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Social media is a force to reckon with; over one billion internet users from different parts of the world actively use various social media pages every day! Search engine algorithms have greatly evolved over the past couple of years. Now, having a great website with great content is no longer good enough for search engine optimization. You have to go the extra mile to be noticed. If you want better search engine results for your business, you need to take a closer look at how social media influences search engine results.

SEO and Social Media Merge

Previously, good SEO practices simply boiled down to two things: using the right keywords in your content and getting more authoritative websites linking to your content through inbound links. However, social media came along and changed a lot of things. Today, search engines incorporate signals from social media pages such as Facebook likes or Twitter retweets.  You should consider the following if you want to succeed in social media and SEO

Grow your social media followers

The number of followers and connections you have on social media pages does affect your rankings on search engines. Companies that have over a million Face book and twitter followers often rank better than companies with 100 twitter followers. Search engines such as Google can detect the quality of followers you have on social media pages. Instead of getting proxy twitter followers, you should work on building your numbers organically.


Growing your numbers on social media is a slow but effective process. You need to be effective and consistent with your social media activity. Presenting your brand as uniquely and as consistently as possible to your social media audiences and engaging with followers in direct conversation, is the key to organically build  your social media numbers.


READ ALSO: 7 Ways to Get Unfollowed on Social Media


External inbound links


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You can encourage more external sites to link to your content using social media. The more external links to your website, the more authority you have in Google’s ranking criteria. To begin with, you need to have high quality and engaging content to attract links. Social media can become your broadcasting channel if you have original and useful content that many internet users would love to view. Social media pages allow you to use hashtags for greater coverage. Adding your content to existing threads and conversations also gives you more airtime to address interested internet users, especially if it’s relevant to the audiences. Doing this increases your social reputation (more followers) as well as maximizing your potential external links.

Optimize posts for search

Google favors popular social media updates in the top ranks of search engine result pages. If you optimize your posts for this opportunity, you can enjoy this position that is sometimes temporary. You need strong anchors for your social media posts such as videos, infographics or articles. Your posts should be accurate and descriptive with text optimized for specific types of search. You can use specific queries and use seasonal keywords for better timelines and search results rankings.

Social sharing

Social sharing contributes to your brand authority just like external links. When external sources validate your brand or content, search engines recognize this as an improvement in the authority of your domain. Therefore, if you can get over 1000 people sharing your social media posts, you have a chance at better rankings. In social media, likes, shares, favorites, retweets and replies count towards increased authority that is recognized by search engines.


In order to increase social sharing, you need to appeal to audiences. You can encourage people to share and like by offering specific rewards, use surveys that encourage people to like your posts when they agree with a specific issue or encouraging them to comment if they are interested in seeing new content. This self-perpetuating cycle will get you more shares, more comments and more followers all at the same time.


READ ALSO: 4 Simple Ways to Engage Your Social Media Audience


Optimize posts for the local community


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You can also engage the local community through social media while sending local-specific authority signals to Google. You should make updates on  social media when your company is involved in local events or even interact with local brands on social media pages. When your company is at a local event like trade shows, festivals or picnics, you should share pictures and posts about the event and encourage locals to comment. This shows your participation and increases visibility to local audiences.


Look for local players on social media and engage with them regularly. You should avoid competitors; rather, go for businesses that complement your products or services, share each other’s posts, discussions and guest blogs. Eventually, you will attract their followers too and increase your authoritative voice on social media pages.


READ ALSO: Hyperlocality: Focused Marketing is the Next Trend in Marketing


Work on your brand awareness

Although increasing brand awareness seems like more of a branding advantage rather than an improvement on your search engine optimization, the SEO benefit is quite significant. Increasing brand awareness on social media pages, using high quality content and high engagement increases your online brand presence. You eventually get more branded searches on search engines and this will increase your ranking for searches of non-branded keywords.


This complicated relationship begins with a strong brand presence on social media, which eventually evolves into greater search visibility across the internet.


There is no specific way that you can improve your authority or search engine rankings today; however, it all begins with offering your online audiences quality experience with your brand, products and services. These are the elements of a successful social media marketing campaign (which is one of the SEO strategies). If you want to rank higher on Google, you need to offer your users a better experience and this will open channels for new customers to find your brand. With search engine algorithms today and interest user trends, it is crucial to understand the root causes of the effects of social media on SEO, in order to manage your online campaigns better. Once you have the right footing in social media, SEO will be a breeze.


Author Bio:

Lalit Sharma is an SEO consultant who runs a SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal blog.

  • Rajguru

    Great stuff, thank you for sharing such an informative and impressive post. Its very useful to me.

  • Dhanu Raju

    a very good read. thanks for sharing the information about use of social media in SEO

  • Austin

    Liked your article. Great information.