How Social Signals Help SEO in 2021

Posted at Feb 16, 2021 9:00:00 AM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share

Social media can not only build an entirely different persona for your brand, but it can also affect your SEO. Wondering how? It's simple. The key way social media affects your SEO efforts in 2021 is through what many marketers call social signals.

A person using social media on her mobile phone, illustrating the importance of social media in SEO and how social signals in SEO work


What Are Social Signals in SEO?

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.

Google has indicated that social signals aren't a direct ranking factor, but they still can help with Google SEO indirectly. (Unless a user is using Bing, in which case, likes and shares affect Bing search ratings.) Any time your linked content is re-shared, it has infinitely more opportunities of being clicked, and thus impacts your Google rankings.

All in all, organic engagement is the best way to increase social signals. Now that we have that cleared up, here's a list of ways that organic engagement can support your SEO efforts via social signals.

6 Ways Social Signals Help SEO in 2021

  1. Quality Over Quantity

Search engines are always trying to serve up credible and relevant content, so what is more credible and relevant than social hubs where people are having REAL and ORGANIC conversations? Facebook and Twitter have some of the highest Domain Authority on the Internet, so you definitely want as much of you content on these sites as possible. Links from these sites will also suggest that your website is active and valuable.

The key to real and organic conversations is sharing high-quality content—every time. Losing your organic audience unfortunately can also mean losing any SEO sent from social.

  1. Link to Your Website (Everywhere!)

If and when there are opportunities to link to your website, do so. Giving your organic audience further opportunity to land on your website and bounce around on your site increases your content ranking.

  1. Add Clickbait Titles (within Guidelines)

Make 'em want it! While social platforms do have guidelines regarding link titles, push the limits within your specific audience and use strong, targeted, most likely to be clicked titles—ESPECIALLY on Twitter. Tweets with links get indexed by Google faster and more often!

  1. Use a Call to Action

Don't simply serve the content and leave it with an audience who doesn't know what to do with it! It's not pizza, after all—no one needs to know what to do when pizza hits the table, they just eat it! Think of your content like a whole lobster sitting in front of someone who's never had one—they're gonna need to know how to crack that bad boy open.

Give your audience an action to take (i.e., click, tap, share, view, learn, grow, etc.). Next time you craft a caption, think…is this content pizza, or is it lobster?

  1. Integrate Social Sharing Plugins

Don't sleep on social sharing plugins. Social sharing plugins (or buttons) drastically improve your online exposure since many users will share pages or articles they enjoy. Making it easier for them to do that gives them a better experience on your website and will increase the likelihood of your content being shared socially.

  1. Invest in Customer Service / Community Engagement Socially

Being active on social media sites allows for more customer touch points to resolve potential issues. Every successful resolution shows people that a brand really values their business. The more happy customers you create, the more likely a positive review will pop up on a major review site—which have a direct effect on Google rankings / SEO. Customer service and social media are truly a match made in heaven.

And there you have it! Social signals have a proven effect on Google rankings when consumers interact with your content in any of these six ways. Making it easier and more celebrated for them to do so is the key. While social signals do not have a direct effect on your rankings, they do make it easier for your audience to find your content, link to it, and return for more.

Ready to start paying attention to those social media profiles and making social signals that search engines will recognize? Contact THAT Agency today to inquire about our social media marketing services.

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Tags: SEO, Social Media

Best Practices for Digital Marketing in 2022: FREE GUIDE