Social media: Does social media help SEO; the definitive answer

Social media: Does social media help SEO; the definitive answer

Does more likes equal higher rankings?

Social media is so much fun, and such a giant time sucker.

But does it really have any impact on your Search Engine Optimisation and ability to rank?

Social signals and their importance in relation to rankings is something that’s been hotly debated for years.
There are lots of people is the YES camp and about the same number in the NO camp.

In today’s episode, we’re going to dig a bit deeper into the relationship between social media and SEO. And I hope that by the end of the episode, we’ll be able to be 100% clear on whether social media metrics have a direct impact on rankings.

So, if you’re a Facebook fan, Instagram addict or Pinterest tragic. This is the episode for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • Does social media directly influence rankings?
  • What do SEOs mean when they talk about causation and correlation?
  • Do links from social media count as much as links from a regular website?
  • Does the number of followers I have on Instagram, or Facebook influence how Google sees my website?
  • How can I use Twitter to boost my SEO?
  • Does posting on Google+ help improve my ranking?
  • How do I optimise my social profiles for SEO?
  • Is traffic a ranking factor?
  • Does boosting posts help?
  • Does using scheduling for social media posts hurt SEO?
  • How can we use social media to improve our SEO?

Matt Cutt’s videos

About Craig

Craig Campbell is a UK-based SEO consultant with over 15 years experience. Working as a freelancer, he’s built up his own agency, and now trains Digital Marketing experts and agencies across the UK as well as speaking at international events.

Craig is an open and honest SEO consultant, and has a reputation for being brutally honest and straight to the point when it comes to SEO and Digital Marketing. He regularly talks about Grey & Black Hat techniques done properly that many other SEO speakers tend to avoid.

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Transcript

 

Social media is so much fun, and a giant time sucker. But it does … start again.

 

Social media, is a lot of fun. But it can also suck up a lot of time. And, many people ask me day after day, does social media really have any impact on your search engine optimization, and your ability to rank?

 

[00:03:00] Social signals, and their importance in relation to rankings, is something that has been hotly debated for years. There are lots of people in the yes camp, and about the same number in the no camp.

 

 

 

 

 

[00:04:00]

In today’s episode, we’re gonna dig a little bit deeper into this topic and discuss the true relationship between social media and SEO. And I hope by the end of the episode, we’ll be able to be %100 clear on whether social media metrics have a direct impact on rankings. So if you’re a Facebook pan … oh for … oh god. So if you’re a Facebook fan, Instagram addict, Pinterest tragic, this is the episode for you.

 

 

Hello, my name is Kate Toon, and I’m the head chef here at The Recipe for SEO Success. And online teaching how, for all things, related to search engine optimization. And I love SEO.

 

 

 

[00:04:30]

Today I’m very excited to be talking to Craig Campbell, from Craig Campbell SEO. Craig is a UK based SEO consultant with over 15 years experience. Working as a freelancer, he’s built up his own agency and now trains digital marketing experts and agencies across the UK, as well as speaking at international events.

 

Craig is an open and honest SEO, and has a reputation for being brutally honest, and straight to the point when it comes to SEO and digital marketing. So we should get along very well.

 

He regularly talks about grey and black hat technics done properly, that many other SEOs speakers tend to avoid.

 

[00:05:00] Welcome to the show Craig. That was your little bio, did I miss anything out?

 

Craig Campbell: No. That’s very good. Make me sound as if I know what I’m talking about. So, yeah.

 

Kate Toon: It did.

 

I’m very excited about this grey and black hat technique. I might have to get you back to talk about some of those. You’re so right. So few people want to talk about them.

 

They all wanna play … they want to be good boys and good girls, but you like to be a bit naughty, do you, when it comes to SEOs?

 

[00:05:30]

Craig Campbell:

 

Not naughty, I would say more, just trying things out and not taking everything for granted, that people say, you know, like, even Google, to that extent.

 

You’ve got to try different things and see where it takes you. And people see that as a bad thing. So I found out it’s common sense, but, you know, everyone’s got their own opinions, so, I’ll let them.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:06:00]

Yeah. I think you have to experiment and I think, of course Google is only gonna tell us what they want us to hear, so sometimes it’s good to kind of read between the lines.

 

And maybe use your site as a little bit of a Petri dish and try things out, because some of the things they tell you not to do, do work. Anyway, we’ll come back to that, because, what we like to do at the start of the show is, just pick up on any SEO news that you had read this week, or anything that you’ve been digging into this week in your SEO life.

 

Craig Campbell:

 

[00:06:30]

Not so much this week, but, what I found, and traced from Google recently, you were … just talked about Google there, and I think it was last week, or the week before, and they released a statement saying that you don’t have to do a disavow file, unless you’ll get manual action taken against you, which, I found quite bizarre, and quite a bizarre statement, because, I feel that doing the disavows help me … gets you improvement from more testing.

