How Social Media Impacts SEO
SEO is evolving at what feels like "ludicrous" speed. When I was getting started in 2006, on-page keyword density, a cursory understanding of HTML meta tags and links from article directories were about all you needed to know to get a page to rank high in Google.
Then Google tweaked their algorithm and higher-quality link-building was the golden ticket to a #1 ranking. Fast forward to today and the old-school tactics of just a few years ago no longer work. That's because SEO has evolved and grown to the point where engagement is the new measurement of success.
Old-School SEO Is Dead
In my experience talking with business owners every day, there is a huge misconception that SEO is simply about HTML meta tags and backlinks. That's what I call old-school SEO and it's been dead for a while now.
As mentioned above, SEO is now about engagement. To be successful in ranking high in Google, plus driving traffic and ultimately leads and sales from SEO, you need to focus on engaging your target prospects online. That means creating compelling content your prospects would want to read and share with their friends and colleagues.
And, of course, where do people share content online? You guessed it: social media! That brings us to the first way social media impacts SEO...
- Content Distribution
To clarify, I am not saying that on-page SEO factors like HTML tags or off-page factors like backlinks are no longer important. They are—and always have been—the foundation of a solid SEO strategy.
What has changed is the shift from old-school link-building tactics to more natural content distribution. Sharing content on social media accomplishes two important goals for SEO:
- Your content can spread virally, which drives more traffic and more engagement with your website. This can also lead to more brand searches in Google, further reinforcing your authority.
- Your content can get in front of other bloggers and news sources who in turn are more likely to link to your webpages. As mentioned already, backlinks are still critical for SEO so this leads to higher rankings.
- Control Your Brand in Google
When you search for a company in Google, what do you see? Most likely, you'll find the company's website, Google+ profile page, LinkedIn page, Facebook page, Twitter page and any other social media profiles.
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.