Does social media help to increase the rank of my website?

by | Marketing


Just kidding.

The answer is, in one sense, that simple — but in another, far more complex.

Here’s the cold hard truth: It’s a myth that social media will increase the rank of your website. At least the way most think about it.

However, social media can be an incredible asset to the overall growth, credibility, and engagement of your website.

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • The Purpose of SEO
  • Why Social Media Sites Don’t Drive Up Website Rankings
  • Your Website = Your Marketing Hub
  • Using Your Website to Get More Clients from Social Media

By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have a greater understanding of the true value of social media and where it fits into your overall strategy.

The Purpose of SEO

According to Marcus Sheridan in his game-changing book They Ask, You Answer (affiliate link),

…the goal of search engines is to give its customer (the searcher) the best, most specific answer to a question (or need, problem, query, and so on) in that very moment.

Thus — SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of making sure your website returns the optimal answer for your potential customer’s specific query.

Years of “hacktics” (AKA, gaming the system) have led to the perpetuation of bad SEO advice. This has the dual implications of making SEO seem both harder and easier than it is.

Harder, because people think they need lots of specialized knowledge in order to win.

Easier, because people think if they just get one or two of these hacktics right, they’ll have endless traffic.

Wrong and wrong.

If you simply understand what your potential customers want to know, and provide that answer in a manner that is contextual to your business, you will win.

It will take time — most good things do.

By the way, this is true whether the customer’s inquiry is “Does social media help to increase the rank of my website?” or “dentist near me.”

If your website (i.e., the page on your website) returns the best result for the asker, the search engines will recognize that and show your page to the searcher.

Now that we understand the purpose of SEO, the original question becomes a bit muddier. Why would anyone even think that social media site can help out SEO?

Actually, it’s a reasonable question, and here’s why.

Why Social Media Sites Don’t Drive Up Website Rankings

Not every SEO tactic is a hacktic.

“Backlinking” is one of the premier drivers of SEO, and has been since nearly the beginning of Google.

There are both favorable and ill-favored (referred to as White Hat vs Black Hat in the SEO world) ways to accomplish backlinking.

One potential marker of a website’s credibility is what other websites link to it.

And though a bit arbitrary and mysterious, it is quite clear that certain websites have more “value” in the form of credibility than others.

If I link to your website on my own, that’s one thing. It definitely helps. But if the New York Times tosses you a backlink? Completely different story.

Though outside the scope of this post, suffice it to say, high-quality/authority backlinks can help you rise the ranks of search engines faster and more efficiently.

This raises a question, though: It’s hard to imagine more socially credible sites than social media sites, right? Like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter)?

“So if I just post my links there,” the logic goes, “the search engines will see that and send people my way.”

If only.

Look the reality is, anyone can post something on social media. So even though the website might have high credibility, its users don’t necessarily share that.

For that reason, links posted from social media are usually marked as “no follow,” which instructs search engines not to pass any link equity or “ranking power” through the link.

So no, sadly, tweet-storming your new blog post will do nothing to help your website get found. And you’ll be punished by the social platform as well (different topic for another day, but also very important).

And even though this is the reality, it’s not the end of the story. Social media can help your website tremendously!

You just need to understand how it all works together.

Your Website = Your Marketing Hub

What is a website, anyway?

The answer to that question has changed over the years.

In the past, a website was like those cute little brochures you see at travel stops. It didn’t really do anything; it was simply a way to share what you do with the world.

Over time, though, it got harder and harder for people to find your website.

As more businesses moved to the Internet, your competition began to crowd you out, and your chances of being discovered went down dramatically.

This is why I’m such a fan of blogging and content creation. It feels like a dead horse in 2023, but STILL, it’s a struggle for most business owners to grasp this.

The more valuable, user-centric content you create that answers your potential customer’s specific questions, the better.

Not only does that help demonstrate your authority once someone arrives at your site, it helps to get them there in the first place! Again, here’s that Marcus Sheridan quote (it’s so good it’s worth repeating):

…the goal of search engines is to give its customer (the searcher) the best, most specific answer to a question (or need, problem, query, and so on) in that very moment.

Most websites, in 2023 and beyond, will need to be more than a 5-page brochure to deliver on that promise.

Creating lots of content is a long road, but everyone who’s been doing it for 3-5 years knows the power.

For these reasons and more, I like to think of your website as your “marketing hub.”

We’re officially out of the “brochure web design” era. It rarely works anymore.

These days, your website is going to need to do something. Educate your customer. Add them to your email list. Provide helpful resources. Allow them to contact you. Directly purchase from the site.

And more.

This leads to one of the most fantastic benefits of having a marketing hub and social media presence combined.

Where Social Comes In

There are three primary ways your website can interact with social media:

  1. As a vehicle for engagement
  2. As a vehicle for sharability
  3. As a vehicle for discoverability


The word “engagement” gets thrown around a lot in social media circles. The reason is, social media sites want their users to stay longer so they can show more ads.

Honestly, that’s it. It’s the whole strategy.

The more you can get people talking, the longer they are on the site, the more chances they have to show ads.

It’s for that reason social media sites actually penalize posts with outbound links in them. Yes, if all you do is share your link in a blog post, it will be harder to get traction.

Now — if you create a unique post, ask a question to invite engagement, and paste a link to your post in the first comment… now you’re getting somewhere.

You are using the platform the way they want it to be used, and still getting your link in front of the right people for discussion.

The problem, in full transparency, is that this takes a lot of extra work.

Doable? Sure. Practical when it’s hard enough for most people to write a blog post in the first place? Not so much.

