You cannot have failed to have noticed the impact that social media and networking is having on our lives, both personally and professionally. The likes of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin have now become so prominent across the World Wide Web, that many search engines have had to rethink their policies on including search results generated from these and other social networks.
More recently, Google and Bing announced that results from social network sites would be included in the search engine results pages also known as SERPs, through combining organic search results with those signals from social sites. This has caused something of buzz in SEO circles as both of these search engines have said that for some searches, results from social network sites will help to boost website rankings and in some instances, this boost will be greater than that achieved by more traditional results.
Naturally, this has big implications for businesses operating online as it gives a clear signal of how social media marketing is growing and how it is now becoming an important part of any SEO campaign.
So what does this mean for your SEO plan and marketing your online business?
These changes should confirm to you that social media optimization needs to be included in your SEO strategy. Tweets, retweets and Facebook Likes are becoming crucial components in gaining visibility through social networks for businesses and in creating a social footprint which will a have huge reach across the web.
The key thing to remember with social media marketing is that when people share content, including content that merely contains links to your website, it will appear not only on their social networks, but their friend’s networks too.
SERP’s aside, social media marketing goes much further. It allows us to engage with real people in much the same way that blogs written by individuals offer us thought provoking insights and inspiration. It is the human interaction offered by social networks that is proving to be the best form of promotion in the world of online media.
Finally, utilizing social media for things like testimonials can give your website a big boost in the credibility stakes, which in turn will add trust and loyalty to your brand – something which Google describes as essential to the way in which it ranks sites. Testimonials via social networking will come across as not only believable but also offer a way in which visitors or customers can relate to others who have had a positive experience with your products or services.