When asked, Google stated categorically that social media is not a direct SEO ranking factor. So one would assume that should be the end of it –but, as with everything SEO, it isn’t quite that simple.
In this post, we’ll look at why and explain how you can optimize your social media posts to better boost your SEO.
Why should you optimize social media posts for SEO
Google isn’t the only search engine
Although Google is the most popular search engine, it’s not the only one that matters. Bing currently commands a 33% share of all online searches in the US. And Bing has confirmed that it does take social shares and likes into account when calculating the SERPs. With one-third of the market share in the US alone, it’s not something to be ignored.
Social media impacts authority
Aside from all the other search engines, it’s important to remember that social media is widely thought to indirectly impact SEO. How? Moz, Search Engine Watch and others suggest that a brand’s activity across social platforms has a significant impact on brand authority.
As you can see in the chart above, the link between social media and SEO is made via link-building, traffic generation and other known ranking factors. And it’s crucial to building your brand.
Social signals help search engines verify your website. The larger your following, the more authority you command in your industry. Afterall, subpar content and bogus accounts don’t tend to inspire many followers.
How to optimize your posts for SEO
Whether social media directly or indirectly affects your SEO, you’ll be doing a lot of it to gather momentum in your brand anyway. So, why not optimize your posts for SEO?
Here are our top tips for how to do just that.
Consistency is king
The foundation of any good SEO strategy is being consistent in your branding and company details. In local SEO, when building citations, we all know we’re meant to put consistent NAP details (Name, Address, Phone Number) out there. But the same applies to generalized SEO.
You need to:
- Use the same hashtag to name your business, e.g. don’t use #FudgeShop and #TheFudgeShop, use one or the other.
- Make sure your business bio is always the same, regardless of your posting platform.
- Use the same URL to link to your website from your profile pages. It’s best to use a branded domain name that you can match to hashtags and profile names. If you’re just getting started, there are plenty of places to a get domain name for free.
- Keep your logo and profile image consistent. If not exactly the same, then at least the same color palette, graphics or image style.
- Run the same posting campaigns across platforms. You can use a content calendar to schedule topics you want to cover as a business and stick to the same strategy across social media and on your website.
When a user sees a post from your company, they should be able to immediately identify you.
As you can see from the examples above, Topshop doesn’t leave anything to chance when it comes to brand recognition. Their profile and feature photos are the same across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram –leaving the consumer with no doubt that they are dealing with the same company.
This continuity is not just important for building trust, it also helps search engines crawl your social content when verifying your brand.
More and more social media sites are acting like search engines. Users search for terms or brands in the same manner on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as they would on Google.
These on-site search engines work the same way as Google and Bing, using keywords to rank their results by relevance. Include these keywords in your bio, image captions and posts across all your social platforms so your content is relevant to a user’s search. Not only will this help you get seen on social media, but it will also maximize the chance of your social posts and related landing pages ranking highly in the SERPs.
To get an idea of what keywords you should include, use a tool like Google Keyword Planner. It researches and analyses lists of keywords for you.
Quantity and quality
Audience size plays a big role in the authority a brand gains from social activity. To build a healthy audience, you need to be consistently active on your chosen platforms.
Users quickly lose interest if you’re inactive for too long, especially given the mass of companies vying for their attention. To keep them engaged, you need to stay visible and relevant. And this means posting quality content on a regular basis.
How frequently you should ideally post depends on the social platform your using. What is appropriate on Twitter probably won’t be on Linkedin.
Below is a helpful guide to ideal posting frequencies.
To build engagement though, you need to do more than post. Make sure you respond to your users as well. Responding to posts boosts SEO because it shows search engines that your business is active and relevant.
You should never take for granted that users will engage with your content just because they know your brand. Give yourself the best chance of inspiring shares or likes by inviting users to get involved. You could try:
- Asking a question
- Launching a competition or give away
- Asking for photos of them using your product
The more your content is shared and engaged with, the more authority search engines assume you have.
But, remember, keep it simple. Jude’s 340 post calling on users to submit their favorite flavor for a chance to win a tub of their ice-cream is a great example of a simple but effective campaign that boosts user engagement.
So, although there is an ongoing debate as to how exactly social media affects your SEO, we know that it’s wise to optimize anyway. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll not only boost engagement with your audience, you’re likely to see a rise in your SERPs rankings as well. Just remember to:
- Keep your brand consistent
- Use keywords
- Create engaging posts
- Concentrate on quantity and quality
**About the Author: Hannah Vicarage is a budding entrepreneur who runs a small cosmetic business. When she isn’t out whipping up a buying frenzy at the local markets or selling online, she lends her hand guest writing for ukwebhostingreview.com.