The use of social media in SEO campaigns is one of the most controversial topics in SEO at the moment. Some people argue that as the links created on social networks are of the type “no-follow” then there is little value in focussing your efforts here. Some say that while social networking profiles are nice to have, the majority of you efforts should be focused on building more traditional back-links from blogs etc.
This view however is becoming increasingly outdated in the SEO world, as people slowly realise the power of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and their effect on website rankings. Any SEO companies worth their salt Are becoming increasingly focused on maintaining an active and up-to-date social networking presence.
The use of social media sites is important for a multitude of reasons. Let’s forget search engine rankings for the moment, social media websites allow you to engage with your customers directly. By regularly posting relevant and informative content, companies are able make themselves appear experts in the fields who are always there to help. This in turn can increase customer trust and levels of satisfaction.
Social media sites can also directly increase customer numbers. If utilised effectively, they can form another sales channel, whether this is due paid advertising or by maintaining an active and helpful presence in social groups that are often formed around similar interests and hobbies.
But does social media boost Google rankings directly?
Our evidence suggests yes. Here at In Focus SEO we are always trying to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and techniques, so we decided to conduct an experiment ourselves. Using nothing but social signals, we decided to try and boost sites rankings. The results were exciting.
By doing nothing other than gaining Facebook likes, re-tweets on twitter and posting to our Google Plus page, we were able to significantly boost a website’s search engine rankings. We are always passing these types of findings directly on to our SEO customers in Stoke on Trent and adding them to our SEO training course.
Although our findings were anecdotal and only one study, we believe this is the next logical step in search engine optimisation. People increasingly use the Internet solely for the purposes of social media, as this is the case, Google can not afford to ignore the hype and user generated referrals that surround theses sites. Therefore we expect future Google ranking algorithms to increasingly take into account referrals from social media sites.
Now, we aren’t saying that social media is the be all and end all the search engine optimisation. But we believe is becoming increasingly important factor in search engine rankings. Therefore effectively using social media should form part of an effective search engine optimisation campaign.