Drive Social, Spike Traffic: Social Media’s Effect on SEO

Yesterday, Bruce Clay, Inc. hosted the first #SEOchat of 2015 and the topic inspired hot conversation. “Drive Social, Spike Traffic” honed in on the impact of social media on SEO initiatives. Guests, including some well-recognized and respected digital marketers like Andy Crestodina and Lisa Buyer, talked about their 2015 social strategy as it relates to SEO.

#SEOchat is a Twitter chat held every Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. Learn more about #SEOchat here.

Read on to see what SEOs had to say about:

Social Media in 2015

How do you plan to use social media as a traffic driver in 2015?

@LisaBuyer: Stay newsworthy and current on spreading company and industry news via social media.

@DragonSearch: As Facebook’s organic reach continues to drop, we’re using social ads more than in the past.

@kg7maj: Be active in a variety of networks, engage with the following & produce good content for a blog. Traffic will follow.

@CallMeLouzander: Get targeted. @paulaspeak shared great article describing how teens see various #socialmedia apps:

@d50Media: Facebook paid ads and boosted posts have lead to leads and brand awareness for our clients. We can choose pages to drive traffic to.

@KristiKellogg: I plan to use #socialmedia aggressively, that’s how. Practically, that means strategically and consistently & NICHE-TARGETED. In other words, don’t just tweet into the wind. Share/Post/Promote things that people will want to engage with.

SMM Knowledge for the SEO

To what degree should an SEO know social media and contribute to SMM?

@ChelseaBeaAdams: Some social channels can help organic SEO (in a way). For instance, Pinterest boards are indexed for keyword phrases. Also, don’t forget the power of the Google+ social network. Google+ posts definitely rank high in SERPs for phrases:

@d50media: Write quality content (w/SEO keywords in mind) and share/promote on social media. Track everything.

@KevinWaugh: An #SEO should know what social media can do for them. The lines between the two have been blurring.

@DragonSearch: We recently launched a client’s tumblr blog, and to be effective on tumblr, you really have to know social AND #SEO.

@KristiKellogg: In a perfect world, both the #SEO and the #SMM know both backwards and forwards. But that’s a lot — so they can each benefit from the other’s knowledge.

@EricLanderSEO: An SEO has to understand, at a bare minimum, the influence of SMM and link equity into the broader organic algorithm.

Should social media be part of the SEO strategy, and how?

@Crestodina: Social Media –> Research –> Relationships –> Mentions/Links –> Rank

@d50media: Absolutely! Keywords–> Quality content–> Share on #SM –> track–> get feedback from users–> Write new content

@CaitlinBoroden: SEO, social media, and link building should all be looped in together when it comes to strategy in my book.

@ChelseaBeaAdams: You need to know what tools to use when; if your goal is SERP discovery, I think a G+ strategy (& circle growth) should be a priority.

Traffic-Driving Tools and Social Tactics

How have you used social media & SMM tools to drive traffic to your website?

@Crestodina: I like to use social media to find bloggers to build relationships with. People who create content create links …

@DragonSearch: If content is the Emerald City, then social is the Yellow Brick Road to get people there.

@VirginiaNussey: We use tool CoSchedule to regularly push content to social.

@KristiKellogg: Constantly. CONSTANTLY. Never is there an article at Bruce Clay, Inc. that doesn’t get promoted on EVERY channel.

@ChelseaBeaAdams: Well, social media is undoubtedly a great way to increase EXPOSURE. Someone can only search for your site once they know you exist.

@d50media: TweetDeck to see what people are posting, FB boosted posts, picmonkey to create strong images.

Social Media and Links

Do links from social media (which networks) provide SEO value?

@Crestodina: This is a great question. I think the answer is basically ‘no’ … and that’s a good thing!

@PaulaSpeak: While PageRank doesn’t pass from SM, I’ve been reading a lot about the overall engagement becoming important for ranking.

@CallMeLouzander: If SEO=strictly onpage, then No. But broader definition of SEO includes backlinks, which of course includes social engagement.

@DragonSearch: In the not-so-distant future I suspect we’ll see links in social posts start to provide more equity.

@DavidProHQ: Most links from social networks are nofollow.

@MichaelBurjack: Interesting article about Twitter indexing at TL; DR: only large accoutns affect the index.

@Siddlal: No social links don’t provide link value as they are behind passwords but they are like friends with benefits.

@EricLanderSEO: Yes, but in many different forms. Don’t overlook discussion networks (hint). Use Moz AHREFs, etc. to research verticals. :)

Social Media + Content Discovery

Do you use social media to get content discovered and indexed in search faster?

@Crestodina: Posting to G+ is the modern way to submit to Google …

@HackingSearch: Well, Googlebot shows up immediately after sharing a link on Google+, so yes.

@CaitlinBoroden: Facebook, Twitter, the usuals. I’ve been really curious about what @Pinterest will be introducing. I want to know more.

@DavidProHQ: I post every article in G+ whether it’s in a community or just to the public. I’ve heard it’s indexed faster that way. I definitely use SM to get content discovered. Half the time is writing content, the other half is promoting it :)

@DirectOM: It helps with getting content discovered, that’s for sure!

@EricLanderSEO: Drive social activity using resources and guides like this from Search Engine Journal:

Paid Social Media

Are you using paid social media and on which social platforms? What results are you seeing from paid SMM?

@d50media: Paid #SMM, especially on Facebook, is a necessary evil

@KristiKellogg: We see great returns on promoted posts on Facebook. I’ve also started playing around w/ #ads on LinkedIn. Jury is still out. I started experimenting with LinkedIn ads because they give so many free advertising credits. Free is always good.

