Does social media influence your SEO?

Handling your social media is a necessary part of any marketing strategy, but it’s also a vital part of any good SEO strategy. The popularity of social media has risen and probably will keep doing so. That means Google and other search engines can’t ignore them, and you probably shouldn’t either. You even see recent tweets popping up in search results now! So let’s discuss: how does social media influence SEO?

Customers are looking for you

SEO is about being found, so let’s start with the basics. If people are looking for you, make sure they find you! Customers that have heard about your brand might look for you on social media, or even through Google. As a professional company or brand, they expect you to be there. You don’t want them to come up empty, or worse: stumble on another business with a similar name while thinking it’s you. For that reason, it’s a good idea to claim your profiles. Even if you’re not planning on using the platform right now, you might want to in the future.

If you do register on a social platform and are not planning to actively maintain the profile, let your visitors know. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have the option to pin a tweet or post right at the top of your profile. In that post, explain that while you are not actively present there, they did find the right brand and yes, they can reach you. Point them to other means of communication, like email, make it easy for them! Another plus of claiming profiles: If in the future you do decide to start using a platform, you’re ready to go. Social media is ever-changing, so you never know if you might.

Setting up your social media accounts

When you register with social media platforms, do so seriously. Use a high-quality logo and fill out all the fields offered. If you have physical stores: add them, and their opening hours. A Google My Business account is especially valuable for this! In general, make sure your profiles look professional and up to date. And: be consistent. Use the same brand name across platforms, so people (and search engines!) know it’s you.

Social accounts showing in search results

Did you know that your social accounts can show up when people search for your brand name in search engines? For example, in Google’s Knowledge Panel. Here’s an example of what that looks like:

That looks professional, right? It adds trust as well because users have no doubt that if they click the profile buttons there, they’ll end up on your social account. Learn more: How to add social profiles to Google’s Knowledge Graph.

Latest tweets in search results

What we think is really cool is how Google regularly show an account’s latest tweets, right up there between other search results. Here’s an example of a so-called tweet carousel that shows when you search Google for [yoast].

This is a great way to showcase your business and what you’re all about, while enticing people to visit your profile and follow you for more. 

Claim your space in the search results

What’s also important: content like tweet carousels take up (way) more place in the search results! The same goes for your actual social accounts: they show up too. The more space you claim in the top search results, the more you push down other results. It definitely increases the chances of people clicking through to any of your places on the web!

More traffic to your website

Now you understand the actual benefits of claiming (and preferably regularly updating, but more on that in a later blog post) your social media accounts, how does that tie into your SEO strategy? The idea is quite simple: if people are talking about you, online or offline, you’re relevant. As you might know by now, that is what search engines are looking for: Google wants to present users with the most relevant results. They love serving up search results that they know others find interesting.

So if you offer awesome content on your website, why not spread it even further by referring to it in other places, like on Facebook? It’s your content so it’s yours to share. Help people discover you! By convincing people to click to find out more, read on, etc., your social media posts could seriously increase traffic to your website. If you want to post more on social, but often lack the time, Yoast SEO Premium can help you. With our Zapier integration, you can automate your social sharing and stay in control of what your social posts look like.

Brand awareness through social media

Having success in social media also increases brand awareness. If you’re sharing great content, people will connect that positive experience to your brand name and experience. They might share your content or even just ‘like’ it. Either way, they’re helping you reach a new audience. Social media algorithms like content that other people like, they’ll help spread it further. Now, if these new people see and enjoy your content, they might start following you! They’ll get to know you and your products, services, or whatever it is you want them to know about. 

Social media and SEO

Wrapping up: we wouldn’t say that just the fact that you are on social media has a direct impact on rankings. But, as with many ranking factors, it can help indirectly. An increased brand awareness, more traffic, people enjoying your content, all of those could help your website’s success.

So you know that it can pay off to use social media for your brand. But one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things of social media is: what do you ‘do’ on them? What kind of content are you supposed to share? How do you make a social media plan for your business or blog? How much time will it take? Is it worth it? We’ll cover setting up a social media strategy in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned!

Read more: Social media optimization with Yoast SEO »

Coming up next!

32 Responses to Does social media influence your SEO?

  1. Kristine Bolt
    Kristine Bolt  • 4 years ago

    My concern is super basic. What’s the point of pouring my time and effort into Facebook when even a well-known, solid company like Yoast gets less than 10 likes on a post and 1 share? What hope do I, a beginning writer, blogger, and business owner have?

  2. Frank Medina
    Frank Medina  • 4 years ago

    Hi Siobhan,

    Social media is always a fun topic to discuss since it is a place where millions of people go to interact with others. You’re right about claiming your space in search results to push down other competitors from possibly showing up in your search results. Looking forward to reading more articles on social media marketing.

  3. Suresh G
    Suresh G  • 4 years ago

    This is all well and good but what about those of us with almost no social media presence? It’s very slow to get followers on twitter, tumblr, mix etc without someone with very high reach singing your praises and spamming their followers about you, which of course nobody will do!

