The last few years have seen many new changes in the way Google views and calculates SERPS (search engine results page). From Panda to Penguin, it seems the "Big G" is destined to make life for internet marketers that much more difficult. With the advent and popularity of social media platforms Google gained a new metric to measure the popularity and authority of a website.
How much of rankings are effected by social media signs? Only Google knows, but Matt Cutt's announced back in 2010 that Google definitely uses social signs in calculating rankings. Whether in the form of likes, tweets or shares, the writing is on the wall. Social media signs are here to stay and they will continue to get stronger each year. Who knows? Social media may even overtake link building at some point. So it's time to jump on-board the social media bandwagon.
So what does that mean for the rest of us vying for top rankings and traffic? Well, the only viable option is to leverage every single social media platform and integrate it into an all conclusive SMM/SEO/SEM campaign.
Here are some sure shot ways of easily (and effectively) incorporating social media signs, which are sure to increase you company's brand awareness and on-line visibility.
Step 1: If you have not done this already, register with all the social media platforms. Yes, this means Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Pinterest.
Step 2: Integrate each of the social media platform buttons into your site. This makes sharing, liking or tweeting on your site that much easier for visitors.
Step 3: Post or tweet compelling content or newsworthy stuff. Here is your chance to shine and show viewers you are the authority on a given subject or topic. Do this on a regularly basis. It's very easy to get lazy, but consistency pays off (just like with link building).
Step 4: If you are a local business, increase the number of citations on relevant regional forums and directories. Citations are mentions or listings of your company name and address without any link. These are very powerful metrics for local SEO.
Step 5: Sit back and watch the magic. Just like link building, increasing social media signs in context to SEO is a long term strategy. Persistence pays off.
There is no doubt in the SEO community that social media signs are going to be used heavily by Google over the next few years. You wonder why? Well, social signs are a lot harder to replicate, than say, link building. I am certain there will be software or tools that could automate such processes (and I'm quite certain they already exist).
It's always a catch up game with Google. Just when you think you have everything understood, the Big G changes the rules. Then again, that's what makes SEO so much fun. The landscape is always changing and evolving. And as internet marketers, we too have to adopt with the ever changing guidelines of Google.
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Zain has been in the internet marketing space for several years helping businesses of varying sizes achieve on-line results. He currently heads the very talented SEO team at LocalDirective, which is a Digital Marketing Agency. When he’s not analyzing rankings, traffic and conversions, Zain likes to travel the world and take his motorbike to unthinkable speeds.