The Impact of Social Media on Search

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Internet marketing is constantly evolving. Now that social media is integrated into search, you can directly improve your SEO ranking. Next time you're logged into Facebook or Google Plus, conduct a search and see if you notice anything different. Your friends may be recommending great restaurants, commenting on interesting articles, or even sharing YouTube videos of your favorite song. You can quickly and easily see what your friends are sharing on Google Plus by clicking on €personal results€ at the top of the Search Engine Results Page. Social recommendations are having a huge impact on Search Engine Optimization and influence consumer behavior.

As engagement, sharing, likes and comments are showing on the search engine results page, social visibility is having an even greater impact. The greater the visibility, the more potential followers, which leads to more potential engagement and SEO value. Now, your ranking on the search engine results page is partially dependent on your social media impact and influence, and currently makes up one of more than 200 factors of Google's algorithm (including Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter). In an increasingly technologically dependent world, this is one way personalization is making a comeback, through personalized search results. Below are a few key tactics to improve your social media influence and improve your SEO for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies.

Facebook

- Complete all your profile information and use keywords wherever necessary, which will layer in SEO value. It's important to include links back to the site on your Facebook profile.
- Claim your brand name as part of your Facebook URL to uniquely tie together your Facebook brand with your profile. This will create greater visibility, brand consistency and will raise your search engine ranking.
- Always include €Like' and share buttons on your site to encourage engagement and interaction. Encourage engagement across your entire site, not just the homepage.

Twitter

- It's not about the number of Followers or number you're Following--it's about engaging in conversation with your followers.
- Follow leaders and influencers of your brand as these are the key people that talk about your brand and spread the good word.
- Social media is a two-way street. Therefore, re-Tweet valuable content. The key word here is valuable.

Google Plus

- Protect your brand name by claiming it so you can own what's happening as a result.
- Images and videos are getting more real estate in search. Emphasize sharing these in addition to keyword-rich posts.
- Bring value to the conversation. Generally, Google Plus users are seeking information and use this social media platform differently than Facebook. Give users what they want.
- Include the Google Plus button on every page throughout your site to connect to customers and increase awareness. There are approximately 90 million users that currently use Google Plus.

When it comes to social media and SEO, it's about sharing meaningful and relevant content across your audiences. Regardless of which social media platform you choose, always shoot for quality first. The more your consumers are engaged, the more you are on top of mind. Link your content between Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. Promote interaction across channels and engagement will soar and so will your search ranking. However, be mindful of customizing messages across the various social media platforms for your audience because each platform has different audiences.

Here is a quick summary:
1. Drive follower growth
2. Segment with Google Plus circles & Facebook Lists
3. Understand your audience
4. Differentiate content
5. Drive engagement
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