This article was originally published in 2012 for the BizCatalyst Blog.
It has become clear that social media is becoming more and more influential to the Google algorithm and companies need to factor this into their SEO strategies. A lot of companies and organisations are still having trouble explaining to their management that social networking is important and now it is becoming more important than ever before.
Links from Social networks such as Twitter, public Facebook Pages and most obviously Google+ are being measured as a measure of how influential or important a site is. Having social buttons on your pages is a good reminder for people to share your content, having these buttons can make people share it with their friends, whilst not having the buttons there may have people forget. If your content is truly amazing though, people will still manually share your content, but where possible, adding the buttons shouldn’t hurt your page’s style too much.
If your company has social networking sites, the social metrics of your pages (fans, followers etc) can also be important. Social networks themselves and active profiles on these sites can be a great way to spread news of your company without even having to make people enter your site. This is not necessarily helpful for SEO, but a way of advertising that many people in management roles fail to understand or see the importance of.
User behaviour has become so much more important than it used to be. A well-optimised page or quality articles on there does not matter as much if people do not stay on your page for long. Try and make sure people stick around on your page because a high bounce rate is not good. If people stick around on your page and view lots of pages, this is more valuable than many page views with a giant bounce rate. If everyone is leaving your page quickly, your page probably isn’t what they wanted. If the page isn’t what they wanted or doesn’t appear to be what they wanted, Google will penalise your site’s ranking. You also won’t get any social shares from people who do not stick around or have any interest in your page.