How to Leverage Social Media Backlinks for SEO
Depending on who you follow, you may hear conflicting opinions on the importance of social media backlinks and how it plays into SEO. Some marketers believe it has no impact, and other’s believe it is imperative to an SEO strategy. So, where do I stand in all of this? I’d say, decidedly in the middle. Let me explain.
Back in 2014 Matt Cutts of Google, came out and said that social signals and activity, like those from Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram, have no impact on Google Search Rankings. They said they will cull them as individual results, but they do not impact the website they are linked to.
Going even further, it’s been confirmed that a link on Facebook is labelled as a “no follow” link, which in SEO terms means that it doesn’t carry any juice. That means that any links you build on your Facebook Business Profile, or in any groups, will have ZERO impact on your off-page SEO rankings.
So, that leaves a lot us wondering, why would we even bother? With Facebook greatly reducing organic reach, why would we push a social strategy that doesn’t even help with SEO? Well, let’s break it down a little.
Referral and Direct Traffic
One of the things social media is great for, is for increasing both your referral or direct traffic. While a link on social profile may not count towards your overall backlink count, the traffic that comes from them does. One of Google’s ranking factors is how much traffic your website receives, with the importance of direct traffic outweigh that of referral (although both are important!).
In addition, Facebook and other social media sites tend to have excellent domain authority, meaning that the traffic coming from them is usually higher quality, another factor in Google rankings. Driving more traffic to your blog posts or general website pages through your social profiles is a great, and efficient way, to increase your rankings.
Outside of placing links in your posts, think about ways you can drive direct traffic through your social profile. Adding a URL to your cover photo or on your profile that a user can copy and paste into their browser can help in this respect.
Where to Place Links
Now that we know that including links in your social media can have an impact on your SEO (even though it’s not the traditional one you think of), let’s break down where you should be placing those links for maximum impact.
Social Posts - This one may seem obvious, but every time you post a piece of blog content or refer to your products or services, make sure you post a link for your audience to follow.
Your Social Profile - Almost all social media platforms let you add a link to your website under your “profile” or “about” section. Make sure you utilize this real estate by linking back to yours.
In Your Groups Description - with the decrease in organic reach for business pages, a lot of business owners have turned to creating Groups where they can interact with their audience. Don’t forget to put your logo inside your groups description for members to find it!
Your Page Button - on Facebook in particular, you have an option to add a link under your cover photo with a call to action. Make sure this link goes back to your page with an appealing CTA.
Cover Photo - When crafting your cover photo image, think about adding some text and printing your URL on there. Make sure it’s short and easy for a visitor to copy into a browser bar.