The current internet infrastructure – that means, websites, blogs, media, ecommerce, in short, everything, lies on the foundation of social signals. This is not something surprising with the tremendous impact social media has on our modern browsing and sharing habits.
You might be confused at this very moment, having read through the first paragraph. “Social signals?”, you shake your head wondering. What are these?
Let’s kick off the article with a short explanation on the term “social signals”. Summarized, social signals are signals for any activity that is somehow connected with your website (or social media profiles for your website). Case in mind: you are a clothes designer with a website selling your clothes. A posted link on Facebook or Twitter will be a “social signal”, as someone has posted something about your website on social media. Likes, shares, retweets…everything counts as a social signal too.
You can call it the linkbuilding in social media terms, if you wish to.
And the reason I’m writing about this phenomenon is the fact that social signals are actually valuable when it comes to SEO. And I mean very valuable.
Can social signals be measured?
They seem to be able to, yes. According to SEO industry leaders MOZ, social signals for SEO can be measured by a “direct impact” factor. Such factors are the core of social media principles – number of Facebook shares, number of Twitter followers, volume of tweets that mention you or have a link of your website, and lastly, number of people having you in their Google+ circles.
Along with that, social signals have an “indirect impact” gauged via basic Alexa-related stats such as bounce rate (decrease here), time on site (increased time on site is previous in social signals for SEO), and repeat users visiting your website more often. Reviews – especially positive, of course, on social media and review-specific websites (such as Yelp!) also seem to have a strong effect on your website’s social signals count and serve as a measure tool.
How do I benefit from social signals?
Short and to the point: the power of social signals is for your website’s SEO. A high amount of social signals related to your virtual space mean improved ranking in search engines which is a total no-brainer. You’ll get way more exposure and hopefully rake in a permanent stream of visitors (and potential customers).
Social signals, if present, improve your stand and give you an advantage over your competition that is somehow lacking in terms of social media related exposure.
In other words, social signals are your safe bet to climbing Google and Bing rankings.
Can I improve my social signals opportunities?
I’ll go ahead and remind you that in order to receive quality social signals for SEO, you first need to have great content. Adding value to prospective readers is the first and foremost rule in terms of sharing (and users caring about what you do).
That said, the next thing you want to look out for is wide presence across social media platforms. Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn page, depending on your niche, even a Pinterest/Instagram account too. I’d go as far as creating a YouTube channel just because it synchronizes well with Google’s other products, such as Google+. Speaking of Google+, be sure to include it in your social media portfolio as it’s perhaps one of the strongest boosts of social signals.
If you want to have social signals higher in volume, you, obviously, also have to have a website dedicated to your brand, company or just content as a whole. In this, never forget to take care of the so called onsite elements that will raise your chances of having social signals for SEO. Among these are:
- A corporate/personal blog that is updated rather regular (1-2 times per week) with quality content (relevant, at least 500+ words).
- Social sharing plugins such as social buttons (Like on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, social bookmarks, Pin on Pinterest, etc)
- Become a fan/follower, otherwise known as connect plugins such as Like Us on Facebook, Follows Us on Twitter etc.
Social signals, as I already said, are like a buffed version of linkbuilding that is reserved to the realm of social media. Don’t underestimate them and take care of your website’s proper social media presence. You will feel the SEO benefits pretty soon, given the fact your audience engages with what you put out as content. With social signals, search ranking might be easy as pie, if you do everything properly.