Understanding how social media activity affects your search rank.

7 SEO & Social Media Facts You Need to KnowSearch engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) are two essential facets of any online marketing plan. Here are 7 important facts you need to understand about using these two strategies to improve your search results.

1. Social media engagement can impact your search rankings.

Relevant keywords on your webpages (SEO) and in your social media posts (SMO) are not enough to ensure search engines put your site up towards the top of the search results. Search engines are also increasingly looking for evidence that your content is being used and valued by visitors. Having visitors stay on your site rather than immediately clicking away is one important piece of evidence or “social proof” that your content is good and deserves a high ranking. Having visitors sharing and/or commenting on your content on social network is another. In this way, having a large and active social media presence can improve your search rankings. However, your social media prescience must be developed organically and this will take time and effort.

2. Social media isn’t just about links—though links are valuable.

Early on in the process of integrating social media into web marketing efforts, the main appeal from an SEO perspective was in generating opportunities for a rich variety of backlinks as users shared and promoted brand content across different platforms. While Google and other search engines do still value a diverse bunch of backlinks, social media can actually be used for much more than backlinking to existing content. Social media can also be used as a forum for customer dialogue and care, in which case the back and forth posts between customers and brand representatives can actually help boost your online presence—both by creating “social proof” and by featuring keywords for SEO.

3. When it comes to connections, quality can be more valuable than quantity.

Google and other search engines care less about how many friends or followers you have on social media than about how active these contacts are. Getting connections with individuals who are considered “influencers” or “authorities” (or becoming one yourself!) is the holy grail of SMO. These connections will drive much more activity and engagement than dozens of people who “liked” your Facebook page once and never returned.

4. Posting more often is not the path to social media optimization.

With SEO, adding more pages and more keyword-rich content to your site can definitely help boost rankings. With SMO, simply posting more can actually have the opposite effect. This is especially true if you are simply sharing links to your site. Other users may block you, unfollow you, or even report you as a spammer. Search engines will give your posts less weight because you do not appear to be valued or authoritative in your network.

5. Content is still king.

Content marketing is at the heart of any good SMO or SEO campaign. After all, whether you’re trying to drive engagement to your site from social media platforms or from search engines, you still need to have quality content on your site for visitors to land on. Without quality content, all your optimization efforts will be wasted because visitors will navigate away from the page too quickly. Google will notice this and count it against you in the search rankings.

6. Not everyone needs a Twitter account.

Since the whole point of social media is to engage your audience, you need to follow your audience to the platforms they use the most. For example, if your users aren’t on Twitter, your brand doesn’t need to be there.

7. You need to implement Google Knowledge Graph and Google My Business ASAP.

These two tools help Google (and other search engines) rank your social media posts and web posts more easily. Implementing them is highly recommended if you want to keep up with best SMO and SEO practices in 2016.

Need Help?

If you would like expert help utilizing SMO and SEO to boost your search result rankings, please do not hesitate to contact Webstract Marketing today.