Social Signals: Are They A Ranking Factor?

Your business should be on social media.

After all, 55 percent of consumers have bought something through social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Your social media accounts and website URL are your online addresses. You can step up the game by taking care of these and making sure search engines recognize them. 

Did you also know that you can use social signals to power your marketing campaign? While this is a somewhat controversial subject, repeated research shows social likes, shares, and comments on your website can positively impact your Google ranking positions.

Before we delve deeper into this topic, let’s deal with the basics first.

What Are Social Signals?

Social signals are shares, likes, and comments your content attracts on social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Moving on.

What’s the Relation Between Social Signals and SEO?

While social signals are not an official Google ranking factor, they affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO) directly and indirectly.

Data analytics works as a bridge for the algorithm to understand human buying behavior. Social signals are customer impressions that have corresponding triggers to relevancy for search engines. 

Combining analytics, exceptional writing in your website pages, and social media presence, you are improving your search ranking. That eventually leads to traffic, improves lead generation, and boosts sales.

Metrics can help you measure your success in the business. And you also have that online. Social signals are barometers while SEO comes with measurable KPIs. 

Social signals can boost certain SEO elements to help you work on your visibility among a sea of competitors and vastness of the internet. So you see, there are many factors that can affect search rankings of sites, and social signals are one of them. 

We break it down further.

How Social Signals Directly Impact SEO

Here’s a rundown of the action pertaining how social signals directly influence SEO:

Social Signals Can Help Drive More Traffic to Your Website

The primary goal of SEO is to increase your website’s visibility and draw more visitors. While SEO can increase your site’s rank in SERPs and help boost the number of visitors, it isn’t the only strategy.

Online marketing is expansive. You should utilize multiple channels to capture your target audience scattered among these. Such are social media platforms that are itself, diverse in catering to audiences of different demographics. 

Social media sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit send their own “signals”. And as a business, you should know which one appeals to most of your potential customers. More often, you need to utilize more than one platform to broaden your reach. Social media also broadens your audience reach – as far as on the other side of the world. Take advantage of online sales opportunities. Who knows, yours is a global brand in the making.

By being active on social media and posting content your readers care to read, you’ll drive many more people to your website.

And, with over 4 billion people on social media today, there’s every chance your target audience is somewhere on these platforms. Put differently, some customers may find your business through search results but can benefit from your products or services.

In fact, if you’re a beginner in SEO, social media can help you draw more visitors to your website faster than search engines. Reaching a million from all over the world is possible, even, because of the expanse of the reach.

Besides, it can take months for your SEO efforts to bear fruits, and it makes perfect sense to leverage a strategy that generates your first visitors sooner.

So, if you’re a business still struggling to attract visitors to your website, it is time you started to learn how to boost your social signals.

More Social Signals = More Trust

One of the reasons businesses invest in SEO is to attract trust among their target customers.

And, with many businesses going online, it means that potential clients have many options available to choose from. Even though more options are good, it makes it harder for consumers to make the best choices.

Credibility is built slowly through customer feedback. And this is the disadvantage of new entrants in the competition.

The good news is, you can work on your social media presence to jumpstart your new product or business. This is where brand awareness becomes your goal.

There are many ways that you can use the social media for brand awareness. But the bottom line here is that you got to hasten the results to keep up with the forefronts.

Now, if you are a seasoned seller but isn’t online yet, know that many businesses out there aren’t reliable and won’t offer the value the customer is looking for. But if you have a robust social media presence, your target audience will perceive your brand as credible.

Further, more likes, shares, and follows indicate quality. Plus, the more social signals your content has, the more credible it looks in the eyes of search engines.

Social signals help humanize your brand, thereby giving you a competitive edge over businesses without social media presence or those whose content doesn’t attract positive user behavioral engagement.

Social Signals Can Help You Rank for Search Terms

Make no mistake about it; ranking for search terms through your website can significantly impact your business. However, social signals can also help you rank for search terms.

When you have an active social media presence, it means people interested in your products or services are searching your company using branded search terms. The ripple effect is that your social profile can rank together with your website.

Even though most people searching for your brand will want to hop on your website, many want to see how your social media profiles look like. Remember, people searching for your business/brand have an interest in your offer.

What’s more, including your company in local listings can boost the chances of your business’s name, phone, and address showing up in local organic searches.

In addition, advertising has become more complex due to technology advancements and shifting consumer trends. And when you do it online, you are not just working on what your customers read and see, but also on what they don’t – the backend. 

The backend side includes letting the platform algorithm understand that you are the answer to your customer’s search query. Ranking for search terms means you make your site or product the answer to a pressing question. 

SEO works on increasing your ranking signal. And then as you rank, so as your authority or trust factor among your customers. Social signals can complement SEO practices by bringing in the “juice” from posts and comments or in short, attention.

Social Signals Can Boost Your Content’s Performance

Any business that isn’t sharing its content on social media is missing out. Social media channels are a crucial place to share the content your business generates.

