There is a big debate among online marketers on whether social media impacts a website’s ranking on Google. Various reports are usually cited to prove or disapprove the impact of social media on SEO.
For example, SearchMetric’s 2013 Social Ranking Factors report suggests that social signals play an important role in SEO ranking. On the other hand, Moz’s 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors claims there is no correlation between social media and SEO rankings.
Whether social media impacts SEO ranking is debatable. However, its role in driving traffic, creating buzz and increasing brand visibility, either locally in Ottawa or beyond, cannot be denied. When looked objectively, social media may even be more important than SEO. With it, you can direct targeted visitors to your website, share your valuable content and convert qualified visitors to leads.
How Social Media Activity Impacts Your SEM Ranking
Social media is all about interacting with prospects online. After identifying your buyer persona and what makes them tick, you can create content that will address their concerns. In turn, you will get leads, who can become customers.
Still, focusing on various social marketing activities can have a direct or indirect impact on your search engine marketing. Social media marketing can help with:
i) Social link building
Link building is the oldest method of SEO. While the tactic has been abused over time, Google still uses it to determine the relevancy and authority of websites.
Google has improved it search algorithm to weed out websites that participate in link schemes or build massive spam links for the purpose of ranking. Today, there are over 200 factors that Google considers when ranking websites.
With the new algorithm developments, social link building has become important. The concept of social link building is simple; you create awesome content, users tweet or share the content, and bloggers link back to the content.
For instance, when you create compelling content on a particular subject and get your audience talking about it, other industry blogs may want to participate in the discussion.
The blogs may create content to support, counter or build upon the information you provided. The blogs will also link back to your content to give readers background information on the subject being discussed. The result is a ton of high quality links from niche relevant blogs pointing back to your website.
Why are Social Links Important?
Unlike spam links that are built on forums or article directories for the sole purpose of getting a “vote” to your website, social links are more valuable because the properties that they originate from have real users or visitors.
When the visitors are referred to your website, they can determine whether you are an authority, and can become leads. Some visitors can even become customers on their first visit to your website. This is the power of social link building.
ii) Traffic Generation
Traffic is crucial for the success of any online business. Without traffic, you cannot make sales. Unfortunately, the old SEO methods concentrate on getting traffic without considering other aspects of conversion such as social trust and brand authority. Social media marketing addresses these conversion factors.
You can drive qualified traffic to your website and convert visitors easily through social media sites. The fans or followers on your social media profiles may have been interacting with you for some time. Therefore, they already have a relationship with you. They know the kind of content you share and consider you an authority in your field.
These visitors are easier to convert than those who stop by your site for the first time through other avenues such as search engines referral or PPC clicks.
Social media can also produce instant traffic to your blogs and offers. Through effective marketing, you can create buzz and get your audience talking about your offer as they await the launch. This buzz helps to increase brand awareness and can improve the quality leads to your offers.
iii) Content Promotion
Great content helps your website convert visitors to customers. However, creating great content is not enough. You need to get the content in front of your target customers. This is where social media comes in.
After creating an awesome blog post, video or other content, share it on your social media channels. Sharing the content will improve its visibility among your prospects, who may in turn share it across their networks. As your content gets shared on the Internet, search engines will pick it up and index it in their database.
Great content can also go viral from social media shares and lead a host of prospects to your website.
The impact of social media activities to SEO is debatable. However, whichever school of thought you are leaning towards, one thing is certain; social media cannot be ignored in today’s online marketing.