Social Media SEO: How Social Can Boost Your Search Efforts

It comes as no surprise that social media is a great attribute to digital marketing as we have seen small businesses gaining global attention via their social media platforms. Even established businesses are turning to social media as their digital marketing strategy to expand their target audience.

However, many businesses have yet to get to grips with how social media affects SEO and this could greatly affect their SEO ranking. A smaller online presence means less organic traffic to your site, after all.

In this article, we will delve into the greatest questions surrounding social media SEO including: a complete breakdown of social media SEO.

  • What Is Social Media SEO?
  • Does Social Media Affect SEO?
  • How Does Social Media Affect SEO?
  • What Platforms Can You Optimise For SEO?
    • YouTube
    • Pinterest
    • Giphy
    • Twitter

What Is Social Media SEO?

Social media SEO refers to how content and engagement on social media platforms can impact your search engine rankings and brand awareness.

Here’s an example, this local news service ‘The Stray Ferret’ centred in North Yorkshire utilises their twitter platform to promote their latest articles as a way to expand the amount of visibility to their website content. It also demonstrates their effort in engaging with their community, another way to establish trustworthiness.

Their posts provide high-quality links that Google’s algorithm will regard as authoritative and therefore, should rank higher on their search engine. What many may not know is that Twitter posts are just as likely to be ranked highly on Google search engines as website domains, when good use of social media SEO has been implemented, that is.

Twitter example of social media SEO

Does Social Media Affect SEO?

Although social media signals don’t directly affect SEO, the two still coincide with each other and when used efficiently can be incredibly useful (and profitable) to your business. It’s important to optimise your normal SEO strategy alongside social media SEO and overlooking this would be a missed opportunity for stronger conversions.

For example, a strong use of YouTube SEO that includes keywords, tags and links to your main site however, the website itself has poor site speed due to lack of attention to general SEO tactics. Viewers will immediately lose interest and worse, trust in your business and click away which does not bode well for a good search engine ranking.

The same way high-quality links boost SEO rankings to your domain, links on social media hold the same amount of power. The more links and shares you obtain from your unique, creative content then the greater the increase in your brand awareness as you reach a larger online audience; they will be likely to share your content thus maintaining a positive cycle of online growth.

How social media supports SEO diagram

Source: LyfeMarketing

 

How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

Social media content can be indexed by Google

So long as you are posting frequently whilst keeping content to a high standard (don’t underestimate the importance of keywords), search engine spiders will be likely to find your content easily and index it into their archives.

Another important thing to note is that these spiders will index your posts faster than your website content if what you post is being shared by people at a faster pace, another benefit of social media SEO.

To have your social media content indexed will tremendously impact your digital marketing performance. Granted, your content must be relevant to what searchers want. For example, if the news is centred around a popular TV show making a comeback, like the return of The Great British Bake-Off. If your business correlates to the topic (you’re a news site, a local bakery or a food reviewer), then sharing unique social media content with your own opinions that establish E-A-T (Expert-Authority-Trust) alongside images, hashtags and or even gifs of the show will help you to appear on more people’s feeds.

The way this account has done here:

Twitter SEO example with links to website

To better understand the way your social media content is likely to be indexed by search engine crawlers, we have provided a useful chart below so you can decide what social media platform best suits your brand based on what type of content you provide primarily.

Diagram to show the types of content best to optimise on each social media platform for social media SEO

Source: LyfeMarketing

 

An active social account can boost organic traffic

It’s no use to have social media accounts that aren’t frequently social. So keep your domain dominating by following trending topics, tracking popular keywords to implement into your posts. Showing consistent activity and engagement will be rewarded through improved search rankings because you are building brand recognition and establishing your trustworthiness.

Although social media is a technical asset to your business’ SEO, it does involve real people and engaging with them on a regular basis. You will be less likely to gain followers or shares if the content you produce is robotic and disingenuous, people don’t want to engage with technology, they use technology to engage with other people.
This means your online presence should have personality, opinion and a friendly spirit that follower’s will want to engage with and share. Let’s construct a Twitter example with the GBBO as used earlier and you can decide which is more likely to be shared by users.

