It’s every marketer’s dream to pop up in Google’s top rankings, say number one, for example. And even hitting the top three, or top five, would be as close to nirvana as you can get. Let’s go one step further - ranking on the first page of a Google search result deserves a pat on the back, a high-five, and a fist-bump.
That’s because if you land anywhere else, say page two or beyond, it’s like not ranking at all. Everyone knows that nobody bothers to look.
In the “old days,” say a few short months ago, marketers embraced SEO as the Holy Grail to hitting the top rankings on Google. And quite honestly, SEO is still a key part of ranking higher on Google. But then Google pulled the old “switcheroo,” and changed their mysterious algorithms. The nerve!
Nobody but the top gurus at Google can explain those algorithms. Nobody. Suffice it to say that their spiders are crawling all over the web, searching websites, pages, content, etc., etc., etc. And if by magic, they come back with search rankings.
But along the way, some savvy marketers determined that social media could impact those rankings. Yes, social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - they all play a role. The only question is, “what role?”
Here’s the SMC (social media scoop).
It turns out that Google’s spiders can’t actually crawl Facebook pages or “likes” and Twitter retweets for a variety of privacy and technical reasons. So there’s really no direct correlation to higher rankings and social media.
Facebook “likes,” pages, ads, along with Twitter retweets and YouTube video posts do play a significant role, because they create backlinks and searchable content, which Google’s algorithms can absorb, digest, and spit back into the ranking equations. So it really does help your SEO efforts.
If…and it’s a big “if” - your content and Tweets and Facebook pages are providing authoritative answers to questions that are being asked by your target audience. Your pages end up on backlinks that become a useful resource, which is helpful to Google.
It’s critical to have your social media efforts generate backlinks and referral traffic if there’s any hope of those efforts helping your ranking move higher organically. And you do that simply by providing good old meaningful, authoritative content.
Learn how to be social!
Listen, Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Sure, it’s the biggest, but not the only. So plan on having your social media ready for searching as well. YouTube is number two, right behind Google. People are sharing on YouTube, even if it’s videos. And sharing makes it social. More importantly, it’s huge. How huge? Well, how about one billion unique monthly visitors. Yep, that’s one billion.
You simply can’t ignore that amount of people!
And how about Facebook? People search on Facebook all the time, looking for friends, businesses, organizations, topics, ideas -- it’s a big list. There are thousands of searches each day, which can be a wealth of targeted leads for companies who know how to properly use it.
And what about Twitter, you ask? How about 2.1 billion queries every day? Sure, people are getting Twitter-only results. But if you use Twitter properly, like tweeting about the hottest topics, use hashtags in your tweets, and use it frequently, you’ll benefit from the organic backlinks and searches that will occur.
Bottom line: use social media! Nobody will tell you there’s a guaranteed uptick in rankings by using it, but there are a lot of benefits to companies who do use social media with the same energy and effort that they put into SEO. Here’s why: using social media is one of the best ways to promote your content and one of the fastest ways people can find you online. And that’s just what SEO is supposed to do!