@DragonSearch: YES YES YES YES YES. On Facebook in particular. Organic reach there has plummeted. It REALLY hurts smaller clients.

@LisaBuyer: If no, then #Fail.

@DragonSearch: We’ve seen the best ROI from Facebook. Twitter seems to have a higher CPC and the verdict is still out on LinkedIn.

Social Media Resolutions

What are your social media resolutions for 2015?

@VirginiaNussey: I want to test the content mix on our blog to see if we can get more comments.

@DragonSearch: I’m constantly toying with ideas about Instagram. Bigger than Twitter. Gets great engagement. Hard to analyze though :)

@PaulaSpeak: Get better at analyzing #SMM results data. Also, promote OTHER people’s content more. :)

@LisaBuyer: Less is more. Better is best. Customer first, brand second. Share is better than Like.

Social Media + Blogging

Does blogging success depend on social media? Neil Patel predicts this for 2015:

@KristiKellogg: We touched on this earlier — yes, social media drives traffic — but if the content is less than engaging, HELLO bouncing :) Social promotion without good content is useless.

@HackingSearch: Not as much as it depends on regular posting.

@CallMeLouzander: Irregular posting can lead to invisibility, I’m finding.

@NavahK: Yes!

Community Management Pet Peeves

Do you have any pet peeves in social media marketing? Kristi Kellogg shared her top 10 pet peeves:

@ChelseaBeaAdams: I HATE post-follow auto DMs. Especially ones that are clearly promotional and not focused on relationship building.

@davidprohq: Brands replying when you compliment them, but say nothing when you have a question regarding service.

@LisaBuyer: Highjacking a hashtag is annoying and ruins for the legit and authentic.

@Official_IAA: Totally annoyed that Facebook won’t let us edit the picture of a scheduled post!

@kg7maj: Brands who – only promote – don’t reply – use the same content wording across all platforms.

Determining Social Media Value

How do you determine social media value and does it match client expectations?

@KristiKellogg: Dive into analytics and look for conversions. Everything is trackable.

@VirginiaNussey: Sometimes I get sad when clients have too high expectations on attributing sales to social media efforts.

@kg7maj: Analytics … analytics … analytics. Track and present anything relevant to goals.

 @davidprohq: Not by follower count, but by engagement. It somewhat matches client expectations.

@Tommy_Landry: Agree up front on what “demand gen” metrics matter, and monitor those closely. Success is way more than just lead volume.

@MWilton13: Set goals for your social media efforts & track in analytics. Also, don’t forget social as an attribution channel.

@TalentLeopard: How much leads my client get through social media … it is the best way to check value of social media.

 @Siddlal: Hard to determine value. Some only value likes, while the learned see beyond to benefits like relationship and links.

@kg7maj: Instagram is the tough one for tracking ROI, but again, all depends on goals & what the organization is looking for.

Join #SEOchat every Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. Bruce Clay, Inc. will be there. #SEOchat is a great opportunity to ask questions, get answers and share insights with industry leaders and the engaged digital marketing community. Read more about #SEOchat here.

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (15)
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15 Replies to “Drive Social, Spike Traffic: Social Media’s Effect on SEO”

Social is the new 2015 link. I think this is a present and future of seo.

@Maher Abiad, huge part of the algo? Really? Not so sure, seo’s are over estimating the power of social media. These are very helpful to spread info about comapny, and mention news and new content. G+ is great for indexing articles.. but you are wrong with direct ranking algo absed on social signals, in my opinion. It’s very indirect and not well understood yet.

Everyone here is on the same page, social is now a huge part of the algo and will continue to be a huge part in the next few years, its essential to incorporate it into your seo strategy. Cheers.

Social Signals are huge now , I think Google will start devaluing links with out them soon – social is the new 2015 link

Social signals – things change, but we know Google is carefully watching social interactions while it strives to make G+ a more important signal in and of itself ;-) Thanks for posting this Kristi :-)

Social media has much impact on SERP and in current era also help to drive massive targeted traffic to the website. As the social media usage has been increased the big brands also make active to capture their prospect through social media.

This is a very nice and informative blog on social media 2015 and the role of social media in seo. Blogging and link building are the main features of seo now.

Social traffic becomes so popular day by day for the website’s online growth. Today, the more online traffic for your website, the more you will get revenue and social media is the best strategy for those who want to boost their online business .

In term of Google SEO, Google+ (& circle growth) strategy I think is the most priority strategy. I agree with @ChelseaBeaAdams.

Chelsea Adams

Thanks, Jasa! Glad to have you on team Chelsea (and team Google+!) I wrote an article for Bruce Clay, Inc. a while back that addresses how a Google+ strategy can affect your SERP rank (; since then many others have written about the topic, as well, including two of my favorite marketers Mark Traphagen and Eric Enge (great YouTube video on the subject here:

I post each article in G+ whether or not it’s in an exceedingly community or simply to the general public. I’ve detected it’s indexed quicker that method. I positively use SM to induce content discovered.

year 2015 i think will be year of social ;)

Social signals are an important part of overall SEO strategy and this will continue to become more important as credibility factor grows. Great chat I learned few new things from this chat…

Thank you sharing for this list!

There are so many SEO techniques that will get your paged ranked. I have come to find that SEO can be very difficult to the average person that’s trying to rank high in GOOGLE. Social media plays a big role in driving traffic to your website such as Facebook marketing. I enjoyed reading your article keep up the good work.


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