Social media and search engine optimization (SEO). Two very different aspects of digital marketing… or so we think. But in the reality that is the digital marketing landscape, social media and SEO are on different sides of the same coin.
If you are plugged into the digital world as much as my co-workers and I are, then you may have heard about this debate – does social media impact a website’s search engine rankings?
Before we answer that question, let’s define a few terms so we are all on the same page:
- Social Media: websites and applications that allow people to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
- SEO: the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website to users of a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) through unpaid methods.
Okay, now back to that question. Does social media impact SEO? Based on the definitions you just read, what do you think? Maybe? Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of it.
Impact of Social Media on SEO
Social media has a direct impact on several factors that affect a website’s search engine rankings. One of those factors is driving website traffic.
SEO is largely affected by website traffic, and social media positively impacts your website traffic by providing more visibility. When social media is shared, no matter the platform, people will have the chance to engage with your content and visit your website. The more this occurs, the better your search engine ranking will eventually become. Aside from the increase in website traffic, trending tweets, specifically, can rank in search engine results too.
Let’s focus on that word for a moment – “visibility.” That’s the whole point, right? Making sure your website appears in the search results earlier than others. Making it more “visible.” Social media ensures your content reaches as many people as possible. Through search engines, people only find your content if they are searching for something specific (keywords). Through social media, you may get content in front of people who wouldn’t have thought twice about “Googling” it. To put it simply, more reach equals more traffic, and that positively affects your search engine rankings.
What is Local SEO and How Does Social Media Affect It?
One more definition, I promise. Local search engine optimization (Local SEO), similar to SEO, is the process of optimizing a website to rank better for a local audience. Your business information (name, address, phone number, etc.) plays an important role in local search engine results. If this information is consistent and available through all social media profiles, it makes your website more credible and helps in the search engine rankings.
In addition, geo-tagging your social media posts can help your website gain more visibility among your Local SEO audience, ultimately expanding your reach.