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When social media first started, it was seen as something in its own category. Initially, it was about making profiles, making connections, and spending time sharing the details of your day. Now, social media has now become a vital tool for marketing any business. Social networking and content sharing platforms allow businesses to create specific profiles, interact with customers and find prospects. When managed properly, social media can actually help you grow your customer base.

seo-graphicSocial media is all about building reputation, rapport and establishing relationships. SEO used to be about stuffing your page full of keywords, but that is no longer the case. Now, instead, quality content and the right amount of keywords are showing better results than overdoing it with your keywords. What’s becoming increasingly important, too, is that your content be likeable, shareable, and this is where blogging, SEO, and social media meet.

You may wonder how all of this plays into social metrics and how these metrics affect SEO. Let’s take a look at how this works.

As you know, I’m a big fan of tracking and measuring your marketing. One way to do it, as I’ve shared before, is by using Google’s free service- Google Analytics ( When you sign up for an account and add the provided tracking code to your website, you can gather all kinds of data about people who visit your website, how they get there, and what they do while on your site.

{N.B. If you are running Google Analytics on your site, but don’t know how to read it, may I suggest my video training on this topic? You can learn more here: Google Analytics Video Training}

About eight months or so ago, Google Analytics introduced a social tracking element to their standard platform. With this new social tracking, you can see which social networks are sending visitors, helping you understand what parts of your content sharing are leading people to click and learn more.

With this greater knowledge comes greater refinement. You can know, with more certainty, which social media sites you should focus on, and which aren’t worth your time. This can enable you to formulate a marketing plan to amp up your visibility.

In my search engine optimization work with clients, I am definitely seeing a link between social signals (content shares, likes, retweets), and the growth in their new visitor rate. In fact, some of my clients are seeing 30-40% increase in traffic, simply by adding in social media sharing to their ongoing blogging. With those clients who are focusing more on social media, their site rankings also seem to be improving faster as well.

So in my experience, what I am seeing, and in what I have been reading, social signals are impacting SEO ranking.

When you are looking at how your social media usage is impacting your marketing, pay attention to these three main measurements:

* Posts on your wall; mention of your business and response rates. This tells how well you interact with others on the site.

* Look at the number of followers, fans, friends you have.

* Take time to review interactions that are generated by the posts you make. Increase those number and types of posts which generate the most interaction.

When fans or friends retweet your tweets and share your posts on social platforms, this helps increase the ranking of your page. Having high presence and quality content on social media sites can help your search engine ranking. In fact, your profiles and pages on high value social media sites can sometimes rank before your main website does.

Emphasizing a high value, high visibility social media presence, alongside regular, relevant blogging is the best way to combine your social media and search engine marketing efforts for the most positive business impact.