Social media allows you to reach more people than you would ordinarily access with your website.

Just make sure that you have shareable content in the first place. The thing about social media sites is they’re about competing for attention. 

Thus, social media content, if not viral, should have entertainment value or interesting element. Or make sure it has substance with benefits highlighted. 

The idea is to ensure that more people see and engage with your website’s content, generating more positive user signals and ultimately helping push your site through the rankings.

How Social Signals Affect SEO Indirectly

Here’s a rundown of how social signals indirectly influence SEO:

More Social Signals = More Natural Link Building Opportunities

Having more eyes on your content translates to a higher chance of someone linking to it. And, backlinks are a Google ranking factor.

The thing is, when more people engage and link to your content, search engines reward you with higher rankings. …because the engines regard your content as beneficial to users.

Sure, you might create stellar content, but it won’t attract backlinks if no one notices it.

The beauty of people discovering valuable content through social media is that they’re likely to share it so others can benefit.

Content can reach many people through social media, even if you don’t have a huge follower. All it takes for content to go viral and attract backlinks is for one person to like and share it.

A partnership with authority sites is another link building strategy. It sort of “pins” your site to a site so it’ll be more visible. You can do a guest post and entice the readers to check your website. 

And again, sharing it in social media can help draw more traffic with the authority site helping the promotion.

Social Signals Can Help Increase Your Content’s Lifespan

The fact is, your blog post’s life span relies on search engines to a large extent.

Picture this as an example,

You have an excellent post that attracted a significant amount of views on your website. You know it can draw more engagement. The problem is, your blog post is now one year old. How can you make it get noticed again? You guessed it right – by posting it on social media!

Reposting old content on social media is an excellent way to generate even more likes, shares, and comments. Besides, if you’re strategic with your timing, you can even improve its ranking in SERPs.

Re-sharing content or doing retweets is also a marketing strategy. But the key here is timing.

If the article happens to be relevant to the scenario, you are already ahead of your competition since repurposing is faster than creating from scratch

How to Increase Your Social Signals

Indeed, social signals are important for SEO. It makes perfect sense, therefore, to know how to boost your signals.

The importance of these signals is they help companies be seen, known, and trusted in your niche. And a strong online presence can of course, drive sales.

What follows is a rundown of some strategies that you can use to increase your signals.

Create Better Social Profiles

One of the easiest ways to make potential customers notice your brand is to have a consistent image across all your social media channels. To complement that further, you also need to have descriptions.

So, go ahead and write clear, rich descriptions to catch the attention of your followers.

Also, include a link to your site to boost your traffic and SEO efforts.

Now that the internet has become more intelligent, stuffing websites with keywords that does not sound natural won’t cut it. Social profiles should entice human readers, firstly. 

Besides, there’s already a metric against spamming and failing that may cause your site to be flagged down.

Include a video for some refreshing content. Use the principles of ad copywriting in the articles to make them more engaging while being informational, thus, more share-worthy.

Post Regularly

You can’t keep people on your social media profiles if you post once every six months. While it is helpful to post regularly, you should also make sure that you’re uploading quality, helpful content.

In addition, update your brand info regularly.

Wait. How often should you post on social media? At least three times per week during business days and up to 20 posts per month.

Generate Viral Content

Viral content has a higher chance of getting more shares. So make sure that you write interesting material. Some of the tactics you can use to create viral content include:

  • Write great headings
  • Use attention-grabbing images
  • Leverage hashtags
  • Ask your followers to share your content

Utilizing various media content types in your page can help you identify the most fitting for your customers. Test different content to come up with that winning viral formula. 

Optimize Your Website for Social Shares

Make it easy for your followers to share material from your site on social media. You can do this by adding social sharing buttons to your website.

Leverage Open Graph Protocol for Your Social Media Posts

For starters, Open Graph is a protocol that allows you to control how social media posts coming from your website look.

It is a set of meta tags that arranges info in your posts so that they can get more shares and clicks.

Engage With Your Audience

Engaging your followers on social media gives them a reason to keep following your brand.

Obviously, questions demand answers. Make sure you are prompt with responding to your customer inquiries, whether directly to your page or from the comments. 

Use their questions to educate as well. They can sense if you know the things you are talking about. Also, be mindful of your tone. Try to make it as if you are talking to friends. 

Don’t hold back information when engaging in your audience so they will sense your sincerity, therefore, establishing trust. Use this opportunity too to establish authority in your niche.

And, be sure to reply to comments. That way, the social media algorithms will know your account is still active. Other ways you can engage your social media audience include:

  • Partnering with influencers
  • Participating in topical forums
  • Adding quality content

Conclusion

With 92 percent of consumers scouring the internet searching for information about brands, it is high time to up your game on social media. That way, you can ensure you get the social signals you need to take your business to another level.

That said, if you’re struggling to increase your social signals or aren’t attracting any, Signalytics can help.

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