Social signals represent interactions, such as retweets, likes, and votes, of social media users with your brand, which indicate its popularity and quality to search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines use certain algorithms to determine the ranking of search results. The actual influence of social signals on the results of the algorithms is anyone’s guess, since the algorithms of search engines are protected via non-disclosure agreements. However, social media undoubtedly is the most effective way of promoting content on the internet, whether its blog posts, books, videos, services, or any other content, with the option for your audience or consumers to rate the services or share the content with their friends, through share buttons. Below are some ways in which social signals improve ranking:
The Number of Social Media Followers
The number of people following your brand on social media is indicative of your relevance to search engines. If you have a large number of followers, the search engines will recognize that and it will positively affect your ranking in search results. Another contributing factor related to social media is the number of shares or retweets your brand gets, as a large number of shares boosts the referral traffic to your site.
Search engines also recognize and take into account the number and quality of backlinks when ranking search results. Backlinks are links on other websites which lead to your page. The more trusted and relevant those websites are, the better the quality of your backlinks.
Reviews indicate the satisfaction of your customers with the services or goods you provide, and as such, are relevant for various businesses. Hence, if you are a business owner, you should incorporate a review system on your web page, since good reviews will contribute to your page being ranked better by search engines. You should also consider websites which specialize in providing information on customers’ reviews, as good reviews on such prominent sites will also boost your ranking.
How to Increase your Social Signals?
If you are looking to improve your search rankings by increasing social signals, perhaps you should consider hiring one of the many agencies offering their services online, such as Eight Clients to create a social campaign for you. High quality and entertaining content is crucial for positive interaction. Once the content is right, you should also make sure it finds its place in the news feed of social media, by posting regularly, or giving incentives to share your content, such as periodical giveaways. It is also important to note that different social media sites may require you to produce different types of content in order to be present on all of them.
Low Bounce Rates
If people who visit your web page also spend some time browsing it or reading content, it means that the content you provide is relevant. On the other hand, people immediately returning to their search results after clicking on your page is indicative of the opposite. Lower bounce rates and more time spent browsing your web content will help you to get ranked better than your competitors.
When people rate, review, or like your business or services online, it is likely that your web page will also appear as suggested to the friends of that person since many social media sites use personalized results to show their users content in which their friends are interested. By making your content appealing and interactive you can use this cascade effect to improve the presence of your brand online.
A greater online presence of your brand results in more people searching for it in search engines. Frequent search queries including the name of your brand will contribute to it coming across as relevant and trustworthy, which in turn results in the search engine ranking your web page better in search results for content similar to that which you provide, even when your brand is not included in the search query. For example, if your company deals with music instruments, a large number of searches such as “/your shop name/ guitars” will help you get better ranking when people search “online guitar shop”.
Although there is no definitive answer to the question of in what way and to what extent social signals affect the ranking of your web page in search results, the indirect correlation between popularity on social media and ranking is quite obvious. This is the reason why companies put in considerable effort into planning and implementing social media marketing. After all, even if social signals didn’t boost your ranking, social media would still be one of the best ways to make your company available and easily found online, along with promoting your content to a growing global audience.