social media how to Do you know how social media impacts SEO?

Are your own search and social efforts aligned?

For many marketers, it’s not always clear how social media impacts search engine optimization.

In this article you’ll find numerous resources to help you understand how social media SEO works.

Why Social Media SEO?

It’s not enough to have a popular website with good content anymore. If you want better search engine results for your business, it’s time to look at how social media influences those results.

It used to be that SEO revolved around two things: using the right keywords, and the number of authoritative sites that linked back to your content via inbound links.

Then social media came along and changed everything.

Search engines have begun to incorporate social signals (Facebook likes, retweets, +1s and so on) to inform their search results.

The following articles dig a little deeper and explain what you need to do to make sure you succeed at social media and SEO.

6 Reasons Social Media Is Critical to Your SEO: If you need more clarity on how SEO and social work together, Stephanie Frasco explains on Social Media Today that the old days of website marketing are over and Google has found a newer, smarter way to measure the popularity of your website—social media.

How to Succeed at SEO With Social Media Marketing: On ExactTarget Amanda Nelson likens SEO and social media to peanut butter and jelly, the idea being that the two need each other to succeed. Dig in and enjoy the nuggets of wisdom and some best practices shared in a conversation between Amanda and her guest, Ray Grieselhuber.

exact target article

SEO and social media go together.

Now that you know why it’s important, let’s get down to business and talk about how you can align both your social and SEO efforts. Here are five best practices for social media SEO:

#1: Publish High-Quality Content

You’ll hear it over and over because it’s true: “Content is king, and everything else is gravy!” If you can get your content right, you’ll have set a strong foundation for SEO success. Here are some posts to get you thinking in the right direction.

Why Content Is Part of a Smart SEO Strategy: Google continues to push a quality-over-quantity approach to drive search traffic to a website. In this post on Search Engine Journal, Sujan Patel explains why quality content is important to SEO and how your strategy must go beyond keyword optimization and link-building.

search engine journal article

Quality content is important to your SEO.

How to Write So Google Loves You (Easier Than You Think!): Do you often wonder whether you should be writing for people or for search engines? Well, this excellent post from Nicholas Whitmore instructs you to just “write how you speak“—and with good reason. Check it out!

#2: Make Social Sharing Easy

Getting people to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other networks connects your brand to the wider social web, which allows your message to potentially reach thousands of prospects. The following posts explain how to get your content shared easily and quickly.

How to Customize Your Social Share Buttons for Increased Traffic: In this helpful how-to Social Media Examiner post, Angie Pascale walks you through the process of pre-populating social media share buttons for Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook with links to your own website.

6 Ways to Create Content Your Readers Will Share: This short and sweet post by Martin Lieberman of Constant Contact reminds us that the holy grail of social media is not likes, but shares and retweets. Social sharing is the tech version of word-of-mouth marketing that drives new business for a brand.

constant contact article

Social sharing affects your SEO.

Social Sharing: How to Inspire Fans to Share Your Stories: In this Social Media Examiner podcast, Simon Mainwaring explains how to tap into the power of your fans to spread your stories. One important lesson he shares is that brands have to stop talking about themselves and start talking about their customers.

600+ Places to Share Your Content and GET MORE Traffic: This is priceless! After you’ve hit the Publish button on your blog, you’re not done. This ultimate “power list” compiled by Kim Roach shows you 600 different places where you can distribute your posts to reach an even wider audience.

buzz blogger article

Distribute your posts to drive more traffic.

The Essential Guide to Content Sharing: Asking people to share your content is a simple way to boost your page traffic. Ian Cleary of RazorSocial shares a collection of social media “super tools” that make it incredibly easy to promote your content and reach new audiences.

#3: Boost Your Images and Profiles

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you know that images can be a powerful SEO magnet. The problem is, they’re often overlooked in favor of written content. This is a big mistake. These articles explain how images impact SEO and the different areas of image optimization that you need to focus on.

3 Ways to Optimize Images for Search, Social Media & User Experience: Ashley Zeckman of TopRank Blog explains how images can have a big impact on visibility in search engines. Her actionable tips on how to make your images important searchable assets are a must-read!