 

 

[00:07:00]

Google also said to a chap called Christoph Semper who, runs like research tools, they also said to have a blank SEO.

 

Google don’t like Christoph, because he keeps highlighting the fact that people should be doing disavows and so then a month later, yeah, no, honestly, it’s on Christoph ‘s Facebook page so that, you know, Gary, user, unez, or whatever these, however you pronounce that second name, said to Christoph, that Google don’t like the fact that he highlights that you should be doing that disavow file.

 

 

[00:07:30]

And everyone will tell you, when you go to do a disavow, you have to actually Google it.

 

They don’t make it that easy to get to.

 

And so, Google clearly don’t want anyone doing disavow files, and they know, dropping news like that, that you have the manual action taken against you before you have to do a disavow.

 

Which, I think, the most bizarre thing, but as we see, you got to take these things with a pinch of salt and do what you think works.

 

And as far as I’m concerned, that works. You know that’s just one that I want to do more testing on, just to be sure, because you know it’s quite a crazy statement to be making.

 

[00:08:00]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

[00:08:30]

 

Yeah. I found that very odd as well, and you know, having somebody who’s … have a negative SEO attack on my site. I didn’t get a manual penalty, but believe me, I spent a deal of time disavowing links and I’m very glad that I did. I’m not sure I want to give that up either.

 

And you’re right, they do hide away that submit your disavow file form. Quite kind of odd. But then again, equally, a lot of the tools are catching up.

 

You know, used to be only some of the link, more link based tools that helped you generate disavow files, but, SEM Rush now has a disavow file generation function in it. So just as all the tools are cottoning on to it, Google’s now saying don’t do it. So it is a bit strange.

 

I might choose to ignore that. For a little while rather than following the rules.

 

So maybe I’m being a bit grey hat too. There you go, I’m a rebel! I’m a rebel Craig! You’re a bad influence.

 

[00:09:00] Anyway. Today we’re gonna be talking about social media and SEO, and all the students of my course, and the members of my group, ask me this a lot, because there’s a lot of misinformation.

 

So I’m just gonna start with a little intro, and then we’ll get stuck in to the discussion. So. Here we go.

 

 

 

 

[00:09:30]

Many people believe that social media impacts us.

 

Back in 2014, the lovely Matt Cutts, released a video to answer the question, are Facebook and twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm.

 

 

How much do they matter? In that video, he says, that pages on twitter and Facebook are treated like any other pages on the internet. So if something happens and they’re able to crawl it, then we’ll return it in the index, which would imply that maybe social links therefore count as links.

 

And you can watch that video in the show notes for this podcast.

 

 

 

 

[00:10:00]

But then in another video, which I’ll also share, in the posts of this podcast, he stated that social metrics do not constitute direct ranking factors.

 

They have also said that elements like the number of likes and followers you have were not part of the algorithm. And Bing has said that they do consider the authority of social media profiles and mentions across numerous social media platforms in their search engine.

 

 

 

 

 

[00:10:30]

Now I know that lots of students on my course feel that social media does influence ranking.

 

 

Sometimes it’s because they have like a big boom on social media, like a post goes really, really well, and then they notice that they’re ranking better.

 

And often it’s because they’ve seen in studies from, like laws and such, metrics that show that there are correlations between social signals and search ranking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:11:00]

But lots of professional SEOs believe that social media does not have a direct influence on ranking. So having a lot of followers on Facebook or Instagram, doesn’t necessarily mean you will rank highly.

 

We often talk about causation and correlation. And what that means is that yes sites with big … lots of followers do rank well, but that’s not necessarily because they have lots of followers. It could be other factors. All those eyeballs driving traffic, and potentially that traffic could result in more back links.

 

Craig what do you think? It’s a bit of a mess and there’s lots of mixed messages. What is your opinion.

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

[00:11:30]

My opinion is that these social sectors, 100% help your SEO. And I base that opinion on my own testing. So, let me give you an example if you don’t mind. I posted an article on the 25th of July, and it was a SEMrush tutorial, so here Google SEMrush tutorial, what happened there when I posted that, you know, a week or two weeks later, it sat in page three … nothing happened at all. It wouldn’t budge any higher than page 3.

 

So what I chose to do was get SEMrush to retweet the post and you know, send a lot of high profile or influence if you like, on social media to promote the blog post.

 

[00:12:00] Within days of that happening it showed up onto page one, and no back links. Nothing else. Only social signals. So from that, I’ve done a few other tests and I would say 100%, social signals definitely have an impact on rankings based on that theory.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:12:30]

Wow. That’s I didn’t think you were gonna say that.

 

Because in my experience, I haven’t seen that correlation.

 

Not necessarily with specific posts, but, I guess, you know, I have, I guess it’s the opposite. So I don’t have many followers, I don’t have many people on Instagram, and yet, still I’m able to rank very, very well.

 

And with, for me, regardless of where the posts are being shared and tweeted, it doesn’t, I’ve never noticed that correlation.

