Following Googles latest algorithmic update (Penguin 2.0) there has been a lot of speculation as to how exactly this change will affect the SEO landscape. As previously read in this blog, the main aim of Penguin 2.0 is to eliminate spam and as a consequence, the notion of authorship authority and social mentions will have an increasing impact on the SERPs.
Moreover, those at Google have always maintained that social signals play a part in search results in terms of:
- Faster indexing of content
- Increasing the number of inbound links to your site
- Social likes, shares and retweets etc, to indicate to Google that the content is interesting and fresh
- Better ranking in the SERPs for people who are connected to you
The role of social media platforms in SEO is set to increase over the coming months with smaller, less publicized changes to the algorithm set to be introduced over the summer. Consequently, this speculation has led industry specialists to share their opinions and develop techniques to better optimize a site.
Apart from helping to ensure better results in terms on SEO, the power of social media should not be ignored for reasons which have always been applicable. For instance, the idea of publishing high quality content has always had the potential to go viral should it resonate with enough people or if it is so off the wall that it becomes an internet phenomenon.
One thing consistent in both of these is social media. Without these platforms it would be nearly impossible for any piece of content to go viral and very difficult for authoritative sites to link to your content naturally. Therefore it is necessary to establish and maintain a social media presence to get a head start in getting your high quality content to permeate the web.
Is social media for everyone?
With a plethora of social media platforms available all with their own specific niche, there is no excuse not to utilize social media whether B2B or B2C. The key point to remember is that social media is not designed for you to make sales but rather as a tool to help build a brand. Many entities have recognized this and it is now common for companies to appoint a chief listening officer whose job is mainly to oversee and track conversations on social media platforms mentioning their brand.
Due to its very name, you may be forgiven for thinking that social media for marketing and SEO purposes was solely for the benefit of those businesses that deal directly with the general public.
However, there are also B2B sector companies that can prosper in terms of building relationships and securing better positions on the results pages of search engines. The social media platform of choice for most B2B companies is generally LinkedIn, but most forward-thinking B2B enterprises also have a presence on other sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Google +.
Social media metrics and SEM
Social media can also help improve website rankings in the following ways:
- Monitor Referral Traffic – Google Analytics allows you to view the amount of traffic to your site directly from social media platforms. The different traffic metrics you can analyse, such as bounce rates and the time spent on site, will help you decide which social media sites are most lucrative and therefore where marketing resources should be allocated.
- Conversion Rates – Google Analytics also allows you to set specific goals for your website including social recommendations. This allows webmasters to become aware when a particular action is performed on their website. Furthermore, the advanced traffic segment allows you to split up the data by source in order to ascertain which social media platforms garner the most conversions.
Taking all this into account there is a comprehensive argument as to why all types of businesses should include social as part of their SEO activities. Moreover there are more and more social media metrics to help gauge the success and viability of social investment to keep even the most stringent of marketing managers satisfied. Google has insinuated that social media’s effect on SEO is set to increase and with the notion of digital Darwinism prevalent in most industries, now is the time to get social.