Social Media’s Impact on Local Search Rankings
Social Signals from Social Media profiles play a key role in both organic search engine optimization and local search optimization. Social Media measures a valuable part of a business’s web presence: human interaction. Google and other search engines realize that human interaction is a prime metric to measure the quality of a business and its web presence.
Social Signals Boost Your Local and Organic Search Engine Rankings
Search engines are continuously updating their ranking algorithms in order to provide the most authentic and relevant content to its users. By utilizing Social Media platforms successfully, your business will be showing search engines that it is relevant, real, and engaging to consumers. Not only will using Social Media help your organic search engine optimization, but it will also increase your brand awareness and brand loyalty.
People spend more time on social networking sites than they do on search engines. Not only do these social signals place your page higher in search rankings, but they are incredibly useful in… understanding your audience or customers
There are five main social media websites that will help your business rise to the top: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, & Pinterest. These social networking websites account for nearly 7% of your total local ranking. This means it is very important to engage your audience across all of the social platforms.
Facebook is the largest social networking site to date. As a general rule, Facebook is a must to your social media marketing plan. Facebook is also one of the only social media platforms that have successfully captured a broad range of age groups, from 10 years old to 60 years old. The Social Signals that most affect your search rankings from Facebook are:
- Number of Page Likes
- Number of Page Followers
- Number of Likes Per Post
- Number of Shares Per Post
It is important to remember that, although Facebook has the largest audience, it also has the largest number of people competing for that audience’s attention and dollars. Facebook is essential to any well designed social marketing plan, but it is also important to be realistic about the returns due to the massive amount of competition.
Twitter is an excellent resource to increase your search engine rankings from social signals due to it’s built in back-link system. Every time you link to your website in a tweet, and that tweet is retweeted or favorite, another back-link is created. Although these back-links are not weighted the same as back-links from blogs or other websites, they are still very important for your link building strategy and social media marketing. The factors weighted most heavily from search engines on Twitter are:
- Number of Tweets Including Profile Tag
- Number of Retweets
- Number of Favorites
- Number of Profile Followers
The best way to get user engagement on Twitter is to consistently put out quality content that invites users to share.
Google recently stated that it truly believes that Google+ is the future of Google. Now, Google’s baby may not be the most popular social media platform among the crowd as far as users and interaction goes, but it is a heavy favorite for search engine rankings from Google. Because it is a piece of Google’s empire, content that is shared on Google+ gets indexed much faster than those posted on other networking websites and Google+ is optimized for maximum search power.
YouTube is a huge player in terms of search engine rankings both locally and nationally. YouTube is unique in two ways. First, it is owned by Google and, like Google+, it has more weight carried with it in Google’s search engine algorithm. Secondly, it houses videos. This may seem rather obvious, but posting videos is not something that every business does. Thus, those who do, have an advantage. Because search engines cannot distinguish what a video is about (like images, search engines can only tell that a video is in fact, a video), it must rely more on the title and description. With a far lower amount of videos on a certain topic in circulation, compared to written content, videos bring a heavy boost to any search engine ranking. Search Engines look at YouTube profiles for:
- Number of Video Views
- Number ofChannel Subscribers
- Title of Viedos
- Number of Comments on Video
Pinterest is incredibly user friendly and makes it very easy to share ideas and information quickly and effectively. Back-links can be created, similar to Twitter, with Pins and Re-Pins. Each time your content is shared, another back-link is created. If your content, video, or idea goes viral on Pinterest, it can be incredibly rewarding to your search engine ranking.
Don’t Ever Stop Engaging
Good marketers realize that the landscape of social media and search engine optimization is like the ocean, continuously moving and changing. The only way to be successful in this fluid environment is to continually stay on top of the most recent trends, always be sure to have fresh, original content, and to engage your target audience.
Getting listed on all of the social media platforms is also very important. Search Engines view the quantity and consistency of your business information across the internet on various local business listing websites and directories as a form of credibility.
Do not underestimate the power of your social media presence!