Do Social Media Backlinks Count In SEO? The Forgotten Benefits Of Social Media Links
For marketers and small businesses, using your SEO budget wisely has never been more important than now.
With 2020’s numerous catastrophes making life tough for companies and individuals in every market, optimising budgets and increasing return on investment is crucial for everyone.
As such, many SEOs and businesses are reviewing their link building, and digital marketing spends and adjusting their strategies accordingly.
Building links is a crucial part of any SEO strategy, but choosing the right platforms can be a challenge. Every business covets do-follow, relevant backlinks, but it can be hard to find the right platforms and then collaborate with them to place a quality link on an excellent anchor text.
That’s why link building tactics that you can control, such as internal backlinking and social media backlinks, seem like an ideal solution.
You can place the links yourself, write the content into which they are inserted, choose the anchor text and make them do-follow. As a result, you have control over every aspect of the link building process.
However, these strategies do have their downsides. Most social media backlinks are no-follow, which means that search engines such as Google don’t transfer PageRank and other benefits from this link.
Google doesn’t crawl for no-follow links, so they don’t give you the benefits that do-follow ones provide. The search engine’s spokespeople have also repeatedly stated that it doesn’t use social media as a ranking factor.
As a result, many SEOs view social media backlinks as useless, but that’s not the case. There are many benefits to social media backlinks, which I explore in this article.
No-Follow Links Still Matter For SEO
Just because Google tells you that it doesn’t take notice of no-follow links, doesn’t necessarily mean that the search engine completely discounts them.
As Neil Patel so eloquently puts it, Google and other search engines still understand that no-follow links are links and that they
While Google states that it doesn’t use no-follow links to influence its rankings, they offer additional benefits, such as traffic growth, which will discuss later.
Also, having a varied backlink profile will help you to show the algorithms that your profile is natural, and that you’re not trying to game the system (even if you actually are).
Think about it; it’d look really obvious if you suddenly gained 20 do-follow backlinks from high-authority sites in quick succession, all with similar anchor texts.
However, if you gain a selection of backlinks over time, then you’ll create a varied and natural-looking backlink profile that Google’s less likely to find suspicious.
If Google thinks that your backlink profile is growing too quickly, or that you’re buying your backlinks, then it could penalise your site. It could do this reducing its search result position, ignoring it completely or even giving your website a dreaded manual action.
As such, while you shouldn’t focus your digital marketing efforts on no-follow links, you shouldn’t disregard or actively avoid them. Social media backlinks are just one way to diversify your backlink profile, and they offer other benefits too, so read on to find out about those.
Social Media Backlinks Help Increase Traffic
Traffic is another factor that affects your website’s SEO, and social media backlinks can help you to increase the number of internet users visiting your website.
With around 3.6 million social media users regularly updating their accounts and scrolling through newsfeeds, your backlink will reach a vast audience if you choose popular social media platforms.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform currently, so by placing a backlink on relevant posts and content there, you have the chance to reach a wide audience of interested readers, particularly if you place your backlink on content that’s visible to the public.
If you engage with social media users on posts that contain backlinks, or use backlinks to answer their questions, then you’ll also boost your traffic. The more users click on your backlink and interact with your website, the more useful search engines will find it.
Therefore, social media backlinks and an active presence on relevant social media platforms is essential for any organisation that wants to improve its SEO.
Social Media Platforms Allow Searches
Most social media sites allow users to search for keywords, phrases or hashtags so that they can find the content they’re interested in reading.
Many platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, allow users to narrow down their search to content that includes their keywords.
As such, social media platforms are effectively search engines themselves. They just show results for user-generated content, rather than website results like traditional search engines.
So, if you include your backlink, alongside relevant keywords, in posts and comments, then you’ll increase your chances of reaching your target audience and generating leads.
For SEOs who are looking to maximise the impact of social media backlinks on their website’s traffic, the best approach is to write posts and comments that are keyword rich and enticing.
Write your posts the same way you would an article for your website; research the keywords that you want to target, and then try to include them in a snappy, grammatically correct piece.
Try to keep your social media posts short and sweet, then direct your readers to the link for more information. This approach will increase website traffic and help you to improve your social media presence.
It’ll also make your social media page more inviting and usable; no one wants to read huge blocks of text when they’re casually scrolling through social media.
Profiles Appear On Searches
When users search business names of established companies with strong SEO, then they notice not only the firm’s website but also their social media profiles.
As such, you need to make sure that there’s a strong association between your social media pages and your website.
If you don’t use a lot of backlinks on your social media site, then users might click on it, think that it doesn’t belong to your firm, and click off again.
As such, you’ll lose followers on your social media platforms, and therefore potential leads. You also won’t get the traffic that you would if your social media accounts posted more backlinks and content that engages readers.
Traffic is one of the numerous metrics that search engines use to assess your website and decide which sites should rank for specific keywords. As such, you need to make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to improve your traffic, including populating your social media profiles with relevant backlinks.
The SEO Market Is Constantly Evolving
Also, it’s important to remember that just because social media backlinks don’t impact your SEO now, doesn’t mean that things won’t change in the future. Social media and search are both constantly evolving, so businesses need to be prepared for anything.
At the moment, social media links don’t benefit your SEO, but if that changes in the future, then you’ll already have a load of backlinks across your social media platforms.
That will save you time, as you won’t have to upload loads of new backlinks. You’ll already have a load of backlinks, so it’ll look more natural to Google and other search engines.
They might also take into account more than just backlinks, but other social signals instead. As such, you need to make sure that your business has a strong presence on major social media platforms.
Social Media Backlinks Benefit More Than Just Your SEO
It’s not just your website’s SEO that can benefit from social media backlinks; linking back to existing web pages and blog posts on your site can also save you time and effort on your social media strategy.
Instead of writing full descriptions, you can share links to your website’s explainers. You’ll save time and effort, and still give users the content and insight that they need.
You’ll also save time for your followers, as they’ll easily be able to find the information on your site without searching through for it. This approach can help you to generate and nurture potentially lucrative leads that help you to grow your business.
So, next time you’re considering posting a backlink on social media, and you think it’s pointless, then think again.
At the end of the day, businesses can’t afford to ignore their social media presence in today’s market.
That means creating accounts and attracting followers on all the major platforms that your target audience uses.
While social media backlinks are no-follow, they still help algorithms to notice your website and understand how active it is in the online market.
Social media backlinks also promote increased traffic to your website, so while they shouldn’t be the main focus of your link building strategy, you should integrate them as part of your social media marketing plan.
September 2, 2020
May 8, 2019