Social Sharing and Social Media

Quite possibly one of the most debated topics in SEO. Is social sharing a ranking factor, or isn’t it? Let’s just pretend it is, or at least that it somehow correlates to rankings in some way. Just like getting a lot of backlinks is helpful for SEO, getting quality social shares can be equally helpful. When your content or brand is shared or even mentioned, positive things tend to happen from an SEO standpoint.

For instance, Google might not use it as a ranking factor but getting a blog post shared on Twitter may lead to another blogger sharing it and even linking to it on his or her own blog.

Having a social presence on your website is mandatory for our SEO clients. At minimum we recommend social sharing buttons on all user generated content, and links to social networks somewhere within the website, preferably site-wide.

Remember that social network sites rank on their own in the search engines. Always be sure to keep in mind your online reputation when it comes to SEO. You might not have any “bad results” in the search engines today, but no one knows that is going to happen tomorrow. By controlling the search engine results for your name, you can preemptively avoid future problems that might come up. Individual tweets are also starting to show up in the search results again:

Although this is kind of an obvious statement, a lot of social network profiles to have a do-follow links. This is definitely something you want to take advantage of. With that in mind, it is always generally a good idea to use keywords in your social status updates. As of 2015, individual Tweets now rank for

Social Reputation

No one truly knows if the number of followers correlates to SEO rankings, but let’s just assume that it does. After all, it won’t hurt you to have a lot of followers unless of course they are fake. Also assume Google can detect fake or low quality followers. Basically, assume Google knows every black hat or shady trick that you can think of, it is just good practice. It can be a tedious process building a social following but it is one of the most rewarding outcomes you can get in online marketing.

One of the biggest benefits of social media in terms of SEO is its potential to build your website as a whole. Social media allows you to connect with not only people in your local community but all over the world.

One of the best ways to ensure that your social media presence is helping with SEO is by being as authentic and genuine as you can when making updates.

Social Sharing

We aren’t going to get into if social sharing is a ranking factor or not today, let’s just assume that it is. After all, social shares definitely won’t hurt you.

Let’s look a bit beyond how social sharing will help you. How do your posts or website look when you share them on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. Did you know that you can actually control the way they look?

As you immediately notice, the image on the left has a full size image, a great title and a great description.

The image on the right has a small thumbnail, and a confusing title and description.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement this type of structured data on your website check out our section on structured data for SEO. It only takes a few moments to implement this code into a website.

Make social media sharing easy on your website. On all of my websites I implement really clean looking social sharing buttons. Some social sharing buttons act not only as social sharing buttons but as social share counters as well. I wouldn’t advise using these on your website until you start getting some traffic, after all having zero social shares might not look good.

Social Reviews

In the past few years, we’ve found that social reviews have played an important role in SEO. Take Facebook for example, we don’t know if Google gives preference to Facebook pages with reviews, but we do know that Google recognizes them:

Most website visitors are much more likely to trust a website that is recommended by their friends than by Google. Websites that have a strong social presence are not only more share-worthy they are much more likely to be recommended as well.

Social Media Presence

Choosing which social networks to join can be a daunting task. Not every social network is appropriate for all users. For instance a website about puppy accessories might be great on Facebook and Pinterest but maybe not as well on LinkedIn.

At the very least, it is probably a good idea to register an account and claim your page for all major social networks. You don’t have to setup your page, but you don’t want someone else claiming it for your and pretending to be you. This could send a negative signal to Google and cause all sorts of problems. Once you’ve decided which social networks you want to join, it is recommended to link to them from your website using standard social network icons:

Don’t try to get fancy when it comes to your social network icon links. You can use colors that match your brands, but make sure the overall icon remains the same.

Try to resist auto-posting your content on social media. While it might be ok to occasionally schedule your posts, if you make this your top strategy it will stick out like a sore thumb and your fans might not come back for more, or even unlike your page.  You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to measure your social media presence and manage it as well.