The most common way to use social media to increase traffic to a website is to put a link on a Facebook page and hope enough people click through to make a difference. Boost the post and you’ll be able to reach a bigger audience, made up of both new followers and old…maybe.
But what happens when those followers click through to the page will have a second effect. What your visitors do on that Web page—and in particular whether they share the URL on social media—will also affect how the site ranks on Google. A number of different actions will attract the attention of the search engine giant.
The first is shared links. When users share links on Facebook and especially when they share them on the search engine’s own Google+, Google notices. More importantly, Google notices what happens after the share has been made. If a shared link attracts the attention of bloggers and if it wins more backlinks, it will win even more Google juice.
That means part of your content plan should be to create posts that are easily shared—and which are also meta-tagged with keywords related to your website. A big share button, shareable content and strong promotion on social media give you a great chance to get one of your keywords high in the search engine rankings.
Infographics are particularly good at doing this, which is one reason so many brands use them.
Bring Social Users to Your Page, Keep Them and Make Them Share
Fill that infographic with detail so that users have to pay close attention; Google will also note the bounce rate, the amount of time spent looking at the page, as well as the number of comments, tweets, and likes the page receives. Make the details rich and invite people to leave comments and you’ll be able to turn that social interaction into search engine fuel.
While it’s not surprising that Google rewards Google+ responses on content, it is more surprising that the search engine rewards Twitter so highly. According to a study by Branded3, a research firm, URLs that receive plenty of tweets also receive a boost in their search engine rankings. The boost takes place in stages. The numbers may have changed but in 2012, ranking rose until the page had received 50 tweets. After 5,000 tweets “the average ranking of URLs improves considerably” and URLs that receive more than 7,500, said the firm, “almost always rank inside the top 5 results.”
Those are big numbers and it’s likely that they’ve grown in the three years since the study. But they do make clear that there are big rewards for spreading a web page on social media. Those rewards are long-lasting and they demand a content plan for shareable content that can act both as viral content and as a search engine hub for your most important keywords.
When you’re creating pages to share on social media, make sure that they’re also pages you want to see at the top of Google.