Social signals are now the #1 drivers for SEO rank today. According to the SearchMetrics SEO Ranking Factors study of 2013, search engines are increasingly putting more weight on the Facebook Likes, Tweets, Google Plus +1s, Pinterest pins and more. These social actions are generating a lot of “SEO Love” from Google and Bing; and have now become the top 5 factors in determining the SEO rank of your website.
ShopSocially (a.k.a. Zinrelo) conducted a Webinar to highlight how social signals can be used to boost SEO rank. Webinar highlighted the importance of Social SEO in today’s world of social networks and presented 5 strategies to boost SEO rank using social signals. This blog post showcases the key highlights of this Webinar along with the recording and presentation used in the Webinar. Attendees were intrigued with the social SEO concept and asked a lot of interesting questions (check the questions and answers section towards the end of this blog post).
Recording of the Webinar:
Presentation used in the Webinar:
Key highlights of the Webinar:
Social signals are important for SEO ranking because:
- Google has personalized search (for a user logged in with a Google account) and shows different search results to logged in users based on their social profile and actions
- 7 out of top 8 SEO ranking factors are social in nature (source)
- Google now suggests that “webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share”. This clearly demonstrates the importance Google places on social actions
5 strategies to boost SEO rank using social signals:
- Google Plus Authorship: Validating Google Plus profile and verifying Google Plus Authorship increases the authenticity of content you produce. Google Plus authorship is closely tied to content authority
- Create Shareable Content: Over the time, publishers have become more focused on creating content which pleases search engines. However, search engines are now putting more importance on quality content which users will like to share with their friends and community
- Maximize Sharing Opportunities: Passive sharing buttons generates very low engagement. Instead tactics like explicit call to share, in-context rewarding increases engagement and increases the sharing rate by 50-100x
- Optimize Shared Content: Ensure that all elements of the snippet that gets shared on social networks are optimized for maximum SEO benefit. While elements like title, description, image and URL can be controlled and set as desired, you can influence the ‘share blurb” also by providing a sample text which users can refer to for sharing
- Bringing Back Fresh and Authentic UGC on Your Website: Shared content becomes the authentic UGC for your website which can be collated and published back on your website. This increases the freshness of content, reduces bounce rate and increase the time spent on the site. For e-commerce sites, it acts as on-site social referrals and drives higher conversions
Selected Questions and Answers from the Webinar:
Question: Does Facebook allow providing incentive to user to Like a particular page? Is it legal as per Facebook rules?
Answer: Facebook rules allows providing incentive to user to Like a page as long as this incentive is also available to users who have already Liked the page. Facebook does not allow restricting such an incentive to only new fans and excluding the existing fans.
Question: Is sharing a purchase predominant in a particular age group or demographic?
Answer: No. We haven’t seen any particular age-group to be more prone for sharing (as against the popular belief that teenagers and youth are more likely to share stuff online). Instead our data has shown that females more likely to share their purchases online, though it is not a huge skew.
Question: Do you recommend a brand create a persona for Authorship on Google Plus?
Answer: Yes, brands can also benefit from verifying their identity and validating the content they are producing. It will have a positive impact on the SEO rank of their website.
Question: Do you recommend ‘gamification’ to promote social sharing?
Answer: ‘Gamification’ works great for driving social sharing. However it is important to note that gamification will not convert a user who was not willing to share but instead will nudge a user who is tentative and ensure that she shares to participate in the contest. Thus, it is a great tool to identify right set of users who are most likely to share your content online, and not necessarily to convert users who were not earlier willing to share the content.