Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Q: How Does Social Media Affect Local Small Business Search Rankings?

A: From Reddit/r/SEO - A thread in the comment section sums up how a local business should look to approach social media for SEO purposes.

The Original Question:
So I have a website for a local computer repair website. And I keep reading how import having social media is to the business. I have a facebook account, a google+ account, and a twitter and youtube. What should I be posting? Should I be posting a service I offer with a link back to my site on every one of those social platforms everyday. 
Should I be posting deals with a link to my site? I am very confused - a basic strategy would be amazing from any of you. 
My services
Computer repair, apple repair, point of sale repair, laptop repair, Thins along that nature

User Ozymandia5 replies:
No, to be blunt, posting services and links is a terrible way to attract attention. Do you use social media at all? If so, you probably have a relativly good idea of what kind of content gets shared/passed around regularly, particularly in terms of blog posts/articles etc. 
Use your facebook/google+/twitter account to post links about relevant blog posts or infographics to your followers, try to engage people by asking questions that relate to your business or products, and maybe consider running a competition or two The idea, primarily, is to build yourself a decent base of 1-2000 engaged followers, and then have them organically share your content with other users to 
  • attract traffic to your site  
  • show Google that your site is popular and relevant to its niche.

When linking to a blog article going to another site. How does Google see that I am engaged as a company sending a link to someone elses site and not mine. 
So I basically do not have to keep linking back to my site just find good articles somewhere post it on my facebook like check out this cool new hard drive or something and link to the blog post or article. 
How often should I do this... should I do this everyday for every social media account? 
I still don't see though how this will rank my site better if nothing points back to my site and is going all over the internet how does google now that my site is social media presence. Cause I keep seeing everywhere that google is looking for your presence all over social media. Thanks again for all your answers as well.

Final Reply from Ozymandia5
Generally, the idea is to leverage social marketing in order to build an engaged client base that will post links to your content elsewhere - which WILL improve your rankings. The initial stages of this do, admitedly, involve posting links that wont reap you any immediate rewards. Such is life. 
You have to think of it as more of a long term investment. That said, your social media accounts should all be linked to, and pointing towards your main website (you input your website when setting up company profiles on most media platforms) and engagement there will contribute to your 'social proof' which may have some small effect on your rankings in the short term. 
In terms of frequency? Experiment. A/B test. post once a day for two weeks, then post every other day for two: has your engagement dropped or improved? Post in the mornings for a month, then switch to afternoons. Any change? 
I'm sure you get the idea. The thing to remember is that nobody will find you engaging if you recklessly promote yourself, and nobody will engage with you if you take a purely narcissistic approach to social media. 
If this all sounds like a giant waste of time, then it might wll be: From personal experience, social media is something that only really works for a small niche of businesses. Of course a presence is always good, but I've never seen facebook or google+ as a particularly integral part of most people's SEO efforts, despite what Moz and co. will tell you. 

The only thing I will say is that I've personally noticed that Google+ has been having more of an impact on local rankings, but only time will really tell. 


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