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How to Use SEO and Social Media to Grow Your Business

Businesses can use SEO and social media as powerful marketing tools to expand their reach and gain more customers. However, many people don’t know how to use them together effectively. This article aims to show you how SEO and social media can work hand in hand to increase your revenue.

Is there a relationship between SEO and social media?

A tighter one than you might think.

SEO and social media are often mistakenly thought of as completely separate platforms, despite them having one common goal. It’s natural to think that way, especially considering their nature – social media is about interaction, whereas SEO focuses on technical aspects.

You need to understand how SEO and social media work together if you intend to use both for your business.

What can social media do for SEO?

Since social media is mostly about people and relationships, one of the most important social media metrics is “engagement”. This means that when someone engages with your content (likes, comments, or shares it), your social media content gets more exposure. And that is exactly what you need if you want to increase traffic and sales on your website, which are the main goals of SEO. A brand’s quality is often determined by how often its URL appears across the web.

Due to the increase in social media communication, Google and other search providers are incorporating social signals into their ranking algorithms. A growing number of social signals (even though links from social media are of no-follow attributes, they are crucial for the ranking algorithms) indicates that a domain has good authority and can be trusted. It’s important to tap into the pulse of social media users when they share and like a page, as this indicates that it’s genuine and offers valuable or entertaining content. 

Another social media benefit for SEO is that it can drive backlinks from other websites that direct visitors back to your own, thus increasing its popularity (or SEO ranking). Social media is a great place to acquire backlinks as these platforms can help you build relationships with influencers, bloggers, and others who might be interested in linking to your content on their websites.

Also, social media profiles consistently rank among the top search results. This means that if you have a well-optimized social media profile (read on to find out how), it can rank higher than your website. This in turn gives you even more exposure and drives more traffic to your site, or puts you in an amazing position if you don’t have one but want to direct traffic from Google to social media profiles.

SEO on social media platforms: how to leverage it

SEO on Facebook

You can do a few things to help boost your SEO through Facebook.

Make sure that your website’s URL is linked from your Facebook profile. Ensure both your Facebook Page and individual posts include keywords related to your business in the titles and descriptions as well. It is very important that you have a complete business profile on Facebook, including proper keywords listed in the “About” section. A lot of businesses ignore this or only partially complete it, but overlooking it really is a mistake.

If you do this right, it will work wonders for your internal Facebook SEO – and that’s how you’ll be found.

Let’s say you run a small, local cafe in Seattle. 

Try typing “cafe Seattle” into your Facebook search and analyze the results. By doing this you might be able to identify patterns and improve upon them for your own business.

Furthermore, you can control how your website is displayed when it’s shared on Facebook by using Open Graph tags and the Sharing Debugger. This may work wonders towards more social signals. 

Whenever you upload videos to your Facebook Page, don’t forget to fill in all of the details so that you can easily be found in the FB search. This will drive more traffic to your site and make it appear much better in search results.

And don’t forget to use hashtags – marketers are often hesitant to do so, but they’re a great way to increase engagement on Facebook.

If you do all of these things, you should see an improvement in your SEO ranking through Facebook.

SEO on Twitter

It is the unique partnership between Twitter and Google that allows the latter to access the former’s data and display Twitter Cards directly in search results.

This has attracted many brands to actually start using Twitter. 

Rich media content can be included in your tweets with Twitter cards so that they can be displayed more effectively. You can use Twitter Cards on Google to increase your click-through rate, which is a good indicator for the search engine and yourself of how interested people are in your content. 

You can find people talking about topics related to your business by using Twitter’s own search engine. Then, you can find trending hashtags and join in with conversations. You can improve your ranking by posting keyword-rich tweets, and Tweet previews are fairly link-friendly.

Regularly tweet high-quality content. The more interesting and engaging your tweets are, the more likely people will be to retweet them. This will help boost your SEO and social media to show Google that your brand is often sought after. Also, don’t forget to attribute content and tag the authors if you didn’t create it yourself.

