Ignore social media and, one day soon, Google will ignore you.
I recently had a call from a customer asking me if I could look at her site to see if there was anything I could do to increase the site’s position on Google. I had previously done some optimization work with keywords to increase the site’s position but now, apparently, it was dropping behind competitors’ sites…..
After analyzing the site’s Google analytics data and examining the structure and content of the competitors’ websites I came to the conclusion that on-page keywords were not the issue here. On the basis of keywords alone, there was no apparent reason why the other sites had consistently higher listings for most search terms.
The problem quickly became apparent, however, when I examined the number of inward links to each of the sites. My client’s site had significantly fewer other sites linking to it. One of the competitor sites that seemed to be leading the field had a conspicuous number of links from directories indicating that someone had conducted a specific link building campaign for that site.
I also noticed that the competitor’s sites all had a noticeable number of links from Facebook, Twitter and, to a lesser extent, LinkedIn. My client had only a very few from these social media sites. Needless to say my client, although having accounts on Facebook and Twitter, was not actively using them.
The lesson from this is that it’s not good enough to simply optimize your website for keywords. Social media is becoming increasingly important in the way search engines rank your site. Ignore it and, one day soon, your site will become invisible on Google.