Consumers increasingly turning to social for content

As many of you already know, the changes to Google this year have caused a certain amount of chaos for search results and has made social sharing all the more important when it comes to traffic sources.

facebook-search-sqr-1 The Importance of Social Sharing

google_search The Importance of Social Sharing

Whilst Google remains the daddy of search, people are increasingly turning to social networking sites to find the information they want and it’s often these sites that provide traffic to a website.

As social is predominantly people-orientated, traffic from any social sources will help to boost your ranking in Google. This is because it is seen to have real value to real people so social sharing is something that your business blog or other content should always carry an option for.

In addition to this, having a company page/presence on the major social networking sites is vital for feeding customers useful information and driving them to you website, a technique that has been proven to increase sales.

Google vs Facebook search?

It’s been rumoured extensively that Facebook are working on their own version of a search engine to include in the world’s most popular social networking site. If you consider the fact that UK searches dropped by 100 million in August this year, then it bodes well for Zuckerberg, if that’s the intention.

This is because many people are now using social to reach sites based on what their friends are doing and recommendations from others (such as something they have found interesting and shared socially from a site).

“The key thing here is the growing significance of social networks as a source of traffic to websites. Search is the still the number-one source of traffic, but social networks are growing as people increasingly navigate around the web via recommendations from Twitter, Facebook etc.” researchers at Hitwise pointed out.

A recent study has also found that, should Facebook launch their own search facility, then they could immediately grab around 22% of the search market, quite a substantial figure which could leave Google slightly shaken.

facebook-search The Importance of Social Sharing

It also found that Google’s own social platform, G+, is valuable in terms of how many +1s you get and even more so if your site uses other Google products such as analytics, Adsense and so on.

Many of us use Facebook

50% of people use Facebook already to give recommendations and look for content and the site is ranked at number 3 in the world, coming in behind Google and YouTube (which is of course another Google product).

However, consumers don’t trust Facebook advertising as it uses personal data to target specific people and this raises privacy concerns. Add to this the recent emergence that obtaining ‘Likes’ through paid advertising is something that may be carried out by bots and it doesn’t bode well for the site as strictly an advertising platform.

Search is likely to be more successful for the company, although they currently employ Bing to some extent as the main search facility on the site.

Twitter are also said to be looking into providing a better search facility on their site, so it could be in a couple of years that Google will have lost a fair proportion of the search market, if only because there are so many users of social networks.

In the short term, it’s essential that you use social sharing in order to gain better results on Google rankings. This of course has to be coupled with excellent content which gives value to the website visitor and is search-friendly, so preferably not stuffed with keywords, highly readable and reasonably short.

Finding the right combination at the moment is tricky, but achievable with a little bit of work to optimise your content, the use of social sharing and an open dialogue with potential customers. Add these together and employ a reputable agency to help you carry this out and you could be enjoying more traffic than you ever dreamed of, as well as obtaining decent rankings and more sales.

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