The Complete Guide to SEO and Social Media Marketing

Sep 16, 2023

Search engine optimization isn’t just relevant to your website content. It’s a strategy you can incorporate in every area of digital marketing, including your social media strategy.With keyword research and planning combined with social-specific strategies, you can rank well in Google and internal social media search engines.Learn why you should start using SEO for your social media and how you can get started with SEO and social media to increase your traffic.

What Is SEO (And Why Is It Important)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice marketers use to rank content higher in relevant search results. This technique is most commonly associated with optimizing digital content for ranking in Google or Bing.Ranking high in search results is vital for getting a large amount of quality traffic to your online content. For example, the top Google result has a 31% click-through-rate, and there are 3.5 billion searches performed daily.With SEO social media optimization, your content will rank in Google, and you will see more traffic leading to conversions.

Do Social Media Platforms Have Search Engines?

Google is the primary search engine, holding over 85% of the market share. However, it isn’t necessarily consumers’ first choice when researching products. For example, in 2020, only 45% of consumers said they planned to find holiday gifts using Google search. Meanwhile, 16% said they used Facebook search, and 15% used Instagram.While many people use the search features on social media, not everyone sees it as a search engine even though it has algorithms similar to Google that rank results according to their relevance. That is how you can track down a friend of a friend, knowing only their first name and hometown.However, the search features have far better uses than channeling your inner Sherlock Holmes to find an old classmate. For example, marketers can use it to rank in consumer searches that are looking for specific content or brands.

Image from Hot in Social Media

How Can Social Media Pages Use SEO?

Optimizing your social media pages and content for search engines can benefit your Google rankings and internal social media search rankings.While individual social media posts rarely appear in Google searches, profiles can be indexed. There are several exceptions, like YouTube videos and Reddit threads, that show up in external search results. The keywords you use in your profile and content will improve your traffic from external search engines.Even though you may bring in some external traffic through Google search, your primary focus should be the internal search engine and what search queries will pull up your posts. For example, Facebook search categorizes results by:

  • Relevant posts
  • People
  • Photos about your query
  • Related video
  • Marketplace products
  • Pages
  • Places
  • Groups
  • Events


Related Content: Explore Other Topics on SEO and Social Media

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10 Tips for a Successful Social Media SEO Strategy

Use these ten strategies to help your social media content rank well in internal social searches and external engine searches.

1. Understand Your Audience

Take the time to understand the consumers behind social media searches. What are their needs and driving goals when performing a search query?Understanding the purpose behind social media searches helps your content be more relevant when it comes up. Use data from your past social media interactions to know how your audience interacts with your content and create relevant results for future queries.The channel you are using will also give an idea of what your audience is looking for. For example, many Facebook users look for news and information, whereas TikTok users generally look for entertaining content.

2. Research Your Keywords

Keyword research is discovering the most common phrases or terms people search for. For example, if you want your profile or YouTube video to rank in Google search, you can use an SEO platform like Semrush to discover keywords that can drive traffic with little competition.You can find keywords for social media by typing in an industry phrase in the search bar and seeing what similar searches consumers often perform. Those are the words or phrases you should incorporate in your content to rank in social media searches.People are often not searching for questions on social media unless they are looking for a tutorial on YouTube. Instead, they search for a specific product, brand, industry, or topic. For instance, on Instagram, the top searches related to “beauty” are:

  • Beauty hacks
  • Beauty salon
  • Beauty tips
  • Beauty makeup
  • Beauty works

3. Discover Keyword Intent

Keyword intent is the purpose behind a user’s search. A keyword may receive a large amount of traffic, but if your content doesn’t match the intent of the keywords, then that traffic won’t translate to followers or sales.Most searches can be categorized into three intent groups:

  • Navigational: Looking for a specific brand or page on social media (e.g., “Amazon”)
  • Informational: Searching for answers to a question (e.g., beauty hacks)
  • Transactional: Finding new products (e.g., “laptop for sale”)

Your content should reflect the intent of the keywords you use. For example, if you are selling a product, use transactional keywords to rank well in relevant searches. Since 54% of social media browsers use their platform to find new products, transactional searches should be one of your main focuses.

