Tips & Tricks

How Does Social Media Impact SEO? And Why They Need to Work Together.

3 · November 6th, 2023

SEO, social media, paid ads, UX & UI are often perceived as their own entities, working independently, that it’s easy to forget they form a much broader digital marketing goal, where each component must collaborate to achieve maximum results. 

For example, Paid Ads can drive hundreds of customers to make a purchase on the site. However, if the website lacks a positive user experience, features poor design and is missing SEO-optimised content, there’s a high chance these visitors will not convert. 

Similarly, SEO can get a hotel or a restaurant ranking #1 on Google and drive lots of organic traffic to the site. However, if you’re like me, one of the first things you check after landing on a site is the business’ socials. If a restaurant’s website features all the right content and yet their Instagram account has poor-quality images from 2018, I would likely choose to go elsewhere. 

Of course, there are many factors such as reviews, brand awareness, and media publicity that also play a factor but it is important to recognise that social media platforms are quickly becoming search engines of their own. This combined with the rise of user-generated content, as well as growing popularity of TikTok style content, transforms the way we consume social media. Having an SEO-optimised website is the first step, but more and more users are now looking for genuine content made by real people before reaching a decision.

User Journey and Brand Awareness

Well if social media platforms are becoming search engines on their own, is there any reason to continue SEO for Google? 

The short answer is yes. 

Remember, it’s all about the broader marketing strategy and what achieves maximum results. Having a strong social media presence and engagement directly flows back into your SEO, which includes driving more organic traffic to your website, improving your organic search rankings, and increasing brand visibility.

Think of your own consumer journey when it comes to deciding on a restaurant, hotel or a store. We will use Melbourne’s new-ish venue Beverly Rooftop Bar as an example here:

Please note: This venue is not affiliated with SOD

  1. Beverly Rooftop has become viral on TikTok since its opening in April this year, resulting in millions of user-generated content with over 4 million views combined.

  2. Repeatedly seeing user-generated content, users may now want to look at Beverly’s branding directly from their socials. It’s important for hospitality venues, in particular, to showcase a strong brand identity across their socials. Users want to understand the atmosphere and the “vibe” of the place they are going to. Here’s where Instagram plays an important role. In this case, it is polished, and frequently updated, featuring high-quality images that showcase both the venue and the food.

  3. Now that a user is familiar with the brand, the next logical step would be to search beverly rooftop bar melbourne on Google to read the reviews, visit the website to look at their menu or read media articles.

    Note: Don’t forget, Beverly Rooftop could also be running ads at the same time to further target users in the awareness or consideration stages of their journey.

  4. Here’s where SEO and UX / UI play a crucial part. Looking at their website, there’s room where SEO can assist in expanding content on certain pages to ensure they are informative and helpful to the user. However overall, the design is great, the images are high quality, and it’s easy to navigate, providing a seamless experience to view the menu, see current events, and most importantly make a reservation. 
  5. The Google Business Profile is also up to date, features relevant information,  positive reviews + responses from the business, and high-quality images.

We can also view the journey of becoming viral on social media and the impact it had on organic results. In April, around the time Beverly first opened and became trending on social media, there was a significant surge for beverly rooftop melbourne keyword on Google Trends, before it gradually decreased. Although the drop over time is expected, it’s important to ensure that the initial surge generates results (i.e. brand awareness, site visits and bookings).

Unfortunately, we don’t have access to their Analytics to see exact conversions. However, we can see that the surge on Google Trends had an impact on their brand awareness, where their brand term alone continues to receive approximately 2,800 searches per month (as of October 2023):

The Social Signals and Credibility

Another way how social media and SEO work together is via social signals.

Social signals are the metrics that reflect your site’s popularity and engagement on social media platforms. These signals include likes, shares, comments, and overall social media presence.

For example, when a business like Beverly Rooftop gains traction on social media, it sends a positive signal to search engines, demonstrating that its content and brand are well-received by the audience. 

This in turn enhances their brand’s authority and credibility, which indirectly can influence search engine rankings. If Google suddenly notices a surge in brand searches and traffic to their site, chances are that Google will view Beverly as an authoritative site that is relevant and highly valuable to users. This also means that Google will then more likely rank Beverly for generic keywords such as rooftop bar south yarra due to their credibility and authority. 

This keyword alone approximately generates 250 searches per month and it didn’t take long for Beverly to dominate search results:

SEO Blog Content Promotion and Distribution

Besides brand awareness, opportunity for user-generated content and virality, social media also provides a powerful platform to share blog articles with your audience to amplify their reach and impact. This can lead to increased website traffic, user engagement, and even conversions. 

There are many tools available that allow you to share your blog content and make it easily accessible to users. News accounts, in particular, do a great job of integrating their content with their social media channels. Here’s an example of Pedestrian. TV who have integrated Linkinbio tool to share their articles and drive users to their site:

This is a great way for businesses who implement blogging in their SEO Strategy to ensure they are promoting their content and driving their followers to their site. SEO blogs rely on only producing high-quality content that demonstrates high levels of E-E-A-T and is useful to their target audience. Sharing it on social media platforms, allows more users to discover this content, as well as creates opportunities for other users and businesses to reshare and promote this content on their social media. 

Quality Backlinks through Social Sharing

Another way social media can benefit SEO is through backlinks. 

Backlinks are a fundamental aspect of SEO, as they indicate the credibility and authority of your website. Social media plays an important role in generating quality backlinks. When your content or brand gets shared on social platforms enough times, is what creates that buzz and hype, which hopefully can also result in more user-generated content. Naturally, this attracts attention from journalists and media to write content on your business. This can result in natural backlinks to your website, which are highly valued by search engines. 

These are just some of the ways social media and SEO work together. It is important to note that in the digital age, the lines between social media and SEO (and other digital channels) are becoming increasingly blurred. To achieve optimal online success, it’s essential to recognise the synergy between different aspects of digital marketing, where one cannot effectively succeed without the other.  As you continue to develop your digital marketing strategy, remember SEO is just a piece of the puzzle in a broader digital marketing goal.

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