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How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

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Here’s a short clarification on how exactly social media can affect your eCommerce SEO strategy and answer the question; How Does Social Media Affect SEO?


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Even though Google has insisted for years that social media signals don’t affect their search engine rankings, marketers think otherwise.

While there’s no direct impact on search rankings, there’s no denying that the two practices share the goal – to attract new users.

This basically means that social media signals can indirectly impact search engine rankings in a number of ways.

And while Google’s search algorithms have evolved in complex ways over the years, this also means that social media can’t be ignored.



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Social Signals


The very first thing we should talk about are social signals, as Google has made it quite clear that signals like how many likes you have or how many friends or Instagram followers you might have don’t play a role in your search ranking.

This is justified since it would be too easy to cheat the Google’s search algorithm, plus Google can’t actually access all of the data it needs on social platforms.

Privacy restrictions that were implemented on social media stops Google’s crawlers from getting the information they need.

This is why they can’t take everything that happens on social media into account.



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The Power of Content

No one can deny the fact that content is one of the most important factors when talking about SEO.

But how does social media fit in?

Well, when you write a great blog post or an e-book, the most effective way to push your content in front of an audience is through social media.

The sharing buttons you’ll have on your blog will help you get a lot more traffic, which in turn will rank you higher in search engines.

This indirect way of affecting your rankings is really powerful, as you can write the best content in the world – nothing’s going to happen if there are not enough people reading it.


Social Media Can Help You Build Your Brand

While the impact of social media on SEO is limited, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to boost your reputation and improve on how people perceive your brand.

While having a high number of followers won’t impact your SEO efforts in any way, it will still drive a lot of traffic to your website – which is basically the same thing that SEO does for you.

There’s also the fact that more people will hear about your brand if you’re active on social media, which will make you quite easier to find via search engines.


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Links and Shares

Link building is one of the most important elements of any SEO campaign.

We all know social media is rich with link opportunities.

This is why so many marketers believe that great content with quality links will see rank improvements, even through social media.

This means that more shares a page gets, the more visible it will be to searchers.

This is why there’s a strong correlation between social shares, links, and search engine rankings – especially if the content that is shared is of high quality, which is essential for any web marketing campaign.


User Generated Content

User generated content is basically any form of content created by your audience.

From online reviews to social media posts and testimonials, user generated content will benefit you in a number of ways.

This will provide a flow of fresh and free content, both of which are critical for your SEO efforts.

Are we closer to understanding How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

The more followers you have on any social media platform, the better the opportunity for getting user generated content.

Another huge perk of having user generated content is that you’ll have insight into your audience’s interests and how they perceive your brand.

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. Seth Godin

This type of content is extremely valuable for e-commerce websites.

E-commerce sites often suffer from a lack of high-quality content, but their sales also benefit by having reviews and testimonials.


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Social Media Profiles Show in Search Engine Results

When you search businesses in a search engine, often their social media profiles will display with their official website.

This is extremely important, as companies can take up valuable spots at the top of the SERPs.

This result makes their competitors that rank for the same words less visible.

To achieve this, businesses have to make sure that their social media profiles are constantly engaging with the audiences.

So this answers; How Does Social Media Affect SEO?


Google Isn’t The Only Search Engine


Google is undoubtedly the largest search engine, with almost 70% of all searches.

However Google is not the only search engine you can use.

In fact, voice search has become more and more popular.

Bing is looking to take over a large portion of the market with new tactics.

Bing recognizes that Google isn’t taking social signals into account.

However, Bing uses the social authority of its users into account when assigning how to rank them.

This basically means that on Bing the number of followers and likes does matter. So when you’re ranking for this search engine, it’s worth building a large audience.


Conclusion – How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

While it’s true that social media has a limited impact on search engine rankings.

There’s still a huge benefit by having a huge social media presence.

If you take a look at some of the largest brands, they have excellent search engine rankings.

And also some of the largest social media presences around.

While likes and followers don’t directly impact their SEO efforts, they still benefit in a number of ways from that.

Which is why they are investing heavily into SEO and social media campaigns at the same time.

There’s also the fact that your content is most accessible through social media.

And great content is what matters the most when talking about SEO today.


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Remember when YouTube was bought by Google? 

They certainly knew, long before anyone else, that text was going to be usurped by images and that images were going to become the new language of the internet. 

And, boy, were they right? Because videos are now the top search medium, with images a close second and poor old written text trailing a long way behind in a miserable third place. 

And now it’s set to happen all over again – confirming Google’s original foresight about the ‘visual revolution’… 

This time the visionary is the mega-traffic social site, FaceBook, who recently paid ONE BILLION dollars – cash – for photo sharing site, Instagram. 

And if history teaches us anything it’s this: a business paying out these sorts of eye-watering sums isn’t goofing around, because they haven’t got much of a sense of humor – not where money is concerned! 

So if we want to make serious money on line, we need to jump on the Instagram bandwagon – just as the folks who jumped on the YouTube bandwagon early enough benefited big. 

And, if that hasn’t convinced you Instagram is for real, then allow me to tell you that world class brands as diverse as Starbucks, car maker Audi, Sharpie, and Victoria’s Secrets have entire departments devoted to sourcing, creating and putting a constant stream of tantalizing images on Instagram, promoting their products like gangbusters. 

And, like FaceBook and every other top flight business they wouldn’t be spending big bucks if it wasn’t bringing home the bacon in the form of new, profitable business. 


But – as heartening as that is… there’s a problem 

Because it’s one thing to know the planet’s best brands are already profiting big time from hiring expensive skilled photographers and technicians. And all dedicated to Instagram marketing. But – when you’re running a relatively small internet business – you simply can’t afford to tap into that high end level of expertise. 

So how are you ever going to know what you need to do to compete – let alone how to do it? 

Fear not… 

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