Does social media affect SEO?

Digital

Although rankings are not directly affected by social media sites, there is research to show that there is a positive correlation between social media engagement and higher rankings.

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

17 May 2019

Although rankings are not directly affected by social media sites, there is research to show that there is a positive correlation between social media engagement and higher rankings. You may have even seen this yourself, the more popular content usually ranks well.

However, just because a piece of content on social media has gained a lot of engagement, it may not move up the search engine results pages. The content needs to be engaging for people to read. When it looks like social media is affecting the SEO ranking, what’s actually happening is:

  • The more shares a piece of content gets, the more people who will see it
  • The more people who see your content, the more likely it will be linked to from other websites
  • The number of backlinks is what will be affecting the SEO ranking
  • As the piece of content’s ranking increases, this can lead to more people seeing it, and more social engagement

Therefore, instead of looking at how links from social media platforms can be as valuable as high-quality website links, you should be looking at how you can utilise it to help with the ranking signals that search engines do take into account.

Create link-worthy content

Think about what people are interested in. Would they be interested in reading all about your company, sales pitch after sales pitch? Probably not. Although you need pages on your website about your company and what you do, they are likely to not get much engagement on social media or links from other websites. On your blog, your content should be more focused on being more informational. Offering thought-leadership about your industry or sharing some useful tips – even in the form of an infographic. If people find your content interesting and useful to them, they are more likely to want to share that content with their audience – either by engaging with your social media or linking to your site from theirs.

Don’t focus on building links on social media

Although popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter are authoritative, personal pages are not. Also, with the amount of content posted on social media, links end up being buried down the timeline quite quickly. Unlike on websites where links are always visible. Instead, you should focus your time on building your following with engaging followers.

Focus on the quality of your social media audience

Although a large following might look good to page visitors, it might not be as great as you think. Instead of trying to increase your following as quickly as possible, you should focus more on the people you want to be following you. Having a few industry influencers following you will be more valuable for your SEO than a large following of disengaged followers. If you are posting interesting and useful content, they are more likely to engage and link to you.

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