Social signals can be understood as what happens when a link is built from a social media page. A Like on Facebook, a Retweet on Twitter and a Bookmark on Stumbleupon are all indications to search engines that users see and are interested in your content. They show how large your following is. They are a measure of how many customers you have, how engaged they are, and how loyal of an advocate they may be. Social Signals can also show that you have positive reviews (on Yelp, or Google Local for example), and that people are excited about your brand.
Links to your website are still the most important criteria for SEO. The quality, quantity and relevancy of those links helps search engines understand where your website belongs in their search results. But, social signals are essentially links to your website, blog post or social media page. And for that reason, the importance of social signals to a well-rounded SEO campaign cannot be understated.
Developing a robust social media footprint can be difficult. It can take a while to generate a following or to build a buzz about your brand. But don’t let that stop you! Start by claiming profiles on popular social networks. For a good list of networks you should be on, look up the websites targeted by Hootsuite. Fill out your profile on these websites, upload pictures, then invite your family, friends and customers join you.
Next, create updates on the sites that are relevant to your audience. Share news stories, curate content from around the web, and encourage your network to share these as well. Try not to be pushy or too brand-centric in posting Facebook statuses or when creating tweets. Aim for genuinely useful or interesting content that is related to your industry. When people begin to notice the quality of that content, they’ll be more inclined to share that information, to check out your website, and to link to it themselves.
Always remember that a social network is just that: social! Be friendly, fun and inviting. This is a great way to introduce your brand to the world and welcome people to kick the tires a little bit. Schedule regular updates so that you’re involved in conversations. Ask questions, create polls, give away offers and interact with as many members of your target audience as possible. Eventually people will link to your posts or website, and search engines will register those links. This will help increase your search engine ranking and your brand visibility.
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