Are social signals really something you should be thinking about when trying to get ahead in the online world? The answer is a great resounding “yes”! You just have to take quick look around any public place (and witness a sea of people with heads bent over, eyes glued to screens, and fingers typing a mile a minute) to realise that our mobile phones have taken over! Everyone’s gone digital and where face-to-face used to be the communication method of choice, now it’s more a case of Facebook-to-Facebook. Social media platforms are thriving and by developing your social SEO and increasing/capitalising on your social signals, you can boost your business’ online visibility and start reaping the lucrative rewards.
Likes, votes, pins, shares, views, and reposts are all social signals that are used on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. What is social signaling? If you have ever liked a company’s post or picture online, you’ve sent out a social signal!
What are social signals?
What are social media signals? If you are wondering this, we are here to help you better understand the term and how to truly boost social signals to benefit your business.
BIGCOMMERCE essentials defines social signals as follows: “Social signals refer to a webpage's collective shares, likes and overall social media visibility as perceived by search engines. These activities contribute to a page's organic search ranking and are seen as another form of citation, similar to backlinks.”
When social media first made its way into our lives, it was predominantly a means of messaging family and friends, sharing content, and in the case of LinkedIn, potentially getting a new job. Simply put, keeping in touch was the main objective of signing up for a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn account. Today, social media can have a direct impact on your SEO outcomes. Because of this, ecommerce businesses need to realise the importance of a good social medial strategy with a special focus on boosting social signals and translating insights.
Does Social Media Affect SEO?
Wondering how social media helps in SEO? Does it have an impact on your search engine rankings at all? The simple answer is yes, but not in the way that you expect. Social media signals don’t have a direct impact on your search engine rankings, your SEO efforts do that. But, social signals can actual affect your SEO in the following ways:
- Social signals increase your online visibility and drive more traffic to your site.
- Social signals place your brand and business as an authority in your industry.
- The more your content is liked, shared, and reposted, the broader the reach and the longer the lifespan of your content.
- Enhanced search engine optimisation.
While we know that social signals have an impact on search engine optimisation, the real questions should be: how much of an impact do social medial signals have on SEO?
Why do Social Signals Improve Rankings?
We know that social signals have an impact when it comes to SEO and rankings, but why? The simple fact is that search engines such as Google have one main objective: to provide a quality user experience to browsers. A quality user experience means that high-quality, relevant information is provided quickly.
Enhanced social signals imply (or prove) that a URL is of a high-quality. Likes, shares, tweets, reposts, pins and similar indicate that a website and its content offer relevant information that is valued by the local community and must therefore be of a high quality.
Simply put, the more a website is seen and socially signaled online, the more quality Google will attach to it. For example, content that is liked several hundred times on Facebook will most likely rank well in a Google search.
To see this in action, you just have to consider Google’s partnership with Twitter. Now Google will show tweets in search results provided they meet with the relevant social signal criteria. A tweet would appear in a Google search result if they display the following social signals:
- The post has been tweeted and retweeted many times, especially by popular Twitter members (popularity is based on number of followers).
- The content is linked to on other social community platform authorities including Tumblr and Reddit.
- The post is shared on Facebook.
- The post is shared, liked, and retweeted by Google +1s
How will Social Signals Impact SEO in the Future?
As social media platforms seem to be growing in popularity for personal and business use, it is only expected that in future, social signals will become even more pertinent in the quest for more online visibility. Keeping your finger to the pulse now and along the way is the best way to ensure that your social media strategy and social SEO grows and changes with the times.
How to Increase Your Social Signals and Improve Your SEO
If you want to capitalise on your social media presence, keep in mind that it’s not just social activity that is important. Your social activities must drive results. You need to get your browsers clicking, liking, sharing, reposting and similar. Don’t know how? Try these 7 tips:
1. Boost your reputation with high-quality outbound links and backlinks.
When linking to external sources and encouraging backlinks, try to ensure that you do so with industry authorities. This will boost reputation, credibility and search engine rankings.
2. Choose prime times to post content.
Schedule content posts at various times of the day to ascertain when your target audience is the most responsive. Find the times that best suit your industry and audience.
3. Make social sharing easy.
Embed social sharing links in your business emails, SMS & WhatsApp messages, as well as on your website. Include links to “share” and “forward to a friend” in your communications to encourage customers to get social with your brand and content.
4. Build relationships with influencers in your industry.
Getting a share, mention, or retweet from respected influencers in your industry can get your brand valuable exposure. To find influencers in your industry, you can use BuzzSumo or similar tools.
5. Optimise your content for each social media platform accordingly.
Make sure that all images, posts, and videos are all edited and manipulated to display correctly on each social media platform. Keep posts relevant. For instance, a tweet will be short and sweet whereas a post on LinkedIn can be longer and more involved.
6. Craft posts that are visually appealing.
It’s a proven fact that social media users respond more frequently to visually attractive images. Capitalise on this.
7. Use concise, descriptive, eye-catching titles and headings.
The very first thing that browsers will see is your headings. It’s the fist hook that you have to draw customers in, so make it effective.
Ready to change your social media impact for the better? Use a free social signal checker tool to ascertain just how much work your website and content currently needs. Chat with a professional SEO services agency if you need some assistance with planning a strategic social media SEO campaign and getting the most out of the above tips and steps.