Social is on the rise
It’s no secret that the influence social media has on a website’s rankings is growing stronger every time that Google updates its algorithm. It’s actually become quite the hot topic – as you can see, a lot of blogs are picking up on the story!
At the same time that the influence of social is growing, it seems that the impact of links in general is on the decline. This doesn’t mean that link building is a lost cause, but perhaps it should give us pause to reconsider the emphasis we place on link building in comparison to the attention we’re giving our various social presences. For more information on social marketing check this out.
Video: SMX Advanced 2012 keynote: Matt Cutts on Links vs. Social Signals
Generally speaking, we’re all trying to get as close to the top of the organic search results as we can, so what’s wrong with taking the time to figure out how to get there without using up all of our resources?
Successful companies know to true value of social activity
Studies show that the companies who are enjoying the most success (higher rankings and the like) are engaged in plenty of social pursuits. Not only do they encourage and monitor activity surrounding their brand on third-party review websites for businesses like theirs, they are also working to make popular social channels a permanent part of their SEO and internet marketing strategies.
How does this work?
Social content ranks well in the organic search results. Regardless of where it is occurring, the fact of the matter is that public feedback matters. Whether someone is leaving a review about your business on a directory or travel website, or talking to their friends about your brand on Facebook, the social signals are beginning to build, and this is a good thing! Review and feedback websites maintain the feedback you receive, allowing it to rank well over time. Social channels are excellent resources for generating “in the now” social signals – these signals could concern recent events in the world and for your brand, or even just a buzz surrounding your latest sale or discount program.
Making social work for you
Some of the most successful strategies by far as those that emphasize the integration of social media use and activity into the core of SEO and internet marketing work. This can mean working towards tying social media use into a content marketing program, or making sure that more of the links you are building are coming from social sources.
(Please click on this image for a larger version — To see where this graphic originated, click here)
Content doesn’t have to be purely text anymore, something that lends itself well to an increase in social integration. Content can be audio, video, or graphic these days… there’s en an entire social channel dedicated to videos (YouTube anyone?) for just this reason, and visual social channels like Pinterest and Instagram are growing by leaps and bounds as more businesses and consumers realize the benefits of communicating using these mediums.
There is a lot of merit to be found in taking a more involved and proactive approach to your social media activity. You don’t have to stop building links, but you might want to reconsider how you build them, and how many you’re building currently. If you feel that your marketing budget might be standing in the way of more complete social integration, consult with a leading SEO company, they might be able to work something out that meets your needs without going over budget.