Most businesses see social media as something more useful for FMCG brands than for B2B firms designing or selling engineering technology.
The truth is that in addition to the benefits derived from having your brand present on these popular platforms, social media also aids your SEO efforts.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions that we have been asked.
Do my website’s social media profiles influence my search ranking?
The answer to this question has been evolving over the last decade. In 2010, Google agreed that social signals helped with organic results and ranking. In 2014 and later in 2016, we got additional information — the social media pages are not treated as ranking signals but as organic search results.
Can posting on social media boost my website’s performance?
Any content you produce on your website and gets shared on social media will reach a wider audience, of which relevant audiences might click through to explore more. As more relevant audiences visit and engage with your webpage, the positive user engagement signals benefit your search ranking. Relevant is the keyword here — because if uninterested people are tricked into visiting your page using clickbait titles or over-promising titles, then their behaviour of leaving the page as soon as they figure this out will be picked up by Google. The result? Negative impact on search rankings.
Can social profiles provide a flow of backlinks?
Links posted by you on your Facebook profile page are technically backlinks. However, their benefit towards your search ranking is marginal at best. Your best hope of backlinks from social media activity is through the people you reach through the platform — they might link to you (or mention you in an online discussion) and therefore link back to you. This means that it is better to spend your resources on generating content that is helpful to your audience on social media rather than merely using it to create links.
But aren’t social profiles considered organic search results? So why don’t the links on those pages count?
The links do count and are shown as links if you are using a tool to monitor backlinks to your site. It’s just that the RoI on using social media posts to generate backlinks is poor.
If your website isn’t ranking up top for your branded keyword yet, you might rank better for your social profile. This reinforces what we said earlier about them being organic search results. However, search engines seem to discount the links on these posts. We believe that these have the same low-quality link value that is given to discussion forums.
Similar effects can be manually created using various methods, one of which is the
rel="nofollow" link. This asks the search engine spider not to follow the link.
Let’s round up the overall SEO benefits of social media.
- Boost content performance by attracting traffic of people who did not know they needed this content (until they saw your post). They have discovered content that they didn’t know about before, but feel that they need to know now. This ususlly results in traffic that stays arouond for longer. This is in contrast to the search traffic which comprise of people who seek answers to what they want to know.
- More opportunities to gain backlinks. We are not talking about the links from your social media handle itself, but those from people who discovered your content through social and found it valuable enough to share.
- Social profiles can rank for search terms. Your social media handle itself can rank for search terms, and begin ranking along with your website.
- Build reputation and cred. Businesses with social media profiles that have a decent following create teh auro of a legitimate business. It is true that non-legit businesses also have social media followings. But legitimate businesses without social media followings are seen as a red flag to consumers.
In a nutshell, well maintained social media profiles for your business will complement your SEO efforts.