Social signals and SEO for Ecommerce: What’s happening in 2022
Social signals have always provided mixed reactions and opinions within the SEO community. I believe, in general, you should also be implementing a marketing strategy for eCommerce across all platforms whether that is SEO, Social, PR, Direct in-direct or Networking.
However, what people want to really know is whether social signals affect your rankings for your website. By the way, this blog post will focus on Google SEO.
Here’s what I will cover throughout this blog post.
😞 Social signals may actually have no effect on your rankings
🌫 Why is the relationship so unclear between social signals and Google?
🔧 4 ways to optimise your eCommerce social media to help your SEO
What are social signals?
Social signals are the online interactions from people across your social media. These engagements can be for pieces of content or general engagement with your social accounts.
This includes likes, shares, follows and more across social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
For SEO we are trying to figure out what ‘’weight’’ these signals provide to your eCommerce website ranking and whether they affect them at all.
Social signals SEO
So, what do these social signals actually mean for SEO?
Search engines are designed to bring you the best quality of content and to do that, they will apply ‘ranking factors’. Ranking factors are different signals that let the search engine know this content is worthy to be shown to you. Anyone who is already in the SEO world knows these signals can be several different things.
But how do social signals fit into all of this?
I wanted to focus this blog post on Google but needed to mention Bing, to begin with. The reason is that Bing states publicly that they use social signals in their webmaster guidelines.
However, this is not the same for Google. Google does not count social signals as a direct ranking factor. This may come as a surprise to some people because of their partnership with Twitter in 2015 and the various comments across the years from Google. Such as when Matt Cutts stated Google used these signals to determine the reputation of an author through their social media. However, these interviews are and comments are mostly from 2010 – 2014.
The most recent comment from Google regarding social signals suggested that
Google does not take into account any social signals for ranking factors when ranking a website
Do social signals affect SEO… Indirectly?
After some research, I have found some information to the contrary, which suggests social signals may have an indirect effect on SEO.
The following is the results from two separate studies:
This case study concluded that the immense shares from this on Facebook resulted in the generation of a high amount of backlinks and traffic. This was argued to increase the rankings of the blog post. This was agreed by Search Engine Journal.
For those that don’t know, backlinks are considered a ranking signal for Google.
These are just a few of the examples of studies that have shown the correlation between social signals and in-direct rankings. Furthermore, it is clear that social media is great for promoting any online content and providing early bursts of traffic.
Even though it is short term, it is immediate and it is nice to get an early understanding of how users are interacting with your content. SEO can take a long time to take effect, you may not get enough data to understand a user’s journey on your website for months.
However, social engagement provides the opportunity of gathering data on how users interact with your content or website. This allows you to make data-driven decisions for your website.
Therefore, these are the 4 points I conclude of how social signals indirectly affect SEO
- Creating potential for backlinks
- Providing immediate engagement
- Opportunity to collect early data from your user’s journey to optmise your website
- Building an audience
4 Ways to optimise social media for an eCommerce business that helps your SEO
So how can we optimise our social media to ensure that it helps our SEO efforts as much as possible?
- Invest in your social strategy
If you haven’t already, invest in your social strategy so it can work alongside your SEO efforts.
Example: Create some social media accounts based on what your customers are using. For example, if you are an eCommerce business but still want to sell to and interact with your local community, focus on apps such as Facebook and Instagram and use these to engage with your local community via community hubs and Facebook groups.
I have personally learnt SEO is a long term strategy and therefore takes a while to implement to provide those amazing results, whereas social can provide you with some great instant results for that short term strategy.
- Use your BIG content to make SMALL content
Blogging has always been a core element within SEO therefore if you are implementing an SEO strategy you will most likely be posting some blogs. Use these ’’big’’ blog posts to create small content for your social media.
Top tip: Make sure anything you create is shareable!
Example: Back to your eCommerce business. Imagine, you sell unique decor for homes and have created a blog post titled ‘’The different ways people style our decor around the world’’ you can repurpose this content by taking snippets from throughout the blog post and creating Instagram photos, videos, Tik Toks, Infographics. Make your content shareable.
For example, you could take a snippet about the most sold item in your collection and share a post to your local Facebook groups ‘’[Your local town] is absolutely loving our upcycled plant pots!’’
This will help keep your users engaged by providing value to them and helping promote your content and raising awareness of your brand if people share these posts with their friends.
- Add your website links
Use the ‘swipe up’, ‘see more’, ‘link in bio’ features to ensure your website or content is easily accessible. Especially when you are creating content that directly relates to your blogs, ensure your followers can easily see the rest!
Make sure within the blog posts you are adding buttons or links that link to your homepage or service page’s so anyone reading can see more about your business.
Example: Going back again to your eCommerce business. Simply add a read more – [link] to the end of your posts to take readers away from Facebook and to your website.
You never know, they may even click on that button or link you added that leads to your home page and take a look at some of the other great products you have 😉
Over the years we have seen Google bounce on and off for whether social signals actually have an effect on your rankings. Although officially their most recent comment is no, with the research that’s been completed we can definitely see a link directly and indirectly.
With the growth of social media and new platforms being released constantly, it is very possible that one day, social media will be considered an official ranking factor.
But from what we do know now, investing in your eCommerce social strategy alongside your SEO will hugely benefit your traffic, your brand and your ranking. Oh, and if you want to find out more about our SEO services you can here 😉
Also, if anything in this blog post didn’t make sense feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin always happy to help!