Social Signals: How to Use Social Media to Improve Your SEO in 2018

social signals for seo

Social Signals: How to Use Social Media to Improve Your SEO in 2018

What are Social Signals?

Social signals are indicators of a website’s popularity and how often their content is shared on the different social platforms. They indicate whether a brand is being talked about the extent to which it is being talked about. Social signals are the metrics for human input on social media platforms.

Examples of social signals that are related to specific platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit include retweets, likes, and upvotes. To varying extents, search engines use these signals to measure the appeal and popularity of content.  Can social media help improve search engine optimization?

Why Are Social Signals Important?

According to the former head of Google’s webspam department, Matt Cutts, Google does not use social links for ranking. In 2014, he said that Facebook and Twitter get treated just like any other webpage. However, none of this means that social media does not affect ranking. More recently, Google has partnered with Twitter so that tweets now show up in search results even though they do not affect ranking.

Consider the fact that the primary objective of a search engine is to provide its users with relevant, useful content. One of the ways that a search engine evaluates content is to look at how often its URL is found on the web. As a result, backlinks and citations have long been key components of SEO.

Valuable content will be popular and popular content will have more positive social signals, which means that it is also likely to have more people linking to it. More backlinks will result in a higher ranking. In other words, social shares indicate the quality of a website’s content. Because of this, any company seeking to improve its search rankings should also focus on improving its social visibility. Social media campaigns can enhance both social engagement and SEO.

Note also that while Google may not use social media sites as a direct factor in ranking, Bing does. Social signals have a significant impact on Bing ranking, according to Search Engine Journal. A few years ago, you would be right in assuming that Bing was irrelevant but you would be wrong today. MediaPost states that Bing’s market share rose to 27 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

How to Improve a Website’s Improve Social Signals

A successful social media campaign will involve both onsite and offsite elements. Some of the onsite elements are blogs, share buttons and connect buttons while offsite elements include social media accounts and pages.

For a company with no social media presence whatsoever, the first step in improving its website’s social signals will be to set up a company blog and register social media channels. Keep the following in mind with regard to using social signals:

It is Best to Post Content Frequently

Do not sacrifice quality in order to do this but keep in mind that the more you publish the more benefits you will see with regard to social media visibility. Daily posting can keep your content and your brand at the tops of news feeds.

The Quality of the Content is Crucial

Along with publishing often, you should also ensure that each piece of content provides insight and worthwhile information. Never publish just to publish. The temptation will be to focus on SEO and social visibility exclusively; however, meeting your audience’s needs should be the goal of every piece of content. Content that engages based on its merits will always be better received than spam and advertising.

You Must Listen to Your Audience

Pay attention to your audience’s opinion of your brand and respond to criticism positively. Remember that social media is simply an extension of your customer service department. As such, it is a tool for building customer trust and loyalty.

If you would like to learn more about social signals and the impact that social media can have on SEO, contact us today.

 

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