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How social media helps your search ranking

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Every business wants to be discovered.

Whether it’s by intense, short-burst methods, such as marketing campaigns; or longer-term approaches, like search engine optimisation (SEO), the desired result is the same; a higher profile for your business.

But SEO has evolved exponentially since Google first conquered the online search world. Where once keywords were king, now the content must also be original and in context (thanks to increasingly intelligent Google algorithms).

A few short years ago, hashtags were barely a factor in social media and SEO. Now, with the rise of Twitter, they’re an essential part of the package.

Indeed, social media (along with compelling content) is emerging as an increasingly effective – and often essential – tool for boosting your company’s search engine rankings.

Social media shares and acknowledgements are not automatically embedded in search engine algorithms (but they likely will be soon). Instead, their direct effect kicks in after a popular or viral post or video.

So it would work like this; you create compelling content; that content gets shared on social media (increasing traffic and profile); then the content becomes popular. Your profile and traffic has benefitted, and after that, the SEO engine kicks in and your search ranking climbs – as people search for your business based on the social media shares.

Here are a few reasons why combining social media and SEO into your marketing campaign are critical to your business’s success.

1. The world is getting more and more social online.

As of August 2014, there were 2.95 billion active Internet users, and 2.03 billion active social media users. The internet is often accused of having too much white noise, which is why people use social media to source recommendations from trusted sources friends and family.

2. There is a strong correlation between rankings and social signals.

Social media shares aren’t directly linked to search algorithms (yet!), but there is a direct correlation between social media and traffic; whether it’s increased visibility from Twitter trending, or organic shares and clicks from evangelising fans as your content goes viral.

3. Not all traffic and profile is created equal.

Accidental clicks of ads is becoming a major problem, so much so that many marketing and internet giants (including Google) are working hard to address it. After all, what good is a visit to your page if the customer never intended to be there? Social media shares generate quality visits, in other words website hits based on recommendations from trusted sources, instead of accidental or fleeting clicks.

5. Social media draws in mobile search users.

At the time of writing, there are roughly 3.6 billion mobile Internet users (with that number climbing every day). As you’d expect, many of these users are social networking on the go. Want to increase mobile traffic to your site? Encourage social sharing, and make sure your site is appropriately responsive too.

6. Positive social media reviews help local searches.

Encourage and nurture social media interaction and reviews. Remember the value of user-generated content: Every picture, video and word of text relating to your business helps your profile. And that’s before we even talk about reviews on the likes of Google Local and Yelp, which can boost your page in local search rankings.

7. Social + SEO can boost brand engagement.

Customers shouldn’t just be purchasing and recommending your products: They should be engaged with your brands. This means more frequent visits to your site, discussions on your social media, recommendations, likes and Tweets, and ultimately, an increased bottom line. Repeat visits to your site are registered by search engine metrics and reflected in your ranking.