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Do you know how social media impacts you search engine rankings? As search engines like Google and Bing aim to make their search engine results page as relevant as possible to what users are searching, it is impossible to ignore social media. During my time at LYFE Marketing, I’ve seen the company’s search engine rankings go from #364 to the first page within 10 weeks. Social media played a big part of that.

Here’s how social media can help your business rank higher in Google:

#1 Social Shares

A social share is a link to your website that is shared on social media. Traditionally, backlinks from other websites helped search engines to recognize your brand over businesses competing for the same keywords as you. While this is still effective, social media shares are just as important. In Search Metrics study of the top SEO ranking factors, Google+ and Facebook shares influenced search engine rankings just as much as backlinks.

So how can you increase your social shares? Here’s a few tips you can act on today:

  1. Add social sharing buttons to your website
  2. Start blogging with an emphasis on providing great content.
  3. Encourage your website visitors to share your website by adding call-to-actions to your website.
  4. Grow your social media presence and promote the content on your website.

Every share, repin, or retweet that your post gets on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ sends the search engines “social signals”, which indicate that your business is more relevant for the keywords you are wanting to rank for. So start working on getting more social shares!

#2 Brand Mentions

Did you know that Google is listening each time someone mentions your brand? According to Moz, brand mentions are the future of link building and is believed to become just as influential as backlinks and social shares eventually. The more people talk about a certain brand, the more Google begins to recognize your business. Makes sense right? They are already crawling the content on millions of websites for content to serve the best rankings to its users.

No matter how big or small your business is, you can increase your brand mentions. Here a few things you can start doing right now:

  1. Supercharge your brand by growing your social media presence on multiple platforms.
  2. Post engaging content that start interesting conversations.
  3. Participate and get active in social media groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.
  4. Commit to building genuine, authentic relationships with people that provides value.

Use social media to build your brand and sell your product later. Once people begin to identify and trust your brand, they will be more likely to share your content and mention your business more.

#3 YouTube, YouTube, and YouTube

YouTube is second largest search engine in the world. Use it to your advantage. You can gain more exposure through YouTube’s audience and Google’s searches, since YouTube results also appear in the search engine results. An example is listed below.

Google Results

A simple “how-to” video can help your business gain thousands of website traffic and gain sales. You don’t have to have a high-quality camera, just a phone camera could work just fine. As people begin to prefer watching rather than reading, incorporating video into your social media and SEO strategy is a wise decision.

Here’s how you can make the most out of it:

  1. Include keywords in your title and description
  2. Include keywords in your file name for your video (before uploading)
  3. Include a link to your website in the description
  4. Share it on Google Plus

#4 Google Plus Keyword Optimization, Google Maps, and Google Places

Do you have a Google Plus page for your business? If not, you need to create one immediately. Google Plus is owned by Google and heavily influences the search engines. It integrates with YouTube, Google Maps, Google Places, and other Google-owned products. The more you use Google products, the more Google will favor you.

Here is an example of what happened when LYFE Marketing optimized their presence on Google+, Google Maps, and Google Places.

LYFE on Google

Above, you’ll see our Google+ page, Google reviews, Google map, and our website ranking for a local keyword. You can do the same thing. Here’s how:

  1. Create a Google Plus page for your business and use the keywords you want to rank for in the “About Section” and throughout your posts.
  2. Encourage your current clientele to leave 5-star Google reviews of your business. This helps Google gauge your credibility as brand.
  3. List your business address in Google Maps and embed a Google map of your business onto your website. Again, Google loves when you use their products.

#5 Referral Traffic and Click-Through Rates

Lastly, referral traffic and click-through rates is critical to impacting your search engine rankings. Curious to know how social media impacts your click-through rates? Well, if you are using social media effectively, you will be able to drive extensive traffic to your website. As people follow, interact, and develop trust for your brand, they will eventually click on your website.

Here’s how you can take advantage of this opportunity:

  1. Consistently work on growing your social media presence to increase website traffic
  2. Be strategic on your website and have call-to-actions to encourage referral traffic to click around your website.
  3. Make sure that your website speed is fast
  4. Make sure that your website is responsive on all devices, included tablets and smartphones.

If you have a high click-through rate, or a high volume of people clicking through your website, search engines begin to assume that your website is relevant.

Each of these tips have been tested and implemented in many small business SEO strategies today. It is very possible for your business to incorporate these simple steps and start growing your business. Good luck!