Social Media and SEO: Powering Your Online Presence

cellphone screen showing social media applications like facebook, instagram and X

The social media explosion shows no signs of slowing down and I guarantee that most people you know will use at least one social media platform daily. This type of exposure, usage, and global appeal has many uses for business including SEO. In this guide, I take a look at the relationship between social media and SEO, how one can boost the other, and the top platforms your business should leverage.

Understanding the Relationship Between Social Media and SEO

We need to start by being clear on how social media affects SEO because this is something that is often misunderstood. Google and other search engines generally do not use social signals (likes, shares, number of followers, etc.) or social media performance as a ranking factor.

Statistics may show that content with higher social signals ranks higher, but this is just a correlation – not a direct result of the social media performance or engagement. Instead, as you will see below, social media has a range of indirect benefits to your SEO efforts.

How Social Media Supports SEO Efforts

Ok, so social media and SEO aren’t intrinsically linked and there is no direct SEO benefit, so why bother? Social media has a fantastic range of indirect benefits that are proven to boost SEO such as via backlink generation, driving traffic, and improving your authority.

Backlink Generation

London’s top SEO consultant will readily tell you the importance of backlinks as part of a successful SEO campaign and social media can help with this. You can include backlinks to your website and products in your social media posts and the more popular you are on these platforms, the better the backlinks perform – simple.

SEO Insight

Insight is an invaluable tool that is often overlooked but social media platforms are some of the best places to gather it. The more information and insight you can gain on current trends, and your customer’s preferences, the better you can tailor your SEO strategies. Social media offers a nearly endless stream of insight – you just have to put in the effort to use it in your SEO campaigns.

Drive traffic and engagement

Well-written social media posts with engaging content naturally drive traffic to your website which ultimately benefits your SEO. One of the advantages of social media marketing is the ability to make visually appealing posts in a short period of time. This constant stream of content will ultimately drive customers to your website and products/services.

Improve search traffic

While social media doesn’t directly affect search rankings, it indirectly affects how many people search for your business and products. People who have positive social media interactions with your company are far more likely to search for you on Google which can indirectly drive search traffic.

Boost your authority

Authority is a ranking factor involved in SERPs, for example, Google has the EEAT approach (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Therefore, having a large social media following and excellent engagement can boost your authority and show Google that you are indeed a worthwhile business.

Best Social Media Platforms to Utilize for SEO

Some social media platforms are simply better than others when it comes to SEO mainly due to their popularity, but also due to their content types.

YouTube

Video content is superb and engaging and YouTube has one of the largest audiences on the internet. YouTube videos often show up in search results and there are also rich snippets that contain the YouTube video thumbnail. Being owned by Google, it stands to reason that YouTube is a popular social media option for SEO.

Instagram

Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform and it’s surprising how many people use it for simple searches. Adding SEO keywords to your profile bio and posts can work wonders, as can the strategic use of images and video content.

X

Although X (formerly known as Twitter) has had somewhat of a hard time recently it still remains an incredibly popular social media platform. Having a large following and a high ranking on X is proven to yield desirable SEO effects. Many people use X to search for companies, trends, and news topics so if your posts rank higher, you can benefit from improved traffic and backlinks.

Facebook

The popularity of Facebook is somewhat diminished and it could be seen as appealing to an older audience now with the popularity of platforms like TikTok and Instagram. However, if your business typically has an older audience, you can leverage your Facebook following to boost your SEO. There is of course the popular Facebook Ads PPC platform too that is known to yield better conversion rates compared to Google Ads.

TikTok

TikTok is the social media platform for the younger generations. Many Gen Z kids use TikTok daily and it has become part of their routine including searching for products and companies. For example, research shows that a high percentage of teens use TikTok to search for simple things like where to go for a bite to eat! This exposure with the younger generations is ideal if your business targets that demographic.

SEO and Social Media go Hand in Hand so Boost Your Online Presence Today

Although social media doesn’t impact SEO directly, the indirect benefits shouldn’t be ignored, and utilizing platforms like YouTube, X, and Instagram should be a main part of your SEO and content marketing strategies.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.