The Impact of Social Media Backlinks on SEO: Driving Traffic, Social Signals, and Brand Awareness

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According to a Sprout Social study,  backlinks are one of the biggest ranking factors on the SERPs. This means you need backlinks pointing to your site to rank highly on the search engines. One of the easiest sources of backlinks is social media. Since people often share your content on social media, it leads to the question of how valuable such backlinks are.

In 2014, Google staff member Matt Cutt issued a statement that  Google doesn’t use social media signals in its ranking. However, many SEO professionals disagree and suggest there is overwhelming evidence that it does. In this article, we will look at how social media backlinks affect SEO.

Before we answer this question, it’s important to realize that social media platforms are also websites or apps. According to the statement by Mark Cutt, Google considers Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media sites to be websites. Therefore, while the sites aren’t crawled or indexed, the links to your site are still backlinks. It means getting backlinks from social media will still help to boost your backlink profile. 

 However, you should realize that links from some social media sites may not work as backlinks. For instance, since Instagram relies a lot on Javascript, Google doesn’t index most posts. Therefore, most of the backlinks coming from such a site will not be considered backlinks.

Here are several ways in which social media backlinks affect SEO.

  • Driving traffic. When your content is shared on social media, this helps to increase its visibility, increasing the traffic to your site. It also increases the chances of other sites linking back to you as the content gets seen by more people.
  • Social signal. As we noted earlier, this is a controversial topic. However, there is evidence that the number of likes, shares, and comments may impact your SEO ranking.
  • Brand awareness. If your brand is active on social media, more people will become aware of it. This can lead to more people searching for it. Increased visibility may help improve your SEO ranking in the long term.
  • Link in Facebook bio. The contact information in your Facebook profile can be a good place to start. Ensure that the information is public so that everyone will see it. People who see it may decide to check out your site, bringing you more traffic.
  • Group description. If you have a  Facebook group associated with your site, this is another area to add a backlink.
  • Profile contact information. Here, you can add up to 3 links.
  • Company basic information. If you have a company page on LinkedIn, add a link to your site in the basic information section.
  • Any posts on your social media, including images
  • About  Us page of your social media profile
  • Youtube video descriptions
  • Instagram stories
  • Rich pins, and more.

Create good content

The above source of backlinks can be added to your social media profile. However, if you need backlinks from other people, your best bet is to create good content. A good idea is to create “how to” content as it is highly relevant. If one piece of content drives a lot of traffic, you can create other pieces around it. You can also pin it to your profile so everyone visiting your site can see it.

Use relevant keywords

In search engines, you need to know the terms people use to search for content in your niche. You should then create content using those keywords. Posting the content on a social media platform like Linkedin will allow you to rank on the SERPs and get backlinks.

Another way to get backlinks is to create content on what people are talking about. Offering a fresh perspective on a trending issue increases the chances of the content getting shared. However, when sharing trending content, ensure it aligns with your brand’s image. By using trends in the right way, you can:

  • Draw attention to your brand
  • Establish brand authority.

Use High-quality visuals

One way of improving engagement is by using high-quality videos and images. Videos will ensure that people spend more time on your page. With the popularity of video content increasing, these will also boost your share rate and traffic. As we noted earlier, the more people who view and share your videos, the more chances of getting backlinks.

Final Thoughts

Social media backlinks can impact your SEO. They offer many benefits, from bringing traffic to your site to social proof. You can follow the tips in this article on using backlinks to improve your SEO efforts.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.