Search rankings are still critical for SEO even though many other methods of driving traffic and generating leads by going beyond search engines are now available.  Visibility matters a lot in online marketing and coupled with search rankings it provides a cutting edge in marketing. To derive the best results from online marketing with a complete focus on gaining high ranks by maintaining high visibility, marketers are increasingly using social media alongside SEO even though these are two completely different applications. The combined powers of the two marketing techniques provide a lot of benefits like more targeted traffic to websites with higher chances of conversion. However, there should be enough clarity about using these methods so that these can complement each other for maximizing marketing gains.

For effectively implementing SEO together with social media marketing there has to be a clear understanding of the kind of impact social media can have on SEO especially in relation to search rankings. The ever-changing Google algorithms have influenced SEO over the past many years that now takes into account the role played by content for generating engagement. It has resulted in SEO becoming more content-centric and underlined the importance of blending social media with SEO strategies according to the marketing needs.

The integration of SEO and social media is happening despite not knowing very clearly how much is the impact of social media on search rankings.  Earlier, Google had acknowledged that it uses social signals for search rankings. Therefore it becomes necessary to explore how much influence the social media exerts on search rankings to understand how much sense it makes to use SEO and Social media in tandem.

The link between social media and search engines

It is true that Google does not factor social media signals into its search algorithm, but at the same time, it has admitted using social signals to gauge the authority and influence of social media profiles. Since Google uses the authority exerted by websites online as a factor to evaluate the merit of sites, it becomes clear that there is an indirect impact of the social media on search rankings. This has encouraged marketers to take their businesses to the social media platforms for exploiting its powers in gaining visibility and outreach that can help to push up search rankings.

Although Google and Bing had admitted in 2010 about how it uses social signals for search rankings, suddenly in 2014, it came to light that Google does not use social media signals anymore for search rankings.  The admission came from none other than Matts Curtis, the former head of web spam wing of Google in a tell-all video release and therefore carried a lot of weight. This was the time when Google’s access to Twitter network was suspended temporarily and that made Google apprehensive about the uninterrupted availability of social signals to search engines.

Today, when we analyze the above events in the backdrop of current conditions, it becomes clear that a lot of things have changed in between. Despite Google’s assertion about not using social media signals, it is surprising that the social media links are now much more visible in search results. It further adds to the confusion about Google’s stand about not using social media signals. During the last four years, Facebook and Twitter pages have become much more visible in search results.

According to the experts at Webmetrix Group, an SEO company, by following the trail of events over the last few years and taking into consideration the latest trends of search results, it leaves little to doubt about the importance of using social media and SEO together. While implementation of the social media and SEO will be entirely different, it would help to achieve the common goals of earning better ranks in SERP. If you are wondering what would be the right approach in integrating social media with SEO, then keep reading this article to gain some insights about it.

Content promotion on social media

Since pushing up the search rankings is the ultimate SEO goal and there is enough evidence about social media playing an indirect role in achieving it, using social media for promoting content is the most fundamental step that you should take. The extent of content promotion has a direct impact on search rankings. Search rankings improve by developing content that spreads far and wide through sharing, and there is nothing better than the social media for doing it.  For popularizing content and gaining an appreciation that search engines would notice, you have to spread it through the social media because the shares and comments are like votes that search engines give due weightage.

By publishing high-quality content on social media platforms, it becomes easy to spread the right word through sharing which when done widely can even become viral and provide huge publicity.  Choosing the right social media platforms for publishing content is essential because you must take the content to places where the audience belongs.

Besides garnering attention from the social media campaign, there are other gains too. The campaign generates incoming links which although not useful for influencing search rankings to ensure that viewers stay closely engaged for a longer period. It results in a reduction of bounce rate and conveys a positive signal to search engines about the excellent quality of websites.  Search engines interpret the signals generated from the engagement levels to understand the authority and worth of sites that help it to qualify for better ranks. As a strategy, you should use the best website content for promoting it on social media that creates higher engagement and enhances traffic flow to your website.

Enhanced engagement level

The time that visitors spend on social media and remain engaged to the content is a critical factor for search engines in evaluating its quality. Launching a content promotion campaign on social media based on solid strategy paves the way for creating prolonged engagement. The engagement factor works in favor of SEO. To evaluate the engagement level, search engines monitor the bounce rate which is a measure of the speed at which visitors quit websites. Faster quitting increases the bounce rate that reflects poorly on the quality of the website as search engines consider that visitors quit sites due to its inferior quality. On the contrary, lower bounce rate corresponds to better engagement level and helps to push up search rankings.  Better engagement means better content served to viewers and search engines reward the websites with higher ranks.

Top quality content is useful for enhancing your online reputation as you demonstrate more authority and position your business as a leader in the niche. It gathers full attention and enjoys high sharing thereby improving your outreach and creating new relationships that bolster the customer base.  Popular content on social media that creates high engagement will qualify for top ranks for the category to which it belongs.

Strengthen link building through social sharing

Now is the age of influencer marketing and the best gain from content promotion on social media is that your content receives the attention of influencers who spend a lot of time on the social media platforms.  It gives you the splendid opportunity of building relationships with influencers which is the dream of any online marketer. When you publish quality content on social media, it will surely attract influencers who could find enough reasons to promote it and derive more value from it. As the content enjoys more sharing, the influencers would be interested in linking with it from their own blogs and websites thereby giving the opportunity of building a relationship with them. When the content speaks for itself, everything else falls in place.

When influencers connect with your content and website, you earn high-value links that enriches your site which search engines reward by pushing up search rankings. Looking back you will realize that all this has been possible only because you chose to use the social media to augment the SEO campaign.

The social media campaign helps to build a robust inventory of quality backlinks which is still very much important for search rankings. The social media exposure is special because no other online platforms can match it. The backlinks obtained via social media route are valuable because it comes from qualified sources that can drive targeted traffic to websites. The social media exposure multiplies link acquiring opportunities and establishes the underlying connection between SEO and social media. The link inventory became diverse and enriched that improves the ranking prospects many more times.

Rank better by capitalizing on brand awareness

Social media has enormous powers in building brands and creating brand awareness because of its high sharing features that make it easier to influence people.  The process of brand familiarization gets a boost as viewers can quickly learn in details about the brand from many other people who have reposed their trust in it. With growing brand reputation on the social media, the brand value surges ahead.

Better engagement, more brand awareness, stronger backlinks, and improved content promotion – the social media opens new avenues for driving traffic that goes beyond search rankings.

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