As long as you keep the proper expectations, this doesn’t have to get you down. It’s okay not to use the social media sites the way they were intended to be used, just keep your results in perspective.


A cousin to engagement, shareability happens when a post is likely to get people talking.

In this case, the original content (article, blog, podcast, video, etc) has to be so good that even if it doesn’t necessarily invite engagement, it’s interesting enough to be shared.

This can, in fact, lead to some indirect SEO benefits.

Pieces of content that reach high levels of shareability are likely to be picked up by third parties with their own blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels, which can in turn lead to SEO benefits for your content.

So here’s a snapshot of what will happen:

  1. The post is highly shareable, so people share it with their audience
  2. When they do, they often provide their own thought-provoking commentary, which invites engagement
  3. This leads to each instance of your shared post getting high engagement, which keeps people on the platform longer, so these posts are shared with more and more people
  4. This leads to more awareness of your original content
  5. Some who become aware of your original content react on their own personal platforms, likely leading to SEO backlinks

Both engagement and shareability are fantastic ways to get more eyeballs on your content and thus, more SEO juice.

There’s one more way to use social media for your website, and though it’s not ideal, it’s well worth covering.


You’ve probably heard of hashtags (the pound symbol, #).

On social media sites, these tags are a primary driver of discoverability.

In other words, people follow or check hashtags they are interested in, and kind of like “cabinets” on the Internet, can see all of the posts stored in those cabinets on that platform.

While social media makes up a large portion of the marketing strategy for many businesses, that’s not how I (currently) choose to use it.

(Though, for the sake of a disclaimer, I think X is a massive opportunity and I might play in that playground for a while and see what happens.)

So, how do I use social media?

I use it as a way to share out my content, knowing full well that I will not be satisfying the platforms from an engagement perspective.

I might, from time to time, get it right from the shareability perspective, but that is harder to manufacture (and when it’s manufactured, it’s by definition not organic, and therefore not really what the platforms want anyway).

Thus, I play for discoverability. I personally use a tool called Missinglettr that allows me to load all new posts into a strategic, 9-post, 12-month-long drip campaign.

Over the next 12 months, my article will post 9 times. Each post will have a unique bit of text (pulled from the article and edited slightly to make sense), a link to the original post (this is the part that kills engagement), a call to action to read the post, and a series of preselected hashtags for that post (to get the discoverability benefit).

In no particular order, here’s a look at my expectations for these posts:

  1. Occasionally, posts will be shareable, but usually only if they include a hot take or polarizing position
  2. It’s unlikely anything will go viral
  3. Some will discover my posts via hashtags
  4. My immediate list of friends and followers will see my post (though a much smaller number than if I had focused on engagement)
  5. Someone might pick up a post and comment from their own platform, leading to SEO benefits

You might be thinking, “Wow Steve…this doesn’t seem nearly as promising.”

And you would be right.

But the approach I described is about 10 times easier and less time-consuming than the engagement-focused approach, and my results are always in line with my expectations.

Importantly, this approach has led to many fruitful conversations and brought people to my website for the first time who would later become customers, email subscribers, etc.

So there is definitely a benefit to sharing helpful resources from your website to social media, even if you are not maximizing the social strategies the way platforms want you to.

Once you can expand into that territory, do it. But in the meantime, start optimizing for discoverability, and you will start to see more and more page visits coming from social platforms in your analytics.

Using Your Website to Get More Customers from Social Media

Regardless of how in-depth you go in crafting a social media strategy, one thing is for sure: You will want to make sure your website is optimized to capture and captivate potential visitors.

This is true whether the customer comes from social, SEO, word of mouth, or another traffic source as well.

The worst kind of website is one that does not allow you to deepen your relationship with potential customers. That will be paramount in your strategy for creating a marketing hub website that works.

Here are a few ways to make sure that is happening:

Lead magnets

Your website should be collecting email addresses.

While some websites might be able to get away with a newsletter signup form, that is not the reality for most these days.

You will want to make sure you are giving away free, valuable tools or information that encourage people to hand over their email addresses so you can stay in touch.

By far, email is still the best communication platform to keep in touch with people. We all check our emails habitually and incessantly.

And even if your emails aren’t being read, they are usually still being seen, and that means you are being continually branded into your potential customers’ minds as the solution to a problem.

This is golden real state, and it’s the very best way to make sure your external marketing efforts like social media are effective in the long term.

Calls to action

Your website should make it abundantly clear what you want potential customers to do.

If a customer comes to your website and wants to give you money, that should be as easy as possible.

Think about notification bars, colorful buttons, large text, and other ways to get potential customers to take action.

Here’s a post I wrote on how what elements your marketing hub website needs in order to engage customers.

Easy contact methods

If someone wants to get in touch with you or your company, is that currently easy to do?

I have to admit, for a while, I could not answer that question with a yes.

We required long complex forms to be filled out, or for someone to get on a call with us.

We now have our phone numbers and email addresses public, contact forms are simplified, calendars are available for those ready to schedule a call right away, we let customers know that a text is just fine, etc.

Don’t make it hard for people to get in touch with you, buy your thing, get support, etc.

Information for decision making

And finally, make sure your website is choc full of information that helps potential customers make an informed buying decision.

Usually, this comes in the form of helpful content (like the post you are currently reading!).

A website that aims to deepen customer relationships, makes it easy to do business, and helps customers make informed decisions is a website that wins — and will go a long way in making the best of your social media strategy.

If you found this post helpful, we invite you to leave a comment below and let us know! And of course, if we can help transform your website into a marketing hub that gets more customers, just reach on out.


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