As an eCommerce owner, your main concern should be (among other) how much traffic you drive to your website and how successful you are at identifying your potential customers, reaching out to them and earn their trust. Once you earn their trust, they will be more than happy to purchase your products and services. In this view, social media has surely a big role in reaching out to customers, get them to shop with you and in building a lasting relationship by keeping the conversation between your social audience and your brand ongoing.
There is much dispute around the topic of social media and SEO; to be more clear, there is much speculation on how much do social shares and activity (social signals) influence how well you rank on Google.
Basically, do these really matter in Google?
The answer to that question is not that simple, but you better keep reading as it may not be what you think!
Is Google affected by social signals when ranking a web page?
In short, the question is whether sharing your website’s pages on social media and getting likes and shares make your brand rank higher on Google.
A lot of professionals in the field believe so and there have been researches proving the point, such as the following one from the very well known people over at Moz.
Their point of view is that stuff that gets shared a lot on social media is seen by Google as more valuable content than the one that does not get shares.
However, the counter theory states 3 facts that go against the direct connection between social media and SEO:
- Google has denied that it considers social shares to boost SEO
- Social media websites “nofollow” shared links which means that Google is instructed not to pass page ranks through the links in question
- There is certainly a correlation between page rank and social media but not necessarily a causation: this means that there is a common factor that causes the 2 (more social shares and better page rank) but not necessarily one is the direct cause of the other.
So should social media count for anything?
Absolutely yes; social media can have a great impact on your website traffic when used in synergy with content marketing, quality link building and a good SEO program in place.
Since having backlinks with a high PR rank linking to your website is still a big factor in ranking higher in search engines, social media activity can help you share your quality content and therefore raise the chance that you do get linked by other websites.
However, to be able to make social media work in your favor and help you in Google, you need to invest some serious time and effort in social media campaigns and activities.
This is what you should be doing with your social media
- Identify your target audience on social media and follow them; read what they share, what they are interested into.
- Start building a relationship with your target audience by sharing what you thing they will be very much interested into
- Don’t just share but also participate; share their content (content that you think is interesting), engage in ongoing conversations, give out useful information, comment on other posts
- Show your appreciation when someone shares your content, thank them, make sure your audience knows you pay attention to what they do
- Most of all, when you share your own content make sure you share quality content that is informative, of interest to your audience and relevant, otherwise none of your social actions will matter
Finally, if we go back to our question whether social media drives SEO ranking in Google or not, our final answer is the following.
Even if social media signals do not directly drive engine rankings, social shares certainly affect your SEO and help in your ranks by exposing your content to larger audiences that are interested in the products/services you sell.
On top of that, having an additional channel of communication such as social media is to reach out to your current customers and potential customers and talk to them directly is a great tool in terms of customer care, customer engagement and triggering word of mouth that leads to more traffic to your website. And that is certainly a WIN!