Are Social Signals Still Important For SEO?

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Search engines optimization of today is not nearly the same as it was even just a short five years ago. Changes in SEO requirements mean that writers and webmasters need to rethink their marketing strategies. If anything, SEO is forcing us to become more competent at driving traffic to sites with quality content instead of relying on tired routines that get stale very quickly. The two categories that search engines generally use to rank their sites are relevancy and authority, both of which are essential to appearing high up on the search results page. This is even more important when you realize that few people looking for information or products go past the first page of results. In addition to these two metrics we should now add a third: Social Signals.

How Social Signals Matter

When we look at authority or relevancy of a site, these depend on things that are usually controllable. Relevancy can be put down to whether the title and the body of a bit of text is on target with its meta descriptions, anchor text and title tags. Authority is a measure of how many sites direct traffic to your site and so sites with higher authority are “trusted” because of their content. Social signals such as likes, shares, retweets, etc. can drive traffic through inbound links but even more importantly, it gets the message out to far more people than simply guest blogging or promoting posts would do. Relevancy is also at play here since people tend to share links that are helpful to others online. The correlation between the quality of content and the amount of social shares it garners is undeniable.

Organic Marketing at its Best

Social media taps into the most honest of marketing techniques – that of organic marketing. People tend to have more trust in information that comes from a friend or from family than from any advertising campaign. Once again, it’s quality that plays a huge part here in offering solutions to people who need them. While in the past these recommendations came from word-of-mouth, in today’s tech-driven society, far more people are moving their recommendations online. Social media has even adapted to this trend as can be seen from Facebook’s recent inclusion of a “Looking for Recommendations” status update which allows a user to go looking for organic marketing. The shares, tweets, and likes that a person gets all help to add to brand recognition and authority to the company’s information being passed around. The takeaway? Quality content makes for high impact.

The Complete Interaction

A website in today’s world of marketing is missing out on a glorious opportunity if it’s not using social media in its marketing plan. Most companies, including those in insurance, have a social media page of course, but by simply having a social media page that allows for shares from the page itself, a company isn’t opening itself up utilizing the social media juggernaut at its optimum potential. Having embedded items such as connect icons and share buttons for the major social media platforms turn the people who enjoy your content into dedicated marketers themselves. Even people who don’t agree with your content might share it in order to make fun of it, driving a possible attraction by those they connect with that want your products. Even a company’s opponents can be helpful to its plans.

Social media accounts on the major social platforms are not only necessary but they need to be run with expertise in order to deal with situations that may arise when dealing with customers online. Social media allows for one-to-one interactions with customers but also provide a platform where customers can criticize and refute, even maliciously if they are so inclined. Social media is powerful, but the rule about no such thing as bad publicity does not apply in this sphere. It’s a powerful engine to harness but it requires skill and tact to use successfully in order to drive traffic consistently to your business.

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