Even if you don’t spend a lot of time online, you already know that social media is a major part of the Internet.

Social media has become so important, in fact, that even the search engines have started to count ‘social signals’ when ranking web pages.

If you think about it, measuring social engagement is a common sense way to value online content.  When you see that a blog post, for example, has acquired a high number of likes, shares, tweets and comments, it makes the post look more interesting because of the level of engagement recorded by the previous readers.  If we humans place a high value on social signals, you know that search engines do too.

This is a big deal for companies that want to find new and innovative ways to improve their SEO rankings.  As a business owner, you need to take closer look at what social signals are, and how you can use them in order to improve your rankings and your company’s overall Internet visibility.

With social media, its easy to spend too much time and resources, yet very difficult to determine how much and where you should be spending your social media efforts.

Our Kansas City SEO team can help you add just amount of social media marketing to your marketing plan so that you get the highest possible ROI and avoid diminishing returns.

Examples of social signals

Social signals provide the search engines with information based on how popular your site is within the world of social media.

An example of a social signal might be how many people follow you on Twitter. It might also include how many people are in your ‘circles’ in Google Plus.

  • Facebook likes, shares, reviews and recommendations
  • Google+ followers, +1’s (ie their version of likes) shares and reviews
  • LinkedIn connections, likes and shares
  • Pinterest followers an pins
  • YouTube subscribers, likes, views, shares and comments
  • Twitter followers, tweets and retweets

Social signals can also come in the form of reviews too. Reviews about your business on websites such Yelp can have an impact on how well your website ranks in search engines.

How to use social signals to improve SEO

Make content easy to share

Social signals are a measure of your content shared on social media.

Taking this into account, you need a system that encourages people to notice and share your content.  Having an integrated, active blog on your website is the heart and soul of content marketing – that includes social media.

Encouraging people to share is as simple as having some share buttons on your web pages.

Guest posting on other websites is also a great way to get your content in front of large, targeted audiences that are willing to share.

You also need to optimize your social media accounts. This means setting them up completely and ensuring listing accuracy across all accounts suck as a consistent (exact) company name, address and phone number.

You need to put the work in, though, to ensure that you populate these platforms with content that resonates with your target market.

It also helps to be creative and experience with other forms of content.  Well crafted infographics can generate

Here is a blog post that provides some tips on creating easy to share content.

The better you are at getting people to share your content, the more impactful your social signals will be when it comes to improving your rankings.

Create and maintain a proactive online reputation strategy

Reviews also act as a social signal for search engines.

You’ll, therefore, want to come up with a strategy that is going to lead to an increase in reviews for your company/website.

You want to be tactful in how you do this. Here is an article that describes what you can do in order to get better at collecting reviews.

Should you master this, your SEO rankings will benefit.

The Internet has changed

The internet has been a social place for quite a while now. However, it’s only recently that search engines are starting to catch on.

Search engines are now using ‘social signals’ as a means of influencing how they rank content. Thankfully, you can take advantage of this.

Whether you choose to produce content that is easy to share, in the form of infographics, or you improve the way in which you collect reviews — there are many options.

Either way, you’ll need to get started soon. The longer you wait, the greater the advantage your competitors have over you.