What are Social Signals?

what are social signals

What are Social Signals, and how do they help me?

In the past decade, the importance of Social Signals in effective SEO is a hotly debated and much-studied topic.  Experts have varied opinions about how strong their role is in organic SEO. While the verdict has not been definitively delivered, there is no question that the evolution of social media has continually and increasingly impacted SEO.

First, we must define Social Signals.  Social signals are simply queues gleaned by search engines through word of mouth, referrals, and person-to-person recommendations.  People are more likely to trust a website recommended personally by their friends than by a search engine. Websites with a strong social presence are more easily shareable and accessible, and thus easier to recommend.
 Search engines can analyze these shares as recommendations, boosting the credibility and rankings of the website.

Rather than engaging in the debate, we will address social signals as a complimentary element to your company’s website and proceed with some helpful How To’s and considerations when employing it as one of the tools in your SEO toolbox.

One thing that is undoubtedly proven is that social signals have a certain degree of influence over SEO rankings. Therefore, the biggest challenge for marketers is identifying the right social signals and using them to favor their organic SEO performance.  Multiple studies have been conducted to determine the exact correlation between social signals and SEO rankings, with varying results. However, it’s clear that the importance of social signals is increasing with time, and several factors directly contribute to their weight.  This list includes:

  • A higher number of followers who like a brand on Facebook and other social media platforms
  • Increased number of social media shares of your content
  • Increased number of Twitter posts or short content referring to your brand or link
  • A higher number of people in your circle through Google+ or Facebook connections.

These dynamics are considered part of a sphere of influence known as Direct Impacts.  As you can see, the direct impact of social signals on SEO is rather straightforward.  Additionally, there are indirect impacts as well.  They include:

  • A significant increase in inbound links due to higher online visibility and brand acceptance and awareness.
  • Increased positive reviews (in Google Local, Yelp, etc.) due to happier customers
  • Decreased bounce rate, higher time on site, and more repeat visitors to your website

The world is becoming more socially interactive on the internet. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s consumers and are being raised communicating on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. As this generation ages, more consumers will spend more time on social media channels, likely causing an increase in social signals as those consumers interact with their favorite brands on the Web. People spend more time on social networks than search engines, and the gap will continue to grow.

We can see that social media also extends the customer service wing of many brands. Customers can leave a message through these portals to get an instant answer. An increased number of favorable reviews on major platforms like Google Local, Yelp, etc. can unquestionably add value to a brand and enhance its online performance.  Likewise, customers can also review or support a product on its Facebook page or through Twitter. This practice can build a closer and more organic connection for the users with the brand, which can help build customer trust and loyalty.

Customers who become familiar with brands they become familiar with through social media interaction tend to spend more time on their parent sites. If you offer some quality content and discounts there, they can become repeat visitors.  Lower bounce rates indicate high-quality content and time on site is a high-priority organic search ranking criterion.

Similar to SEO, there are two core elements to social media: onsite and offsite. Both elements must be present and refined to establish and grow a social media campaign.

Onsite elements include:

  • Share buttons (like, recommend, tweet, bookmark, etc.)
  • Connect buttons (Like a Facebook page, Follow on Twitter, Follow on LinkedIn, etc.)
  • A blog

Offsite elements include:

  • Facebook page
  • Twitter account
  • LinkedIn company page
  • Pinterest account
  • Youtube account
  • Guest blog posting
  • Other social media platforms

While we still don’t know the complete impact of social signals, we do know that social signals are increasing in importance about the ranking algorithm, and will continue to do so.

Why Trust Salterra

Salterra has been in business since 2012. It is owned and managed by Terry Samuels and Elisabeth Samuels, a husband and wife team; the staff includes 3 of their children plus several additional developers.

The company has provided business websites and graphic design projects, including business cards, brochures, and catalogs for various industries. Their clients range in size from small and medium size businesses to consulting with large companies and advising their teams on proven SEO strategies. No matter the size of your business, the team at Salterra can promote your business and market your company successfully.

Salterra specializes in professional web design, graphic design, and internet marketing. The team will work with your company to provide you with a user-friendly and striking website but also ensure that the site reinforces your brand, increases traffic, and increases customer loyalty. Their designers use search-friendly design elements, premium software, and trustworthy technology. This will ensure that your finished product is refined and eye-catching and remains stable, secure, and consistent with all your internet business needs. They excel by providing your business with the functions and features that will elevate it and provide value in your marketplace.