 

So, that’s really interesting.

 

 

[00:13:00]

So you think just from that show, you don’t think that possibly, because it was shared so far and wide, several people linked to it, and perhaps it was the link juice or authority that drove it up, you think it definitely was just the social media?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

 

[00:13:30]

I think, to this day, there is one link I got from that, and that link was not there. You know, that quite a recent link.

 

The movement happened way before anyone … and I only got one link from that by the way.

 

So you can check that out. I can send you a link later on, but you know, that page only has one link to it now, and you know, it wasn’t needed.

 

And that link … so yeah. No. 100% I think, obviously, with this misconception of, you know, just having back followers and all that kind of stuff on social media will help your rankings.

 

I think the other metrics SEO wise such as click through, and you know, shouldn’t Google that, that page is important as where social media comes in. So I think people are thinking about it slightly wrong.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:14:00]

So it’s not the size of your following, it’s the amount of engagement and click through to your site, that your following generates in a way.

 

Craig Campbell: Yeah. I would say that.

 

Kate Toon: And with that instance that happened for you, did you … how quickly did you notice the impact of that?

 

Was it like within a day, your rankings changed, and also did those rankings sustain, or was it kind of like a blip, and then it went back down again?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

[00:14:30]

The rankings are still there. So they stayed.

 

And I have not really done anything else with it. Apart from the usual continue to repost the tutorial every other couple of weeks or whatever.

 

But I would say that the speed that, that happened, was very quite … I would say, not a day, but you know, definitely not a day, but certainly, within a week, that a movement happened, and you know, it jumps up right onto page one and it has remained there ever since.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:15:00]

Fantastic. I’m gonna come back to this ’cause I’ve go another question to ask you around that, but I just wanna talk about how Google sees social media content. So the guys at Stone Temple did a study.

 

They showed really only a very small percentage of say, Facebook posts, ever show up in the Google index. I’ve linked to that post in the show notes. And they also said that even though Google has access to tweets, the vast majority are also never indexed, which makes sense, ’cause there is something like 500 million tweets created every day.

 

Do you … what’s your opinion on how much Google can actually see of our social media sharing?

 

Craig Campbell:

[00:15:30]

 

 

 

[00:16:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:16:30]

I think Google’s clever enough to see what they need to see, but, as you highlighted, the sheer volume of tweets or Facebook posts, or whatever, that go out there, it would be impossible for them to index them all so, there’s got to be some kind of algorithm there that can filter all of the rubbish out, because, you know everyone’s posting jovial stuff on there and crazy stuff and how Google go about and dealing with that information is obviously anyone’s guess. I certainly believe that they can only deal with a small amount of it.

 

 

Just the sheer volume, it would make perfect sense for that to be the case. But whether, how that would know a good tweet from a bad tweet is something I’ve not done any testing on so I wouldn’t be able to answer that 100%, but, I think the guys at Stone Temple have done the test, and I would have to really agree with what they say that there’s only a small amount there that actually ever do get indexed and how that …

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

[00:17:00]

Yeah. I think Facebook is obviously you know, obviously very much a close book and tries to keep as much away from Google as it can, because it want’s to keep everybody on Facebook.

 

 

Again, with your example, do you think maybe it was because of some well known to social media influence has shared that content? Do you think Google had some kind of gradient of authority around which social media sharers are worth taking more notice of?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

 

 

[00:17:30]

100% I mean, like, you’ve obviously got tools out that, you know, like, cloud, so I don’t know if anyone’s here have the cloud, but you know you get it like, in a score based on your social … and they … I’m pretty sure, I mean I thought they had accessed the cloud as a whatever, but they’ve got to be taking things like that into consideration.

 

And how many retweets, and how many mentions you get and you know what is a good profile from a bad profile. 100% I believe there is something there, but there not …

 

Kate Toon: Yeah so maybe some kind of engagement metrics, and, you know, frequency, and consistency, and you know, wideness of share.

 

 

 

 

[00:18:00]

That’s really interesting. We’ve touched on this already, but, so you actually don’t necessarily believe in the causation and correlation. You actually believe that it’s actually just causation.

 

That if you have a good piece of content and shared widely on social, that, that can influence your ranking.

 

Craig Campbell: Yeah. I mean, that’s only though my own tests, and I know there’ll be people on there, you know, wanting …

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

[00:18:30]

People will be freaking out Craig. Freaking out! You said that. I love it. I love that, that’s the opposite of what I was expecting you to say. But one thing you did touch on was that you don’t think that the number of followers that you have on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, does influence it.

 

So, you know, I’m, from that perspective, I’m definitely in the no camp. You know, I think that you can rank very well with 10 followers on Facebook, and you can rank appallingly with 10,000.

 

So do you agree it’s not about the number of followers?

 

Craig Campbell: 100% I agree with that. You know, I’ve also, you know, got people who rank well who don’t have any followers. They don’t bother with social media.

