How Social Media Affects SEO

by Vered DeLeeuw

Social media is mostly about getting your brand out there and having conversations with prospects and customers. It’s also about social listening – listening to conversations about your brand and responding as appropriate. But using social media can also help with search engine optimization.

Search engines, and especially Google, place a lot of value on backlinks – those links you get from other websites that point to your own site or blog. Regardless of how great your on-page optimization is, you need backlinks to convince Google that your site is legitimate, and if you can get high quality backlinks from reputable sites, that’s way better than those zero-pagerank sites that many SEO companies maintain for getting their customers tons of low-quality backlinks.

For social media to get you links, you have to do social media properly. By “properly” I mean:
1. Regularly producing high-quality content and posting it to your social media accounts.
2. Maintaining your social media accounts daily, keeping them vibrant and engaging.
3. Showing interest in what others are saying, responding to them, retweeting and repinning; asking questions and answering them.

If you do social media properly, it’s very likely that after a few months, people will start noticing you. If your content is good, they will pay attention to what you say. Sometimes they will retweet, repin or share your content.

Some of these people that now notice you have blogs of their own, and if they really like what you are saying, they might even link to your blog from their blog. Score!

Case in point: one of my clients has a highly authentic blog and Twitter account. Both are not big, but the client is a true expert at what she does and it shows. I manage her Twitter account, which only follows relevant people in her space. It’s not a big Twitter account, but it’s focused and effective. A few weeks ago, I had started following someone that seemed relevant and interesting. A couple of weeks later, that someone published a new blog post on their own high-pagerank, high quality blog, where they mentioned my client’s blog and linked to it.

You don’t need more than a few of these high quality links to do really well with Google.

So if someone ever asks you why social media is important, the main reason is still “brand recognition,” but you can certainly add that “it helps with search engine optimization.”

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