Millions of people struggle for online recognition on a daily basis. With a mission to represent unique personalities, fantastic ideas, and inspiration music among other goals, these people are presented with an uphill task to complete before reaching the level of recognition that they yearn for. Fortunately, for these people, there are several ways that can improve your social connectivity, attractiveness of your website, and give you better Search Engine Results Pages (or SERPs) rankingone of them being social signals.
What Are Social Signals?
If you are lucky to have a successful website, you possibly already have natural shares of your content on a daily basis as your users or clients share content with their friends and relatives on various social media platforms. So you probably understand what social signals are, where they originate from, and may be how they happen.
However, for amateurs and newbies, social signals are elements like share and votes that your website content receives from other websites. Each vote, like, share, retweet, or +1 recommendation is considered as social signals by search enginesand indicates how social your blog or website is. They determine how significant your website is, and the more social signals your website or blog has, the higher your SERPs will go.
How Do Social Signals Help Your Website Achieve Higher Ranking?
There is no website that exists in a bubble. Every website is connected to other websites and various social media platforms that their owners use to market them. So whether it is your Twitter account, Instagram, or your Facebook profile, you exist in interconnected platforms. Social signals utilize these platforms to your advantage by targeting specific populations that are vital to your business and spread the word regarding what your business deals in, what you say, and where your business is located. In a nutshell, social signals are the mouthpiece from which the global population will learn about your business.
To achieve this, social signals impact your organic search rankings in two ways: directly and indirectly. Direct impacts are from:
- Number of Facebook likes
- Number of Twitter followers
- Number o Facebook shares
- Number of tweets mention your website of brand or linking to your website or blog
- Number of people or potential customers that are in your circles (Google +)
On the other hand, indirect impacts originate from:
Increased positive reviews in your local listings (such as Google Local and Yelp) due to satisfied customers.
Increased inbound links for your website due to improved visibility or brand awareness
Increased number of repeat visitors, higher time spent on your site and decreased bounce rate
The direct impacts are quite self-explanatory. However, for indirect impacts, some explanations may be necessary, and here is an overview of each impact:
Increased Inbound Links and Improved Brand Visibility
One of the most important impacts of social signals is their ability to generate new inbound links for your website by improving general awareness of your brand and its overall online visibility. The moment users find your website, they will be able to link it, and links are still vital and valuable ranking element in popular search engines. While there has been a lot of debate as to whether social signals are catching up with links with respect to their impact on ranking algorithm, many experts hint that as people continue to go more social, these signals will be more powerful.
Increased Positive Review in Local Listings
Today, social media is used by many companies as an extension to a business customer service department. Thats why users can tweet a business and expect their tweets or concerns to be answered. Similarly, customers can get various support services for a new product or their queries on an existing product on a business Facebook page, saving them the hassles of dealing with an outsourced customer service department or automated phone menus.
This simplified accessibility helps customers feel closer to your business, increasing their organic connection to your brand, improved loyalty and trustall of which translates to more and better reviews on various review sites. In other words, a brands social media presence is its voice which defines its image and distinguishes it from another brand or a distant entity.
According to social media marketing experts, the number of reviews that your site has and the positivity of those reviews are some of the top factors in local search rankings. Accordingly, it is not a stretch for any business owner to believe that Google and other search engines use these information in their rankings as well.
Increased Repeat Visitors and Lowered Bounce Rates
Generally, consumers who are familiar with a given brand via social media interaction have higher chances of becoming repeat visitors to the brands website, and are more likely to spend more time on the site, increasing the average time-on-site ranking metric.
Although some marketers have published various reports indicating that bounce rates have little impact on SEO rankings, there are many SEO experts who still believe that it does. All things considered, a lower bounce rate is often an indication that a website or blog is providing more quality content to its users, and is generally preferred.
On the same vein, time on site remains an important metric in organic search rankings. By evaluating how long users take to return to a search page after clicking a search result, search engines are able to tell whether the site provided answers or useful information to what the user was looking for.
While most website owners are still not aware of the true impact of social signals, one thing is for sure: social signals are increasing their significance with regards to ranking algorithms that search engines use, and will continue to do so. So people have moved from asking whether social signals play any significant role in organic rankings to conducting real time studies in a bid to determine the exact correlation that exist on every kind of social signal.