 

Kate Toon: Yes. Exactly. Yeah.

 

Craig Campbell:

[00:19:00]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:19:30]

How much of an impact does it have is anyone’s guess, as I say. When at the matters … I seen some success from what was a relatively weak keyword, but it shows me that there’s something there but, in terms of the following, no, 100% that all of these things can be manipulated and, you know, people can buy followers, on Fiver, and you know, if that was a rank, then everyone would have you know a million followers or whatever.

 

 

So I think it would be crazy for that to be taken into consideration. I think it’s got to be deeper metrics such as the amount of engagement you get on there and start and posting frequency and stuff like that.

 

I think whatever you bet … further down the line, and to be just going on someone’s following, if you like.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah. That makes perfect sense.

 

If it’s easy to manipulate, and you can have a room for the people just clicking away, then, it’s likely not to be part of the algorithm.

 

 

[00:20:00]

We’ve got a couple of questions from members of my I Love SEO group on Facebook. And the first one is from Kim.

 

This one I think we can answer quite straightforwardly. Maybe you’ll disagree, I’m terrified of what you’re going to say now Craig.

 

Do links from social media count the same as links from a regular website?

 

So, if I share my website in a Facebook post, will this be passing link juice? Now generally, links from all social media sites are no follow, so they don’t pass authority. Have you found any exceptions Craig? Or do you disagree with that?

 

[00:20:30]

Craig Campbell:

 

 

 

 

[00:21:00]

 

I don’t think posting on Facebook is gonna help with link juice or anything like that. Obviously, Facebook and most of the big social media platforms are no follow.

 

However, the impact that they have in terms of click through, which is a mapping and a ranking factor, and stuff like that, they do help rankings if you like, but not directly, not because of the link juice.

 

Just because those other metrics, any of it, can be in that after linking, such as click through. I think there’s movement that people see and they don’t quite understand why.

 

 

 

 

[00:21:30]

In terms of to answer the other question there, as to is there any kind of platforms out there that do follow links, there are supposedly some out there, but none of the big ones really have it, but there are platforms that are out there such as HUB pages or Rate It, Tumbler, things like that, that are supposedly social media platforms, I wouldn’t really consider these to be social media platforms if I’m being honest, that do follow links, but certainly the main ones like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and stuff, they’re certainly no following don’t pass any link just,

 

Kate Toon:

[00:22:00]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:22:30]

But that, I guess this begs the question, I want to dig a little bit deeper into this.

 

Which, I’m jumping ahead, you know, question missed Craig, forgive me, but, we all know obviously one of the great things about sharing on social media, we’ll talk more about this at the end of the podcast, is that, obviously it drives traffic. Now again, this is another controversial thing of whether people believe that lots of traffic can actually influence your ranking.

 

I’ve been to a few of Rand Fishkin’s speeches where at the beginning of the session he would make everyone click on, you know, go through on a post and they would go to the top of the rankings by the end of his presentation.

 

And you’ve talked about that but not necessarily in terms of traffic. In terms of the frequency of click through, how speedily people are clicking through. So can you explain a little bit more about that?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

[00:23:00]

Yeah. Obviously click through and stuff like … even traffic to an extent, I believe, those are factors, we all just saw that they, we cleared that one up. You know, I think having recent traffic on your website shows Google that your page is and your website’s important.

 

But obviously, click through, people clicking onto our website, I believe is a ranking factor.

 

Obviously it shows that you’re writing some good stuff and people are wanting to click on it and read it. I think obviously time on sight and video, I love things like that, I also take it into consideration, and you got to manipulate those.

 

 

[00:23:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:24:00]

If you can show Google somehow, everyone knows, like in a analytical sense of what boundary, isn’t taken so seriously anymore, because customer behaviour, back cl … you know, people get on Ipads, and then clicking backwards, so like there’s a bounce, and so these are less important factors that say I would think, traffic time on sight, click through, and stuff like that are hugely important.

 

Which is then why, I know that we’re going a bit off topic here, but, site speed and all that are quite important as well, because that helps all of that stuff as well.

 

So I think we have to think deeper all the time as well and I know that might be not for you the audience, but understanding what actually works is the key there.

 

Kate Toon: Yeah. No. I think it definitely is for the audience. We’ve done a couple of episodes about speed and we’ve recently done one with John Henshaw about like mega speed tips so that’ll be coming … if you haven’t listened to that, go and check it out.

 

 

 

[00:24:30]

Again that’s a little bit controversial because all they see is something like traffic and click through rates is very easily manipulated, can be very easily manipulated. You can just have a farm of people just clicking through to your content and so again, very easy to mess around with.

 

So what would you say to that. We’ve said that things are very easy to fiddle with maybe shouldn’t be part of the algorithm. But do still think that they are?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

[00:25:00]

I still think that they are, obviously click through.

