Does posting on social media help your SEO?

Yes. But probably not in the way you think.

Technically speaking, Google tells us that social media is NOT a direct ranking factor. However, when it comes to what Google says, there’s two sides to every coin.

Having a social media profile with a link to your site is probably not going to make a difference to your SEO. So if you were thinking you’d just login to each social network, set up an account and add a link and be finished, then you are definitely wasting your time.

So how does social media affect SEO?

Branding

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is the extent to which the general public (or an organization’s target market) can identify a brand by its attributes, such as logos, slogans, and colors.

And brand recognition won’t start just because you have a social media account, you have to use the social media account. As you start to post on social media and build a following, your authority will also increase. As your authority and brand increases, people will naturally start to share your posts, retweets, etc.

The more people are talking about you, the more your brand recognition will grow.

The more people who are seeing your social signals, the more likely they are to click through to your site. When more people click through to your site, Google knows that site is getting more traffic, and that definitely can affect SEO. If Google is seeing that social signals are sending more folks to your site, then maybe your site has become a trusted authority.

Is it a direct correlation? No. Is there a correlation? Yes.

If your social posting is driving traffic to your site, increasing the shares, and getting folks talking about you, that will definitely affect SEO.

Social Media posts show up in search results

The other day, I was searching for something I’d seen somewhere, and one of the SERPs I got showed a tweet about the thing I was Googling. Your social media postings can get delivered to users as results in Google. And while the fact that you have that social post doesn’t mean much, if it’s showing up in search results and driving traffic to your site, then it’s definitely helping your SEO.

Inbound Links are still the #1 factor in SEO rankings

Links to your site are the number one factor in SEO, but they are harder and harder to get. I always say that the best way to get links is by writing great content. Of course, great content is meant to be shared.

And where do you share great content? On social networks. And if you are sharing your content on social networks, it’s more likely to get picked up by others who may then share it and link back to you from their own websites.

By sharing content on social media, you increase the chances that someone else may link to your site. And links help SEO.

So what should you do to make sure that your social media strategy is helping your SEO?

Start by optimizing all your profiles. Use the same colors, logos, slogans, and photos across all networks to increase brand recognition. Someone should see your profile and know immediately who you are. Make sure to include your website link in your profile.

Should you be on all platforms? Probably not. Learn more about which social platforms you should be investing your time in.

social engagement

Start engaging on the platforms. Like I said, just having an account isn’t enough. You have to use it. And that doesn’t mean you login and post one status a day and then go back to work. Engagement is a two-way street. You need to follow people. If you have 1000 followers but you don’t follow anybody? That’s no good.

Really read what other people are posting, and respond. One of the most helpful thing you can do is respond to people on social platforms with answers to their questions. Loads of people turn to social media with their questions. What are you an expert at? Find those questions and answer them!

Use hashtags. Using trending, relevant hashtags will put your posting in front of more users who are looking at that topic. Hashtags are a way to group postings on the same topic. Don’t just makeup hashtags and put them on the end of your post. Make sure people are using them.

Additionally, don’t hijack unrelated hashtags to get your posting seen. Using a trending hashtag about a celebrity won’t help your plumbing business.

Add social share buttons to your website. If you want your users to share your content, make it easy! Put social share buttons on your website. Plugins like AddToAny make it easy.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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