There is no doubt that in recent years social media has changed the way we interact with the world and each other – and depending on who you ask the impact has been both positive and negative.

Businesses have also been impacted by social media in many ways, from better brand awareness to amplified customer complaints, businesses social media have seen it all.

But what impact can social media have on the Google ranking of a business’ website? In this article we are going to explore just how a website can be affected by social media, and how we at Equity Digital provide organic growth for our clients.

Social media impact on SEO rankings

Does social media directly help rankings?

Google itself has confirmed on several occasions that social media accounts are not officially counted as a ranking factor for a website.

However, there is in fact an indirect link, as Google have also confirmed that social signals (likes, shares and follows) do have a relationship with the organic ranking of websites of the respective accounts.   

So, if the social media accounts of your business have good social signals, then this can have a direct impact on your organic growth.

Direct traffic from social pages

The potential for direct traffic to come to your website from your social media posts is an appealing factor for using social media as part of your organic growth.

Any increase in traffic to a site also signals to Google that people are finding your content interesting.

Content promotion

Many businesses use content marketing to inform and engage their followers. They create various types of content on their website but then don’t leverage it with their social media, just leaving it to sit on the website.

By using social media to share and promote your content, it has the ability to reach a wider range of people, and there’s a likelihood that one or more of those people would not have seen your business before.  

Improved ranking

When people are in what we refer to as the ‘information seeking stage’ of their buying journey – that is they want to find out as much as possible about a particular product or service, they often head to search engines.

With Google’s algorithms constantly improving, social media accounts are ranking in search engine results better than ever, you can search a business name and their social media will rank sometimes even higher than their website. This only further helps your organic effort.

Good for local SEO

Depending on your business, social media can be good for your local SEO efforts.

Consumers like to get recommendations and reviews from other consumers. While a lot of people head to Google search for this, people are increasingly relying on social media to inform their decision on a locally based business.

Word of mouth marketing is still the foundation of marketing, and social media is the biggest way to do this.

Build trust

Consumers are savvier now than they ever were before. They want to know more about a business and the people involved, and want to be kept up to date on business updates.

Consumers also want to feel a connection with a brand, and social media helps businesses do this.

Transparency of a business helps builds trust and in doing so, consumers reward them with loyalty.

The best social media for SEO

There is no best social media that will automatically help your organic website traffic.

Social media management for your business takes time but also it requires you to understand who your customers are and what they are looking for from you.

Just having a particular social media channel for the sake of it won’t help if your customers are not engaging much with that platform. That’s why understanding the customer is so important.

If you decide you want all the social channels and are just starting out, pick a few channels to concentrate on and then when you have enough traction move to another platform.  

Also, for social media to have an impact on your organic growth you will need to optimise your accounts.

Optimising your social media accounts

Just like optimising your website for SEO, your social media accounts also need optimising if you want to maximise the potential to your business.

Although this will be a different process than optimising for SEO, social media optimisation of your account will include:

  • Clear and concise brand name

Having a brand name that’s easily identified to your business will help people recognise your business.

You need to stick to the same name as your business (if it hasn’t already been taken) so that people recognise you and not hurt any potential SEO or conversions.

  • Updated bio

Having a bio is one thing but having an updated one is even better. You need to optimise your bio so that it reflects any recent changes to the core aspects of your business.

  • High quality images

The quality of your social media images not only convey that you’re a serious and competent business but help to get your message across.

A picture says a thousand words

  • Hashtags

These are often the keywords for your business, be it the services you offer or your products. They are also related to any content that you put on your social channels.

It’s through hashtags that people find out about things and they make social media more social.

The four main ways to optimise your social media accounts are vital but not exhaustive of all the methods – the rest should be relevant to your overall social media strategy. There is much more to social media, and it must be done in a consistent way.

Same rules different way

The rules of marketing have not altogether changed due to the increasing presence of social media in business.

A deep understanding of your customer, the value of your offer to them and managing changes are all still essential pillars of marketing – it’s just done in a different way.

The social media accounts of a business are another ecosystem that does not exist alone but rather intertwined with your website, bricks-and-mortar store etc. They add another layer of visibility to your business making it an important part of your SEO strategy.

Like any other part of your business, the impact of social media can only be positive one if you use it as intended, update and post quality engaging content on a frequent basis. 

For social media to have an impact on your business you need to remember to keep it social and demonstrate that you have people behind your business. So get involved – share, like, create and engage your followers and you’ll make an impact.

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