 

 

Or you can needle traffic to an extent, you know anyone can send a fake traffic bot to your website and needle it. So having … by having proxies and all that stuff to tame, manipulate Google. However, Google have the, you see it in ranking signals, and, you know I firmly believe that, you know, as I say, click through, as a ranking signal, and it was kind of usually, I know they can, you know, allow too much to be manipulated.

 

 

 

 

[00:25:30]

There’s got to be certain elements there. However, the algorithm tries to identify whether it’s a fake traffic bot or a new person, you know. I’m sure there’s clever things going on in there. But I think that if you’re getting real traffic, real visitors, real click through, and you know, possibly even if your website’s got, say, you know, gold completion as well, the forms have been filled out, or sales are being made, then these will also be taken into consideration.

 

I’ve got to think that we got ahead of the game.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:26:00]

Yeah. And I think as well, you mentioned bounce rate. I think one of the concepts on that is kind of the reverse of it, and it’s the dwell time.

 

 

The amount of time people stay away from the index before they come back and click on another link.

 

So, you know, they click on your link, they go to your site, if the spend a substantial amount of time there before they come back to the index and click on another one, that’s a good signal. But if they’re bouncing back to the index, straight away and clicking on the second link, or the third link, or the fourth link, then that’s not a good sign to Google.

 

 

 

 

[00:26:30]

And I think, you know, that does apply, we kind of are straying off the path, you know talking about speed and stuff, but it’s all relevant, because even if you don’t think there is a direct connection, between social media or an SEO, if you are posting content on social media, and people do click through, well then your goal is clearly to keep them on your site as long as possible to grab their attention straight away, to have a fast responsive site that they can use quickly, and understand. So I think it’s all relevant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:27:00]

 

 

I wanted to talk about Twitter.

 

We know that Google has now amalgamated Twitter info into it’s clause and that tweets often show up in the blended results. Not many of them. Is there away that we can optimise our tweets to try and make them more likely to appear in the blended results?

 

Craig Campbell: That one is a controversial question. I think regardless of what we answer it will be hordes of people debating what you’re saying there. But obviously, you know, Twitter have now upped the amount of characters that you can tweet and stuff like that to, is it 280 characters you can now.

 

[00:27:30]

Kate Toon:

 

I know It’s such a shame. All the pithy wit has gone now and it’s just rambling nonsense like Linked In. I think that was a real shame. Don’t you?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

 

 

[00:28:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:28:30]

I do. And I think people are now gonna ram it full of content and keywords and stuff like that.

 

Where as before, you would always try to think about what you said and who you mentioned because it was only a small amount of space. I’m not sure that, this is a good move by Twitter in doing that, because I think you’re gonna see a lot more people trying to manipulate stuff and ram keywords into the tweets to try and do something with Twitter.

 

 

I think you should always keep it short and sweet and don’t think too much about your … as you said, the key part, you said there was, not that many tweets are actually … are in the results and I think you should just use Twitter for what it’s intended for and not try to manipulate it for search engine optimization reasons, if you like.

 

I think doing it naturally, the way that everyone has been for the past six or seven years of however long Twitter’s been out.

 

Try to stay away from that and try to use it as a manipulation system, is only gonna cause you problems or cause Twitter problems further down the line.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:29:00]

Yeah. I agree and if we’re agreeing on the fact that maybe Google uses some kind of authority metrics with social media accounts.

 

You know, it’s about people. It’s about who’s following you, who’s retweeting you, who’s engaging with you. And if you start cramming you tweets full of stuff to try and please the Google gods, you’re generally gonna piss off the humans, and then it’ll be counter intuitive. Just like with content on your site, make sure it works for humans first, and Google second.

 

 

 

 

[00:29:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:30:00]

Which brings me on to the next social media platform that I wanted to chat about, and that’s good ol Google Plus. Google’s social media platform.

 

Now as you may know if you’re listening the posting on Google Plus can make your content appear in the index faster. You post on Google Plus, and it pretty much appears in the index very quickly.

 

Also if you have lots of people in your circles, your content will be prioritised for them.

 

So Google thinks that you wanna see content from you Google Plus contacts before strangers. So through the power of personalization, you can actually outrank big brands.

 

But the trouble is, you gotta get people in your circle in the first place, and most people’s audiences are not on Google Plus. It’s just weirdos like us SEO people who are on Google Plus. What do you think of Google Plus Craig, and have you found that posting on Google Plus has helped improve your ranking?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

[00:30:30]

As a matter of my process, I do post on Google Plus, but I think it’s the worst platform ever. It’s not that it’s a bad platform, and it still fits, it’s more that, no one I know really uses it or replies to you on it, or does anything.

 

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t waste a whole lot of time on it.

 

I do post, but just as a matter of course, because I do believe it’s Google’s own product and has got to be something, any of that, you know, text a box with Google, you’re actively trying to use it. And I don’t know if that’s just me being off my head, and trying to please Google or whatever.

