How Social Media Can Positively Impact SEO

Social media is everywhere. Facebook and Instagram are the two standout platforms, but there are dozens of other social media platforms with millions of everyday users.

Social Media Impacts SEO

Do you need to be on them all? Certainly not. Do they directly affect SEO? No. That’s according the latest information from trusted source Gary Illyes and Matt Cutts (source).

But with a change in the way you think about how social media applies to SEO, there are definite ways you can utilise social media to positively impact SEO.

1. Viral Content Generates Links

Viral content is massive on the web, with videos and posts receiving thousands of shares on social media, reaching millions of views in hours. Media publications like to report on these viral sensations to stay relevant, therefore if you have a piece of content that goes viral on social media you have a chance of getting links from authoritative websites. Inbound links are a key ingredient in SEO.

2. Building An Audience Increases Brand Awareness & Therefore Click Through Rate

If you can create content that people see regularly, the number of impressions people have of your band is going to help them become more familiar with you.

This is relevant as people aren’t going to social media to buy products (yet). Though when they head towards Google or whatever their ecommerce platform to buy from, if your brand comes up in the results, they are familiar with your brand therefore are more likely to click through.

How Social Media Can Positively Impact SEO

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3. Branded Searches Are Increasing

The goal of most social media platforms is too keep people on that particular platform for as long as possible. Instagram are great at this. Even Instagrammers with millions of followers struggle to get people to click through to their website via the link in their profile.

However, branded searches increase. If you’re an influencer and are selling a product, people can search Google with branded searches such as ‘legal nomads celiac’.

Let’s say you are celiac, and liked the content Legal Nomads has mentioned about celiac disease in the past. You also know she has cards available in different languages that explain what you can and cannot eat as a celiac. When you enter ‘legal nomads celiac’ on Google, you are presented with the following options.

Seo and Social Media Impact - Google search

You can go straight to her shop where you can buy the products! Not someone else's products, you trust the Legal Nomads because of your engagement on Instagram.

4. Link Diversity

No one knows the exact formula for SEO, but links undoubtedly play a part and so does link diversity. Social media websites are authoritative websites and if you can link to your website from them, your link diversity increases.

This also helps build your trust score, as there is likely to be some sort of relevance between trust flow and social media. If you landed on a website with no social media presence at all, would you trust them? Would you trust them more if you could see they’re active on Facebook?

5. Social Media Is Like A Search Engine

As social media platforms continue to evolve, people are searching for content on these platforms. Pinterest is the premium example with people who are having success often mentioning they treat Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform when creating content.

6. There’s More To SEO Than Google

There are other search engines out there like Bing and DuckDuckGo that also receives millions of searches on their platform daily.

Bing have done the opposite of Google and said they look at the social authority of a user based on how many they follow & followers they have in order to help rank websites (source).

As you can see, there are lots of ways social media indirectly impacts your SEO positively. And who knows, one day Google might come out and say they’re starting to use social signals as a ranking factor.

Roy McClean
Sep 12, 2017
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