“#TheGreatBritishBakeOff is back #nextweek, that’s #good. Here is a #recipe recreated from the #GBBO last year, link below.”

Or

“Get out your oven gloves, #Bake Off is back! To get you in the mood, we have recreated one of our favourite #recipes from last series, the @PrueLeith’s caramel flapjack, enjoy!”

The second one feels more approachable and therefore, trustworthy which will equal shares and links that increase brand awareness.

A piece of content’s visibility lasts longer

What’s that thing people say? “Social media lasts forever”. To many that seems daunting, but for your blog posts, it’s nothing but beneficial. Uploading your content to social media platforms will keep your content seen for as long as the topic of your content remains newsworthy.

So, even if you created a high-quality Youtube video on ‘How To Change A Tyre’, people will always want to know how to do this and thanks to your social media presence, they will be able to go back to your video and continue to share it, no matter how long ago the content was created. It is true that algorithms push more recent content to viewers but query demand plays just as much importance in determining what ranks highly.

Social media increases content outreach

This point is a simple one, the more platforms you share your content across then the more likely your target audience will grow and there will be more opportunities to gain valuable backlinks.
The majority of society today relies on social media to get their daily dose of information, entertainment and social interaction so they will be less likely to find a website post than to find a Pinterest post. Make it second nature to keep your social media platforms updated with useful content that efficiently directs users to your site, this will grow your online visibility faster than you’d imagine!

Met gala 2021 In America a lexicon of fashion example of Pinterest SEO and social media SEO

Take a page out of Vogue Magazine’s book if you are primarily an image-based business. They have made it easy to share their website images of fashionably dressed celebrities from the recently trending Met Gala, each image linking back to their original blog post but still formatted in a way that encourages people to repost and use across social media.

Social profiles actually rank in search terms

Did you know that active and authoritative social media profiles are just as likely to rank well on search engines as your website if a user is using branded search terms?
Branded search is when someone searches for your company or brand name directly on search engines, meaning they already have interest in seeing what your business can offer to them.

If you are wondering why it matters to have your social media platforms displayed on search engines if the user already is searching for your domain, it is actually a valuable digital marketing strategy that can give a different view of your business than your website alone and provide additional information for those who may need that last incentive to buy into your business.

 

What Platforms Can You Optimise For SEO?

With an abundance of social media platforms you can utilise for your business, it can be hard to summarize which deliver the strongest results and which will increase your brand awareness best. Fear not, we have compiled a list of the most effective social media platforms to implement your digital marketing strategy and who they benefit most:

YouTube

The world’s leading video platform, it would only make sense to utilise YouTube SEO as a video content creator as other forms of content would not perform as well. Even though there are YouTube ‘community’ pages with pictures and message boards, that is not what people go to YouTube to engage with.

As well as other key factors, these are just a few ways you can optimise your rankings through YouTube SEO:

Do your keyword research – what terms are trending that you can implement into your video titles, metadata and descriptions. Knowing your keywords will keep your content relevant for longer as well, as this old but trending video by the Natural History Museum proves.

Youtube SEO example with the natural history museum ranking on YouTube under dinosaurs, fossils and evolution on trending page

Optimise your video file name, title, description, and tags – Since YouTube can’t actually watch your video, incorporating your chosen keywords into your metadata gives YouTube many indicators as to what your video is about and will therefore push that content higher the more keywords are featured.

Add transcripts and closed captions – This will make your content more accessible to a wider audience and YouTube will recommend your video to more people in return. You can see from the video above, the ‘CC’ indicates to users that subtitles are provided.

Add YouTube cards and end-screens – Amongst other benefits, these interactive features will encourage viewers to click to more of your content as it has been made more convenient for them to do so.
Categorize your videos – This is another great way to gain more exposure to a very targeted audience plus, you can choose categories with stronger user engagement.

Youtube SEO example of end cards after video for the natural history museum to improve social media SEO

Pinterest

Pinterest is built upon sharing and resharing old content, as long as what you post remains relevant to it’s user’s. Pinterest can be a great place to post your infographics, templates, artistic imagery, product images and anything in between; if it’s worth being looked at, it’s worth putting on Pinterest.