 

 

[00:31:00]

But I get very little from it, if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t be a heavy user of it I think obviously if you can get to be in your circles on there, then great, but I think that’s a hard task, and I think most people, that I know, don’t understand what is needed.

 

They just can’t be bothered with it.

 

They don’t see enough traction from it to warrant the time and effort to improve your circle.

 

Kate Toon:

 

[00:31:30]

Yeah it’s funny.

 

Three years ago when I launched my big SEO course, I had a whole big commercial on Google Plus.

 

I was a real fan, and I really wanted everyone to be there. In those early days it was great, there were lots of communities, you know, that’s where I met a lot of the SEO people that I’ve interviewed on this podcast back in the day.

 

After a while, I realised that I was just talking to the same people, and we were all selling the same thing.

 

We were all geeks talking to each other.

 

 

 

 

[00:32:00]

I still post on there and use automated posting tools like Hootsuite. And so I just post there as a matter of course, but as you said, I can’t remember the last time someone actually wrote a comment on anything I posted on Google plus.

 

I do feel it’s possibly a dying platform, they way Google launces these things and kills them off again.

 

It just feels like it’s whimpering towards its death and Google’s too embarrassed to put it out of its misery.

 

Craig Campbell: No. I agree.

 

 

Kate Toon: Poor old Google Plus.

 

 

 

[00:32:30]

One thing we do know, one thing that does appear in the index, especially if you’re searching for your own name, which obviously, we all Google ourselves every day, are your profiles on the social media platforms.

 

So your Twitter blurb and your Linked In blurb, they can show in the search results.

 

Especially as I said for people searching your name or your brand. Do you have any tips on optimising your profile.

 

I mean not that we’re gonna over do it and cram in keywords, but are there any sort of rules that you follow when your writing profiles for social media platforms?

 

Craig Campbell:

[00:33:00]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:33:30]

I don’t do the whole SEO thing where you’re thinking about keywords. I think filling out to the best of your ability for the users is the best thing to do.

 

When your filling out your Linked In stuff, use as much space as you possibly can.

 

Don’t just have one line of text on there. By all means sell yourself and your services and whatever it is that you sell, and take up as much space as you possibly can, but, say it without thinking about rating for the search engines or anything like that. Just fill out with some good useful information that demonstrates your expertise or your knowledge or your products or whatever.

 

That would be the only text that I would really go for.

 

Don’t try and do what everyone else does and ram it full of keywords, ’cause the things is, people read these profiles and stuff like that, and your potential new job opportunities, or whatever, or new clients, got to be able to see it with a grain of salt so I think that’s always got to be the first thought in my head.

 

[00:34:00]

Kate Toon:

 

Yeah I agree. I mean I think there’s some basics you know.

 

Always use a consistent image, possibly the same image across all platforms, so people recognise you as you.

 

Always have a link to your website. Sound obvious, but I’ve seen lots of profiles that don’t have it.

 

Obviously keep your own bio relevant. But I entirely agree. I can’t bear those Linked In profiles where people have got like, Craig, SEO ninja, Campbell. You know? It’s like, Oh! So try hard.

 

And again, humans are gonna read these people, so make sure they please them.

 

[00:34:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:35:00]

One little tip I would have though is, if you are at all funny, or witty, try to inject some wit into that little couple of lines that you get with Twitter.

 

 

Remember that’s gonna show in the search index and you won’t be able to click through, so you’ll try to write copy, that sells your Twitter profile and makes them click through. That would be my only tip, try to not just write, I’m and SEO consultant and I am great, you know? If you can put something just a little bit quirky or unusual, it might just get people to click through.

 

So, there we go.

 

A couple of SEO questions, which, I’m not sure if they’re actually related to SEO, but they’re from the group, so I promised that I would ask them. The first one is from Dierdre LeBlang, and she asks, does boosting a post on face book so more followers see it, influence rankings or trust scores?

 

So again, you know, if we do believe that posting on social media might have an influence, does boosting and advertising have even more of an influence?

 

[00:35:30]

Craig Campbell:

 

I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest that would be the case. I regularly boost there and post and stuff like that. I use that trick and I probably shouldn’t tell the trick that I’ve done, but I’m gonna anyway.

 

Kate Toon: Oh do! Do! Tell us! Tell us!

 

Craig Campbell:

[00:36:00]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:36:30]

 

 

 

[00:37:00]

So I’ve done a webinar with a chap called Mathew Woodward back in September, quite a bit of knowing SEO guy.

 

And someone said to me, why don’t you try boosting your posts and end there? Because the volume of links and all that kind of stuff is gonna be dead cheap and all this kind of stuff.

 

So I boosted it for a hundred pounds and I got something like 49,000 likes on this, and I think it was actually the 30th of August if anyone want’s to actually check this stuff out on my Craig Campbell SEO Business page on Facebook. 49,000 likes or something of that figure and you know … it’s something that I tried out once and by boosting it, that didn’t make me rank any better or anything like that.

 

Absolutely not.