And finally, Twitter is another platform on which you can use hashtags to increase the reach of your content. For many, it’s the right social media platform to start with – both from the SEO and the marketing perspective. 

SEO on YouTube

If used properly, YouTube can be a great SEO booster.

To optimize your YouTube videos for SEO, first make sure your titles, descriptions, and tags are keyword-rich and include your targets. Creating compelling descriptions will not only encourage people to watch your videos, but also work towards greater SEO visibility.

Here’s a handy checklist of what you should consider when optimizing your YouTube video or channel for SEO:

  • channel setup
  • descriptions
  • titles
  • playlist structure
  • tags
  • embedded links within videos (somewhat internal linking on YouTube)

You can also embed your videos on other websites to increase their visibility and add annotations to encourage viewers to discover your website further or subscribe to your channel.

Simply put, you should optimize everything you can on a YouTube channel.  Well-optimized videos on this platform can improve your Google ranking, since YouTube is ranked highly by the search engine.

SEO on Pinterest

Pinterest is a great way to direct traffic to your website, and you can easily make your pins and boards more search engine friendly. Start from including keywords in your pin titles and descriptions, as well as using relevant hashtags. You can also add links to your pins, which will help them rank higher in search results and drive traffic to your website. 

As an example, here’s an example from Sephora:

Pinterest is ranked really high both in Google Search and in Google Images results, so if your content is visual then this is a great place to share it. You can also use Rich/Buyable Pins to add extra information to your pins, such as prices and ratings. Create boards that target specific keywords and be sure to include lots of high-quality pins with attractive images and interesting descriptions.

You should also follow other users in your niche and repin their content regularly. You can use these tips to improve your SEO efforts with Pinterest, but also to bring more sales and exposure in. 

When you start implementing all these tidbits in your strategy, you can not only improve short-term performance but also the results of your regular social media audit.

SEO on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform for SEO because it’s a high-quality site with authoritative content. There are a few practices you can follow to leverage optimization on this platform. 

To increase your SEO, fill in your showcase page or Company page with:

  • descriptions rich in keywords
  • full info about company size, headquarters, date of founding
  • listed specialities
  • links to your social media profiles and website
  • use linked in hashtags and tags

You can take a look at how HotJar did that on their Company Page on LinkedIn. 

According to LinkedIn itself, companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views, so that is another benefit.

Finally, use LinkedIn to connect with creators from your niche so you can leverage SEO efforts even outside of the platform in the form of content collaboration.

SEO on Instagram

How to leverage SEO on Instagram?

The best way to optimize your Instagram profile for SEO will vary depending on your industry and what you’re trying to achieve. 

However, here are a few tips to get you started no matter what your industry is:

  • Fill in your bio with keywords related to your brand. 
  • Add a link to your website in the bio so that Google can quickly connect the dots.
  • Use relevant hashtags in your posts – you can include up to 30 of them, but don’t go overboard. 
  • Don’t forget to describe the shoppable tags when you add them.

Add ALT attributes to your photos to help them rank in Google Image search – these are text descriptions to show, which you’ll find them below “Advanced settings” when adding a post on Instagram.

You can also connect your Instagram account with Facebook so that your Facebook posts will automatically be shared on Instagram, and vice versa. This will help increase exposure for both platforms.

Even though Instagram doesn’t seem to be crucial for SEO, it definitely supports your visibility online. Not taking care of details such as descriptions, hashtags, or ALT text for your photos, is considered one of the most common Instagram mistakes – so make sure you don’t make it!

Good practices for social media and SEO

#1 Be consistent with hashtags

If you’re consistent with your hashtags, you will make it easier for people to find your content. If you always use the hashtag #SeattleCoffee on Instagram then anyone who searches for that hashtag can see your posts in their results.

Plus, when you use the same hashtags regularly, they become associated with your brand. This can help people remember who you are and what you do, which can lead to more followers and better engagement.

It also has value for SEO – Google looks at the use of hashtags as a sign of relevance, so using the right ones can help your content rank higher in search results. And hashtags aren’t just for Twitter and Instagram – you can also use them on LinkedIn or Facebook.

