In today’s competitive world, small businesses must find cost-effective ways to compete with large brands with unlimited resources. Search engine optimization is perhaps one of the most cost-effective strategies to stay ahead of the competition and connect with the right audience. But SEO is not only limited to website design and optimized content. Instead, it is a multidisciplinary field that encircles many other specialties.
Business owners and marketers must take a multidisciplinary approach to SEO for better results. One aspect of SEO that many people ignore is social signals. Social signals can add ancillary benefits to your website’s performance in the SERP rankings and bring in more traffic to your website.
Today’s guide will discuss the relationship between social signals and SEO, including how social signals affect SERP rankings and how to improve them.
What Exactly are Social Signals?
Social signals refer to the likes, impressions, shares, and views your social media posts get. These social shares, views, impressions, and likes are also called engagements by social media marketers. But when it comes to SEO, they are known as signals that allow search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google, and the rest to determine the prominence of a profile post or user.
It is best to note that these interactions vary from one social network to another. Let’s discuss the most common metrics for different social networks.
How Social Signals Affect SEO Ranking
Now that you know what social signals are, you are probably eager to know if social signals are a ranking factor. Search engines rely on various factors when ranking different web pages. On its part, Google uses a combination of many ranking factors and algorithms to deliver the most relevant result for a search query.
Even if the jury is still out on whether social signals are a direct ranking factor, it’s safe to say that they can be a powerful catalyst for ranking your website in SERPs. To better understand how social signals impact SEO rankings, let’s look at the history of SEO and social media.
For starters, it is best to mention that only Google knows what its search algorithm does and does not do. So, it helps to look at what those from Google say about social media and SEO. Let’s start with Google’s public liaison for search, Danny Sullivan. In 2010, Danny Sullivan claimed that Google and Bing use social rankings to rank organic search results.
Matt Cutts, Google’s software engineer, also confirmed that social signals impact SEO rankings when responding to a question from a viewer.
Fast forward to the present, and Google has recently clarified that it tries to determine the author’s authority and trustworthiness of a website through social media. That means your reputation and trustworthiness as an author are becoming increasingly vital daily. So, It’s safe to say that you should pay attention to your social signals if you want to rank higher in SERPs.
Now that we have that covered, let’s discuss the impact of social signals on SEO rankings in detail below:
Boosts the Performance of Your Content
You are missing out on a significant opportunity if you’re not sharing your content on social media. When you share your content on your preferred social platform, social media users will interact with it. If it contains valuable information, they will likely share your content.
Across those shares, you might get thousands of comments, likes, and even new followers. It might even snowball into millions of engagements if your content is excellent. This allows you to connect with a much wider audience than you would have managed on your web pages alone.
Gain High-Quality Backlinks
Social signals can also help you get more high-quality backlinks. As more and more people interact with your social media posts, you are likely to have more likes and shares. With more people mentioning your content, search engines will notice you. Besides, some people may use your content and link it back to you.
Can Help You Rank For Specific Search Terms
As mentioned earlier, search engines usually rank social profiles on organic results. As a result, your social profiles will show up when someone uses a branded search term. An active and engaging social media profile can give prospective customers more insight into your business.
Build Trust and Credibility
Buyers are more cautious of the brands they work with. As a result, you must demonstrate your credibility and trustworthiness to encourage consumers to work with you. Luckily, improving your social signals allows you to do just that. Strong social signals give prospective customers and search engines more insight into your business, and it’s a great way to humanize your brand.
12 Helpful Tips to use Social Signals to Improve SEO
As you can see, it is essential to take your time to improve your social signals. Improved social signals will have a positive impact on your SEO rankings. Not only that, but it will also improve other aspects of your digital marketing strategy. So, keep reading to discover realistic and inexpensive strategies to boost your social signals for SEO.
1. Optimize Your Social Media Profile Pages
Like search engine algorithms, social media algorithms sort posts based on relevancy and other ranking signals. You should also optimize your social media pages and content to increase visibility. Take your time to create comprehensive pages such as products, services, and about us pages on your social profiles to help social media users know more about your business.
Remember to include a target keyword on each page to help social media algorithms understand the relationship between the keywords and your social profile. Besides, adding relevant keywords will help you appear in search results. Also, create a brand hashtag to increase your visibility.
You should also add a link to your website to direct users to the company’s website. Similarly, you should add links to your social media profile pages on your website to help search engines identify the connection between your social media pages and your website. Finally, set a high-quality image file such as your company’s logo as your profile.
