SEO and social networks are certainly not good friends when it comes to directly improve its positioning on search engines. However, they can be good allies to diversify your traffic sources and help indirectly improve your SEO.
Here are the 5 sources of web traffic encountered:
- Organic (linked to requests entered on search engines)
- Direct (Direct entry of the URL when it is known)
- Referrer (Links from your site shared by other sites)
- Social (Links shared via social networks)
- Others (Links shared in an email signature, on the newsletter, etc.)
Each traffic source mentioned above requires an action (a click on the link or the information of a URL) to be counted. The distribution of traffic is given as a percentage, i.e. 100% divided as shown in this fictitious example:
Organic: 63% (The majority of visitors clicked on a link on your site displayed in Google, after entering a request). This is where we talk about CTR (Click Through Rate: How many people click on my link when it appears after a request). Hence the advantage of being in the top 3 to maximize this CTR.
Referrer: 14% (14 out of 100 people click on a link to your site from another site)
Direct: 10% (10 out of 100 people enter your URL directly in the browser bar)
Social: 12% (12 people out of 100 arrive on your site after clicking on a link shared on social networks)
Others: 1% (1 in 100 people will click on a link in your newsletter or in May signature)
As a general rule, a website has a fairly high organic traffic … at least it should take care of it. Social traffic should, therefore, represent a minimal part of your traffic. In my opinion, a maximum of 15% is good, beyond that you start to depend on social networks at the expense of preferable organic traffic.
Social network’s direct impact on SEO
Before talking about SEO, it would still be necessary to take the time to know what it really represents. SEO brings together all the tools and practices that will improve the SEO of a website.
SEO on search engines and especially on Google in the first place. There are 2 methods that oppose (or complement each other) in terms of SEO: SEO White Hat and SEO Black Hat.
By targeting the first places on the search engines, this will notably allow you to improve your SEO and thus gain traffic. It is therefore essential to make yourself known by positioning its content as close as possible to the top 3 of Google results. This is the importance that is given to SEO. It is, therefore, a question of working on the organic first, even if social networks prove to be good springboards at the start.
The impact of social networks on SEO
Do social networks have a direct impact on SEO or not?
Some will argue that yes while SEO experts know that it is not the case for direct impact. We can, however, say that social networks have an indirect impact on natural referencing. They help to improve it by allowing the redistribution and balance of traffic sources. We use social networks mainly to work on its visibility and if by extension we gain traffic, it does not represent (or should not) a very large percentage of overall traffic.
Social networks will help develop the visibility of a website, its popularity while increasing its traffic.
Social networks will also increase the number of links that point to the website. The more your links are shared, the more clicks they will potentially generate. Consider that millions of people spend time on social media. However, research is done on engines like Google.
How do social networks contribute to SEO in this case?
Firstly, they do not contribute to SEO directly, that is to say, that Google does not consider the volume of clicks on links shared via social networks. It will deliver this information via Google Analytics, but it will not grant a better referencing of your contents because of this!
Where it is necessary to work well on the digital strategy for its website, it is at the level of objectives and in particular of visibility. To make yourself visible on social networks is to make yourself known to your future audience, which means that traffic may be delayed. From someone who does not know you, they can come to your site overnight by entering your URL directly.
If your new visitor keeps a blog, he can take your link and share it in one of his articles. From there if one of his readers clicks on your link from his site, you will gain referral traffic (one of the most important to develop).
In this case, we must consider social networks as levers of help to boost SEO, but not to improve it directly.
The positioning of its content is done at the level of its keywords, the semantics and the lexical field of its keywords. Then there are the tags H1 to H6, the meta description and the alt tags for the images. All this contributes to SEO as well as a set of other details which are also important.
Do not forget to note that the links which return towards the Internet site, the traffic of an Internet site as well as the popularity of the site in question are essential elements to position on Google. It is therefore important to develop your presence on social networks to be able to improve your position on social networks.
Are social networks essential for SEO?
Even if social networks have an indirect impact on SEO, they are still essential for your SEO for several reasons. Below, find out which elements of social networks have an impact on SEO.
Remember above all that it is the content and its optimization, which will bring a real result in terms of positioning and as such it is essential to master the fundamentals of web writing and / or the fundamentals of SEO to reach.
Social media traffic for your SEO
You must first know that the number of shares on social networks is not directly taken into account for referencing on Google. It is notably the traffic generated by these shares and the time spent on your web pages that will help improve your SEO referencing.
The success that you will be able to meet thanks to social networks will, in particular, send a very positive image to Google, which will then rank you much better among its search results.
We can also note the interest of dissociating the different sources of traffic via Google Analytics. This lets you know exactly where your traffic is coming from and adjust it if necessary. A click on an article shared via social networks will, in any case, result in an additional visit to your site.
If in parallel the SEO of your content is well worked then you will gain on 2 tables: organic and social. In this case, let’s say that social networks will help improve positioning, but that they won’t have a direct impact on SEO.
Social media traffic for your SEO
When targeting traffic and visibility objectives for your website, organic and social traffic is important. A stronger presence on social networks and well-optimized sharing scenarios will go a long way in making you visible and attracting visitors to your site.
At this stage, we can, therefore, say without restraint that social traffic or social networks as a whole, will significantly contribute to the improvement of your natural search engine optimization. A visitor who has known you via social networks will be able to bookmark your site and / or come and consult it directly via Google thereafter.
Social networks: search engines for content
Social networks should sometimes even be considered as search engines themselves. Why? Simply because it is quite possible to find relevant content on social networks by performing a search. The famous hashtags on Twitter are the perfect example because they are used for indexing the content in which they are used and the same is true for Instagram hashtags.
According to some studies, it has been found that Facebook has surpassed Google as a source of traffic (it remains to be demonstrated) although the latter remains the ultimate means of finding content efficiently and quickly.
Natural referencing for your brand
Social networks are particularly useful for referencing your brand name. Indeed, it is thus possible to position oneself and thus to be referenced according to its brand name. An axis to work to make yourself known and to establish your notoriety.
As such, we can mention the case of General Electrics, which has managed to impose its brand name thanks to the social networks appearing in Google’s search results.
The results of indexed social networks
An agreement has been signed between Twitter and Google to index the tweets at the heart of Google’s search results. This has helped increase its SEO and traffic through Google searches and using social networks including Twitter.
A strong presence on Twitter could thus play in your favour but it seems that it is difficult to consider it if a certain authority does not exist at the base and if this lever is especially still active.
Some SEO info raised but specific
It is always interesting to discover new information or old advice that is still valid, to be more concrete about the impact of social networks on SEO.
For this, some have noticed that thanks to social networks, it is possible to indirectly increase its position in Google’s search results by 20% on average. Number to consider based on many parameters depending on the authority of a website.
So can we really say that social networks have an impact on SEO? Yes, we can say it, even if this referencing is done indirectly. No if it is a question of a direct impact on SEO. Thousands of shares, even if they generate traffic, will not improve the positions of your articles on Google. It is therefore essential to work SEO from an organic point of view.
Know that the biggest SEO experts recommend using social networks, which is logical enough to increase its visibility and traffic to the minimum but they help improve SEO without acting directly as the optimization of content.
It’s like a meta description that indirectly improves your SEO, but without having any impact on it. If it is optimized, it will encourage the click to increase your click-through rate (CTR) and allow you to go up in the search results.
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