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Perfectly Optimized Images: Ann Smarty provides an impressive list of absolutely must-have WordPress plugins to optimize blog images and see your traffic spike. It’s got a lot of important details, but thankfully the screenshots make it easy to follow along.

seo smarty article

WordPress has plugins that help you optimize your images.

SEO Boost Your Social Media Profiles: Alex Chris shares how to optimize social media profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest for more brand exposure. The benefit of doing this is that more people will be able to find your profile, connect with you and ultimately visit your website. Sweet!

#4: Don’t Forget Authorship Metadata (Google+)

One of the most important features of Google+ is authorship. Simply put, this feature allows the author’s picture to appear next to search results of content they have created. The following posts explain how Google authorship impacts content creators and SEO.

Google Authorship: The Future of Your SEO Is You!: Over at Search Engine Journal, Bernadette Coleman reminds us how important it is to embrace author rank. With Google authorship, you can improve your search ranking and brand yourself as a thought leader in your field. And all you have to do is add a face to your work!

search engine journal seo article

Google Authorship will improve your search ranking.

How to Add Google Author Tags to Your Blog for Improved Search Results: In this Social Media Examiner article, Don Power asks, “Does Google know you’re the author of the content you publish?” A lot of bloggers don’t know how to answer that question, so if you’re one of them, you need to read all about it here!

Getting Authorship to Work: A Case Study: What can you do if you have trouble getting Authorship to work smoothly on your blog? Ruth Burr from MOZ, shares how her company navigated several hiccups to successfully integrate Authorship into, so you can troubleshoot your own installation.

comscore article

Troubleshoot any problems you have with Google Authorship.

#5: Measure Social Media Performance

Whatever your goal, measure! Measuring and analyzing your efforts are key to having effective SEO tactics. When you track and analyze what’s working, you can focus on the things that matter. These very instructive posts will start you off on the right foot!

Measuring What Matters in Social Media: There are many reasons your brand uses social media in the first place—increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales and many more. The only way to know whether you’re achieving those goals is to measure them. Unfortunately, as Tania Yuki of ComScore observes, many brands get fixated on measuring the wrong things.

comscore article

Measure the metrics that relate to your goals.

How to Measure Your Social Media Traffic Using Google Analytics: Liz Lockard is spot-on with her comprehensive instructions for using Google analytics to track the impact of your social media traffic. Having this information helps you know where to focus your efforts in social media!

How to Measure and Report Social SEO Metrics: Measuring social media is tricky enough, but measuring the impact of your social media efforts on SEO can be even more mind-boggling. Thankfully, Clayburn Griffin has you covered in this informative post on Raventools whose key message is, “Pay attention to the data. It will tell you what to do.”

What do you think? Do you have other tips and tactics to add to this list? Please share and link up additional resources in the comment box below.

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  • Jitendra Padmashali

    According to Search metric’s recent study of SEO ranking factors good activity on social media can earn you better rankings. Even if you are sceptical of the correlation that the social shares directly improved the rankings there’s also the factor that getting more people to see the content also lead to more links and visibility. Online visibility is what entrepreneurs should strive for to build their business on the Web.

  • SEO has traditionally been about optimizing web page copy by targeting keyword phrases in certain frequencies and densities. Yet search engine research shows that almost 85% of the total factors that determine how a web page is ranked in a search engine is based on things that happen off the page itself.

  • predsicker

    That’s exactly right Jitendra, “Getting more people to see your content leads to more links and visibility.” Thank you for sharing that.

  • predsicker

    That’s right Patrick, And by ‘things that happen off the page’ you mean, re-tweets, shares, Likes, +1’s and so on, right? Thanks for reading 🙂

  • James

    I know it’s a bit off topic, but I’ve been impressed by your knowledge and was wondering if you could help! I’ve got an fb page that has been doing really well, but about 3 weeks ago something happened and now nobody can share my page’s content without having to fill out a Captcha / Security Box. It is Killing my page! (Shares are down from 60 – 100 shares per post to less than 5). I haven’t received a single warning, email, or message of any kind to make me think the page was doing anything wrong. Frustrating.

