Search engine algorithms and ways to help boost ranking are constantly being changed. Since 2010, when Google introduced Panda for the very first time, businesses and website owners have had to constantly change the way they work. They have to stay one step ahead of search engine algorithm changes, especially since Google aren’t the only ones making changes.
Social signals is just the latest method of rank boosting marketers are considering. Well, this isn’t exactly a new thing, but it’s more recently become a main focus. Companies are conducting their own studies to see if social signals improve ranking at all.
In most cases, there is a connection between social signals and search engine rankings. However, the big question has become “how much?” Is there a big enough difference to justify some of the changes to marketing plans?
The Number of Social Media Followers Affects Your Ranking
Put simply, just the number of followers you have on social media will affect your ranking on Google. If millions of people follow your Twitter page and Facebook for new updates, Google views that as important data to know. That means you’re relevant to the people and need to be considered more highly on the search engines.
If you only have 10 followers, this would suggest you’re not that important. It could suggest that you don’t have good enough content to build a following.
Of course, the number of followers isn’t the only figure considered. Google wants to know about the retweets and shares you get. It wants to know if you’re mentioned by others on platforms or if you have a large number of connections within groups and platforms.
You may not have millions of followers, but your blog post may have taken off due to the right use of hashtags. Google sees that post as important because of all these retweets. That means it’s pushed up in search results. Why would so many people promote it if it isn’t worthy?
Reviews Are Also Important
If you’re a business, you’ll want to consider allowing people to leave reviews on your social media page. These are now considered relevant for ranking. The search engines need to see that you have loyal and happy customers.
After all, you may get plenty of brand mentions but for negative reasons. Your customers could be complaining about how poorly made your products are or how bad your customer service is. If search engines just looked at the mentions, they’d boost your ranking without helping your customers.
By looking at the type of reviews you get, Google and other search engines know that you put customer satisfaction first. They’re going to reward you for having good reviews.
Don’t forget about places like Yelp and Google Reviews to get good reviews for your business.
Good Social Media and Reviews Lead to Lower Bounce Rates
Some marketers have found that bounce rates are lowered when websites and businesses have good social signals. People are more likely to trust a business with a large amount of followers, good response rates, and good reviews. This means they spend time on a website, browsing products, reading content, and making decisions.
Lower bounce rates and extended time on a site are good for rankings. Google likes to see that people enjoy being on a site. This makes the business look relevant, interesting, and helpful. The search engines boost rankings considerably, pushing you further up the list. More people find you and you gain more customers.
Once people are on your site, you will find it easier to turn them into customers. It’s possible to offer discounts and offers, turning one-off customers into repeat visitors.
On the other hand, when people land on a site and click the back button to go back to searches, the search engines get the notice that you’re not relevant. This impacts your SEO ranking, as your competitors are viewed as better options.
Social Insights Are Set to Grow
While there are still some elements in social sharing not considered, the social insights are set to grow. There’s no denying that technology is consistently changing. People are constantly turning to Facebook and Twitter to learn more about a business or a brand. They use social media to help them make a decision on a purchase.
Google and other search engines recognize that. They want to give people the information they need, which means keeping an eye on social media insights. They’ll watch for brand mentions and social shares to determine the relevance of content.
Social media will continue to become relevant. This time next year it will have more of an influence over your ranking than ever before.
Don’t Forget About YouTube
When thinking of social media, you’ve likely neglected YouTube. This is a site that is both social media and search engine in one. It’s the second most used search engine in the world.
Why is this relevant in social insights? Well, more and more people are turning to YouTube for information. If they can’t find something on Google, they’re looking for YouTube videos. And since Google owns the video sharing site, the videos are ranking well in the search engines themselves.
It’s important to use video marketing for your business. You need to reach out to your audience there, because it will affect your ranking.
Google knows that people prefer video. The search engine knows that if your blog post has a video within it or your website uses video, people are going to spend more time on your site. They’re more likely to click the links on your site and see the other content you have.
Likewise, social media has noticed the increase in using video. More companies are offering “live” options, so you can connect to your audience in real time. People spend more time on your social media pages watching the videos. They stop to check out the content you’ve posted and then go into your page to see if you have anymore.
How to Boost Your Social Signals to Boost Your Ranking
So, now you need to make it easier for people to share your content. You need to give them a reason to talk about you to their friends through the social media platforms. How can you do that?
Well, there are a few options available. The first is to make sure you’re on the platforms your audience is. They’re not on Instagram? Then why do you spend all your time posting there? Make sure you’re on Facebook, YouTube, or anywhere else they are.
Add social sharing links to your website. People won’t click your URL and go to their own social media platforms to share. They want you to make it as easy as possible. That means clicking a button on your website to quickly share with their own followers. If you have readily created intros and hashtags that’s even better!
You’ll also want buttons that allow people to connect with your social media platforms. Make it as easy for them to find you on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else.
Social signals are growing in popularity by the search engines. Soon they will become the number one way to affect your ranking.