Social signals or sharing buttons, are those little ‘share’ icons you see throughout a website – just like those seen at the bottom of this page.

So, do social signals matter for search engine optimisation (SEO)?

Like most SEO questions, the answer is not black and white. While social signals like Facebook page ‘Likes’ or Instagram ‘Follower’ counts, may not (yet) have a direct effect on the search results, these signals have an indirect impact on your site rank.

Like quality content, social signals drive engagement, which translates into more outbound links, better citation visibility, lower bounce rate, and more repeat site visitors – all of which matters for a higher organic search ranking.

The real power comes from synergy: your social media sites should be your own public relations channel (the social sites are fundamentally there own search engines), aligning content with your target audience for maximum impact. That’s why social sharing is one of the fundamentals of a successful SEO strategy.

For these reasons it is essential that it is easy for visitors to share your content. This primarily means having obvious social sharing buttons on the page that give your visitors the opportunity to share and promote your products within their own networks.