 

There’s no evidence there to suggest that doing that had any impact or anything like that. I’m not sure I would agree with that, you know boosting it, helps with anything at all. I think and … because, you know, Google can’t … I don’t think, you know, Facebook likes or whatever are the ranking factor.

 

I think it was also low quality, you know, there’s the sheer volume of people on there that want to learn and amass a following and, but, you know, because you get, you know, 49,000 likes, I think it looks like spam to certain degree.

 

So I’ve not done it that much, and I might as well ask you, but I want you to appreciate and see how high that could go for, and see that you might never see any positive impact there.

 

[00:37:30]

Kate Toon:

 

 

 

 

 

[00:38:00]

 

Yeah. And for those listening, if you wanna learn a bit more about Facebook and boosting posts and things like that, have a listen to the episode with Marie Page where we talk about this, and the truth is that boosting posts, I think a lot of people just boost posts at random, and have very mixed results.

 

 

I guess if it didn’t influence ranking one would hope that some of those 49,000 people actually then came to your site and bought something or booked something, but that doesn’t always happen either. So, you’re just increasing awareness of yourself. And that might be useful, maybe they sign up to your Email newsletter, but, yeah, I don’t think that boosting posts would have an impact on ranking.

 

The next question is from Amanda Van Elderen obviously we know that some platforms like Facebook and Instagram aren’t really happy about scheduling posts. Do you think a scheduled post has any less or more chance of helping our SEO than a real time post? Or do you just think it’s totally irrelevant?

 

[00:38:30]

Craig Campbell:

 

 

 

 

[00:39:00]

 

I think it’s totally irrelevant.

 

 

I use Hoot Suite and stuff like that to schedule stuff and I still get good interaction, good engagement and stuff like that. I’ll give you another example, with Linked In, I think there’s something on there that’s quite weird that’s going on. I think obviously that posting a link on an article on Linked In, make … you know, I don’t think Linked In, for example, want you to drive people off of their website and on to your web page.

 

And I think posting a link on Linked In, it does have an impact on how much people actually get to see it. But with anything else, using Hoot Suite and what not, so I see it with no negative impact. I think it’s nonsense.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:39:30]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:40:00]

Yeah. I think that the only thing you need to be careful of is that you can blanket, ban, or not see posts from you know, when you click on a post, you can say stop seeing notifications from Craig, and stop all notifications from Hoot Suite, which then if someone does that then they’ll never any of your Hoot Suite posts again. Just on Linked In, you know, I’ve definitely found that the post that have a link in them do not do as well as the posts that are purely textual. I think this has given rise to this horrendous beast of a post on Linked In.

 

I’m sure you’ve seen it Craig, where it’s sentence followed by space, followed by sentence. And it’s some cheesy story of I started out at rock bottom and then I did this, and I learned this lesson, and I’m a better human.

 

Have you seen those posts? There’s millions of them on Linked In at the moment.

 

Craig Campbell: Yeah.

 

Kate Toon: Mostly by entrepreneurs. They make me vomit in my mouth. Have you seen them?

 

Craig Campbell: Yeah.

 

Kate Toon: They’re revolting.

 

But I think this is just because little stories and text based posts on Linked In do so well. As soon as you post a You Tube video or a link out to your site, no one will see it.

 

No one will interact.

 

They’ve spawned a monster. Stop it Linked In.

 

[00:40:30]

 

 

 

 

 

[00:41:00]

So look we’re nearly at the end.

 

And I think we kind of slightly disagree.

 

Because I would say that I haven’t seen social media have a big impact on my ranking, regardless of the followers, let’s put that to one side, because I think we both agree on that.

 

 

A post can do amazingly well for me on social media.

 

It doesn’t happen very often, but it sometimes does, and I haven’t seen much of a correlation between that and ranking. I will admit though, that I’ve never actually done it as an experiment. And sometimes you need to do an experiment, actually watch the results. Because maybe it did boost my ranking, but I didn’t check my ranking that week.

 

Maybe I didn’t put two and two together.

 

But you believe that social media can have a direct impact on your ranking. I’m just gonna sum that up. I’m just gonna say that again.

 

That’s what you believe, I got it right. Correct?

 

Craig Campbell: 100% I quite expect.

 

Kate Toon:

[00:41:30]

Right? I love it. Controversial. There is people that are listening and they’re shaking their heads and saying I don’t agree. I think we can still agree that social media is hugely helpful for just your on line marketing in general, which, you know, SEO is just part of your marketing mix.

 

How has social media helped you and your business?

 

What things has it driven for you if we forget the ranking for a minute?

 

Craig Campbell:

 

 

[00:42:00]

Just the sheer traffic and exposure that you get on there. You know I think a lot of people have to remember, the amount of people that use Twitter, Facebook, and all these other social media platforms is frightening.

 

The amount of people that use it.

