Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t just important on websites. It’s also crucial when it comes to your social media content. Social media profiles often rank above actual websites on search engines, so you want to make sure your profiles are ranking for the correct things with social media SEO.
The good news is that the process of optimizing your social media content isn’t that different from any other type of SEO.
You will have to take each platform’s specific needs and characteristics into account, but once you do you’ll find yourself publishing well-optimized posts in no time.
In this guide, we’ll talk a little more about the importance of social media SEO. Then we’ll discuss how to optimize your content for five of the major platforms. Let’s get to work!
Optimizing your website for search engines like Google is crucial for driving traffic. At the same time, it’s important to remember that SEO extends to all of your online content. For that reason, it’s just as vital to make sure your social media profiles are well optimized.
There are a number of reasons to conduct social media SEO, including:
There’s a reason so many businesses take the time to run multiple active profiles on various social sites. Social media can be a powerful way to drive awareness and conversions – arguably more so than any other tool at your disposal. That’s why it’s well worth your time to make sure that each and every post is designed to attract attention from both your audience and search engine algorithms.
In some ways, optimizing your social media content is a lot like optimizing your website. If you’re already familiar with basic SEO principles, therefore, you’re halfway to the finish line.
At the same time, you’ll also need to consider the specifics of each platform you’re creating content for. This will enable you to post more effective and optimized content on all of your social profiles. To get you started, let’s look at five of the most popular social media sites.
First up, Facebook is still the king of social media platforms. It’s also one of the most text-focused sites, which means that optimizing your Facebook posts for SEO is particularly close to the process of doing so on your website.
Some things to keep in mind when optimizing your Facebook posts include:
Facebook targets a broad audience and can get a lot of eyes on your business. Therefore, it’s worth taking your time to ensure that as many people as possible encounter your posts.
As a contrast to the previous platform, YouTube is all about videos. This can make optimizing your content a little tougher, since the videos themselves offer little social media SEO potential.
Fortunately, there are ways to optimize your YouTube uploads. This is primarily done through descriptions, which appear underneath each video:
These descriptions can be quite lengthy – up to 1,000 words total. This gives you a lot of room to play with. You’ll want to include (at the least):
In addition, when you upload a video you can switch over to the Advanced tab to fill out some settings:
While there are plenty of useful options here, for our purposes the most important is to select a relevant category. This will help interested audience members to locate your videos more easily. Remember – YouTube is not just a social media site, but it’s also a search engine. This means people can stumble across your videos on the site itself, or through external search engines like Google.
Like YouTube, Twitter presents something of a unique SEO challenge. In this case, however, the issue at hand is that each post is restricted when it comes to length. This means you’ll need to be very careful about how you go about optimizing your Twitter content.
As in usually the case, keywords will play a central role in your Twitter SEO strategy. However, instead of working them naturally into your text as you would on your website or Facebook, you’ll want to incorporate them as hashtags:
Many studies have shown that one to three hashtags is ideal for a Twitter post. These tags make it much easier for people to stumble across your posts in relevant searches – whether on Twitter itself or through Google. For best results, use your hashtags to indicate each post’s main category or topic.
In addition, one of the most effective ways to help people find your Twitter content is to use currently-trending hashtags. There are a lot of places to find out what these are. Just make sure that you create relevant posts to use with these hashtags. Simply adding trending topics to unrelated posts may attract attention, but will ultimately alienate your audience.
Although it has a different focus and target audience, in format LinkedIn is most similar to Facebook. This means that its social media SEO strategies are similar to what you’d use on that platform, and you’re likely to focus on more traditional techniques.
Once again, keywords are paramount. You’ll want to use them in the titles and content of your posts, but be very careful not to overdo it. Your posts will likely be short – so pick one target keyword for each, and work it in naturally.
It’s also worth noting that it’s particularly important to optimize your LinkedIn profile. While this is a good idea on every social media site that you use, it’s especially relevant here. Your profile is much more likely to show up in relevant Google searches than your individual posts, so it should receive the bulk of your optimization efforts.
Don’t get us wrong – optimizing your LinkedIn posts is also a smart idea. When it comes to this platform, however, your profile and all of its associated details are the stars.
Last but not least, Instagram is another media-heavy social platform. In that way, it’s not dissimilar from YouTube. The photos you share provide little chance for optimization, so your efforts will need to focus on the associated descriptions.
Your social media SEO strategy here will be remarkably similar to what we discussed earlier in regards to Twitter. That’s because once again, hashtags are the key to helping people locate your Instagram content through searches:
The good news is that Instagram users are open to a lot more hashtags than Twitter users. On Twitter, using more than a couple of hashtags tends to come across as spammy, and drives people away. In contrast, the optimal number of hashtags on an Instagram post is about nine.
This means that you’re able to add a variety of relevant keywords to each Instagram post. You can describe its category and topic, and even include your business’ name. A mix of short- and long-tailed keywords is best, and you’ll want to research your choices carefully to make sure they’re relevant to your audience.
In addition, it’s important to understand that your Instagram image captions will be used as a part of the titles that appear for them in search engine results. Therefore, make sure that the most important information is included at the beginning of your captions so that it appears in those titles.
It’s no secret that SEO can take a lot of work to get right. The rewards are well worth the effort, however. With the right optimization strategies, you can bring in high numbers of quality, relevant leads.
When attending to SEO, it’s vital to remember your social media content. Although every platform will require a different approach, optimizing your profiles and posts is key to attracting traffic on each one.
Fortunately, performing social media SEO isn’t hard, and you’ll be able to apply many of your existing strategies.
Do you have any questions about how to optimize your content for a specific social media platform? Ask away in the comments section below!