There may be some ideas out there that social media is absolutely necessary to achieve good search engine rankings. In our opinion, that statement is incorrectly worded.
The main question is, "Are SEO best practices enough for top search rankings? What is the importance of Social Media when combined with SEO?"
In this blog post, we dive into how social media marketing efforts can influence SEO results over time.
Today's Social Media
In today's world, social media continues to play a huge role in shaping society.
As more people sign up on social media platforms and learn, read and share information, products and services, search engines will start to incorporate specific social signals into their algorithm. Knowing how their algorithm is changed helps us to know the social media impact on SEO.
Social media provides extremely useful information for what people like and dis-like and it makes sense that they would like to measure this in order to provide more relevant search results to their users.
Backlinks Just Aren't Enough
Over time, search engines have begun to give backlinks less value, and in fact, Russian search engine Yandex recently took links completely out of their algorithm in favor of other external social signals.
Matt Cutts from Google has also made it known that they too have tested dropping social backlinks from their algorithm, and though he mentioned that they were unable to maintain the high level of quality in those tests, it wouldn't be a surprise to us if Google continues to devalue links over time.
So what does this mean for onsite Social Media and SEO?
It means that having your website completely optimized will not always be enough for top search rankings.
With so many SEO factors to consider now, social media being one of them, it is important to make sure you are covering a combination of these factors in your digital marketing strategy.
Factors such as SEO, links, social media, content, usability and conversions all play a role in today's search engine rankings.
If your content does not provide value, people won't read it and share it. If your website is hard to navigate, people won't stay and convert.
These are all social signals that search engines can use to determine if the site itself is of low searcher value.
Neil Patel posted a video in 2021 with tips for Social Media and SEO:
So What Does this Mean for Social?
It means that even if search engines don't count the number of "likes" a post received or the number of +1's, the content itself is most likely high quality content and "likes" and +1's are only a byproduct.
So what is happening now?
Now by being active on social media and sharing your high quality content and developing a reputation, you are having more users visiting your site, having higher conversion rates, user time on site has increased, user revisits have increased, etc.
Using social media can provide a solid assist because the same social signals are taking place that the search engines are looking for when high quality content is being read and shared by users and allowing us to optimize the social media impact on SEO.
In the end, SEO, links, high quality content and awesome user experiences are awarded through search engine rankings and social media can assist in addition to those factors.
With social media having such a huge impact in today's world on how we learn, discover and share information, social media and SEO is definitely not an avenue we should ignore and absolutely a search engine ranking opportunity we should embrace!
If you have questions about integrating SEO and social media strategies, feel free to reach out to our digital strategists here!