Social Media & SEO
Just a few years ago social media marketing had little bearing on search rankings, however rules have since changed. Data shows that social marketing has an ever increasing impact on overall search results.
It is estimated that traditional SEO is still nearly twice as powerful as social media marketing. Given how much impact SEO has, that still makes social media massively important.
Websites with a large social following that engages with its users and publish useful, shareable content are regarded as having a lot of authority, and so logically rank higher. Through the use of social signals, search engines can accurately understand popular, influential and shared brands. This data enables search engines to deliver the best results every time.
Exploitation and Black Hat Marketing
Any search engine optimisation opportunity can be exploited. Manipulating social media is quite a task though, because while it is possible, it is extremely time consuming when it’s done right.
Facebook’s EdgeRank reduces the opportunity for exploitation; if you post unoriginal content, and updates which are not engaging you’ll fall down the scale and your posts will appear in fewer people’s timelines. Recently Facebook posted their EdgeRank updates.
Here are the points they ask you to consider:
- Is this timely and relevant content?
- Is this content from a source you would trust?
- Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
- Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
- Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
- Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
Building multiple profiles and managing them would become too much for almost anyone, and search engines have become too complex to easily manipulate. By using averages to understand realistic user activities, Google can pick up on manipulation very quickly.
The Importance of SEO
It seems logical that social media will become a key factor in website ranking rather than the deciding factor. On site optimisation such as page titles and Meta data which influences click through rate (CTR) will both continue to be highly influential. Quality links from relevant and reputable sources are also likely to continuing playing a big part in ranking.
It would be destructive to reduce the quality measures used to rank a website. Instead additional metrics are being added which enable search engines to make more accurate and detailed assumptions of a website’s importance, usability and popularity.
SEO will only ever become more complex and reliant on quality methods. Spam or ‘black-hat’ SEO tactics will become less effective as search engines respond more to any manipulative tactics.
Google+ has become the most influential platform when it comes to search results. In order to increase your ranking, build a quality network of Google+ followers. Not only will this give you another avenue to build relationships and market your business, but it can also boost your website rankings significantly.
Facebook and Twitter also have great influence on your search rankings, but it appears that no social platform is quite as influential as Google’s own network. This is presumably largely due to Google’s attempt to become an invaluable network, but it is also likely that they are able to measure and analyse each user’s profile more accurately through its own network.
The key to successful social media marketing is sharing engaging and influential content. This can include images, news, blog posts and videos. Focus on building a quality following. By generating followers from your own industry as well as potential customers, you signify that you are a respected player in your field.
Social media is a great means of breaking the barriers associated with meetings. There is no commitment and very little opportunity for either party to apply personable pressure. Prospects feel safe and relaxed so will open conversation and you can slowly but surely build a strong relationship with these people.