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Elena Terenteva

SEMrush Twitter Chat #7: Social Media Impact on SEO

Elena Terenteva
SEMrush Twitter Chat #7: Social Media Impact on SEO

Hello, dear SEMrush blog readers!

Our last SEMrush Twitter Chat — Social Media Impact on SEO — was just great!

The power of social media is undeniable. Seventy-two percent of all internet users are now active on social media, and social channels drive us to share, like, communicate and buy. There is also the impact on SEO.

How exactly can social media marketing influence your SEO presence? Get insight to best practices, which were shared during the last SEMrush Chat with our guest expert Andy Crestodina, web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.23.43

Did you know that over 70% of US adults online use at least one social network? That’s a big audience, which promises big opportunities for companies involved in social media marketing. We know that social media is powerful, but does it impact SEO?

“The benefits are indirect, but very powerful. Just like PR, social media is critical in making connections that lead to results.” - Andy Crestodina ‏

The key point of social media is relationships. And they can be built on the basis of credibility alone.

“A warm engagement via social will lend credibility to your brand” - Digital Mktg Inst ‏@dmigroup

Engaging your audience is just one part of the strategy; building relationships with opinion leaders and industry influencers can lead you to a new audience and increase your chances of being linked or mentioned.

So what is the shortest way to a follower’s heart? The best way to establish credibility and authority is to "provide your user with useful and fresh content. Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media.” (NewsCred)

Actually, a strong social media presence itself can improve a website’s credibility.

Great content lends credibility and leads to organic visits, but it’s just the beginning of the story. The impact of social media is much deeper because it helps a website get a strong backlink profile. “Social sharing can lead to links and citations.” - Yulia Shevardenkova ‏@Yuliasemrush. And we all know backlinks have a great impact on ranks, which can increase organic traffic.

And although social media alone won’t directly impact SEO or keyword ranking, it “can lead to faster indexing your website pages, which increases the overall speed of SEO activities.”- Alexandra Tachalova ‏@AlexTachalova

Also, Brandon Seymour pointed out that “Facebook shares were one of the top search-ranking factors for 2014 based on data from @Searchmetrics.” The apparent correlation between social shares and content visibility says a lot.

“I think social shares equal great content, and great content usually equals higher rankings.” If you want to go deeper into the topic, check out this video - How Does Social Media Affect SEO? - shared by Andy Crestodina. Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.23.56 When the conversation moved to tools, a lot of our participants chimed in. First of all, let’s talk about Google Analytics.

Chris Marentis ‏@cmarentis also added that “GA is highly recommended for tracking impact.” Another great thing about using Google Analytics? There are plenty of training courses available to help you learn how to use it.

If you want to know how brands can measure the impact social media has on search rankings via Google Analytics, follow this link shared by Search Engine Journal ‏@sejournal.

And our participants agreed that it is! You can use BuzzSumo for tracking correlations between most shared pages and top ranking pages.

For measuring content performance in social Alisa Scharf ‏@alisa_scharf recommends using Topsy to analyze Twitter and Google+ trends in public conversations and Share Tally, which provides information about social analytics for major social platforms and smaller niche sites. ClearVoice ‏@ClearVoice uses @simplymeasured to compare organic site visit peaks for blog posts. Stephen Kenwright ‏@stekenwright shared a case study on how tweets affect rankings using Twitition. And here are a few pieces of advice on specific parameters you should focus on during your research.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.24.08

Remember what Andy Crestodina said? Relationships come from social media.

Make it a start pointing while choosing which social network you want to concentrate on. Where is your audience? Where can you get more interaction? Social networks work differently for each brand. So its value will vary.

Also, Adam Dince shared that “building relationships on Twitter has been most effective in delivering lots of good new links to my sites.” And a lot of participants agreed that Twitter has great impact on sharing content, building communities and driving engagement.

The power of Facebook can’t be underestimated either.

Also, Stephen Kenwright ‏@stekenwright added that “Facebook is one of the best places to buy advertising right now. Useless for organic, but paid is fantastic.”

What about Google+? Well, here everybody was unanimous. You want your page to be indexed faster? Use Google+!

Another benefit of using Google+ was pointed out by Brandon Seymour ‏@Beymour: “Still betting on Author Rank becoming important in the future, which could make G+ more important going forward”

Also, LinkedIn — a fast-growing social network that will definitely become more powerful year after year.

So, if you want to concentrate on certain social media outlets, think about your goals, your audience, industry influencers and the type of the content you are providing. YouTube and Pinterest can be headliners for your strategy if you concentrate more on visuals.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.24.20Relations, visibility, authority and credibility — you would succeed if, with help of social media, you could increase those parameters. Where to begin?

Let’s start from the beginning — following. For growing your network, Andy suggests using Twitter Advanced Search or Follower Wonk to find influencers and co-creators. You can also search Twitter for specific topics, plus “blogger,” “writer” or “author,” and build a list of experts and follow them!

How to turn followers into friends?

And if you want to collaborate, there is always an opportunity to take the first step. You wouldn't go around to a stranger’s house and ask for a free dinner (guest post)! Use social media to become chummy first. - Digital Mktg Inst ‏@dmigroup

Great source of new potential partners — your own network! “Investigate who is social sharing your content. Do they have a website? Is their audience relevant to your own? Befriend them!” - Digital Mktg Inst ‏@dmigroup

Social media is also a great source of new ideas for topical articles. And we already talked about the importance of the content that we share.

And of course be sure that your reader would be able to share your new article.

Adeel Sami ‏@AdeelMSami shared a great article from Razor Social: “3 Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress.” Check it out and choose your personal favorite!

After a post is debuted, we need to promote it! “Don't cross-post messages verbatim across all channels,” warns Kathleen Garvin ‏@KGarvSEO. Give your audiences something extra and something different.

And finally, when all the work is done, there is one thing you must do — check your results.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 18.24.43 Final question to discuss — Is there a joint future for social media and SEO?

And it’s easy to believe, since content is actually a basic thing that users are looking for on the internet. Also Andy pointed out that “as social media becomes more saturated with ads, social media marketers will feel more like PPCs than SEOs.”

He also reminded us social is not just an online thing: “Live events are social activities with big SEO benefits for smart attendees. Events will set attendance records in 2015.” We hope that next year Google will consider social media to have a more direct influence on SEO. But is it going to happen?

That's it for today! I hope you discovered a lot of new, interesting things.

Join our next #SEMrushChat on Wednesday December, 10 at 4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. EST. Our special guest is David Amerland, SEO expert, author and speaker, and we'll talk about SEO in 2015!

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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