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Social Media: How SEO Can Be Impacted by Social Signals


By Sujain Thomas

Despite the many doubts cast on how social media like Instagram and Facebook have an impact on SEO, it cannot be denied that the ultimate aim of both is the same – driving in new customers.

While search engines may ensure that social media signals do not affect website rankings directly, it is proven that social media can be leveraged for SEO in a number of ways

How Do Social Media and SEO Complement Each Other: It is an established fact that you can increase the reach of your content through social media such as Instagram to cover an audience that is far broader than that of your website.

With cascading shares across users and platforms, social media also ensures that the content has a longer life.

Content links embedded in social media can significantly speed up the indexing of content and also drive more traffic to your website. A strong and vibrant presence in the social media can enhance your brand recognition considerably.

An analysis of the level of content engagement in social media can reveal the appeal of the content and allow you to tweak website contents appropriately. Since social media and SEO have a synergistic effect, it is advisable to try and get specialists from both the domains to jointly develop a workflow that will have maximum impact.

Working jointly, not only the content of the key messages, but their scheduling can be planned out for maximum audience engagement and generation of the maximum number of Instagram likes.

Using Social Media for Link Building: With the proper use of social media, it is possible to acquire backlinks that can drive a lot of traffic to your site.

Links contained in your Instagram bio, for example, can be picked up by search engines not only when you post content but when the content is reshared because with its enhanced exposure it stands a better chance of being picked up by bloggers or reporters and used in their articles.

You can promote link building by making it easy for your web contents to be shared by including sharing buttons. Tagging people mentioned or quoted in a post not only helps them get due credit but encourages them to share it more. When your branded keywords are being mentioned it could be a good opportunity for thanking them and requesting links.

It needs to be noted that when the social media links stem from platforms that are trusted they have a characteristic authority and can be more effectively leveraged to drive visitor traffic to your site and enhance your visibility online.

You need to prepare yourself to take advantage of the links. A step in the direction would be to optimize the landing page to catch as well as track the traffic emanating from Instagram or any other social media platform.

This is a good occasion for you to overhaul your social media profiles and bios to ensure that they are optimized fully to link back to your main site.

Enhanced Domain Authority: While there is no statistical or factual proof that has been found linking a site’s authority to social signals, there are, however, some SEO practitioners who suggest that social signals may very well be responsible for increasing the overall authority of a website.

When there is an increased flow of traffic from Instagram or any similar social media platform to your site, it can only be interpreted by search engines that the site has an authority and value that is perceptible by users. It is quite likely that Google will recognize the social signals to be brand signals, a fact that is well known to be factored by Google in page rankings.

Conclusion: Focusing on creating content that is share-worthy to gain traction on social media platforms, will also help you to drive web traffic to your main site and lend it an extra authority. You need to remain active on all the social media platforms as well as industry forums with your comments and blogs so that you will be able to distribute your content even more and increase the SEO momentum.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]