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How Social Media Impacts Search

Jan 7, 2019
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Having your site rank in search is essential if you want to build brand recognition and increase leads. Over the years when I've explained what I do, many people assume it's based in social media networks. So, to help clear things up, in this video I'll share how social plays are role in search as well as how you should approach both channels. 

One of the things that I hear a lot  when I'm either prospecting, or speaking with somebody new, or somebody asks me what I do, and I say, "Hey, I work a lot in organic lead generation helping people rank in Google and interact with customers online." One of the first things, they say is, "Oh, so you do Facebook." Now to me, that's something that always makes me laugh and giggle because obviously, I'm not on Facebook all that much. I can really care less about Facebook most of the time. It's a great platform if you love it, but for me, it's just not my cup of tea. It's not where I spend most of my time. It's become synonymous that people just assume that social media and search engines are linked together.

Social Media and Search Engines - The Missing Link

The reality is, they're very different platforms, and they interact very differently. Just because you're posting on Twitter, on social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn doesn't mean you're going to see an increase in organic traffic. There has been a number of studies have shown that it doesn't play that big of a role. That social doesn't have a direct influence on the search rankings. Now, when Google+ was alive and well and something that Google was using, it did have an impact somewhat. Like your content would get indexed and crawl quicker sometimes if you would share it over Google+ and you were engaging in those communities.

But platforms like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, they're being updated so frequently, and Google is not crawling them all that much to index content. There are a lot of restrictions for the crawl bots to get in there. The pages are not marked as private, all the links are no follow, so all this attribution in the link equity is not going to be passed from a social media site to your site. It's not going to influence your search factors.

Social vs Search - Different Marketing Goals

That doesn't mean you shouldn't use social media. Social media can be a very powerful platform. You're on one right now if you're watching this video. It's on YouTube, which is considered a social platform in a lot of ways. We use YouTube all the time. We are big users of YouTube. Twitter's another platform we leverage and LinkedIn, because we work with a lot of B2B businesses, LinkedIn is a platform and a channel that we're on. But we don't go on there with the hopes of generating organic search growth. We want to build our audiences, we want to connect with people. That's where social media can be very powerful, because you're being social.

How is that going to directly impact your search rankings? It's not going to do very much, but what it could do is help people stay on your site, engage with your site better, get those user site metrics up, which can help your site's overall perception as far as the search engines go. If they're seeing people come to your site and engage with your website and your content.

Social Media and Brand Recognition

Another area that social media can be helpful, and especially even in the search side of things, is brand recognition. If your brand's growing, you're posting a lot on social, you're generating content on your website. Your social profiles will get indexed in the search results. When somebody looks for your brand, they can see your website, your blog, your Twitter, your LinkedIn account, your Facebook account, things of that nature if you're branding them correctly, if you're optimizing those profiles. Those can be visible in the search engines.

Search Serves Users - What Google Looks For

What are the main factors that Google is looking for in your site? First, you need content. You've gotta have some context and understand what you do. Then you need to build backlinks. You need to have links pointing to your site, links that are gonna add quality, referral traffic to your website to increase your site's domain authority, your page authority. It's really getting down to page rank, which is something that Google doesn't talk about anymore, but it's still part of the algorithm, believe it or not. We really want to increase the influence of our website. That's what we're talking about with backlinks, it's making sure that our website is trustworthy, and is something that people are going to get value from.

Then we have the on-page and the technical elements. This is your titles, your meta tag, your anchor tags, your site structure, your schema markup. These are all those things that you can control right on your website. Those three things are the areas that you have some control over that you can do a lot of proactive work for.

The other two, user engagement. You can make updates and change things, but your users have to use the site first. Google is looking at things like bounce rate, time on page, scroll depth, how they're interacting with your website. So if your website isn't interactive, if your website's not engaging users, you're not going to rank.

The last thing is Google algorithm updates and what the algorithm's doing. It's getting changed and tweaked all the time. There's a lot of what we do in search that we can't control, but if we focus on the things that we can, that are going to influence our website, we're going to see an increased exposure, increased visibility of our website.

Different Platforms for Growing Your Business

You have to think of search differently than social media. They are very different platforms, very different tactics involved in growing your business, very different ways of promoting yourself online. If you want, you can check out some more of the videos we have here on this channel specifically pertaining to SEO, search engine optimization. But we've got some on Facebook business and YouTube and a number of other social platforms, Twitter as well. You can use our information to leverage and grow yourself on those specific channels, but don't just assume because you're doing something on social that you're going to see a benefit in organic search as well.

If you have any questions, please comment below. We'd love to keep the conversation going. Until next time, Happy Marketing. 

Social Media Prospecting Workbook

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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