What Are Social Signals in SEO?

Posted at Nov 20, 2018 2:23:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share

Social media. It's a powerful influencer in today's marketing world, and if your company has yet to make it a priority, it's certainly time to do so. It can not only build an entirely different persona for your brand, but it can also affect your SEO. Wondering how? It's simple.

SEO factors into your search rankings. It can help your content find brand-new visitors, and it means some solid social backlinks. The key way social media affects your SEO efforts, though, is through what many marketers call social signals.  

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Towards a Definition

Social signals are really just code for data. It's the information your website pulls from the exposure you're currently getting on social media platforms. That is transformed into bites the search engines can read, and that is then transformed into a content ranking.

There are many different bites that work their way into this process. Likes and comments are certainly one, but so are followings, reviews, and all of those social backlinks you get. A single social signal is a bit like someone saying "I cast my ballot for this site over this one," and while the search engines aren't basing your entire ranking on that vote, they certainly do believe it plays a role.

Not convinced? Let's explore a bit about how it can actually boost your current efforts. You're producing some amazing content, and that's probably already recognized by the search engines. If it's being looked at on various social media platforms, though, that's going to mean faster indexing because more people are seeing it.

That means a bigger audience now, and a bigger potential audience in the near future. It also means a larger targeted audience, because only people who are interested are going to make that click from a social media platform to your site. It's not just the now content that will be seen, though. You're going to get some traction on posts you wrote months ago, too, and it all happens because you're working hard on your social media profile. 

The entire point here is search engine awareness, right?

Yes and no.

You certainly want that search engine awareness, but you're getting another bonus in this too. You're getting some street cred, also known as social proof in the world of marketing. One study found that a single Instagram post that shows someone a potential customer knows, loves, or respects your product means that potential customer is 11 times more likely to convert.

People trust their peers, and social signals don't just work for search engines, they work for humans, too. Luckily, we’re all marketing to humans!

How can you make it work for you? There are a few things you can do. Start by maintaining a consistent style and tone for all of your content. Make sure your web design remains on point, too. Your landing pages should encourage your buyer's journey as well.

Ready to start paying attention to those social media profiles and making social signals that search engines will recognize? Contact THAT Agency today!

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