Top Ten Reasons Why Businesses Should Incorporate Social Signals in their Marketing Strategy

Social Signals – A New Age For SEO

Two words – “Social”, “Signals”. It is a phrase that is being thrown around in various SEO circles lately – a term that would take the Internet world by storm and at the same time change the way we see search engine rankings entirely.

What is it, exactly?

This is how it works. Let’s say you’ve found a cool infographic on a blog that you’ve been following for years. Wanting to let your friends check out this new find, you click on a social sharing widget on the page. Then you pick the social networking site of your choice (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) where you want to share the aforementioned infographic. At the simple click of a button, you would have just generated a social signal.

What’s the big deal, anyway?

Clearly, the keyword here is social. Social signals add a human dimension to a ranking process that was once based on pageviews, keyword density, backlinks, and other factors that can be easily obtained through illicit means (i.e. black-hat SEO). In the aftermath of the Google Penguin algorithmic update which penalized websites that used shady optimization techniques, social signals became the new standard on which a website’s popularity and reputation is based.

And this is not pure hearsay alone. Google, who is (in)famous for its secrecy in regards to the metrics they use for their ranking algorithm, had publicly come out with a confirmation. The man himself, Eric Schmidt – Google chairman and former CEO- has stated in an interview that they DO in fact take into account social signals for ranking purposes. And studies made by independent researchers have corroborated the fact by showing that the number of social signals generated by a website (especially Google +1s) has the relatively highest positive correlation with a website’s ranking in SERPs.

Where Do Social Signals Come From And Who Generates Them?

Social signals are generated by Internet denizens- people just like you and me. These are tweets, shares, stumbles, +1s, likes and other social interactions that a person does on a webpage. Not all signals are weighed the same, though. Those that come from people with an established reputation, popularity or authority (also known as “thought leaders”) are usually valued more than signals from the average Internet user. In essence, these people lend their popularity to the sites that they recommend- a tactic that can be used by online businesses to help build their OWN reputation and increase their website’s performance in search engine rankings.

So, what’s in it for online businesses?


Top Ten Reasons Why Businesses Should Incorporate Social Signals into their Marketing Strategy

1. Social signals make marketing cheaper.

Traditional media advertising entails a lot of money. Media such as newspaper ads, television commercials do not come cheap and frequently, just producing one would take too much time and effort that could be used on more productive things. But now, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection in order to launch a marketing campaign that produces these social signals. No overhead charges are incurred and no special expertise are needed. Everything is so cost-efficient that many new businesses derive leads and sales just from social signals alone.

2. Social signals generate 24/7 exposure.

It’s become a known a fact that people are on the Internet all the time, constantly liking pages, tweeting interesting stuff and sharing new finds with their friends. A social signal that is generated by a social network user acts like an ad with unlimited airtime within his or her circle. It acts instantaneously, and can influence and reach people on the other side of the globe, no matter what time zone they are in.

3. Social signals are a huge component of viral marketing.

Social signals can hasten the spread of a viral marketing campaign. For example, a huge number of tweets can put your business on Twitter’s trending topics page, giving your marketing campaign an edge over other businesses. People should never ignore the power that social signals can generate – it can create new trends with just a click of a button.

4. Social signals reach out to the youth demographic.

The Internet is mostly populated with young people (those from fifteen to thirty-four years old). And obviously, they are the ones whose voices are the loudest on the Internet. Since social networking is almost ingrained in the youth psyche as a necessary tool for communication, their capacity for social signal generation is great. They possess the most potential for social networking involvement.

5. Social signals can be easily shared.

All it takes is just a mouse click. Social sharing widgets and share buttons from various social networking sites are now a standard element in web pages. Unlike traditional media, social signals can be shared over and over on a variety of platforms with the message’s full impact undiminished.

6. Social signals have been already proven to drive web traffic and ROI.

There really is no need to question the potency of social signals to increase web rankings, since top search engines like Google and Bing have already confirmed that they are a major ranking factor. The higher up a website is on a search results page, the more traffic it gets, which in turn,can generate more sales and conversions for any online business. Social signals stay on the Web forever and can still drive traffic long after being generated.

7. Social signals are considered trustworthy by most.

Social signals can be considered as trusted recommendations. People have already vouched for a page and have assured others in turn. Studies have shown that, more than anything, people trust recommendations from those they know and are familiar with over any other kind of third-party promotion, ad, or review. These signals are much more likely to drive traffic over any other kind of traditional promotional or advertising device.

8. Social signals mean high quality.

No one wants to share rubbish with their friends and family. That’s why web pages with little to no social signal generation are often those that are filled with uninteresting and low-quality content. On the other hand, websites that have a healthy amount of social signals coming from it are usually of high-quality, interesting content and can provide value to visitors.

9. Social signals give your business a human touch.

Social signals work on a personal level. These are elements that are being generated by human beings for, fellow human beings. If a business wishes to form a personal connection with their customers, then social is the way to go.

10. Social signals can incite action.

A great thing about social signals is that they have the ability to move people. A simple Facebook like can encourage a person to buy that shirt or this particular car; a single tweet can inform people of an event that is happening on the other side of the globe – the possibilities are endless.

Not Convinced Yet? – Here Are Some Other Things You Need To Know About Social Signals

More and more businesses have been adopting social signals as an integral part of their branding and marketing campaigns. But success does not come with social signals, per se. It also takes creativity and an understanding of the way people interact with each other. These little nuances in social interactions can be the reason why people in various social groups generate social signals differently from each other. A person on Twitter, for example, would react differently from someone on Pinterest.

Another point of interest raised by the use of social signals is the need for “quality content.” Now that the age of old SEO methods are over, this term is in the spotlight. This means no more keyword stuffing, spun articles and plagiarised text. Social signals have become filters that rid Internet searches of junk content as well as rank pages at the bottom if they held no or little value to the general public.

Social signals have literally made the Internet a better place. And by extension, they are act as performance indicators on whether your business is doing well and if adjustments had to be made to improve your company’s social strategy. Social signals also help marketers build an identity online and raise awareness of your business,  solely because of user engagement and how results increase exponentially if a product is found to be socially valuable by the users. All in all, it cannot be sufficiently stressed on how social signals should be taken into utmost consideration when dealing with Internet search and online marketing. It’s best to start now – as no one wants to be left behind.

About Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan: A veteran Internet Marketer. Founder of SomoThemes, Social Metrics Pro, SEOPressor and XTabApps. Daniel's focus is to simplify marketing with technology, to help marketers reach more people in an organized and effective way.

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