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social-signals-seo-relationship
What’s the Relationship Between Social Signals and SEO?

In the Digital Marketing realm, the heavily debated topic of social signals and SEO correlation is only begun. Though this has been the case for a few years now, it’s really only just begun in my opinion. Do a quick google search and you’ll find a ton of research that studies the correlation  between social signals and SEO. Also, I’ve had countless clients ask me if social signals are an SEO ranking factor that they should be paying attention to and incorporating to generate more traffic and sales.

While Google may state that social signals are not an SEO ranking factor the quick answer most SEO experts will say is yes it does make a difference in how your website organically ranks within Google.

Let me elaborate on why I think social signals do make a difference in how a site ranks.

social signals and seo correlation according to google

According to Google

Think about it for a minute, if Google were to actually give away their secret sauce to organic search ranking that would make our lives as SEO practitioners super simple. Lol, but as you guessed, that’s never ever going to happen so we have to digest and analyze the word of people like Matt Cutts who is the former head of Google’s spam team. And what’s his take on social signals impact on SEO? While he may say that social signals are not a direct SEO ranking factor, current Google employees say that website links shared on social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc are…

There’s a video of Matt Cutts from back in 2014 where he states: “Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index… as far as doing special specific work to sort of say oh you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook, to the best of my knowledge we don’t currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms.”

What we can take away from Matt  Cutts’ video statement is that Google views all pages on social media channels like any and all other types of pages indexed in Google. So that would mean that if your website’s pages are being consistently shared on social media channels, then it’s just like your site getting  backlinks from any other external source. 

social-signals-seo-relationship

Based on Industry Case Studies

It’s my personal opinion that you should always let the data do the storytelling. For example, all my digital marketing strategies are backed by lots data and careful research.

That said, just because ole Google publicly tells us that social signals doesn’t directly affect organic search ranking factor absolutely does not mean that these social signals doesn’t impact a websites rankings or even that a sound social media strategy shouldn’t be an integral part of a solid and robust SEO campaign.

To further back my position we can look at a study conducted by Hootsuite, a leading social media management tool, that shows a distinct correlation between social signals and a site’s SEO rankings. The study looks at both looking at organic posts (those done on the newsfeed and aren’t paid) and promoted (paid) posts. Though you do not have to run paid ads on Facebook, doing so  actually might have a positive impact on your SEO rankings. When looked at even more closely, the Hootesuite case study shows a positive correlation between total number of social engagements and SEO rankings. This leads to only one conclusion and that it’s absolutely beneficial to your brand to share your website’s content on social channels. Simply put, having a lot of social engagement (remember that engagement is everything to Facebook’s algorithms as well) from your social media audiences will lead to  improved SEO performance for your website.

social-signals-seo-relationship

Key Takeaway

Here’s what you should be focused on with your website’s social signals and SEO:

  • Leverage all high quality site content for your social media marketing efforts to boost your overall organic rankings in Google. Now, please don’t take this to mean that you just lazily share your blog posts and think you’ve done a damn good job at getting social signals, then wonder why the hell you’re not tearing it up in the Search Results Pages! You have to take it a step further and share your best interactive content such as quizzes and info guides, videos, all your top user-generated reviews, and so forth. 
  • Consider running targeted paid promotional ads on your best content. But don’t be a drunken sailor and recklessly blow  all your money. Start by allocating your marketing budget appropriately so you can get more eyeballs on your best performing content that actually engages your audience for best results. 
  • Always, and I mean always be performing A/B split tests to know which content type such as blog, videos, quizzes get the most social engagement on your channels. Without a doubt, social engagement has shown direct correlation with increasing a site’s organic rankings. Just keep in mind that Facebook is discouraging businesses from straight up asking for likes, shares and comments from users, so do avoid doing so in order to stay on Facebook’s good graces. Plus no one likes someone to ask them to do something, we all want to do it because we feel like it’s the right thing to do and not something we are pressured into doing. 

social-signals-and-seo-relationship

Best Tools for Social Signal and SEO Integration

I believe the best digital marketing strategies are only those backed by sound data and ongoing research. Yes, that does sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many companies I’ve encountered over my years of doing this that just fly by the seat of their pants and are doing whatever the flavor of the day is.  So as you begin to plan out your social and SEO  strategy, remember to incorporate data along with the tools I recommend below to help shape your strategy.

