SEO is changing; out with single keywords, and in with keyword intent. Here’s what social media now means for your search engine optimization strategy.
As the evolution of the search algorithm continues, popular search engines have been getting more intelligent. Gone are the days where the focus is on individual keywords; more sophisticated search algorithms are factoring user intent and social media activity.
The result of this shift has overwhelmingly prompted more genuine participation over social channels from brands and individual netizens alike.
In 2013 Econsultancy conducted a “State of Search Marketing Report“, which concluded that 74% of companies and 82% of agencies surveyed have embedded social media activity into their SEO strategy.
Let’s take a look at how social media can positively affect your SEO strategy;
1. Social Activity and Higher Search Rank
Because Google is shouting down to us that they’re not using social media to rank websites in search, we’ll say there’s a correlation here. We won’t say that social media engagement is directly responsible for search rank improvements –but the two seem to go hand in hand.
Content that has been shared over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ climbs in search. In turn, the exposure often leads to more inbound links, and the cycle continues. Google doesn’t need to factor social media itself into search; it’s influential all on its own.
2. The Importance of Google+
No one likes Google Plus. We know. It’s sad, really. However if you’re going to get your website to rank faster, appreciate that Google+ can do it better than any other social outlet, although Twitter is a close second.
Google+ achieves this two ways; it just likes its own social media platform more than anyone else’s and Google+ provides a few edges on Google Search like:
- Rich snippets for Local Search, Google+ profile information, authorship, and ratings
- Personalized search; if friends +1 a relevant post to your search query it will appear front and centre
3. Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Big time
Unsurprisingly, the first result in search for a person or brand is going to be a social media profile. Prospective website visitors, shoppers, fans, and peers will likely get their first impressions of your flavour via social media.
Integrating social media into your search engine optimization strategy and piggy-backing off your social media profile keeps traffic moving to areas of interest.
4. Social Media Websites Have Search Too
Sure, YouTube, a social media website, is the second largest search engine only and surprise –also owned by Google. But there’s more to social media website search than YouTube.
Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter are all used for real-time search. Right place, right time, right hashtag and you’ll be able to enhance visibility of other online properties effortlessly.
5. Google isn’t the Only Search Engine
Whoa. There’s a thought. Google may deny that search rank is affected by social today, however we’ve heard things like this before –social engagement could affect search rank tomorrow.
That, and who’s to say other search engines aren’t? Yahoo! is still the largest online portal in the world, and Bing is still in the fight as the second most-used WWW search engine on the market.
Knowing these effects should help you create an SEO strategy for social media that allows you to reach your target audience and avoid wasting time on platforms that don’t really make a big impact.