2. Leverage Knowledge Panels in Google
Knowledge panels appear on organic search results when someone searches for an entity or individual. Google gets the information that appears in these panels from different sources on the web. In most cases, Google works with data partners to get authoritative data on specific entities or topics.
In addition, Google allows individuals and brands to provide feedback on their knowledge panels. If your business has a knowledge panel, you should claim it and suggest changes. Remember to add your social media profiles to your knowledge panel once you claim it.
3. Regularly Publish Content
The next time you publish content on your website, including blogs, e-books, podcasts, or articles, make sure to promote each piece of content on your social media profile. Promoting your content assets on social media increases your chances of getting more interactions, such as views, shares, likes, and comments. As more and more people interact with your content, your social signals will start improving.
Here are helpful tips to help you promote your content regularly across social platforms:
- Use a social media management tool to plan and post content automatically across all your social media accounts
- Post and link to new content on your website immediately after it has been published
- Add links to any updated content on your website
- Post and link to relevant content on your website soon after the topic area, service, or product starts trending
- Respond with a link to relevant content on your website when users ask you about a particular topic, service, or product
- React to comments, likes, and shares promptly
- Use different social media features like polls and surveys to interact with your audience and encourage them to share their views
4. Add Social Plugins to Your Content Management System
When you share high-quality content on your website, readers might want to share it on their social media accounts. That’s why you should add social plugins to your website. Social plugins make it seamless for your website visitors to share high-value content on their social media platforms.
If you don’t have social media plugins, your website visitors will have to copy and paste the URL to share it with others, which is very unlikely since most users leave a website within 10 to 20 seconds.
5. Be Social
Actively replying to comments and shares can also increase social signals. It also proves to your users that a human, not a bot, manages your profile. As you respond to comments and shares, leverage the opportunity by sharing additional relevant content.
6. Prioritize High-Quality Content
You might get carried away by the latest trends and post-low-quality content. However, your social media followers follow you for a reason. Most follow you because you post relevant content about your products, services, or company.
As such, you should prioritize high-quality content to generate more views, shares, and comments. Here are a few tips for creating high-quality social media content:
7. Build Partnerships
Every brand and content creator strives to get more engagement on social media. So, it’s advisable to foster partnerships with other brands and content creators to increase engagement. Sharing valuable content from other creators and users allows you to do just that. It is a cost-effective way of diversifying your content. You can also encourage them to share your content to get more likes, shares, and followers.
8. Avoid Black Hat Social Media Strategies
Using black hat SEO strategies such as buying followers, bots, and spamming social networks can ruin your reputation. Social media platforms might burn you immediately if they find out you are using these illegal strategies.
9. Work With Influencers
Influencers and content creators already have a large following, and working with the right one can widen your reach and boost your brand’s credibility and awareness. Moreover, you will get high-value content you can repurpose across your social media profiles and other marketing channels.
However, you must choose the right influencer to harness these benefits. Discover tips to find the right influencer for your brand below:
10. Use Open Graph Meta Tags to Make Your Content More Clickable and Shareable
Open graph meta tags are essentially pieces of code that influence how website content looks when shared on a social media platform. Using open graph tags will make your content more attractive in social media feeds. Above all, these tags provide more information about your content. It also helps social media algorithms understand your content, which can increase visibility.
11. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Honest Reviews
Online customers rely on reviews when deciding whether to work with a particular brand. Unsurprisingly, search engines consider reviews a key ranking factor, especially for local SEO ranking. With that in mind, you should encourage your customers to leave honest reviews on your social media account.
To do that, you can send a thank you message to a customer after delivering a service or a product. Remember to add a link where customers can review your brand on social media or local business listings.
12. Use PPC to Boost Your Content
You can also leverage paid ads to increase your social signals. Paid ads can also help you improve brand awareness and reach a wider audience. Furthermore, they are also measurable. Promoting your best-performing content will increase the visibility and exposure of your content.
Invest in Your Social Signals and SEO Rankings Today
Social signals significantly impact your SERP rankings and increase your online visibility, awareness, and presence. So, invest your time and money to improve your social signals today. If you don’t have the budget or the resources to enhance your social signals and Google ranking, you can work with the #1 San Diego SEO company. Get in touch with our amazing team at JetRank to discover how we can improve your site’s social signals for SEO.