To optimise for Pinterest SEO, these are a few key factors we recommend:

Create a Business account – This will give you access to Pinterest Analytics and the Pinterest Ads Manager so you can keep track of your social media performance.

Conduct Keyword Research – Once you know what keywords your target audience is searching for, you will know how to best position your content to optimise visibility.

Be descriptive – The more you go into detail about what your image is about through its title and description then the more keywords you will rank for. This image shared by SuzyHomeMaker has been promoted by Pinterest as it uses relevant keywords in its description.

Pinterest SEO example with backlinks to website and blog to improve social media SEO

Don’t forget to link! – The most important part. Firstly, make sure all your images link back to your website so that Pinterest user’s can find the original source of the post. Secondly, optimising your website by adding the Pinterest button. Once installed, users can save images on your site or app to their boards for a more convenient experience.

Giphy

Not often thought about, but a relatable Gif get’s shared to millions worldwide and if you optimise your Giphy SEO with links to your website, you will easily improve your organic traffic in search engines. The most important points to note when improving your social media profile with Giphy SEO are:

Keyword research – the same attention to detail as mentioned with other social media platforms, watch your competitors and discover what your target audience are searching for most frequently. Try to implement 10-20 keywords in each of your Gif tags.

Compress your Gif’s – a slow Gif makes for a frustrated searcher so make your clips faster to increase usability. Giphy recommends 8MB or less as a file size.

Create a detailed brand channel – Include an email address with a company domain, a username that reflects your business name, any other social media profiles you may have, your location and a brand image for your avatar. All of this helps Giphy to verify you’re a real business with a professional website that can be trusted by its users.

Here is an example of a verified channel and how it has optimised its bio with a website link, social media links and Gifs with keyword tags.

BBC future on Giphy and how they optimise their social media SEO by creating a detailed channel page

BBC Furutre Giphy showing social media SEO with relevant keywords as hashtags

Twitter

If YouTube is the global video platform, then Twitter is the world’s platform for words so if your company has something to say, say it through a tweet. As we mentioned earlier, tweets can actually rank in Google search results so Twitter SEO is a highly valuable asset to optimise for your business and here are just a few Twitter SEO points to get you started:

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – We will keep on saying it because it works!

Optimize Your Profile for SEO – Be descriptive and provide as much detail on how to access your business as possible including linking other social media channels and of course links to your domain.

Talk like a human being – As we addressed earlier with the robotic Great British Bake Off tweet, people are less likely to engage and retweet if your content shows a lack of personality or E-A-T, so relax, and start a conversation with your community of followers/ potential followers.

Watch what’s trending and reach out to others – If you follow trends in the relevant categories for your brand, tweeting with trending hashtags will double your chance of getting retweeted, thus doubling traffic to your business. It’s also a great idea to engage with other businesses, particularly if you are a local business looking to improve their local SEO. It demonstrates an inclusive and friendly attitude that potential customers will find appealing.

To Summarise

Social media SEO may seem like a time-consuming tactic on top of your current digital marketing strategies considering the fact it does not directly impact search engine rankings, however it is extremely beneficial to improving organic traffic to your site. Remember, the most important aspects when utilising social media SEO for your business are:

  • Create high-quality, useful content
  • Make content easy for users to share
  • Optimize Your Images for Both, SEO and Social
  • Engage with your online community
  • Measure your social media performance and don’t neglect KPI’s

Tecmark offers a diverse range of SEO services that can be tailored to your business’ and audiences needs including YouTube SEO and social media SEO.

Ellis Owen
Ellis Owen
Ellis Owen is an SEO Creative Copywriter at Tecmark who joined us in 2021. She has a degree in Creative Advertising from the University of Lincoln specialising in creative strategy and copywriting. She enjoys combining her skills in the realm of advertising with the exciting SEO industry and uses our agency setting to develop her talents further.

We create websites with your customer in mind to help you build your brand and grow your business.

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