 

And they’re building up relationships with people on it as well. You know a lot of people. If I want to talk to someone I need to talk to, you reach out to them on social media. You know I think you reached out to talk to

 

Craig Campbell: … social media, so it doesn’t have an impact on your business 100% interacting with the right people has a massive impact on your business and you know, I have lots of friends on social media that I’ve never personally met in my life, and you know, people that I talk to have a laugh with on there.

 

[00:42:30] So I think building relationships for any business is built to work for their people … and you know, we’ve spoken on social media and I think, and I end up on your podcast and I’m getting some nice exposure, and is that gonna benefit my business? 100%.

 

And I think obviously building relationships with people is the key part of social media. But getting the message out there and using it properly to get your message out in front of the right eyes and build a real following and real relationships with people is something that social media does for me.

 

[00:43:00]

 

 

 

 

[00:43:30]

In social media, I get plenty of leads through it.

 

So I would certainly say, I was always of the case that social media’s crap.

 

You know that was probably five years ago. Linked In’s rubbish, it’s for old men.

 

That was in my head.

 

That was actually. And old business owners have Linked In and I’m not paying the money, whatever it costs. I can’t remember how much it cost now. But, I gave it a go and put some time and effort into it and honestly, the rewards were frightening. I get lots of business through Linked In as well as on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[00:44:00]

So, you having an active profile out there and not taking yourself too serious. You know, I laugh and joke on my social media platforms and not probably be as professional as I should be, but people love it and you know they like and approachable person that can have fun and gets drunk and whatever, not Mr. Man with a suite on who’s all driven professional and doesn’t swear or whatever. Don’t think that really works in this day and age.

 

Certainly not in my industry anyway. People like someone who’s maybe a bit off the head or codgy, and yeah, so it works very well for me.

 

Kate Toon:

 

 

[00:44:30]

Yeah. I mean I agree, I mean I’m a big social media user and you know, I must admit I’m not much of a link builder. I don’t do many of the things that you’re supposed to do to build your SEO ranking but I do spend an awful lot of time on Facebook.

 

And I think for me it’s definitely helped build my authority, and as you said, build a real connection between me and my audience, but also as you said, between me and my peers, as you mentioned.

 

We connected on Facebook, text a little on messenger, here you are. We’ve never spoken to each other before, but I feel like we’re good friends now. We were talking about your pyjamas before the show. That happened because of social media.

 

 

 

[00:45:00]

So it does help you get your content discovered, gets you in front of people who might want to link to it, which, will definitely help. But also, who might just want to share your message like I have done for you today Craig. I hope my check is in the post.

 

And also the more people that are aware of you, the more people are gonna go to Google and search for your name.

 

So, you know, I’ve seen you on Facebook, I like your stuff, I head straight to Google, and I type in Craig Campbell, and I try and find you.

 

So you know, it’s gonna help you with your branded search as well. So we love social media, we may vaguely disagree on whether it has a direct impact on your SEO ranking, but we’re giving it a big thumbs up anyway.

 

Craig Campbell: Yeah. 100%.

 

[00:45:30]

Kate Toon:

 

Excellent. Well Nick, we are not sure if we got to a definitive answer. I think we got to some kind of answer. That social media is great and useful, but still.

 

I’m so grateful for having you on the show Craig.

 

 

Thank you very much for getting up so early in your pyjamas and coming on the podcast.

 

Craig Campbell: My pleasure. Appreciate it.

 

Kate Toon: And maybe we’ll have you back soon to talk about that grey hat SEO, so keep your ears peeled people, Craig might be back.

 

[00:46:00] So thanks very much for listening to the show.

 

The regular listeners will know that I like to finish up by giving a shout out to one of you out there, and this weeks shout out goes to Sun87shine.

 

 

And she said this “Kate teaches you exactly what you need to know in a hilarious piglet jumper coated way”, Thanks. “That’s easy and fun to understand and apply. Her awesome top of the SEO tree guests” that’s you Craig, “and industry inside information, helps your small business keep up with the big brands. Subscribe and listen while you work, there is no way you’ll be disappointed.”

 

[00:46:30] Thank you very much.

 

For those of you who don’t understand the piglet jumper reference, go back and listen to a few other episodes.

 

If you like the shoe, don’t forget to leave a five star rating or review … and review, on Itunes and Stucger, or wherever you heard this podcast.

 

Your review will help others find the show and learn more about the lovely world of search engine optimization. And you’ll also get a shout out on the show.

 

 

[00:47:00]

And don’t forget to check out the show notes for this episode at www the recipe for SEO success dot com. Where you can learn more about Craig, click through to his Facebook and his Linked In, and boost his social media even more. You’ll also be able to check out some useful links and leave a comment about the show.

 

Finally, don’t forget to tune in to my other podcast. The Hot Copy podcast, a podcast about copywriters … about copywriting, all about copy write. It’s about copy. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

 

And my brand new podcast, Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur, How to Succeed in Business, Despite Yourself.

 

[00:47:30] There we go. We’re done. Until next time, happy SEOing.