Marketers have been singing the praises of social media for awhile now. It helps to build a brand and provides a place to form relationships and interact with current and potential customers and clients. If that’s still not enough reason to get involved in social media, this might be the clincher- your social media involvement now affects your SEO. We all know how important it is to be on the first page of a search result and now social media factors play a part in determining your rank.
Here are 3 reasons why it’s now essential to be involved in social media for long term SEO success:
Reason #1 – Personalization of search
What some people don’t realize is that not everyone has the same search experience. If a user is signed in to their Google account and performs a Google search they will see relevant results that have been tweeted and +1’d by their Google contacts. Bing users that search while logged in to their Facebook account see results that their friends have “liked”. Someone searching that isn’t logged in to any account will see different pages that don’t include social media prompted results. This is all based on the trust factor. People are known to turn to friends and family for advice and the search engines are now incorporating that methodology into search results.
Reason #2 – Social media signals
Social media signals are now part of the search ranking algorithm, meaning that if links and content is shared by a user with high influence that will contribute towards the organic ranking of that page. Of course this is just one part of probably thousands of ranking criteria but the fact that Google is attempting to compete with Facebook (which doesn’t give Google access to their data) by creating Google+ so that they have more social information might tell us how important they think it is.
Reason #3 – Ratings
When people think of social media they automatically think of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Google+. What about Yelp and other review sites? They are part of the social media world too. Businesses have no control over reviews that are posted, but if they are involved they can mitigate any damage. It’s very important for a company to monitor any mentions on review sites and respond, whether the comment is positive or negative. If someone reads a negative review but then sees that you took the time to reply, apologize, explain your side of the story, and offer to “make good” on the situation it’s a lot less damaging than a negative review standing alone. This is especially important for local search since a Google places page (which is usually the first result seen in a Google search) includes reviews and star rankings.