Does Social Media Improve SEO?

One of the most often asked questions (and often debated) about social media is whether or not it does anything for your SEO.

I'm not a huge fan of suspense, so let's just be clear right away:

Social media does not directly impact SEO, but it does indirectly impact SEO.

Google does not use social media as one of their metrics when ranking websites, but  your efforts on social media still impact your online activity which does trickle down into your SEO.

The connection between the two is murky and Google isn't going to offer 100% clarity into the inner workings of their algorithm any time soon, but through research and experience we do know some of the ways in which social media improves your SEO.

How Social Media Impacts SEO


1. It creates backlinks to your website

Backlinks are - as you might expect - links back to your website. This is one of the direct metrics that Google does consider when ranking websites. 

Whenever you post a link to a blog or page on your site to social media, that creates a backlink. While this alone isn't going to impact your overall SEO, it does count toward your backlinks, which in turn improve your SEO. 

It also sends people back to your website, which increases your overall site visitors - a metric that Google does consider when ranking websites. For that reason, posting links to your site in social media posts is a core part of any social media marketing strategy.

2. It expands the reach of your content

Content distribution is absolutely critical - after all, if no one can find your content, then it's not doing you any favors. Social media is a fantastic way to distribute your content to a wider audience.

Even your most dedicated fans aren't going to be tuned into every single channel, and they're probably not scrolling through your site every single day checking for updates. Posting new blogs to social media alerts your followers that you have something new for them to read, right where they're spending their time online.

Again, the more people that are aware of your content, the more visits back to your website you'll see. This can have a ripple effect on your SEO.

3. It increases brand recognition

This benefit incredibly difficult to track, but it can't be ignored: an active social media presence increases your overall brand recognition. It creates more awareness and excitement for your brand, which amplifies your voice.

Not only does this send more people back to your website, it also makes it more likely that other people will start sharing backlinks to your site. 

Additionally, reputation and authority is something Google does consider. No, it's not going to go to your profile and give you a boost just because you have a lot of followers - but if you have a lot of social media profiles routinely linking back to your site, that communicates to Google that you're a trusted authority on a topic.

Caveat: There is one social platform that directly impacts SEO: YouTube

So far I've been covering social media broadly, but YouTube is a unique case. Because Google owns YouTube and treats it like both a search engine and a social media network, this means that YouTube is the only social platform that has more of a tangible impact on SEO.

Like blogs on your site, YouTube videos on your profile that are optimized for Google and receive a lot of views are taken into consideration when ranking your website.

→Read Now: Create Stunning Marketing Videos Using Your Phone (In Less Than 5 Minutes)

While social media isn't a direct metric for SEO, it still has an impact on your SEO. You shouldn't expect a massive boost to your rankings simply for having a Facebook account, but consistent posting, high-quality content, and user engagement will over time contribute to your overall SEO strength.

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BizzyWeb is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and web design agency that helps companies get the high-quality leads they need to grow and thrive. Our tactics include inbound marketing, SEO, advertising, web design, content creation and sales automation. We are an accredited HubSpot Platinum Partner and we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for new and current users.

Dave Meyer
Author: Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer is President of BizzyWeb. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and has presented digital marketing topics to thousands of people across the US and Canada.