Search engines index content from all sorts of websites—including social networks, which are some of the most highly-trafficked sites on the web. While SEO how-tos often focus on the changes you can make to your business’s website, many of the same principles apply to your social media profiles as well. In this article, we’ll cover what SEO means in a social setting, what you should be doing to optimize your social media profiles, and how you can use content on social to boost your business’s overall search ranking.
What Is Social SEO?
Because social media networks house such an active community of people sharing links and interacting with content, it opens up a whole new SEO channel for small businesses. Social SEO is the practice of optimizing content on your social media channels in order to boost where your business appears in search results.
Optimizing Your Small Business’s Social Profiles
The best way to ensure that your social media profiles are SEO friendly is to fill them out as completely as possible. A few things to consider doing:
- Include a detailed description and relevant keywords in your description on each social profile so that people searching for those terms will be able to find you easily.
- Share your business’s physical address and links back to your company website on your social profiles. Make sure to link from your website back to your social accounts as well to close the loop.
- Incorporate your business’s name into the identity of your social accounts; for example, if your business is called Bobby’s Bakery, then your Twitter handle, Facebook Page URL, Google+ URL, etc. should all include “Bobby’s Bakery” in some fashion. This will help people find you and make a clear connection between all of your profiles for social networkers and search engines alike.
Optimizing the Content You Share on Social Media
There are a variety of ways you can optimize the content you share on your social channels. Here are a few to help you get started:
- When writing posts or sharing media content, include keywords that will be of interest to your audience and relate to what your business does.
- If you host a blog or publish other content on your website, you should definitely share it with your social media followers—not only to broaden your readership, but also to help boost your SEO by helping search engines index your content more quickly.
- Use your business’s name in your posts on occasion, especially in posts containing keywords you’d like to be associated with. This will help search engines connect the dots more quickly.
- Protip: Sharing content on Google+ will give you an even greater chance of improving your Google search ranking than posting on other social networks. While Google+ may not get as much attention as Facebook or Twitter, it’s worth investing in, especially when it comes to SEO.
Use Content on Social to Build Links
Why is link building important? Because search engine algorithms are largely based on the use and analysis of links between websites. The more links you have pointing to your site, and the more quality websites you link to from your social media channels, the more authority search engines will give to your business. And the higher your authority, the better your overall search ranking will be.
Social interactions such as likes, comments, and shares also contribute to the authority given to your links. If you share content your followers find engaging, they’re more likely to share it with their followers and increase the number of links driving back to your online properties. Content can be anything from a blog article on your site to an ebook to a post on Facebook—it just has to be meaningful and easy to share.
The Bottom Line
If you want to boost your business’s overall search rankings, social media is a channel you can’t ignore. By optimizing your profiles and posts, you can make a real impact on where your small business appears in search engine results pages.