social signals

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad umbrella that includes a lot of other tasks and metrics. What you may not expect is that social signals also fall under this umbrella. It’s one of the vital SEO ranking factors you may not be taking advantage of to its fullest potential.

Wait, what are social media signals? How are social media and SEO connected? How does one impact the other?

To help you understand, here is an in-depth look at the definition of social media signals and how you can use them to boost your SEO efforts:

What are Social Signals?

Social signals refer to all of the human interactions on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. These are the metrics that involve human behavior. Some examples include likes, shares, comments, and pins.

These are among the most critical metrics to study because they involve your target audience. You can track which posts garner the most interactions, the most shares, and the least likes. This can alter your future marketing strategy to better cater to what works and discard what doesn’t.

You can think of social media signals as metrics that judge how often people like your social media posts and how trendy they are. Are your posts not generating enough likes or views? It means you’re not penetrating your target audience.

But that’s not all. There is a relationship between SEO and social media signals.

Social media and SEO don’t directly affect each other. Google’s algorithms don’t directly look at your Facebook or Twitter metrics and use those to calculate relevance or popularity. Google doesn’t look at your social media posts to determine if you’re an authority on a topic.

But Google does indirectly affect search engine rankings. Here’s how:

How Do These Affect Search Engine Rankings?

Some social signals grab the attention of Google’s crawlers. Some of these include total shares of a post. While social signals aren’t direct causation, they form a strong correlation with search engines like Google.

The more people share one of your posts, the more backlinks they create. If your posts lead back to your website, this means more people freely create inbound portals for their social media friends to visit your site.

More backlinks boost your search engine rankings. As a matter of fact, they’re among the top 4 factors that affect SEO.

However, you have to keep in mind that each share isn’t necessarily considered a brand new backlink. Backlinks from multiple shares on Facebook is an SEO myth. It’s the old one but now shared with a new audience.

This makes it function like a brand new backlink but retaining the metrics of the old one. However, this doesn’t mean those shared links on Facebook won’t amount to anything. There’s an indirect correlation that we’ll discuss below.

Also, keep in mind that if more people share, like, and visit your social media posts, it means the content is good. Amazing content is also another important social ranking factor that Google does look into.

Then there’s the fact that mass shares affect SEO as well.

Mass Sharing Indirectly Affects SEO

Shares are the most important social signals to study. These affect SEO the most because they broaden brand awareness, help increase traffic to your site, and create a playground for audience engagement.

Here’s how this works:

When more people share your posts, their friends and family now gain access to your Facebook page. Remember that Facebook and other social media platforms function as search engines too. They’re more likely to visit your Facebook page before they ever discover your website.

You’ll see a higher volume of traffic the more people share your social media posts. That sounds obvious, but Google only looks at how many people visit your site, not how many shares you get on Facebook. It’s the end-result that matters, not the social signal.

More shares also help decrease your site’s bounce rates. Bounce rates don’t necessarily help with SEO, but it does indicate your posts, both on Facebook and on your site, have good quality content.

How to Improve Social Signals

To sum everything up, social signals are the metrics that tell you how people interact with your content on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Some of these metrics, like shares and likes, indirectly help boost SEO due to how they correlate to the quality of your posts and how much traffic they attract.

But do you improve your social media signals? How can you boost them to your advantage and enhance your SEO results?

It all goes back to improving your social media campaigns. Study the signals and determine what kind of posts generate the most likes, shares, and views so you can post more of those in the future. Study what time and day people engage with your content.

Start working on improving video traffic. Videos will account for over 82% of all web traffic in a few more years, and this can help strengthen your signals too.

You can also use tools like BuzzSumo, IFTTT, and HootSuite to track all your signals and see which ones perform better. Some of these tools are free. Others will help you manage your social media accounts to guarantee you get the most out of them.

Discover More Ways to Boost SEO Today

Social signals affect SEO in an indirect but meaningful way. You can study these metrics and use them to your advantage to improve SEO to get significant results: more traffic, better lead generation, and higher conversion rates.

But it doesn’t end there.

As mentioned in the beginning, SEO is a big umbrella, and there are many more factors to study and master. You also have to pair a good SEO campaign with an effective but affordable PPC campaign too.

You can discover more ways to boost SEO today. Visit us now and check out our other posts. We have other SEO guides to showcase new tips and tricks, such as this post tackling how to find affordable SEO services for your business.

To learn more about how WSI Proven Results can help your business, Contact Us to schedule a FREE consultation.