  4. John
    John  • 4 years ago

    Good read! We post on socials a couple times a week. We try to stick with direct backlinks and funnels. They seem to help. SEO takes a ton of spread out work, but every bit helps. Thanks for the advice!

  5. Zola
    Zola  • 4 years ago

    I use social media a lot and I notice it somewhat helps to make my brand seen and known. Thanks for the heads up! I will keep using my multiple social media channels.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Great, Zola! Good luck!

  6. rouben
    rouben  • 4 years ago

    Thanks for the post.

    I usually use basic seo tactics.

    I might try the social seo tactic.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Try both, Rouben :-) They only reinforce each other!

  7. Rick Samara
    Rick Samara  • 4 years ago

    Thanks for the great article on Social Media and SEO. We are a small agency that works primarily with local businesses like plumbers, attorneys, dentists.
    We stress to our clients the importance of a fully optimized Google MyBusiness account and other review sites.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thank you, Rick! Social media can definitely do wonders for local and small businesses. And indeed, optimizing Google My Business and review sites could mean a lot for them! Sounds like they’re lucky to have you :-)

  8. Kari
    Kari  • 4 years ago

    This article had perfect timing for us. We were just speaking with a customer about this — and have forwarded a link to this article to them. We think your content will be what pushes them to finally start making an effort with their social media platforms. Thanks!

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot for your comment, Kari! I’m so glad to hear it helps you out. Sounds like you do great work for your customers. Good luck!

  9. Mahmudul Rubel
    Mahmudul Rubel  • 4 years ago

    I think It is impacted. I do a little experiment where I get 291 shares on social media and that post rank on the first page on Google

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      291 shares is a great number in itself, Mahmudul! Nice work!

      It also might mean that your topic is very interesting/popular, and that the angle of your post is too.

  10. anisa97
    anisa97  • 4 years ago

    my sitemap can not read by google webmaster, I need help.
    anyone have same problem, this issue occur on 2019-Dec-18

  11. Rajat
    Rajat  • 4 years ago

    I have just started working as a Content marketer. This post was really helpful and I too believe social marketing is very important in the SEO.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Awesome to hear so, Rajat! Good luck with your new job!

  12. Danny
    Danny  • 4 years ago

    I think most social media communities have nofollow links these days so it doesn’t have a huge amount of influence SEO wise. BUT, of yopu manage to get tons of traffic and plenty of natural shares then surely it has to increase authority at some point.

    I always considered Social media as part of a plan but I would mainly use it to drive traffic from a targeted source. Nice article though, gives me some more to take into account. Thanks :-)

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thanks for commenting, Danny! Glad to hear you enjoyed the article. People could also be sharing your content that they encountered on social media, outside of social media. That really increases your reach!

  13. John Thornton
    John Thornton  • 4 years ago

    I absolutely think social media influences SEO in a positive way. Social Media Management is something we include in every SEO campaign here at our agency. We have seen very positive results.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      That’s great, John! Sounds like you understand the importance of holistic SEO!

  14. Mobasir Hassan
    Mobasir Hassan  • 4 years ago

    Yes I think so. I have seen post from Reddit when get 1000 upvote it also shows in Google searches. Social media also help crawling a site by bots. Increase traffic as well as natural links. Overall social media can hugely influence a site’s SEO.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thanks for commenting, Mobasir! That’s why we say social media should be taken into account when working on an SEO strategy :-)

  15. Anatolii Ulitovskyi
    Anatolii Ulitovskyi  • 4 years ago

    Of course, it influences )) It doesn’t matter – direct or indirect impact – the impact is huge. 70% of customers don’t buy from brands if they don’t engage with them on social media.

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      That’s quite a high number, Anatolii! Do you have a source I can look into? Seems interesting so I’d love to read more. Thanks for reaching out!

  16. Afupedia
    Afupedia  • 4 years ago

    I just wonder how to add social profile into Search results for user?

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Hi there,

      What are you looking to do exactly? Would you want your account to show up in the Knowledge Panel? Or do you want your blog to show up in the regular search results? Google offers some tips for that!

  17. Chris Pontine
    Chris Pontine  • 4 years ago

    More traffic which can possibly link back.

    Seems like a smart thing right there

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Definitely, Chris!

      Every time someone shares your content elsewhere you reach new people. If they enjoy your content so much that they create a link, that’s awesome!

  18. Anton
    Anton  • 4 years ago

    Really good reference, last month i think will get more traffic just with seo, but now i must admit that social media is necessary..

    Sorry for my bad english…

    • Siobhan Cunningham
      Siobhan Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thank you, Anton!

      Practicing great SEO is very important, of course. Social media can help you reach a whole different audience. Good luck!

      • lamia zina
        lamia zina  • 4 years ago

        Hello, i think social media can help you driving more traffic to website not help Seo ranking for example