What Is Social SEO?

mark@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or Google+ or Facebook or LinkedIn
Most people have heard of SEO and most people have heard of, and are probably involved with to some degree, social media – a term which broadly means websites (such as Facebook and Twitter) that are based on users interacting and communicating with other users and uploading or sharing content. The crossover between the two is called social SEO and the purpose of it is to use social media to improve your business’s  search engine rankings.

You can get good rankings by paying no attention at all to social SEO, but you can’t rank your business’s website through social SEO alone. So, why bother with social SEO then, if it’s not essential? Because positive social activity around your website makes it easier/faster to rank your site in search engines – directly through the authority that search engines give to Likes, Tweets and Google +1s, and indirectly through exposing your content to a wider audience, some of whom will link to it from their own sites.

Social SEO isn’t a separate branch of SEO and it won’t soon be replacing traditional SEO, but social signals are becoming increasingly integrated into search engine’s algorithms. Social signals aren’t as important as backlinks, and they won’t be for a long time, if at all, but backlinks aside, social signals are about as important as anything else. Over the course of the last year or two the question is no longer “do social signals have an effect on website rankings?” but rather “how much of an effect are they having?”.

No-one knows for sure exactly how much of a factor social activity is in determining where your website ranks for your targeted keywords, as no search engine has made public that information, however, there’s no denying that it’s a relevant factor that does affect where your website ranks. The importance of social SEO has been steadily increasing and is highly likely to continue increasing in importance too.

If you want to improve your company’s website rankings by engaging in social SEO then you should do the following:

  • Create content that people want to share with others
  • Make it easy for people to share your content
  • Set-up a company page/account on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Communicate with people through your social media accounts
  • Share content (both your own and other peoples) through your social media accounts

If you do those things well then the result should be an increase in the number of…

  • Facebook likes and shares your website gets
  • People following your Twitter account
  • Tweets by authority users that mention your website
  • Google +1s your website receives
  • Google+ circles you’re in
  • Positive reviews left on your Google+ page

…and those positive social signals will increase your search engine rankings for the keywords that your business is targeting.

If your business operates in an industry where your competitors are doing both traditional SEO and social SEO then you have no choice, if you want to achieve good rankings for good keywords, but to follow the above advice. Backlinks plus social signals will outrank backlinks alone, so you’ll get left behind if you’re only building backlinks. If your competitors aren’t involved socially online then whilst it lessens the need for you to get involved, it presents a good opportunity for you gain an advantage over them.

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