Who would have guessed the effects of social media on our personal and professional lives?
In 1997, Andrew Weinreich opened a platform that would change life as it was known then. It was called Six Degrees and was the first recognized social media platform. When considered, the effect of social media on our lives cannot be quantified. It is one of those things that will forever have an impact on history.
In this article, we will be considering its effect on a smaller world- the web. Websites get traffic through several sources, and one of those sources has been social media.
Can we ever quantify the effect of social media on organic traffic to websites? The answer is No. Although there are analytical tools that can calculate the amount of traffic coming to a website through social media, those figures will only include the visitors who clicked on the link through a social media site.
Ways Social Media affects Organic Traffic
Although organic traffic means finding a website using search engine results as opposed to finding a website through another website, social media can still, in many ways, affect what will be considered as organic traffic. Here’s how:
Recommendations and Referrals
On many social media platforms, users share their experiences with brands and products. A user might talk about your website, but not necessarily reference it. Another user who sees that positive review could go to Google and search out your website. Is this an effect of social media? Yes. Will it be included in your analytics report? No. When users constantly see a brand or product being talked about, many will feel an interest in finding out more about the said brand. The easiest way will be running a search. This search is as a result of constant exposure on their social media pages.
According to Retailing Today, 81% of people who show an interest in a product go back later to do research on them before making a purchase. Paid ads are initial exposure tools. The only data that can be gathered from paid ads is the initial click. Your analytical tools cannot correctly predict which returning visitors initially got exposed to your website from social media exposure. This means that some returning visitors (which at this point is organic traffic) were initially not organic traffic.
Social Media Profiles Boost Search Rankings
When ranking pages, Google pulls all information related to a brand name to determine domain authority. One of the first results, when a name is searched, is the social media pages associated with the name. A social footprint heavily contributes to a website’s credibility and boosts its position on a SERP.
Local SEO uses Location Information pulled from Social Media
Google algorithms ensure that location information is used as a factor when providing UX. If a user searches “Best bistros in Connecticut”, a website with an active social media page providing backlinks with the words ‘Bistro’ and ‘Connecticut’ in its profile information will rank higher in search results than one without these backlinks. Social media platforms like Yelp don’t always provide traceable traffic because many times reviews will influence a user to search out a business.
Social Media increases Brand Recognition
A user will show more interest in a brand name they are familiar with, over an unknown one. Brand recognition is achieved with repeated exposure. Remember the decision-making process you are faced with when trying to pick a link to click on from your search engine result? What if you already saw positive reviews of one of the results on your page? That website will immediately look like a good option to in the least, explore.
How to promote Organic Traffic to your Website using Social Media
1. Be creative with your content
There’s only so much promotion and marketing you can do by yourself. Whenever content goes viral, it does not go viral because the initial publisher promoted it tirelessly. It goes viral because other users promoted it by sharing with their followers and friends. If your content is interesting and positive, your followers will continue the promotion process for you, making you more visible to a wider audience. Your creative team should always provide shareable content.
- Related: 7 Key Elements for an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy
- Related: Studies and Statistics – How to Make Your Content Shine
2. Engage your users
An important part of advertising is the ability to achieve brand recall. This is when a user can immediately recall your brand or products, when in need of the solutions you provide. A user might not need the product you’re advertising when they see your ad, but they can remember your brand when they have that need. To achieve this, you must engage them often while using content that will stick with them.
- Related: Where is Your Next Customer Hiding
3. Work with influencers in your industry
Influencers have a following that believes in their experiences and recommendations. Working with influencers in your niche will expose you to an audience filled with potential visitors who could eventually turn to paying customers.
4. Include an adequate description when promoting a product
To ensure that users have the needed information to find you online, always include an adequate description of your products in promotional social media posts. When accurate keywords are used along with your brand name, your web pages will be ranked higher by Google, putting your website above those of your competitors.
Social media is the biggest directory available today. The effects of social media on organic traffic might not be adequately measured by analytical tools, but we can determine that the loss of their impact will definitely be felt if removed as a source. Many things happen in-between when using the internet, and indirect influences are one of them.
Let’s chat… How do you use Social Media to benefit your business and website traffic?