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Social Media on SEO

Social Media on SEO are optimistic about driving more website traffic to businesses. In fact, with as many as 4.8 billion people using the internet and 3.8 billion on social media, using the digital ecosystem for marketing has to be a primary business focus. Beyond, much of the time people spend online is done via mobile devices, as shown in the graphic below from Hootsuite.

Effects of Social Media on SEO

Marketers shouldn’t underestimate 50% of the time (almost 2 hours per day) using social media via mobile. As well as following brands, celebrities, and news on their favorite platforms, consumers are adding rich content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Every conversation or post creates something new.

The good news for digital marketing teams is that while follows, likes, and shares do not correlate directly with search engine optimization (SEO), good quality content does. For example, pushing out content on social media that people want to engage in and explore improves their chances of making it to your website. This assists off-page SEO, better domain authority, backlinks, and generating followers. Suddenly, you have attributes that will improve your ranking.

This post will examine how social media correlates with SEO and how brands can succeed effectively.

Social Media, Traffic, and SEO

Social media helps improve your brand visibility, supporting the SEO efforts that drive traffic to your website. The more channels you are visible on, the greater the potential to get traffic and revenue with online marketing. If you have a conversion rate of 10% and 200 people visit your site, you get 20 sales at face value. If you have 500 visits, you are going to get 50 deals. It may not be that straightforward, but the point here is that traffic equates to revenue.

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Social media services can play a big part in generating traffic. The screenshot below shows searching for entrepreneur Elon Musk via Google as a starting point.

Social Media on SEO - Elon Musk

Google is crawling social media for results as Elon Musk’s Twitter feed and Instagram profile are returned with the latest stories against them.

The same logic applies to brands searching for boohoo returning their Twitter feed on the first page of Google search results.

Social Media on SEO - Feed

Other brands, such as Simply Cook, have their YouTube videos, LinkedIn profile, and Facebook page, all showing Google rankings.

We could probably go on all day with examples, but the fact is that Google scans social media content and ranks it. Therefore, you should treat the content on your pages the same way as your website or blog, as a method of SEO to accumulate traffic.

Social Signals and SEO

A social signal is a human interaction metric gained via platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, and Reddit (as well as countless other social media sites available today). This includes likes, dislikes, comments, shares, and follows, representing affiliation to a brand, whether positive or negative.

As more consumers have joined many social media channels, social signals have become essential to organic search engine rankings. While Google has said that social signals are not a natural part of their ranking algorithm, those websites showing on page one tend to have the highest share volume. The research from Cognitive SEO below shows the link between social interactions and rank.

Social Media on SEO - Social Network Activity

If there is no direct link between then it is fair to assume the following:

  • Brands and people with a high volume of social signals are generating more traffic to their pages due to higher visibility
  • More content is developed and likely to build backlinks that are very effective for SEO with many social interactions.

On that basis, it is vital to keep social media content relevant and up to date. Readers are interested in quality content, and they will interact with it if that’s what they see.

Social signals create traffic to your site. Consumers see something they like and create links. Even if social signals are not part of a tiny weighting in Google algorithms, the long-term impacts of backlinks and domain authority are vital for SEO.

Some ways that you can ensure you stay at the top of social media feeds include:

  • Posting daily or even multiple times per day to keep relevant. The volume should relate to what you feel applies to your brand. Some celebrities might post constantly, but consumers wouldn’t expect that from a construction or engineering company, perhaps.
  • Using video and images which are engaging for social media users
  • Creating original content without sharing existing articles would improve somebody else’s visibility.
  • Vary content between social media platforms. Users expect to see different voices and tones depending on their viewing platform.

The search algorithms of Google, Bing, and other engines are black boxes in that nobody is 100% certain about what helps with ranking. However, with the amount of content generated by social media today and people’s interaction with it, evidence suggests that the platforms create valuable SEO content. While that may come indirectly via backlinks, social signals are essential for digital marketing.

Social Content Reach and SEO

Social media helps your content reach as many people as possible. This includes those who may not have ever realized you exist before appearing on their social media news feed. Strong content will translate into high-quality traffic.

Research conducted by Matthew Woodward showed the value of social media when trying to rank for specific keywords, in this case, “Unhealthiest Foods.” Shortly after, the post got a featured snippet for the keyword search engine rankings (see the screenshot below). In short, the post was shared on social media and got the backing of celebrity George Takei, generating 16,000+ likes and 8,000+ shares.

This follows on from what we believe of the impact social signals have. The high volume of shares and likes creates a following and advocacy for content. With that, organic rankings receive a boost thanks to the quality content.

It is also essential to remember that while the current Google algorithm states it does not consider social signals, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay the same. After partnering with Twitter back in 2015, signals were used. Always watch the news to see what the search engine powerhouses consider the most crucial ranking factors.



Social Media and Keywords

Source: Matthew Woodward

To maximize the effectiveness of social media content, just like traditional SEO, keyword research is vital to attract the right audience. Neil Patel has suggested that social media is “the new SEO” in his article. He means that consumers go straight to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn to find what they need and skip the search engine altogether. Therefore, brands and people must optimize their social profiles with content and keywords for business websites.

There isn’t necessarily the best social media platform for SEO, as they all have advantages. The key is thorough research and determining where your target audience consumes social media.


The stats vary depending on where you read them, but Facebook has about 2 billion monthly users. All of these people will be sharing content. With Facebook, you can target user interests at a very granular level. You can think of this in the same way as you would keywords. For example, what type of person is likely interested in your product and service based on their demographics? If you tailor your marketing efforts to those groups, the content will be read, liked, and shared more readily.


YouTube isn’t far off Facebook for monthly users as video creates highly engaging content. Videos posted on YouTube certainly have some bearing on ranking, as the most popular ones tend to appear at the top of search engine rankings.

Optimizing your SEO via YouTube is vital to have clear descriptions and tags against all content you add. A key component is harnessing your video text’s power with transcripts, closed captions, and subtitles.

It is important to remember that Google owns YouTube, making it far more likely to crawl the platform within its algorithms. Creating popular content ensures the videos and the text is shared, generating links and optimizing SEO.


Twitter hashtags are used in marketing to generate awareness of brands, people, and content. We have already seen that Tweets appear in Google searches, assuming they still crawl the platform and count towards SEO. A quick search for the US President brings up the most recent Tweets at the top of search results.

Social Media on SEO - Donald Trump


To make the most of this, having a Twitter presence is vital. Following that, just like any other form of SEO, it’s all about the keywords. You will likely have done keyword research for your website or blog, and Twitter content needs to follow the same process. You mustn’t just haphazardly Tweet links that are not relevant. Ensure they relate to quality content and draw engagement from the audience.

Twitter has various analytics tools to help you with keywords and understanding your audience.

Takeaway on Effects of Social Media on SEO

There are many SEO tools, social media tools, and platforms in the digital ecosystem, and the key is finding your audience and focusing your efforts there. In contrast, content marketing on every platform is ideal. You sometimes need to step back and be realistic.

The key to optimizing SEO via social media is quality content. There is evidence that Google uses some social signals in its algorithms, but the best results will be those who engage with your social media posts. Many people can find you on social media, become advocates of your brand or business, and get your content seen. It’s a bit like a modern-day version of a pyramid scheme.

Social media positively affects SEO and is crucial for your digital marketing strategy.

Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, more business owners than ever before are taking advantage of social media marketing as a part of their integrated marketing plan.

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