If you’re looking for some awesome tools that you can leverage to help plan and measure the impact of Social and SEO integration, I’m about to give you my secret weapons that i use every single day to kick the shit out of my competitors. Some of these tools take a little study, but I’m sure that if you set aside the time you can become just as proficient as I am with them. 

MoneyRobot

social-signal-and-seo-moneyrobot

MoneyRobot is probably my most favorite tool simply because it’s just so easy to use and it’s highly effective. MoneyRobot allows me to rank n bank websites with ease and provides both social signals and SEO backlinks that are paramount to your online success. I’d say that out of any of these tools on this page, this is the one that I would recommend using to quickly and easily rank your website and give it the social juice it needs to succeed.

DripRevolution

social-signals-and-seo-driprevolution

DripRevolution is another awesome social signal and SEO tool that I use to help me rank up websites for myself and clients. They provide a unique service which are all created and managed manually with real social accounts and this gives you a diversity of social signals, which affect the SERP’s (search engine results pages) and increase organic traffic to your website. Plus, they have a 7 day free trial which allows you to test drive the product and see just how awesome it is.

 

BuzzSumo

social-signals-and-seo-buzzsumo

BuzzSumo gives digital marketers a way to analyze what and how their content performs for any brand or topic/ BuzzSumo helps you understand which content is best resonating with your target audience. Also, you can use the tool to get better insights on your companies social footprint.

BrightEdge

social-signal-and-seo-tools-brightedge

BrightEdge is a popular online platforms that integrates social signals into their content platform. BrightEdge provides digital marketers with actionable data that is used to optimize campaigns across multiple channels such as their website, organic search (SEO), and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) in order to maximize cross-channel marketing results.

What are your odds at keyword ranking for that search phrase?

When developing an SEO strategy for your site one of the principal focuses that you need to have is what key words to include and which sort of strategy and tactics you will use to be able to attain alignment with your SEO campaign and keyword ranking methods. Wouldn’t it be great if our SEO keyword rank efforts stopped here?

Keyword rank , in the intricate world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), its been far more complicated, as you are about figure out. Keyword rank in SEO terms is not as straightforward as deciding which keyword you wish to rank in the SERPS, quickly optimize your content piece, obtain backlinks off Fiverr, and then boom you are #1. The main reason is because how you are matched to a search query’s value has become considerably more complicated, with Google releasing over 600 upgrades to its algorithm each year. That is roughly 2 new updates Daily Every Year

So as to appreciate how Google perceives user intent, let us begin by analyzing the SERPs for a keyword phrase to identify what’s ranked and why it’s ranked. It’s always advisable to checkout the competition you are up against which can directly assist you knowing your keyword ranking chances, in addition to focusing your energy and time on the keyword phrases in which you will have the best chances for successfully rank with the least quantity of resistance in obtaining it.

E-commerce Keyword Ranking Example

Let’s start by taking a look at basic search query example where all results for “glassware” are e-commerce only sites. In this example, Google shows preference to e-commerce websites for this specific search query, which means if you were to apply the right optimizations with your on-page technical SEO, content, and-advertising strategies, you might be able to get a solid keyword ranking on that search phrase.

What are your odds at keyword ranking for that search phrase?

On the flip side, let’s see what would happen in the SERPs if you used the keyword “muffins” for your search query:

SERP for Muffins in Digital Marketing article What are your odds at keyword ranking for that search phrase?

In case you or a customer were to sell muffins on the world wide web, you’re not likely to perform well at any the search query outcomes shown above. The top 4 search results returned are for recipes, followed by a local search results section, another recipe, movie, Wikipedia page, and then 3 additional recipe lists are displayed at the bottom of the page.

