With all of the talk today about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, it’s important to understand the role of social media outlets like these and the relationship they have with search engine optimization. The internet is always evolving, and these days it’s all about providing users with a unique experience based on their own content and preferences.
The most successful sites online are the ones that allow the users to drive. Facebook, for example, simply provides a framework for billions of users to interact with each other. This is the future of the internet and the future of SEO and SEM. It is important for all of my clients to know that social media campaigns are important to SEO success because they keep users engaged and keep the client’s business fresh in the minds of the customers.
All of the major players, including Google and Bing, have begun to hop on board with the social aspects of the internet and, as I tell my clients over and over, they should too!
How Social Media Affects SEO
In 2011, Google launched another step in its effort to implement social aspects of online users with its search engine results – the Google +1 Button. The +1 button allows you to “vote” or “like” any article or page you find out in the wild, wild internet! Google calculates this data from its users and then uses the data to re-organize search results in order to provide the best results possible for search queries.
This is a perfect example of how social marketing affects SEO and your website. Not only does the +1 button send information to Google, but if a user +1s a page then that page will show up more prominently in the Google searches of that user’s friends! In other words, Google is saying, “Hey, your friend Jason liked this page when he searched for ‘adopt a dog’, maybe you will too?” It makes sense!
Google+ Isn’t The Only Factor
In 2016, Google is still trying to find itself in the social world. They’ve gone back and forth with making Google+ more prominent by forcing users to have an account to use certain services like YouTube, only to revert it when faced with backlash from an angry community. They’ve dismantled a lof of the Google+ platform and it’s still not clear where they are heading with it.
Regardless of Google’s current “awkward tween phase” as a social media platform, they can still read and factor in data from the other established platforms. Facebook’s “Like” and Twitter’s “Follow” buttons are major indicators for how authoritative a brand / website is as a whole.
What About Customer Reviews?
Google is now factoring customer reviews and SEO as a strong correlation to help it decide what websites are good, what sites provide quality service, and what sites make users unhappy. Without the help of people leaving reviews on sites like Kudzu, SuperPages, Angie’s List, etc., there would be no way for Google to determine which businesses provide quality service and which businesses provide less-than-great service.
With the help of rich snippets, Google can factor in an aggregate review score from hundreds of third-party review sites like Yelp, Facebook and Angie’s List. A lot of SEO companies focus solely on Google+ Reviews, however these third-party review sites can be every bit as crucial for Google determining the rating and authority of a business.
The Bottom Line on Social Marketing and SEO
Social media marketing is an important part of SEO and will become increasingly important as time goes on because it reduces the impact of computers and algorithms from the search engine’s ranking system and truly lets the people decide what sites are best. If you don’t implement social marketing in your SEO campaign then you’re missing the boat and are bound to be left behind. It’s also likely to be increasingly difficult for you to catch up to those that started early.
So, stand up and embrace social media and social marketing. It’s the future!