The Surprising Beneficial Effects of Social Media on SEO Rankings

Social media and search engines

Likes and comments are more than just fun in the eyes of Google

As digital marketers, we understand the general usefulness of social media. It’s good for brand awareness and public relations, but we’ve never really focused on it as a vehicle to drive significant traffic to our websites. Guess what? That is no longer the case. While social media platforms don’t affect SEO directly, the indirect paths they take are worth noting. 

Google is paying attention

It’s nice to see Likes and Comments on our social media posts. It means our customers are paying attention, engaging with our content, and becoming more familiar with our brand. In the digital scape, however, those Likes and Comments are more significant to help understand the E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) aspects of the content. Google acknowledges Likes and Comments as relevancy. The more relevant the content, the more Google will like it and want to “talk about it.”

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Have you taken the time to secure your social media platforms for your business? Even if you don’t have a plan for content yet, it’s important to set up, at the very least, a basic profile. With nearly 4.5 billion people worldwide that use social media, 82% of them in North America, social media isn’t something to skip out on. Customers may even search for your brand there FIRST, before doing a Google search. If you aren’t going to be active on your social media account immediately, be sure and let your customers know with a brief note that content will be coming soon. Remember those “under construction” images for websites from the old days? Same idea. 

Let’s get back to Google and search rankings. Since when does Google list social media information? Since Now.

Search listings and social media

Search any brand on Google that has active social media platforms, and you will see more than the typical ranked links to a myriad of information about the brand. You might see a series of their latest Tweets set up in carousel format, links to their Facebook posts, or an image search that takes you to their Pinterest account. At the very least, you’ll see the logos of which profiles are active for the brand. That lets people know to look for you on those platforms, which leads to them engaging with your content, which inadvertently lets Google know you are relevant. See the circle? It’s one worth pursuing. 

The value of good social media content

There’s nothing that will make your customers brand ambassadors more quickly than sharing good, valuable – shareable – content. When customers find something of value on Facebook, for example, they are likely to share it on their own Facebook page, or Instagram account. Again, Google is paying attention. So even though a post on Facebook doesn’t directly affect your SEO ranking, it definitely is an attributable ranking factor. 

Let’s talk about screen space

When you search for something on Google, a business listing with a Tweet carousel from a Twitter feed takes up much more space than a listing that doesn’t. The more Google has available to share about your brand, the further down the list customers will have to scroll to see your competition. The moral of the story here is not to disregard the impact social media platforms can have on SEO Marketing ranking factors. Those are a large contributing factor to what makes a brand relevant, and Google thrives on relevant content.

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Matthew Jonas is president and co-founder of TopFire Media. As TopFire Media’s brand steward, he defines high-impact digital PR and marketing strategies for an impressive cache of consumer and franchise-based clientele.
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