There’s very little reason to try keyword rank for muffins online for this particular search query, even though you can make an attempt at keyword rank to get a recipe content fashion page. The key word phrase”buy muffins online” might be a useful keyword phrase for your online retail site ranking.

Let us examine one more example, where your customer is retailing tables on the internet and needs you to rank the key word”table”:

Keyword ranking odds for SERP for Table

This SERP has mixed results unlike the first example. Our search query returned a shopping section at the top of the page, and while that’s not exactly an opportunity for search engine optimization (SEO), though it is an unconventional method to go about keyword ranking on this search term. Then a shopping website is listed, followed by a search result about HTML tables, which has nothing to do with our type of tables.

After a local results section, there is another page on HTML tables, followed by a shopping site, another dictionary definition, and one last page on HTML tables. If you’re selling tables online, there are already four e-commerce websites that are displayed on the first page on this SERPs.

Google is letting us know that it sees a correlation with user intent matching on shopping for kitchen tables, which means there’s an opportunity available to rank your website in the top 10 search results returned for this particular search query.

What are your odds at keyword ranking for that search phrase?

In-depth Look at Keyword Ranking Opportunities

What if you want to keyword rank “table,” and let’s say you’re client is a small business e-commerce site that sells a variety of products, which are similar to Target. Let’s compare this small business retailer to 4 niche specific competing retail websites:

  1. Ashley Furniture Home Store  — Niche retailer that sells furniture, lighting and kitchen goods
  2. Ikea — Niche focused retailer that focuses on  selling furniture
  3. Target — General purpose large brand retailer
  4. Wayfair — Niche focused retailer that specifically sells furniture

Certainly we actually would not have a chance ranking for the key word”dining table”. Out of the four brands listed previously, Target is the sole non-niche specific retailer which has their keyword rank inside this search query outcomes. Another name brand market particular e-commerce sites are concentrated on just furniture sales.

In the event that you were a market retailer, it usually means your customers contest based on this specific search are just focused at a succinct area, and each one the internet signs that indicate they’re the leader for this particular search query will probably be connected with furniture. From a users perspective, they supply a larger choice that’s associated with kitchen tables, because this is exactly what they sell. This case illustrates the specific kinds of sites that Google’s algorithms deems related to the search query.

User intent matter to your odds at keyword ranking for that search phrase?

We must determine user intent for better keyword ranking

So far everything we have gone has been around deciphering the various kinds of landing pages and sites Google’s algorithms believes as a pertinent best match with the users intent considered of the search. It’s typical for Google to return many different search results. In the instance of the”muffins” Google search, a site that’s selling muffins online, Google does not look at an e-commerce site as a relevant search term match.

Other search query types behave differently, and with them, you’ll have to dig deeper into why.

This keyword relates it to another potential user intentions. People searching for kitchen tables might want a bigger array of alternatives for them but also other similar items like other kinds of home related products. If you shopped at Target, then you might also shop for clothes, groceries, diapers, video games, TVs, movies and far more.

Even though it’s convenient to have the ability to purchase these different home related goods in one shopping trip, it doesn’t offer the best experience for the consumer intent of merely buying tables. Closely related goods and a wider choice of table options to pick from seem to meet user intent, that’s why niche specialty retail businesses perform best for this sort of search query.

Target managed to get on the first page search listings by keyword rank it, but they are the only general retail business that managed to accomplish it. This illustrates that there is only so much room available and there’s only 1 spot available for your customer, or another competitor, on the first page SERPs.

Conclusion

This article has focused on  understanding the details of how you would determine user intent. Keyword ranking no longer is as basic as choosing the keyword for your page and then just getting some backlinks you’re #1. Though they’re still important, it’s  just one of many steps that we have to take to have a much better understanding of relevance in order to succeed at keyword ranking. Following this advice should positively impact your keyword ranking efforts.

By taking this into consideration, you will avoid wasting time trying to go after keyword rankings that you don’t have a shot ranking in the top SERPs and refocus your energy on areas where you do have an opportunity at getting your websites page listed on the first page of the SERPs.