socialmedia-downMany website owners and businesses now assume that just having a Facebook and Twitter presence is enough to boost their SEO. However, this isn’t always the case, and while social media is important to branding and awareness, it shouldn’t be viewed as a one-stop solution for getting the most out of your online marketing. It’s worth, then, reviewing some of the major social media and SEO myths and traps that businesses tend to fall into, and what alternatives there are for building a stronger campaign for your site.

“Social Media Will Directly Affect Your Rank”

Believing that social media marketing will directly affect your Page Rank on Google will only get you so far in the long run. While social media will help you to boost your site awareness, and can increase your authority through backlinks, Google work out your site’s ranking in more complex ways. This means that social media can help to improve your indexing, but may not provide enough of a range of high quality links to your site from other destinations.

“Social Media Will Drive Sales”

Again, the impact of social media on your sales figures is more a matter of perspective than anything else. Getting lots of links and brand awareness is always good, but that might not mean you get actual conversions. One recent survey suggested that social media driven sales only account for about 2 per cent of a company’s conversions. Moreover, social media users may be put off by overly aggressive sales pitches on their networks, which can actually do your brand more harm than good in the long run.

“Social Media Always Grants Authority”

The more links that you can receive from social media the better when it comes to showing that your brand is generating awareness and interest on different sites; this can create a high level of relevance for searches. However, this authority may not be the same as getting strong inbound links from high quality sites, while it can be more difficult to stand out as a local brand in the same way as when you use a well optimised website.

Authority can also be built in many other ways, which can include guest posting and blogging, all of which have social components, but can be embedded within your site. Setting up a social media profile and channeling all your energy into it can ultimately end up delivering awareness, but not the kind of high quality links from different sources that feeds Google’s algorithms.

You also can’t necessarily get away with an abundance of ‘thin’ content on social media, where you might not be able to build an audience for guest posts and long form content. Remember, the quality of your links, and the content on your main website, are now more important than ever since Google updated their Penguin and Panda algorithms; this means that it’s worth investing in a good website design and it is difficult to get away with just relying on social media to build a comprehensive web presence.

About the author: Rob James is a social media blogger and specialist in getting the most out of your internet marketing campaigns. He recommends Deep Blue Sky to help you with your website design and manage your social media campaigns.

Photo by Staitic Flickr.