#2 Always add links

By adding links on social media, you’re providing your followers with valuable information that can help them learn more about the topics you discuss. In addition, including links helps to back up your claims and makes it easier for people to find the information you’re sharing.

Links are also a great way to build relationships with other bloggers and online content creators. By collaborating and sharing one another’s work, you can help promote each other’s content and grow your audiences. 

Links on social media can be a powerful tool for building relationships and enhancing your online presence, so don’t be afraid to include them.

Social media links also send social signals, which are another important ranking factor. Social signals are a big part of SEO because they show search engines that your content is valuable and useful to people. As such, social media links can also help boost both your SEO and your authority.

#3 Turn on social media monitoring

With social media monitoring, you can improve your SEO. By keeping an eye on what people are saying about your brand online, you can quickly address any negative comments and help to improve your online reputation. 

You could, for instance, create a few articles based on user pain points and, this way, use social media knowledge to produce well performing and optimized articles to rank in Google.

Additionally, monitoring your social media channels can help you track how well your current SEO efforts are working and identify any areas that need improvement. By keeping track of who is talking about your company and which keywords they are using, you can get a better idea of what people are saying about you online.

This information can help you adjust your marketing strategy to focus on the right keywords and target the right audience. Social media monitoring metrics make one of the most trackable social media KPIs, so you shouldn’t neglect them in your communication! 

#4 Fill out your social media profiles with info

Social media profiles should be filled out with all your relevant information because it helps your search engine rankings, too! 

Providing complete and accurate information about yourself on social media platforms will help Google and other search engines better understand your identity and what you do. This, in turn, can help your business rank higher on results pages.

Search engines use the information on your social media profiles to help determine how relevant your business in general is to a particular search query. The more complete and accurate your social media profile is, the greater chance of your brand channels appearing in results for that query.

Be sure to regularly update all of the information about your business on your social media profiles – not only for their own visibility, but also for SEO purposes. 

#5 Have employee advocacy over your content on social media

If employees share your content on their personal social media profiles, it not only helps to spread the word about your company and what you do but also sends a clear signal to Google that your content is valuable and worth ranking higher in search results.

As a result, having an employee advocacy program in place can be a powerful tool for improving your SEO strategy and helping get your content seen by more people online.

#6 Add ALT attributes wherever you can

Adding ALT attributes to your social media images is important for SEO, because by doing so you’re telling Google and other search engines what those images are about. This helps with indexing them correctly, which can improve your profile’s ranking in search results.

Even outside of social media, ALT attributes are important for SEO. By adding relevant keywords as ALT text for images, you can improve your website’s ranking on search engines because they use this info to determine the content. So by adding keywords that are relevant to your website’s content, you can help improve your site’s visibility.

#7 Publish valuable yet clickbait content

There are a few reasons why. First, search engines like Google give preference to content that is shared and liked often on social media. So by publishing content that is designed to be shared, you’re more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages.

Secondly, also social media algorithms favor content that is shared and liked often. So by publishing high quality yet clickbait content, you’re more likely to reach a wider audience on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Finally, this type of content can also help you generate more website traffic and leads. By attracting readers with catchy headlines and providing them with valuable information once they click, you can increase the chances of those visitors converting into loyal and paying customers.

Do social media and SEO go hand in hand?

In order to have a successful SEO strategy, your website content has to be engaging and useful for your target audience. But you also need to make sure that your social media channels are well-optimized for search engines so that it ranks high for relevant queries.

Social media can help with SEO in a few ways:

  • Social media can build links back (even if they are nofollow) to your website, which is one of the most important factors for Google rankings.
  • Social media can help raise awareness of your website and brand, which can lead more people to find and visit your site, helping your business grow
  • Good social media engagement indicates that your website is worth ranking high in search results.

SEO and social media clearly go hand in hand, and can even be considered inseparable.

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Kinga Edwards

Owner & Creative Director at Brainy Bees. She believes that insights are everywhere!
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