If you're looking to improve your SEO, you might be surprised to hear that social media can really help. SEO is at the top of the list for most small businesses looking to grow their sales with the help of their website. They "get it". People use search engines, mostly Google, to find what they need. Whether it's a generation gap or a learning curve untraveled, most do not put social media quite so high on the list. If they knew how social media can help their search engine optimization efforts, they may change their minds.
Social Media Leads To More Naturally Built Links
If you've heard anything about SEO, you know that quality links to your content help to boost your ranks in search results. The key word there is QUALITY. Just any old link won't help. It has to be relevant. For example, if a spammer you hire places comments on a blog about a topic that has nothing to do with your industry, you won't see any benefit from it. In fact, it will be a detriment to your SEO because Google knows you're trying to manipulate them by generating links in an unnatural way.
So how does social media help grow your links more naturally? Simple, when people follow you in your social channels, they have an interest in the topics you tend to talk about. They also have their own followers. If your content is reshared or the right people see and appreciate your content, they may reference it in their own content in the form of a naturally built link. It's natural because they actually value your content and are referencing it for value to their readers. This is a valuable link.
Social Media Channels Impact Your Page Rank
Several studies, including this one by Moz, indicate that the volume of +1s, Likes, Retweets, etc... in social channels does affect your page rank directly. The major search engines have also indicated that they are using these metrics as signals in their search algorithms to determine how high or low pages are ranked.
Given that most small businesses want to rank well in Google, what would you guess is the best social channel to get shares and activity on? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Nope! Google+! That shouldn't really come as a big surprise considering Google+ is Google's search engine. Get traction there and you will notice social's impact on SEO quickly.
Social Media Amplifies Your Content So More Eyeballs Look For You
When a piece of your content is shared and amplified in social media, you attract attention. Enough attention and people will start to look for you in search engines. The higher the volume of searches for your content or brand, the more important Google will think you are and the higher they will rank you when you are searched for.