Gone are the days where keyword placement meant higher organic search rankings. While social signals have been gaining more and more credibility, keywords have practically become ancient history.  Based on our own account of the impact of social signals, and the various studies that have proven its direct correlation to higher search engine rankings, its safe to say that social signals are becoming an essential element to SEO strategy.

Social signals can improve your business’s search rankings in a variety of ways- both directly, and indirectly.

Directly, your rankings are impacted by:

  • Number of Facebook users that like your page
  • Number of mentions or links to your website on Twitter
  • Amount of shares on Facebook
  • Amount of followers on Twitter
  • Number of people on Google+ that include you in their circles

So, to put it simply, the more popular your business or brand is on these various social media platforms, the better chance you have of ranking highly in a search.

Further, beefing up your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ can indirectly affect your ranking, too. For one, your ranking will be impacted by an increase in inbound links due to improved online visibility. Having established social media accounts creates more avenues that lead your customers to you.  Similarly, Jayson DeMers of the Moz Blog recently stated, “If you’re able to be found, you’re able to be linked to.”

Also, social media can act as an extension of customer service, whereby customers feel a personal relationship between themselves and a particular company.  After interacting with customers through social media, there may be an influx of positive online reviews coming from those who are pleased with that interaction. Customers appreciate it when companies get back to them promptly. In this digital age, when everything seems to be mobile and fast-paced, this promptness is valued more than ever.

For example, when an American Airlines customer was concerned about making a connecting flight after his current flight had been grounded due to a fire at a control tower, he reached out to the company through Twitter. The company responded quickly with genuine concern and helped the customer by telling him through which gate he’d be arriving and leaving. They even held up the connecting flight for him, so he wouldn’t miss it.

As it turns out, the customer was a blogger for Huffington Post and wrote a blog about his experiences, thus further increasing the traffic to American Airline’s social media pages and website. Being there for your customers on social media really pays off.

But that’s not all; social signals can help out in more ways than customer service.  With engaging content, you can decrease bounce rate, raise the amount of time people are spending on your site, and have more returning visitors. If your website houses a blog that mulls over topics that your customers are interested in, then they’re more likely to hang around a bit and click through different pages on the site. Also, if the content is really engaging, they’re going to come back and perhaps link to your website on their social media accounts, too.

In sum, the larger the followings you have on these various social platforms, the better your search ranking will be. And the more often you create and post content on these platforms, the easier it will be for potential customers to find you in a search. Plus, when you have fun and appealing social media accounts, more people will be interested in sticking around, coming back, and telling their friends about you.

So, what’s stopping you from gaining that edge and getting a head start on your social media presence?

If you need a little more persuading, just think about these statistics from Domo:

  • Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content every minute of the day.
  • Twitter users send over 100,000 tweets in those same 60 seconds.

The opportunities for consumers to share your content on Facebook or tweet about you and your brand are massive. Get to know your audience, provide them with engaging content, and your social media presence will flourish.  By making social signals an integral part of your SEO strategy, it will most definitely result in higher search engine rankings. Don’t be left behind- social media is here to stay and will continue to impact brand awareness in the future, in a very big way.

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