The short answer is no, but the long, more in-depth answer ends up being yes. Although social media does not directly impact SEO, there is a heavy correlation between the two. But first, what is SEO? SEO, standing for search engine optimization, is the process of increasing a website’s traffic through unpaid searches to ultimately increase brand awareness. The main goal for a company is to have its website page appear first on Google after searching keywords related to what the company offers (Clement).
Gary Illyes, an employee of Google, said “the context in which you engage online, and how people talk about you online, actually can impact what you rank for” (Clement). With any social media platform, whether it is Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or others, the better the content, the more attraction your page will gain. This is where the connection between social media and SEO lies (“What Are Social Signals? How Social Media Impacts SEO”).
When a post generates a lot of shares, likes, and interactions, it increases its social signals. These are the key indicators used by Google to rank a company when it is searched. To increase your social signals, it is important to have quality posts across various social media platforms. When you offer engaging content to your followers, they end up becoming supporters who then share your posts to increase your social signals (“What Are Social Signals? How Social Media Impacts SEO”).
For example, Matt Woodward, a British writer, posted an article on Facebook about some of the unhealthiest foods to eat. The post generated over 31,000 shares, over 68,000 likes, and over 30,000 comments. The strength of its social signals ranked the article as #1 when searching for keywords such as “unhealthiest foods” (Clement). Matt Woodward is one of the many examples that relate to the importance of social media when increasing your SEO.
Lastly, there are a few other tips that will help grow your SEO through social media.
Focus on quality over quantity by creating posts that are meaningful and interactive.
Make sure your posts are user-friendly. Most consumers visit a company’s social media profile before deciding to go to its website. Because of this, it is extremely important to have visible links that are easy to access and share (Clement).
Build relationships with your followers. In order to increase your engagement, it is critical to create connections with your audience. Use interactive aspects of social media such as polls and live feeds to foster those relationships.
Read analytics offered through social media platforms to better understand your audience. This data can help you cater posts that will maintain the current audience and attract similar followers.
Although the short answer to the question at hand is no, a correlation between social media and SEO leaves the answer to be yes. A social media presence is a vital component of increasing your SEO, so if you are looking to get your brand out there, utilize what social media has to offer! Take advantage of social media platforms to increase engagement to ultimately increase your Google ranking.
Maeve Coogan, Fox School of Business Class of 2023
Marketing Major, LinkedIn