much different than that of social media, The main focus of SEO is to boost a website’s rankings in search engine results pages which leads to increased traffic to the site and ultimately creates more sales.

For small businesses, local SEO has much more importance than non-local SEO as the majority of their business is comprised of those who reside in and around the area where the business’s physical location is. This means that the SEO techniques used must be narrowly focused to this particular target audience.

How can social media impact Local SEO?

While social media and SEO are often mentioned in tandem, the truth is that these terms refer to two completely separate functions. However, the reason that they are mentioned together is that there are many overlaps between the two. The reason that SEO companies recommend that small business owners establish a social media presence in order to boost the visibility of their company has much farther reaching implications that simply providing a voice for your business. Some SEO experts believe that Google and other search engine powerhouses take into account how popular your social media presence is in order to determine how important your website is and where it ranks on search engine results pages.

The theory proposed by some local SEO experts is that companies who have more Facebook likes, a larger Twitter following and plus 1’s on Google are favored more by search engines because they are viewed as more popular with the public and therefore must be providing valuable information. SEO experts take this a step further by stating that Google and other search engines scan for online mentions on various social media platforms, known as co-citations. The more mentions or co-citations a business has, the better they rank in search engine results, including local search engines. This makes having a solid social media presence even more important to small businesses than ever before.