Social media marketing has become the most successful component of online marketing strategies, making it the most effective and cost-efficient way of marketing businesses online. While certain benefits may be obvious, the impact of social media marketing on merchants’ SEO is a bit of a mystery. Read this article by the BoostSales by Newgen team to learn how social media affects your SEO performance and your online sales.

Does Social Media Marketing directly impact SEO performance?

One cannot deny that the practices of social media marketing and SEO are tightly interwoven and share the same ultimate goal – attracting new users. Despite the fact that search engines have often claimed that social media signals do not have a direct impact on website rankings, experience proves that social media is a powerful tool to leverage to boost your SEO rankings.

A correlation study done by MOZ in 2015 on search engine ranking factors concluded that social signals do matter in a brand’s social engine ranking. The study established that both the quantity and quality of your social signals (Facebook, Twitter, Google +1s etc.) on a page are correlated with higher search engine rankings, and also disclosed that these research or observations are identified characteristics of web pages that rank higher.

Of course, social media marketing strategies enhance your SEO performance only when they are tailored to your audience. Many merchants have actually experienced a gradual decrease in their webstore visitors when they did not prioritize their social media presence.

A 52-page report produced by Econsultancy in association with SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) found that almost half of all companies (45%) say that social media is ‘highly integrated’ into their SEO strategy as compared to just 24% of paid search engine marketing and 16% of mobile marketing. Hence, as a merchant, your presence and engagement on social media will help you to improve your brand’s search engine rankings.

Now that we have established that social media marketing enhances your SEO, let’s take a look at the 2 essential factors of social media marketing that impact search engine rankings:

1. Quality Backlinks: The reason why content marketing strategy (one of the aspects of social media marketing) is trending in recent times is because backlinks are primarily achieved through creating original content. Sharing your original content on social media boosts your SEO efforts. Thus, when your brand’s blog posts or product launches are shared across social media timelines and generate new clicks and pageviews, search engines rank your social media profiles and websites accordingly.

Linking your website to your social media profiles also optimizes your social media accounts, which in turn improves your SEO. For example, does your business have an official LinkedIn page? Link back to your website in the information section to let people know about your business. When such links are connected to your social media platforms and to your websites, they serve as a guide for search engines to understand which websites are “official” for the brand and how they should be ranked for specific keywords. This is exceptionally important for B2B marketers, because it helps you find the right audience for your business from inbound search results of your brands/product lines.

2. Every social media platform is essentially a search engine: Audiences on social media platforms are more and more often searching for specific products or services within social media platforms, to gain more specific and contextual results. For example, LinkedIn and Slideshare are important B2B connection hubs to help you get in touch with your targeted audience. Facebook and Twitter are constantly releasing new features to better market B2C brands to their users in their timelines and trending results – for example, Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature.

For example, Facebook added a verification step to the business profile pages which includes a blue badge or gray badge (depending on the page type) to give these pages authenticity. This is similar to what the Google My Business feature does, where you can manage the online presence of your business across Google by verifying and editing your business information to get in touch with your customers and be more visible in search results. In addition to concentrating on organic SEO advantages, social media platforms like Facebook give the ability to the owner of the business to prepare strategic content that can be linked back to specific pages on their websites, blog or other social forums. to better funnel inbound visitors to the right content.

In order to optimize your social media presence to benefit your SEO performance, the objective should be to establish a comprehensive presence on all major social media platforms. However, simply getting more likes, shares or retweets on your social media posts won’t directly impact your search engine rankings – although these can enhance the impact of user metrics that trigger algorithm variables in search engine rankings.

More importantly, your SEO performance will benefit from publishing relevant, interactive and share-worthy content across your social media profiles, whether it be blog articles, infographics or videos. These generate more direct interaction and traction from your social media presence, which in turn drives more direct and referral traffic to your website. By preparing a systematic social media strategy, you can consistently achieve your targets and be rewarded with increased visibility and better brand awareness.

Need help in enhancing your SEO for better brand awareness? Reach us today for a consultation.