Do Social Signals Really Impact SEO?

In the world of digital marketing, social media and SEO are two topics that tend to dominate the conversation and leave business owners frantically searching for new strategies to improve their brand’s overall performance. Now, the most pressing question becomes, are social media signals and SEO two separate issues or are they intrinsically connected? While companies like Google and Bing have adamantly stated that social media is not a factor in their search engine’s algorithm, there is growing evidence to support the argument that social signals do, in fact,  have an impact on your website’s search engine performance. In order to understand the correlation between social signals and SEO, it’s important to take a look at what constitutes a social signal and then create a strategy for your business based on your individual goals and needs.

What is a Social Signal?

Social signals refer to any kind of engagement on your brand’s social media accounts that would increase the visibility of your page. A few examples of social signals include tweets, retweets, Facebook shares and mentions on community forums like Reddit and Tumblr. Aside from your own posts, these signals are considered valuable because they demonstrate how your audience is reacting to your content. For instance, a brand with a high number of shares or retweets on their posts will appear more reputable than a brand with low post engagement. Improving your social signals doesn’t just increase your page’s visibility; it provides you with an assertive command over your niche market.

How Does that Impact SEO?

Thanks to the mystery surrounding Google’s search engine algorithm, it can be hard to determine how exactly social signals are factoring into your page’s performance. Despite claims from both Google and Bing that social media isn’t considered an SEO factor, there is undeniable evidence that social signals will improve your organic rankings. As stated above, Google has a tendency to favor web pages that are seen as reputable or offer a positive user experience. Social signals can increase the overall awareness of your brand and give you a much needed leg-up on your competition. Interestingly, Google has also partnered with Twitter to include relevant tweets in their search results. This might be the most compelling piece of evidence to suggest that social signals are playing a larger role in SEO than many people originally believed.

How Can I Improve My Social Signals?

First and foremost, social signals are about engagement and it’s difficult to gain traction if your content isn’t relevant. You should always begin by establishing a solid social media strategy that will accurately represent your brand and give your audience something worth sharing. 

Tips for Social Media Engagement:

  • Post regularly. Your audience can’t share what you don’t post!
  • Images create captivating content.
  • Respond and interact with your audience daily.
  • Utilize contests to increase shares.
  • Maximize your efforts across multiple platforms.

The Verdict:

There’s no denying that social media signals are playing a role in your website’s SEO performance. By incorporating a good social media strategy into your existing SEO game plan, you can start to gain the organic search engine rankings that your brand deserves.