Understanding How Social Signals are Changing SEO

Online businesses face a huge task when it comes to achieving the top rankings in search engine results. Although search engine optimization has been the main driver for achieving top rankings in the past years, social media is today being used as an effective tool to get higher rankings through social signals and social proof. What exactly are social signals? They are the likes, pins, votes, views or shares that people place on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media networks that filter out to search engines. Today, more businesses are using this technique for higher rankings. What should you know about this new ranking process?

What makes social signals different from traditional SEO? Traditional SEO makes use of the right keywords, anchor text links and backlinks to achieve high search engine rankings for sites. However, search engines are now moving away from traditional ranking and shifting their focus towards the value of a website’s content and customer feedback through social signals. Social signals are proof that customers know your business and are talking about your brand. Search engines view social signals or social proof as trusted recommendations. Businesses that have a huge social presence and credible social proof are able to improve their SERP rankings.

How can social signals be used to help your business? The first thing you need is to have a social media presence in all main social media networks. Your main goal is to publish relevant content and share it widely on a regular basis. With an active social media presence, you will be able to ask questions, share latest events, give recommendations, upload photos and videos, place facts, promote your products and share experiences. By providing valuable content, the customers you interact will be more willing to share, like and comment on your published content. The more social signals you are creating, the higher your chances of boosting your SERP rankings. Social signals also help reduce bounce rates, improve brand visibility online and help you enjoy repeat site visits.
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What has made social signals a must-have for online businesses? With millions of people staying in touch and sharing information through social media, social signals have become the natural outcome of this major communication shift. Today, most people shop or visit particular sites through direct recommendations from someone they trust or social signals instead of the traditional way of using site rankings to determine what sites they will visit. By having a socially linked website, you can enjoy improved brand awareness and better conversion rates, which lead to positive customer reviews through social signals. As social media use grows, consumers will continue using social signals to help them make the right product or service choices.
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What are the things you should be doing? The biggest mistake that most business owners make is failing to have the proper social media marketing strategy. You don’t want to create social media sites and leave them dormant. You need to update your sites with diverse content like bookmarks, re-shares and posts. Remember that your focus is the customer in your social media marketing strategy. Social signals and social proof can be very effective in marketing your brand to customers and keeping them engaged in ways that traditional SEO only cannot accomplish.

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