Does Social Media Help?
Social media engagement is not a ranking factor in Google results. So, that must mean it doesn’t help with SEO, right? Wrong! Your social media presence may not directly improve SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), but it will indirectly. In fact, it could be a crucial piece of the puzzle for your brand.
So, how does social media improve your SEO and help you rank higher in Google search results? Here are the biggest ways it will help …
1. Spreading Your Brand
According to SEMrush’s Ranking Factors research, the most important SEO ranking factor on Google is ‘direct website visits’.
‘Direct’ visits are times when users enter your web address into their browser rather than clicking on a link from another website or a search engine. They could do this by typing the URL in by themselves, clicking on a bookmark, or even following a link from an offline source (e.g. a PDF or Word document). (See Moz’s full guide on Direct traffic.)
You can probably guess why Google takes this sort of thing as a good sign. Typing, bookmarking and PDF-linking a website suggest a recognisable brand with reliable content. Boosting your own brand and its recognition will encourage your target audience to do the same.
Nowadays, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn play a leading role in growing and establishing your brand, earning more Direct visitors in the future.
2. More Traffic, More Engagement
No, website traffic itself is not a ranking factor on Google:
Hi Suhas! No, traffic to a website isn’t a ranking factor. If you’re starting to get relevant traffic & users love your site, that’s a good start though!
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) August 26, 2019
But according to SEMrush’s research, engagement is. Their top 4 SEO ranking factors, in order of importance, include:
- Direct website visits
- Time spent on your website
- Number of pages visited in one visitor session
- Bounce rate: Proportion of website visitors who leave after visiting only one webpage.
By creating quality content, promoting it on social media and bringing in more ‘Social visitors’, you can deliver to a wider audience and gather more on-site engagement. With the right content, your Social audience’s engagement could be even better than other audiences, thus improving your site average and helping you rank better in search results.
As our client’s Google Analytics stats (UK only) show, their website has had its own share of Social visitors in the past few months.
These particular visitors have had a consistently positive number of pages per session and bounce rate. They also had a longer dwell time on the website (Avg. Session Duration) than Direct and Organic Search visitors did, bumping up the Avg. Session Duration overall.
3. Earning More Backlinks
We’ve covered how social media encourages users to check out your web content as Social visitors, maybe even bookmark the link and become Direct visitors. But more than that, they might share that link on their own websites and bring you ‘Referral’ visitors.
When other domains are ‘referring’ visitors to you by linking to your website (at your end, this is a ‘backlink’), it makes your website look more reliable.
Below SEMrush’s top 4 SEO ranking factors, the next 2 are:
- Total referring domains
- Total backlinks
Producing helpful, high-quality content encourages others to link to it (as we have been linking to other pieces here). Spreading it on social media will only help to beef up those backlinks and improve your SEO in the long term.
Improve Your SEO with the Power of Social Media
We’ve gone over the biggest reasons to use social media to improve SEO, using the most significant Google ranking factors. But there are plenty more reasons, more subtle ways that social media will benefit your brand, and it continues to grow every day. Make sure you keep up!
Now you know how social media improves SEO, do you need help building your brand, driving website traffic and earning backlinks through social media?
See if you could use our Social Media Marketing services.
For an all-round SEO service, visit our Search Engine Optimisation page.