On sunny Friday, steel band harmonies welcomed us to the latest Brighton SEO, with thousands of SEO-ers and marketers rallying into the Brighton Centre for the latest pieces of digital dynamite.
We kicked off the day by heading to the ‘Future of Search’ session and pretty much instantly one of the most talked about topics in the search industry was mentioned – the impact of social media on SEO efforts.
For those who aren’t well acquainted with SEO, it’s short for ‘search engine optimisation’ – basically it helps you rank higher in Google search pages when people look up keywords relating to your business.
In his talk titled ‘Using Advanced Social Listening Techniques to Drive SEO’ Daniel Rowles from Digital Marketing Agency Target Internet, stated that if you want to rank highly in Google, you need to be talking about your business on social using relevant keywords and linking to your site.
Google has said many times that social isn’t a direct ranking factor. Whether this is the case or not we’ll never know – its algorithm has and most likely will always remain a mystery.
However, we do know social media benefits SEO in the following ways:
The better your content is, the more likely people are to share it and link back to it. If you make high-quality content and people engage with it on social media, you’re also more likely to get links from other websites and that’s good for SEO.
Building a brand
The more you’re present on social media, building an audience and getting people familiar with your brand, the more likely they are to click through to your site when Googling keywords. Think about when you last Googled a takeaway, you’re far more likely to click through if you’ve seen someone mention how great it is on Instagram.
Similar keyword phrases
When people Google a keyword along with your brand, for example ‘Let’s Meet Book Brighton Spaces’ and people often click through, Google assumes you should rank highly for single terms in that search too – i.e. in this example ‘Book Brighton Spaces.’ This is great for those who haven’t yet discovered you. And where can people find that information in the first place? Social media of course.
YouTube is the second most used search engine, and is also the second most popular social media platform by monthly active users, so it’s well worth being present on there. Creating videos for your content or promoting your brand can lead to links, and this can help you rank organically in results pages. YouTube being owned by Google helps too, there’s no hiding that they favour content posted to their own channels…
Bonus tip: Post the blog links you want to rank higher in Google search to Google+. Research shows using Google+ will positively affect your SEO and your Google rankings.
What is clear is Google is an ever changing beast keeping us all on our toes. What is at the heart of SEO? Search. And what is the most important thing about search? Being found. You can’t deny social media certainly helps with that.