    Any ideas?

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Thanks Patricia for these resources.

    Even though your content is high quality, it may not resonate with your audience. Find out what your clients, customers and readers want and need. Write for them.

  • Yusuf Ramdane

    Tank you ^^
    But i got a simple queston : dont you think that now google will punishe us if we will use the sources in the ” 600+ Places to Share Your Content and Get MORE Traffic … ” , because of the last guest posting upate ?
    Thank you a gain for the huge help 🙂

  • Matt Cutts the head of spam for google said in a video 2 weeks ago that google does not use any signals from Facebook or Twitter – Pinterest links are all no follow – No matter how optimized images are they will be of no use for on page SEO if they are neither spidered nor indexed – how would you respond to these 2 issues?

  • That’s right! Other people need to promote it (content) by linking to it or sharing it, which increases your trust and authority and helps the pages you want to rank well for certain keywords.

  • Hi there, Patricia. Thank you so much for including my article in your roundup! I’m glad you find it a helpful resource.

  • Hello Patricia

    Thank you for the great article and for the resources as well.It is very much helpful for the Internet Marketers like me and my other friends as well.

  • It’s nice to know more about how we can control our SEO ratings using social media. It all depends on your content because that’s what will attract more traffic, and more traffic means higher SEO rankings! Thanks for this great post Patricia!

  • Social Media makes life easy by giving users meaningful uses and useful information, It is such a big credit to reach our love ones at all times. Using Social media can promote SEO rankings and can lead to more possible clients through maximizing online presence.

  • Sahail Ashraf


    The social landscape has really transformed SEO. I was very pleased to see that incredibly useful ‘600 places’ post. Going to work through those as of now. I think it’s really important to remember that social has become the new ‘word-of mouth’. It really clarifies the power of the medium.

    Be interesting to see how this conversation grows. I for one am fascinated by the hierarchy of this new word of mouth. Which social sites are in the playground, and which are the dinner table attendees?

  • Thanks for the post, Looks like I am reading this all this for the very first time. 🙂

  • predsicker

    Hey Devinder, Thanks for reading!

  • predsicker

    Hi Sahail. Yeah that ‘600 places’ article is a keeper isn’t it? And you’re right, these days with the social media landscape continuing to diversify into multiple platforms, it will be interesting to see which new channels are getting more attention. I for one, am putting my money on Instagram 🙂 Thoughts?

  • predsicker

    You’re welcome John. Thnx for reading!

  • predsicker

    Thank YOU for reading Subodh. I’ll be sure to write more articles like this 🙂

  • predsicker

    Of course Martin. Good content MUST be shared, thanks for writing it!

  • Jiri Nachtigall

    That is exactly what I was thinking about. I would remove this old 2012 article since Google is fighting against guest blogging and if done in a wrong way people or better to say their sites can get into troubles. otherwise good and useful tips 🙂

  • predsicker

    I would say this: Should we stop tweeting and sharing content just because Google doesn’t CURRENTLY use those social signals? Of course not. There’s a ton of value in social sharing (and signals) because it drives traffic back to your blog, and lets people know about your brand (word-of-mouth). Besides, in that same interview he did acknowledge that things MAY change in the future. So just because there’s no direct relationship b/w social signals and ranking RIGHT NOW, there’s still too much benefit associated with social signals to throw out the baby out with the bath water. My 2 cents.

  • predsicker

    Hi Yusuf, great question. Here’s an article from Copyblogger that you should definitely read, to answer your question:

  • Sahail Ashraf

    Instagram works because people are embracing visual. It is more immediate. It also has Facebook as it’s ‘Daddy’.

    It’s growing faster than Pinterest too, which may surprise some people. Any business that works out how to use Instagram, basically, is going to enjoy 2014.

    I think it may be different to Pinterest in that it doesn’t have any pretences to art or ‘niche’, or even e-commerce at all, it just promotes speed and fun.

    And if you’re B2B, Linkedin is about to blow up, especially with it’s decision to allow more ‘influencers’.

