SEO, three little letters that are immensely important to the success of your hotel. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring it ranks as high as possible in search engine results for specific search terms. Many things impact your search rankings, but what role, if any, does social media play?
Let’s start with a Holistic view of SEO
SEO can essentially be broken down into 2 categories: on-page and off-page initiatives.
On-page initiatives relate to your individual website; the content it contains (text, images, video) and it’s overall performance (e.g. site design, user experience, page speed, etc.).
Off-page initiatives relate to any activity not on your website that helps improve your search rankings; things like link building and brand mentions, for example.
In this article, we’ll focus on an off-page SEO initiative; specifically what impact social media has on your SEO.
Do Social Media “Likes” Improve my SEO?
Google uses over 200 different ranking signals to determine the ranking of websites on their Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). They will never give away the complete list of signals – it’s a trade secret. However, every so often Google gives us little pieces of information about their algorithm.
In 2014 Matt Cutts, then head of the web spam team at Google, announced that social signals, such as likes and followers, are NOT part of Google’s ranking signals. But just because Google doesn’t use social signals as part of their ranking algorithm doesn’t mean that social media is useless.
Are Social Media Pages Indexed by Google?
Cutts says that any public social media page, tweet or status update can be indexed. But the exponential growth of webpages on the Internet makes it near impossible for Google to index every single one. Yes, not even Google can keep up! It’s estimated that only 0.004% of the internet has been indexed.
While Google isn’t spending time indexing every single tweet on the Internet, they will index your hotel’s social media pages. This means your social media pages could rank on SERPs when someone searches for your hotel, increasing your presence on page 1 (and hopefully pushing a competitor to page 2).