The last 5 years has seen the rise of social media as a business tool, and the majority of companies have begun to realise how important social media can be for them in terms of marketing, gaining customer loyalty and building relationships with customers.

All this additional engagement got the online world excited about how this affected search engine rankings. Many SEOs started testing to see if social media could truly help SEO – looking for a direct link between content being shared and pages rising in ranking. Much to everyone’s disappointment, most of these tests showed no direct link to prove that social media helps SEO.

This does not mean that you should abandon your social media work. Social media can help SEO, but in more of an indirect way. By building social media platforms for your brand you can help to engage and interact with customers, increase traffic to your website and as a result see your website rankings rise. However using social media to help your rankings is not just about setting up your Facebook or Twitter pages. It is also vital to use it effectively and dynamically as this engagement is what can really help your website and online profile.

How does social media help increase your page rankings?

So how do search engines use your social media pages when they work out page rankings? Google is always updating its algorithms to make sure that its search output is as relevant as possible to its customers, and a high social media presence is one way of assessing the authority and relevance of your brand. The power of online interactions has seen Google pay increasing attention to the ways that businesses use their social media, but it’s important to realise that the power of social media lies in engagement with others. It is fairly easy to set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but you need to engage with customers, build up followers with a good authority and get your website content shared on social media.

Creating engagement and content sharing

Most SEO experts will rightly tell you that great content is vital to helping your site gain relevance in the search engines. You need to create engaging content to keep customers’ interest, and keep them coming back to your site. However once the content is on your site, you also need to get it out there. So how do you get potential customers over to see the wonderful content you have? This is where social media really starts to work for you. It is the ideal way to share your online content with your client base – and the better and more relevant the content is, the more likely these customers are to share it with to their friends and family, and to spread the word about what you have to offer. We all know how quickly social media posts can “go viral”, and with the right content you can increase your audience exponentially.

Link building and blogger relationships

A vital way to boost your search engine ranking is by link building – getting other high authority sites and blogs to host your content and link back to you. However it can be hard to find an effective way to reach out to people who may find your site interesting and who want to share your content. Cold calls and unsolicited emails are not always popular and it can be hard to know where to start. A far better way to gain an engaged influencer network is to start to interact with key businesses and bloggers on social media. Engage with bloggers who are relevant to your product, share their content and posts, follow them and get to know the content that they want to share. It is then far easier to make contact and to ask for them to help in promoting you to their followers.

Therefore we can see how social media can help SEO and contribute to your online success. By engaging, sharing and relationship building via your social media you can help boost your website’s search engine ranking.

For more information on how to use social media to help your SEO, contact us.