  • Yusuf Ramdane

    Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu @Predsicker 🙂

  • Yusuf Ramdane

    whey delitting it ^^
    No just make an update 🙂

  • I agree fully – what I’m asking is of you is not call this SEO as that is a misnomer and as an expert in your field it’s important not to lead your readers in the wrong direction

    Search Engine Land defines SEO – stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users

    Facebook Twitter Pinterest can “drive traffic” to a website (digital marketing) but they have no value in pushing SERPS up the pages of Google and Bing organically – SEO – 2 completely different disciplines

    with the exception of Google+ “when signed in” you will see more “relevant” SERPS served up based on everything from your G+ posts, your location & even email content.

  • With all due respect Patrick the majority of SEO weight placed on search ranking is “on page” today because “that’s where the content is” – please google the term “google hummingbird” for clarification

  • Thanks for the respect and your thoughts! But we just have a difference of opinion. I think it’s primarily because I’m talking strategy and you’re talking tactics. Here’s what I mean:

    When I’m building an authority site, I don’t care about optimizing everything I write. I use a lot of metaphors and pop culture references instead of keywords to get people reading and linking to build the overall trust of the domain. Then when I want to rank well for something, my job is much easier.

  • so you’re ahead of the game as keywords are so 20th century but your efforts as described are in fact on page (I think we agree) which is why you’ll be successful – and kudos for even mentioning link building cause you ain’t gonna get no SEO juice without back links. if you want to to take link building to the next level I would advocate you become a disciple of Eric Ward aka Link Moses

  • I love articles that feature other articles: they take longer to read, but they provide a lot of useful data. I especially like the topic: there are so many rumours about SEO and Social Media – or SEOcial Media – so this brings a lot of light. Thank you.

  • There’s a lot of controversy around about what brings you good ranking and what doesn’t (see some comments on this very thread), however now and then some SEO companies do test or studies where it is proved what you mention: Social Media affects SEO and although may be true that links coming from Social Media platforms may not provide extra ‘juice’, the amount of traffic they send – especially if it’s quality traffic with a low bounce rate – clearly improves the final rank. Thank you for mentioning that study.

  • EXCELLENT response Patricia! Big thank you…

  • treb072410

    Number 1 is always the most important thing in doing social media.. You should really have a great content..

  • I get about 4000 visitors a month from Facebook to my website with a low bounce rate 1) what does one need to do to improve the ranking of a given (or any) keyword with this traffic? – I’ve not had much luck after about 50,000 said visits 2) As a ranking factor, how much weight does “bounce rate” impact SEO on this traffic .02% 2% or 20% (within the 200 or so signals Google evaluates)? I value your input & expertise

  • I’ve shared my input and expertise on other pages (last time at Jon Loomer’s page), but it seems you are not open to new ideas, but just to engage in never ending discussions and challenge other people (there’s a word in the Internet jargon for that). Honestly my time is more valuable than that.

    @predsicker:disqus: apologies for this comment, that will be all from me on this conversation.

  • predsicker

    Good insights Sahail. Thanks for sharing – didn’t realize that about LinkedIn. Will keep a close eye on that. Cheers 🙂

  • predsicker

    Thank you Antonio – I’m glad you found this resource helpful.

  • predsicker

    Fair enough. Why don’t you write a blog post with your thoughts on this subject, I think it’ll make a very insightful read for many (myself included).

  • actually, you never answered any of my questions you just told me what I was doing wrong which confirms confirms my thoughts – we’ll remove you from our list of possible partners – thank you for your time

  • Pingback: 18 Social Media SEO Resources to Improve Your Search Ranking - Brand democracy()

  • Dean Marsden

    Comprehensive list of resources! Thanks SME. for me, making content sharable and utilising Google Authorship is key to boosting SEO performance.

  • Emma Rorry

    Does it works the same if i’m using a local social app as

  • Nikolai Lacson

    Nice article, Patricia! I also love reading the discussions here most especially how Social Media affects SEO. It is, in fact, still not totally clear how/if Google really considers your social network presence to your website’s SEO ranking. The way I see it, practicing (Google accepted) SEO tactics and using social media is still the best way to do it to maximize your online presence.

