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If you ever had any doubts about the impact of social marketing on your SEO ranking – think again.
Fifty percent of businesses worldwide – that said they struggle with SEO – don’t integrate social media, according to a study done by Ascend2. Another interesting fact from that same research is nearly half of companies who were having great SEO success cited valuable content creation as their number one reason as to why. (and, of course that’s content you’ll “share” in your social marketing efforts)
Not convinced? Numbers don’t lie.
Search Metrics just released its research on SEO Google ranking factors for 2013. What did the highest ranked URLs all have in common? High shares on social media.
Sure, technical factors like URL length, keyword-rich text and word count still play important roles, but those points surprisingly dropped to the bottom of the SEO strategy barrel.
Here’s how the top 10 factors played out, based on the relationship between Google search results and various factors influencing it using the Spearman Correlation*:
1. Google +1s .4
2. Facebook Shares .34
3. Number of backlinks .34
4. Facebook total .34
5. Facebook comments .33
6. Facebook likes .31
7. Pinterest .29
8. Tweets .29
9. % backlinks rel=nofollow .25
10. SEO Visibility of backlinking URL .2
As you can see, social marketing rocked the charts. You can view the entire list of factors here. (And although they didn’t make the list, you might notice that LinkedIn profiles quite often show up high in search results, as well.)
Social media tips that help SEO
Want to get started? Here’s some advice to help you extend your social reach and boost your SEO.
- Tweet your content – it gets indexed 50% faster that way
- Your domain will rank higher in correlation with high levels of social activity. It proves that you are “real” and triggers search engines.
- The more social shares you get, the higher your ranking – because shares help trigger the freshness portion of Google’s search algorithm
- Make your content easy by including sharing buttons on your content pages.
- Make your tweets under 120 characters, so they are easier for people to re-tweet.
Become an SEO success story
Certainly social media isn’t the cure-all. It’s still crucial to follow optimization best practices for your sites and content. However, I encourage you to dive into social media to see how it can enhance your SEO strategy this year… and take your business to the top of the charts, too!
*In case you were wondering, Wikipedia defines the Spearman Correlation as “a nonparametric measure of statistical dependence between two variables. It assesses how well the relationship between two variables can be described using a monotonic function. If there are no repeated data values, a perfect Spearman correlation of +1 or −1 occurs when each of the variables is a perfect monotone function of the other.”