While it might’ve been easy to think about SEO and social media as two distinct things a decade ago, it’s nearly impossible to do the same now. To succeed in the mastery of both, one can no longer treat them as individual and must recognize social media’s dominating presence that is reinforced by its continued integration into our online identities.

How Do They Relate?

Initially, the common understanding was that SEO and social media had very little to do with each other. One focused on the optimization of key phrases and search engine results to increase traffic to a website; the other is a collection of online platforms on which users network and interact through a variety of multimedia. But as a clairvoyant few predicted, social media’s role has expanded to not only encompass online social interactions, but many of our online activities as a whole. This includes online shopping and advertising—two activities deeply tied to SEO and the processes by which it occurs. Working together, they provide newfound opportunities to succeed in the realm of digital marketing.

First, let’s look at some survey results. In a survey led by Databox, 66 percent of users reported a correlation between the number of social shares a page receives and its overall search ranking. This isn’t to say social shares impact rankings directly—as Google has specifically stated there is no direct relationship between the two in its search results—but it forces one to consider the indirect impacts each makes. Alex Brown, from Inspired Creative Digital Agency, explains it bluntly: “Does social media directly boost SEO rankings? No, it won’t directly boost any SEO rankings. But it provides opportunities in content marketing and link building efforts that will help boost your organic rankings.”

Working Together

So how, exactly, do social media and SEO work together? The most important way is link building. Quality backlinks are integral to ranking higher on Google and if you’re leading a successful social media campaign that is accruing visibility, your content is more likely to be shared and linked to by a wider audience. Social sharing also reflects the popularity of your content and allows for content promotion, further prompting engagement from those within your social media reach. Alice Bedward of Bybit explains it simply: “When you share content over social media, you’re putting it in front of an audience who’s willing to share it with their own networks. Allowing your social media followers to amplify your reach delegates many aspects of link building.”

The mark of a competitive and forward-thinking digital marketing agency is an understanding of SEO and social media’s newfound integration and an effort to utilize it effectively. Here at Cross Dot, we recognize that SEO and social media now go hand-in-hand, and it’s for that reason we are able to seamlessly execute both in a way that amplifies their success. Digital marketing is about optimization and absolute efficiency—if your digital marketing agency isn’t using social media and SEO together, it’s failing to execute its most basic purpose.