  • I love your post! It’s nice to see all of this information in a single post. I am new to seo (just completed an seo training), so am very interested in having single sources I can refer back to. Yours is certainly on my list!

  • Hi Patricia, Thanks for sharing some important aspects of Social Media SEO. I have been working with some Government Organization for there facebook page and also made a blog for resources, driving traffic from fb page has helped me to get backlinks and rank better in google.

  • guptaabhijit318

    Thanks for this Guide; it’s such an wonderful and excellent analyzed guide for social
    media. I liked it…It is full of nice information…

  • Today social sharing is good signals for ranking

  • To measure my social media networks on a page I just use and it shows me my social media “virality”. The best part is it’s free and it takes like 2 seconds to get the data.

  • Social medias impact on search results is no new thing. Social media presence is felt everywhere on the internet. Google now tracks your authority on social media networks and thus rate you on rankings.

  • pallvi arora

    nice plz contact sir my id

  • which social media is best for seo?

  • John Allred

    Social media sites like face book, twitter helps people to know about your website, product or business. And it’s a very affective part of SEO.

  • John Allred

    Social media sites like face book, twitter helps people to know about your website, product or business. And it’s a very affective part of SEO.

  • Raees

    This site is amazing

  • alicia smith

    Thanks for sharing this informative article . SMO is more powerful and impactful technique for SEO . SEO has traditionally been about optimizing web page copy by targeting keyword phrases in certain frequencies and densities . Social media sites like facebook, twitter , Linkedin , Stumbleupon , Plurk helps people to know about your website, product or business. And it’s a very affective part of SEO .

  • SEO has typically been about improving website duplicate by focusing on keywords in certain wavelengths and densities

  • Guest

    Yes It is the procedure of getting visitors from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” results on look for engines

  • thanks fro sharing good information

  • To measure the social media’s performance, is the key thing that ever social media marketer has to do. Because it is the only way to know how is your content performing and how many people like it and share it.

  • Sanjay Dogra

    Same Predsicker

  • Chris Holt

    With new Google updates ranking your website is becoming more complex and backlinks are becoming harder & harder to build. It is definitely a case of ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’ these days if you want to rank on Google with their new algorithm updates. If you wanna push your website up to the top of Google then have a quick look at the video at:

    solutionwax*com/seo (obviously change the * for a dot as it won’t let me post links here) – the 20min video will tell you how to rank your website on Google and the MS tool is the perfect way to assist you with that because its the only way to ensure quality backlinks. Hope this helps anyone who is looking for some SEO advice 🙂

  • Chris Holt

    With new Google updates ranking your website is becoming more complex and backlinks are becoming harder & harder to build. It is definitely a case of ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’ these days if you want to rank on Google with their new algorithm updates. If you wanna push your website up to the top of Google then have a quick look at the video at:

    solutionwax*com/seo (obviously change the * for a dot as it won’t let me post links here) – the 20min video will tell you how to rank your website on Google and the MS tool is the perfect way to assist you with that because its the only way to ensure quality backlinks. Hope this helps anyone who is looking for some SEO advice 🙂

  • Queria poder encontrar conteúdos assim aqui No Brasil

  • Thanks for the info!!!

  • Great post! 2 years on and it is still valid!

  • ashleygreene101

    I have to add it to my to read list so detailed. Need time to digest this. Love your content locking idea, thats just brilliant! Very informative article and its really nice to see. Thanks for sharing!

  • High quality content is a key of to get highest rank for any website.

  • What tool you suggest to measure traffic or SEO impact?

  • Interesting guide. Thank you for this.

  • Thanks Patrika for the great article and for the resources as well.

  • It’s growing faster than Pinterest too, which may surprise some people.
    Any business that works out how to use Instagram, basically, is going to
    enjoy 2015. no matter how optimized images are they will be of no use for on page seo if they are neither spidered nor indexed.

  • Conteúdo de extremo valor. Parabéns pelo material!

  • Parabéns pelo conteúdo de excelente valor agregado.