Category: Social Media

How Social Media Directly Impacts SEO

As any SEO professional will know, social media cannot directly contribute to search engine rankings. Although brands with great social media will often rank higher, it’s important to recognise that one factor did not cause the other in this scenario. Rather, a business may have succeeded with two (or more) specific strategies simultaneously.

However, just because tweeting about your website with your chosen keywords or posting links on your Facebook page will not support higher rankings, that’s not to say that social media can’t be used as a tool to help improve your SEO.

Does this seem like a contradiction? Here are a few examples to explain it.

Posts appearing on SERPs

Tweets can appear on search results pages, so as long as you are posting about relevant topics, you can get your voice heard directly on those SERPs. The same is true of profiles on almost all social networks (e.g. Facebook pages tend to rank highly for company names).

Although your website rankings are not affected, this does mean that you have more chances to engage with your customers and grab their attention, luring them into the parts of the internet that you have control over.

Directing users to content

By the same token, you can use your social profiles to bring additional traffic in from social channels and divert them to pieces of content hosted on your site. If they enjoy what they find, hopefully they’ll stay to see more.

Although your website isn’t ranking any higher as a result of your activities, the increased traffic you get from social referrals will always count as a positive sign, as long as all those visitors are relevant.

Spreading the word

The more you talk about your brand, your products, your services and so on, the more people will take an interest and search for those terms. The more people search, the more chances you have of getting organic traffic. The more traffic you can get, the better chance you have of ranking higher.

Following this logic, getting a conversation going on social media can become a virtuous circle which builds interest in your website and boosts your SEO power.

User experience and trust

Social media is an excellent way to build personal relationships with your customers and users. It gives you an opportunity to make the situation more focused on a person’s individual needs and their experience with your brand online. You can engage with people who leave reviews and find other ways to start conversations which ultimately drive traffic and improve the level of confidence people have in your brand.

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Facebook’s New Local SEO Tool

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Facebook has been an important platform for local businesses since it exploded in popularity over the last decade. Pages can be designated as local business pages, which allows you to add details about the industry you’re targeting, plus specific details like your opening hours, contact details and so on. This is all very helpful for people visiting your page, and a Facebook page that’s filled in to a high standard can rank well on Google search result pages.

However, until recently people weren’t that likely to find your page within Facebook. Its search function still leaves something to be desired, since it’s trying to take into account people, pages, groups and more while heavily customising the results shown on a personal basis. Facebook business pages also feature customer reviews, but since there was no centralised place to see them all you would be unlikely to use the social network to shop around for different businesses in your area.

Now Facebook has rolled out a tool which aims to tackle this problem, although it’s in the early stages of development according to their spokesperson and it hasn’t had any promotion yet. People have stumbled across the new area, Facebook Professional Services, when trying to optimise their pages. It effectively functions as a business directory, and is being interpreted as an attempt to muscle in on the market for review-based business listing websites such as Yell and Trustpilot.

The system is fairly simple at the moment. You can search for a business or service you’re interested in, but for your query you are limited to a predefined list of options. These are the categories that business pages are allowed to be placed under when you set one up, and you might find that the business you’re looking for (or your own business, if you’re creating a page) doesn’t exactly fit into one of these. You have to simply choose the closest match, which is an issue we expect to see fixed in a future version of this tool.

Once you select a search term, however, the tool becomes more sophisticated. It takes into account a range of variables when deciding how to rank businesses, such as geographical location, average customer rating and other unknown factors. For every Facebook user, the results will also be personalised depending on your own history with the business pages shown. For example, if you or your connections have previously interacted with the page it is likely to appear higher for you than it would for someone else.

At the moment, Facebook has basically asserted that this tool isn’t ready yet. The fact that it launched without any fanfare was enough of a clue, but since it has been confirmed since we can assume that it’s going to keep an eye out for early feedback and make adjustments before promoting it nationally or globally. For now it’s a good idea to make sure you get your page in order, however, and see if you can encourage people to leave reviews for your business when they’ve had a good experience. Staying active on your company Facebook page is a good way to ensure you stay ahead of the curve, whatever changes the social network chooses to make later.

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Social Mention – The Social Search Engine

Social media and networking play a big part of our day-to-day online activities, finding out what is new and happening in the world. In many cases, topics and events are covered by social media much more quickly than the news that we see on television, radio and elsewhere online. With this in mind, a search engine called Social Mention has been developed to help users search for key words and phrases on the various well-known social networks all around the web.

Social Mention is essentially a social media search engine as well as an analysis platform that aggregates content posted by users across different networks and collates and interprets the information. This means you can keep tabs on messages referring to you, your business, your rivals, or anything else, all in real time. Over 100 platforms are taken into account by Social Mention including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google and more.

Along with providing data from these well-known websites, Social Mention also displays various statistics pertaining to the key word or phrase that you queried, displaying graphs for the following elements:

  • Sentiment – Whether the search term you queried has been referred to in a positive, neutral, or negative context.
  • Top Keywords – Displays a list of other keywords that have been searched for relating to your searched-for query.
  • Top Users – Displays the users who have been discussing your searched-for term the most.
  • Top Hashtags – The hashtags that have been closely relating to your search term.
  • Sources – The most-often-used external sources used for the social media posts relating to your query.

There are similar functions being increasingly built into each individual social network, and a variety of other tools that include more search functions, such as social post scheduling software. However, this is a great way of collating data from all the relevant sources in one place and getting a great overview. It’s becoming more and more important for online businesses to be tuned into what people are saying on social media and taking advantage of any opportunities that arise, so using Social Mention or a similar tool could become invaluable if you’re looking for an edge over your competition online.

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