A favourable search engine ranking is one of the best ways to make sure that your business is visible and accessible online. As a result, SEO or search engine optimisation has become a powerful toolin ensuring that your company’s website achieves that auspicious ranking.

SEO can be implemented in various ways; copy writing, website design and the way in which content is uploaded onto a site are all factors that contribute to SEO. But increasingly, social media is influencing search engine rankings. According to an article published on tech site engines such as Bing and Google admitted in interviews that their search results are positively affected by social signals, such as tweets, Facebook Likes, and +1s.

How does social media influence SEO?

Search engines like Google traditionally rewarded sites that were linked to by other trusted sources. The idea being that the more times a page or site is linked to , the more likely it is that the community considers that page an authority. Link building through social media provides your brand and your site with references and authority in much the same way, social media allows people in stead of only websites to effectively vote for valuable content. Their tweets, Likes and shares provide trusted signals to search engines saying that this is a good website or page.

How can businesses use this to their advantage?

Social content and pages such as Facebook and Twitter profiles or even YouTube videos that correspond to the keyword that was searched for now feature prominently in the search engine results pages (or SERPs).

By extending your brand’s online presence to a variety of social networking sites you are inadvertently using your social networking properties to “own” more of the results when your brand or company is searched. Maximise your results by always setting up social networking accounts in your brand’s official name.

However, simply occupying multiple accounts are not enough – the ticket to getting social media to influence your SEO lies in actually using social networking sites to share content related to your brand.

Create ‘likable’ content

It may seem obvious, but creating excellent, valuable content that people will want to share is one of the most powerful ways of influencing your SEO. If people find your site, or the items that you share on your social networking platforms worthwhile, they are more likely to link to or share it. Great content often has an innate propensity for virality – and when things go viral via social media, the search engines take notice.

Search engines such as Google use complex algorithms to determine which pages aught to feature on at the top of the search results. These algorithms are perpetually changing so that manipulating them remains almost impossible. However, by implementing key elements of SEO and utilising social media – your brand is likely to see tangible results.