Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing are both needed to grow a business. But, there’s a debate as to which is more important.
Social media signals have no direct impact on your site rankings. This means that no matter how many shares and likes you receive on Facebook, your ranking in search results should not increase. But, they do.
Your organic SEO is indirectly affected by your social media presence. When your content gets a lot of engagement on social media sites, you get more visitors to your site. This increases the visibility of your site.
The boost to your visibility influences your rankings in search results. So, in a roundabout way, social media does have an impact on your SEO.
You need both social media marketing and SEO to drive traffic to your website. Take a closer look at the reasons why both are needed. Discover the importance of social media marketing and how it impacts organic SEO.
Social Media Engagement Triggers More Traffic
One of the main reasons that social media has a positive effect on organic SEO can be seen in user engagement.
Websites that receive the majority of their traffic from social media sites tend to perform better in organic results than sites that gain most of their traffic from organic SEO.
What drives traffic from social media sites to a website? It is user engagement. You need to get people to click on your content. They cannot just share or retweet.
When you look at the top websites in any industry, you will see that they are offering content that people are interested in. A major part of your social media strategy should revolve around finding the right content to share.
By determining what your target audience is interested in, you can drive engagement, which then drives traffic to your site, which then drives your search rankings up.
You Need Active Social Media Followers
Having a lot of followers does not automatically mean that you will get a lot of user engagement with the right content. These followers need to be active.
The average post will receive 80 interactions before a user clicks on the link. This means that 79 people will share the post or like it, but only one person will click on the link and visit the website.
When you have more active followers, this rate improves. So, how do you get active followers? By being more active. You need to create a schedule for your social media strategy and stick to it.
Remain consistent with your efforts and take part in discussions. Find communities and groups that you can join. These steps will help you attract active followers, increasing overall engagement.
Social Media Activity Leads to Referral Traffic
Referral traffic counts towards your overall web traffic. When search engines determine search engine rankings, they are looking at referral traffic. When a web page receives a lot of referrals, the assumption is that the page should have useful content.
This is another example of how social media activity can help increase your rankings. If you are getting a lot of traffic from your social media posting, then you should find your rankings increasing for relevant keywords. You can monitor your rankings using any of the free or paid rank tracking tools available online which can alert you in case of rise or fall in rankings.
This is not strictly due to the fact that you are getting more social media interactions, but due to the fact that you are getting more referrals.
What Does This Mean for Your Search Rankings?
The bottom line is that social media marketing and organic SEO are both important. You cannot dramatically improve your organic SEO without the help of social media.
This means that you need to start including social media marketing in your SEO strategies. When you are looking for ways to increase your search rankings, you should begin to focus some of your efforts on social media.
Creating an effective social media strategy begins with a look at the type of content that you need to share. Find out what people share and like. Use online SEO tools to find trending topics and content that you can share.
Limit the use of promotional posts to 20% or less. You can slowly build your audience and occasionally send out a promotional post. You may even want to use even less promotional content, to help drive user engagement – if your focus is SEO.
Keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t. You will need to constantly tweak your social media strategy. Adjust your plans, as you track your metrics and pay attention to which posts get the most clicks.
When it comes to organic SEO versus social media marketing, there is no clear winner.
In the end, if you want better rankings, consider your social media strategy. Even though social media does not directly impact search rankings, it has an indirect impact.
Social media engagement increases backlinks, which leads to referral traffic – allowing you to increase your organic search rankings.
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats, and research your competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.