The reach of social media in the modern world is staggering. For example if Facebook were a country, based on its active users it would have the third largest population in the world. With over one billion active users this is just behind both China and India’s population and well over three times the number of people who live in the USA.
Population of China: 1,344,130,000
Population of India: 1,241,491,960
Active Facebook users 1,000,000,000
Population of the USA: 311,591,917
Social media has really taken the whole world by storm in the past five years and has risen to become the number one activity on the internet. It is no wonder then that the massive revisions from search engines including the revolutionary Google updates Penguin and Panda have grown to include social media signals. Social media now plays a vital role in page ranking and has created some amazing channels for content distribution and online interaction with customers.
How social media can boost SEO
As mentioned above social signals now play an active role in how a page is ranked on Google and other major search engines. It is not yet known as to what extent Google actually uses social signals to determine page rank but it’s becoming increasingly clear that it does take it into account and its looking like it will do even more in future. Social interactions are viewed well by Google as they are seen as a natural indicator of the relevancy and quality of the content on a website, over traditional indicators such as anchor text links, key word density and meta data which is all controlled by the website owner.
Social media comes in many forms from media sharing outlets such as YouTube and Pinterest to community platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which all have potential to greatly increase both site traffic and natural business visibility online. These days all online businesses should have a social media presence to help support their website and other online activities. There are many forms of social media out there but there are a few which are vital for nearly any type of business.
Top 5 social media sites for business
1 | Facebook
As touched upon above, Facebook is the king of social media with a massive following and has become the greatest outlet for businesses to interact with their customers. The specific targeting methods that can be used when undertaking E-marketing campaigns through Google can make them much more effective than many standard advertising channels such as TV adverts. Facebook allows customers to have a greater interaction with brands and helps build not only brand awareness but goes a long way to developing brand loyalty when done right.
Facebooks likes and shares can be used on a company’s website and go a long way in helping to boost a websites search engine rankings, as many sites like Google view these social signals as a very natural indication of a sites quality. The key to a good Facebook page is providing quality, relevant content frequently, to make customers want to follow and interact with the business.
Facebook can also be used to share link bait and can often be the deciding factor for things going viral or barely being seen. Having well shared link bait can seriously help boost a firms SEO profile as the links are often seen as natural.
2 | Twitter
Twitter is very different in comparison to Facebook as it offers the opportunity for anyone to share and talk about whatever they want to the world, unlike Facebook where people often have to be Friends or follow specific pages to view the content. All firms should have a Twitter account as it allows you to broadcast your news to the world and in particularly to your followers who can then share it with their followers.
The key to a successful Twitter account is to have genuinely good interesting content shared regularly. Twitter is a great platform to engage with influencers in your niche. Many people will often outright stop following a Twitter profile if it hasn’t posted in a few weeks. It is also worth noting that many people won’t follow businesses that do nothing but post about products and sales all the time as they don’t want to be directly advertised to like this.
Twitter is another platform, similar to Facebook, that can be used when it comes to sharing various forms of link bait. Unlike Facebook it doesn’t have much ability to host content but can be used to share links and get people talking about your business which is very useful for SEO purposes as many search engines pick up on these social signals.
3 | Google+
Google+ is one of the latest social media platforms to grace the internet. Originally it was going to be very similar to Facebook but due to Facebooks dominance over the market it doesn’t really have anywhere near the same impact. However despite the relatively low number of users Google+ is arguably the most important social media platform for businesses to utilise from an SEO perspective. Being run by Google the worlds largest search engine means that a massive range of data on Google+ is available to the search engine which it can index when ranking websites.
This wealth of information means that Google takes a good measure of authority from Google+ when deciding page rankings of websites. It is highly important for any type of business to have its correct information listed in Google+. Google+ is also integrated in Google maps meaning that for Local results and even map results, having a Google+ account means you are listed here too. Google has recently introduced Local results, and this is important as it means that you could potentially rank higher than your competitors when people who live near you are searching for your key words or when people are searching in particular areas.
4 | LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social media platform aimed at connecting professionals and businesses together. Due to the professional nature of Linkedin it has high authority in the eyes of search engine. Because of this, it is highly important for businesses to have a good social presence on LinkedIn. Like many other types of social media LinkedIn gives users the opportunity for visitors to share pages on their websites. These types of social signals are playing an ever increasing role for page ranking as so its important to have a well-integrated LinkedIn profile for a business.
News and stories can be shared via LinkedIn and if they are picked up by enough highly influential members, it can result in some serious benefits for SEO purposes. Not only will news stories be widely read and possibly featured but the level of user interaction feeds back authority to the businesses LinkedIn profile and then to their website. On a non-SEO related benefit Linkedin is a great platform for business networking and building relationships that the other social media outlets don’t really offer.
5 | Pinterest
Pinterest is a social media platform that focuses mainly about the sharing of images. While this is not necessarily relevant for all types of businesses it has proven to be a great asset for many. Fashion, interior design and other types of industry that have a visual presence can greatly benefit from having a Pinterest page. Many firms use Pinterest to display some of these latest designs and product images which can be shared around and repinned by other people. Getting a large Pinterest following can be a great way to improve SEO as the images can been shared by influential members of the site.
Pinterest can be used as a great way to share image based link bait such as Infographics. If your link bait gets picked up and repinned on Pinterest, it can mean that lots of natural looking no-follow links back to your website are created. As with most social media platforms it is up to the users what they share and interact with – so search engines look on these social signals positively.
Social Media now plays a major role in both online marketing and in SEO. It is vital for almost any type of business to have at least a few of the above social platforms and to make sure to keep them updated with quality, relevant content to get customers interacting with the business which will in turn lead to an improvement in their websites SEO and their general web presence.(www.google.co.uk/publicdata)