Image from WordStream

4. Strategically Place Your Keywords

Once you have chosen phrases consumers are searching for, you can strategically place them throughout your content. However, avoid putting too many keywords, which can hurt your ranking. Target just one topic with several keyword variations of your primary phrase instead.Some of the most impactful locations for your keyword include:

  • Profile descriptions and titles
  • Image descriptions
  • Video titles
  • Content tags and hashtags

5. Use Hashtags in Your Content

Hashtags are unique social media SEO features that you won’t use in regular SEO strategies. They are key terms or phrases that people use to identify the topic of their content. You create a hashtag by adding a # symbol before a keyword or key phrase.If you want to appear in common searches, look for the most popular hashtags in your industry and incorporate them into your topic. When others search by that hashtag, your content will appear. It will also appear on the feed of those that follow a specific hashtag.You can create a new hashtag specific for your brand to encourage engagement with your company. This technique means you have less competition as you are the first to use the hashtag, but you might not get searches for that keyword right away.Hashtags also increase your engagement rate. For example, accounts that use hashtags on Twitter saw 21% higher engagement on tweets with one or two hashtags.

6. Create Quality Content

Your content’s quality is the most significant factor for your SEO ranking. When your content is well-made and offers value, you increase your engagement, including shares and likes. Higher engagement also increases your chance of appearing in search results as the social media algorithm sees your content as popular and relevant for your industry.Quality content includes:

  • Content that offers value to the reader (e.g., Offers solutions or educates the audience)
  • Well-made media (e.g., Uses quality equipment, actors, and graphics)
  • Content that evokes emotion (e.g., Makes the audience feel happy, sad, or sympathetic)
  • A clear message and purpose
  • Provides the next step (e.g., Sharing the content, subscribing, or purchasing a product)

7. Use Strategic Links

Link building boosts the traffic on your social media account.You can post links on other accounts to bring new traffic to your pages, which will increase your content’s performance in searches. You can also insert outbound links to align your brand with authority sites, boosting your credibility.Linking between your social channels and your website will also connect your brand so that your social profiles will appear in related Google searches.

8. Adjust Your Settings

When creating a business social media account, adjust your settings to target your specific audience. For example, if you are a local company, this might include adding your address to your profile. You can also add your industry and other details.These details help the search algorithm know when you are relevant to consumer searches. If someone is looking for a brand that sells computer parts, their search will only pull results from a relevant industry. You will also show up in “near me” searches if you have an address listed.If you don’t set your settings correctly, the social media algorithm will not include your site. Even if you share quality and relevant content for your SEO social media marketing strategy.

9. Make the Most of All Your Space

Every field and character count is a chance to add content that might rank in your social media internal search. If you only fill out half of the areas to save time, you might miss out on valuable opportunities to rank for a keyword or topic.Strategically fill out those fields. If you add content just to add more words or videos, you will sacrifice the quality of your post. Instead, think through how to make the most impact with the words and tags you share.

10. Post Consistently

Unlike other digital content that moves slower, social media is constantly updating. What you posted last week will soon be lost amidst the fast pace of social networking and the ocean of new content. However, regularly posting keeps your account active and reminds users of your online presence.Posting more content also increases your brand’s reach as you expand the places and searches where your content might appear. When posting, don’t swing in the opposite direction and begin over-posting, as that will start hurting your brand due to content oversaturation.On average, aim for one or two posts a day. This amount of fresh content keeps your audience updated without overwhelming or annoying them. As you post regularly, keep each post different and engaging so that your followers continue to interact with your brand.

Invest in an Upgraded Social Media SEO Strategy

SEO social marketing is constantly changing and requires in-depth knowledge of the platform to perform successfully. In addition, the changing algorithms and customer behaviors also influence how well your content ranks both in and outside of the platform.Don’t let the complexity of social media SEO overwhelm you. Thankfully we have the knowledge and tools to find the best keywords and strategically placing those phrases in your content. Our skills will help you can rank well and bring in quality traffic.Contact us to learn more about our social media strategy solutions.

Hawra Hashem
Marketing Manager

I create and execute effective communication strategies and content based on data-driven insights and creativity.

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