Social Media And SEO Can Increase Brand Awareness for Your Dealership
Social media interactions have become a way of life for most of us, and that means social interactions have become a necessity of life for marketers. You’d think all that socializing would have a big, positive impact on your dealership’s SEO, wouldn’t you? But the truth is, the relationship between social media and SEO is actually kind of murky.
Nonetheless, sharpening your social media and SEO strategies can increase brand awareness for your dealership. And that’s always a good thing. Let’s see if we can make this complex subject a little simpler. (That said, even industry experts and those closest to the situation – Google’s own folks, for instance – admit they don’t always understand precisely how social affects SEO. So we’ll start with the bottom line.)
Relevant content and authoritative backlinks are two of your most significant SEO ranking drivers. A smart social strategy keeps content relevant and helps you score more backlinks.
When one of your prospects initiates an online search, Google uses highly sophisticated algorithms to match the search request with the most relevant content. These days, those algorithms are assisted by AI (artificial intelligence). In just a fraction of a second, a multitude of factors are evaluated, such as:
- Where you are located — are you proximate to the searcher? What keywords are other searchers in your area using for similar queries?)
- Most-visited relevant websites.
- The latest news.
One of the most important factors is the text on your web pages – your content. Not so many years ago, marketers (probably including you) tried to boost the chances of being selected by Google for display by cramming lots of keywords into your content. Keyword stuffing was considered an effective search engine optimization (SEO) technique, at the time.
Google isn’t fooled by that kind of thing anymore, and, in fact, blatant efforts like that now backfire. Google sees you as a trickster instead of a relevant, authoritative match for your prospect’s query. But thanks to the mysterious intricacies of Google’s algorithms, there is no guaranteed path to top ranking.
But you can take steps to build relevance and authority
By now every savvy marketer knows that the content you offer on your website, in blog articles, videos, etc. has to be informative and timely for your specific target audience(s). The more you learn about your prospects and customers, but better you can target your messaging – in terms of topics, format, and delivery channels.
Relevance and authority attract backlinks
When other websites link from their content back to your website, it builds your credibility – with Google as well as with real, live searchers. When Google sees that your website has lots of backlinks – from relevant, also-authoritative sources – that becomes a positive factor in boosting your search ranking for a particular query. After all, if all those other sites found you to be relevant, then your currently-searching prospect will likely want to visit your site as well.
So where does social come in?
Given the value of backlinks, you might think having an active social presence and lots of friends and followers would also boost your SEO. Not necessarily.
Google doesn’t consider social signals to be direct indicators of your relevance and authority. For one thing, Facebook in particular, limits what Google can even see on its platform. So there isn’t enough data for Google to make informed assessments. Besides that, many social platforms are now heavily populated with fake “bot” accounts. As many as 15% of Twitter accounts are believed to be social bots. Google has no way of knowing how many followers or tweets are legitimate and how many are fake (and, therefore, entirely irrelevant).
On the other hand, Google can see individual social media profiles and posts, and it treats them about the same as webpages for indexing. So if lots of folks are visiting your social profile and engaging with your content, it can boost your SEO.
The real value of social and SEO, however, is the simple fact of sharing. The more your content is shared, retweeted, etc., the more your pages is exposed to new people. That’s more brand awareness for your dealership and more content and backlinks for Google to use in upping your search rankings.