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Customer Experience and Design

5 Ways Social Media Impacts SEO

It’s important to maintain an active social media presence as part of your overall marketing plan. But much remains unclear around how social media can influence search engine rankings.

While some experts claim there is a strong correlation between social media performance and search rankings, others equally disagree. In fact, Google has explicitly stated it does not incorporate social media activity in its search algorithm. The only thing that’s for certain when it comes to social media and SEO is that very little is certain at all.

So … what’s my point?

5 Positive Impacts to Your Website

Don’t fear. There are still a handful of reasons why optimizing your social media channels can positively impact traffic to your website.

1. Great Content + Social Shares = Quality Backlinks (Sometimes)

Earning backlinks from reputable websites remains an important component to achieving strong search engine rankings. If your content is getting a high number of shares on social media, it’s likely that some portion of those folks passing it along will write articles on their own sites (and include a link back to your content). It can also help build citations (i.e., unlinked mentions of your brand name on other websites), which are also correlated with improved rankings.

2. Google Indexes Tweets on Both Mobile & Desktop Searches

While Google once only indexed tweets for mobile searches, it recently added tweets to desktop searches as well.

Whether they appear or not is influenced by a number of factors, including how frequently keywords or hash tags are used over a given period of time, the authoritativeness of accounts discussing a topic, strength of engagement (e.g., clicks, favorites, retweets and impressions) and more.

3. Google+ Impacts Search Personalization

If a user is logged into their Google account, Google+ posts from other accounts they follow may appear in search results.

4. Including Keywords in Profile Bios May Help (Even Slightly)

Including keywords about your business in your biography and “About Us” sections in your social media profiles can help search engines understand what your business is
about. This is due to the proximity of the keywords to the link back to your website that should also be somewhere near your bio or About section. The SEO value here is likely marginal, but it is one simple ranking factor to consider. Remember not to overdo it, however. No one likes keyword stuffing, and that includes people and search engines alike.

5. Ranking Search Profiles Can Help Fill Search Results With Your Branding

Your social media profiles themselves will likely rank for branded search terms (ex: YOUR BRAND + [INSERT KEYWORD]). They will likely rank directly beneath URLs on your
main website, which may help hog additional real estate in the search results.

Do you have any insights or opinions to share on the intersection of SEO and social media? Join the conversation on Twitter @sundogtweets.

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