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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.