How social signals improve search engine ranking

Welcome to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices series in which we discuss tips on how to improve search engine ranking!  This is part 2 of the series.  

Publishers and content creators are on a never-ending quest to drive their search engine ranking to the first page of Google search engine, Bing search engine, and Yahoo search engine. Once they reach the summit of discoverability, they still need to create fresh and engaging content to maintain their position.

It’s important for publishers and website owners to not just create great content, but also combine the power of SEO and social media by proactively promoting their content to a group of influencers and a community of followers to maximize the social reach. In order to better understand the dynamics between SEO and social, we first need to get a definition of social signals.

What are social signals?

Social signals refer to social share counts and engagement activities such as likes, retweets, votes, and pins, that indicate to search engine that consumers have interacted with and endorsed your brand.

How do social signals affect SEO?

Sharing is caring, as the saying goes. But are social signals a ranking factor?  There are many opinions on the impact of social signals on SEO. That said, many SEO experts agree that to improve search engine ranking, one should take into account the strong correlation between content with strong social engagement and high SEO ranking and domain authority.

Inbound marketing guru Jay Baer once said: “Content is fire, and social media is gasoline.” When you write and publish great blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, and infographics, the most effective way to get your content in front of your audience is through social media.

You can empower your target audience to “socialize” your content within their circles by adding sharing buttons to your site. Your followers can then cascade your content to their followers, much like when a rock drops into the water and creates a ripple effect. With every press of your ShareThis buttons, your audience is turning up the volume and the “heat” on your content.

Here are several ways that social signals and social media buttons crank up your SEO ranking:

1. Boosts referral traffic to your site

To generate more traffic to your site, you should make it easy for your readers to share your content with their social networks. For example, don’t leave your site’s visitors to manually copy and paste your URL into their social media posts. Your time-pressed readers won’t have the patience to do so. As a result, you will lose those opportunities to promote your content due to the bad user experience.

When you make it easy for your readers to share your content, they are more likely to share your content with their social networks, driving more referral traffic to your site.

 2. Increase the diversity of your backlinks

Backlinks are incoming links from other sites to a web page. Search engines take into account both the quantity and quality of backlinks when they rank a web page. A page with many high-quality backlinks tends to get higher search ranking.

If readers are clicking through to your website from trusted websites, such as Flipboard, Tumblr, and Reddit, search engines will follow the link, index the content, and rank your content accordingly. Our social media buttons will give your audience a variety of avenues to get to your content, thus giving your site a boost of good SEO juice.

3. Optimize for social, local, and mobile sharing

The digital mix of social, local, and mobile marketing (or SoLoMo) influences SEO in several ways.

Today, more people search on mobile phones than computers. They tend to research and purchase on the go. Search engines reward mobile-friendly sites with higher search ranking. Our mobile-optimized and audience-specific share buttons will help to improve your search ranking by offering your visitors an easy, convenient way to share your content.

If you have multiple locations and local landing pages for your content, you should optimize the click throughs and social signals on your website because they are the key factors that impact local search rankingShare buttons can amplify your local landing pages to drive the local buzz about your business and search volumes skyward.

Do you know what else is a very important factor for local search ranking?

Social proof.

By social proof, we are referring to content like reviews, article comments, and quotes from subject matter experts.

Social proof content adds authority to your content by showing that the content is valuable and trustworthy.

You can amplify customer reviews, case studies, and other “social proof” via social media buttons, which are also a form of social proof — if a reader sees that thousands of people are sharing your content, the person will more likely to check out the highly-shared content and share it as well.

4. Reduce bounce rate can improve search engine ranking

Bounce rate is often an important but overlooked factor among all the factors that impact SEO ranking.

When your visitors land on your content from a search engine, they tend to ask themselves:

1. Is this content going to give me reliable, valuable insights?

2. Have others read this content, and found it worth reading?

3. Should I go back and check other results from the search engine result page?

When you embed a set of sharing buttons and showcase the total number of times a piece of content was shared, the share count reassures your readers that others have shared the content, so it’s likely worth their time. As a result, the reader is likely to spend more time engaging with the content instead of bouncing shortly after landing on that page.

You should properly tag your pages with the Google Analytics tracking codes to gather insights and continuously optimize. For key pages on your site like your blog, service descriptions, and “About Us” page, you can look into the bounce rate to determine the level of engagement and interest in the content.

Want to turn up the heat on your website’s SEO ranking?

Social sharing buttons make it easier for your audience to amplify and share your content, thereby increasing the awareness of your company’s brand. More backlinks, click throughs, and landing page impressions will help elevate your web presence on search engine result pages while increasing audience engagement.

Get your ShareThis share buttons and amplify your digital content now!

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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