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How To Optimize Your Ranking With Social Media SEO

How to optimize your ranking with social media SEO

Millions of people across the world use social media. They use multiple social media platforms and social profiles to connect with people from great distances, share their content, and gather information from varied sources. Social platforms not only provide connections but they are also used to entertain users once they are found online through search engines and the algorithms associated with them.


By effectively using SEO, social media users can help their content to be discovered by those who are looking for specified input. With this in mind, we have to ask three main questions: "What is SEO?", "What is the relationship between social media and search engine optimization?", and "What are some of the best practices for your social media SEO strategy to grow your business?"


What is SEO for Social Media


SEO simply stands for search engine optimization. This typically refers to users searching for websites on the World Wide Web and how they are optimized to appear in search engines such as Google or Bing, and search rankings when the right question is put in the search query box at the top of the page. Although Google is the number one rated search engine online to date and a source to find information through websites, social media platforms also have search query boxes that are used to find specified content on their social media channels. By incorporating and optimizing very targeted SEO strategies, you can increase your social media presence and your search ranking on each of your social networks.


What Factors Impact SEO and Social Media


Search engine optimization can be affected by many factors when it's specifically tied to your social media profiles. Each time you create a social media page or content on your social media channel, it's important to factor in how it will affect your traffic to your site. Some of these important factors are:


  • Relevant Keywords

  • Location Tagging

  • Alt-Text

  • Relevant Hashtags

  • Types of Content

  • Platform Activity

  • Engagement

  • Profile Descriptions

  • Content Quality

  • Social Signals


If you want to drive traffic to your website or have others find your content on social media, SEO can help. This is why it is important when creating a digital marketing strategy to consider all of these factors. From social posts to social shares, implementing SEO best practices helps optimize your channels with less effort.


Social Media SEO Strategy


If you haven't established social channels for your business or professional pages yet, it's best to work on a social media marketing strategy first. Initially, you need to know what your goals are and what you are trying to accomplish by being on social media. Some of these goals can be bringing in leads for your services, selling products, marketing products, creating social awareness for a cause, becoming an influencer through followers for monetary gain, and educating the masses with your posts.


Next, you need to decide how you will accomplish these goals with your social posts and what kind of content you want to put out there. You can create quality content that is brand-specific with graphics, film organic videos for your audience to interact with, collaborate with other influencers to create together, or even post eye-catching pictures that will gain interest with social media shares on whatever platform you choose. 


Once you have your goals established and have decided what type of social media content will get you there, it's time to find out where your content will fit best.  With so many social media sites available, you can easily establish which social media platform will work best to meet those goals you have set.


For example, if you are looking to sell products through video content or want to become a video influencer, TikTok & YouTube can be excellent platforms to get you there. If you are looking to reach out to a local audience to come into your store or use your services, Facebook might be ideal and have a better social media performance.


Optimizing Your Social Media and Boosting Your SEO Rankings


After setting your goals and adjusting your social media strategies, it's time to share your content on social channels and create your pages on each platform. To make SEO and social media marketing work for you, you will first need to optimize your social profiles. When you optimize your social media profiles, this can boost your SEO and help you get found in the search results. If you begin to create profiles and create content without a plan, your social media accounts might begin to sit with very few views and interactions. 


Facebook


Let's start with one of the top social platforms out there; Facebook. When setting up your Facebook channel, people must see who you are, what you represent, and your clear goals. This begins with having a clear profile pic with your company logo, company name, and a clear image that matches your brand on social media. In the search query box, as others will type what they are looking for, eye-catching images with your logo will stand out first among others with barely visible writing or unclear images. Be sure to have a header image that also matches the branding as well.



Profile page for Illumination Marketing on Facebook


Next, be clear in your description under the section labeled "Intro". This gives an initial glimpse to the viewer on who you are and more on what you do or represent. This is where SEO keywords become important. Keywords can influence SEO search results so be sure to use specific targeted phrases or words that will lead the right viewer directly to you.


For example, if you are selling pet products for French Bulldogs, it would be beneficial to use the words French Bulldog products versus dog products which is more broad, general, and more competitive in the search results.


Activity can also affect SEO on Facebook. Posting 3 to 5 times a week tells the search engines that this is an active user with fresh content. If you post inconsistently or start to slack on content creation, the algorithm will deem your Facebook channel less important and show your social content to fewer viewers.


This is why many people can suffer from what is known as "shadow banning". Shadow banning is when a platform hides or limits a viewer's visibility to others organically across social channels without informing the user of it. Shadow banning is hard to overcome, but posting consistent and relevant content is one way to avoid it.



A professional holding his phone loading Instagram.


Instagram


Instagram is a powerful social media platform with over 2 Billion users actively sharing content. Optimizing and using Instagram is a perfect example of how social media can help your SEO efforts. Instagram and Facebook are both run by Meta and can even have both accounts linked to make your content posting far easier. Since the two platforms are similar, some of the same SEO optimization rules apply such as making sure your brand is consistent, posting consistently, and making sure your keywords match the content you put out there. 


Even small tweaks such as making sure your username fits you, your brand, or your services can help your SEO.  Your handle (username) should be something easy to find, easy to read, and simple to understand. Your bio section should reflect what you have in your handle or username as well.


If your username is taken, you can incorporate a location to help others find you as well such as brandnametexas or brandnamechicago. This can set you apart from similar usernames and help your SEO efforts. Don't add numbers unless the number is part of the brand name itself. This can look confusing next to the competition and will not work well on social media or for your SEO.


The SEO and social media strategies can be slightly altered between Facebook and Instagram. For example, Instagram is a more visual platform. This means that your posts here need to capture the eye of the users scrolling by. With Reels becoming an integral part of this platform, videos on reels usually catch the users' attention. Make sure you also add short keywords into the audio file when naming it as well. 



How to change the alt text on an image on Facebook


Another way to help fix your content for social SEO is to add alternative text to your images. Alt text is designed to help those who may have visual impairments and have issues when it comes to seeing the images on the screen. The alternative text is what is provided by you when describing the image using targeted words that give that user the representation of what they should be seeing. A good example of alt text is an orange tabby cat playing with a ball of string. This improves the user's experience, and accessibility and also helps with the image SEO.


When posting a new piece of content, be sure that the descriptions have accurate hashtags as well. You can start with more broad topics, then niche down to a hashtag that could be specifically for you. This increases your visibility while also placing the building blocks for a more long-term SEO plan. 



Young adult on his phone watching TikTok at a crowded train station


TikTok


Anyone who has worked on social media management or strategy is often asked if TikTok is an ideal place to share content. The answer is generally a resounding yes if videos are any part of your content marketing plan. Videos are one of the many ways social media can drive business straight to your virtual store and can help your business. If done well and optimized properly, TikTok can be a driving force to work in your favor.


For the younger generations, studies have shown that these users have used this platform to find out where to shop, eat, and everything in between. Since they see TikTok as a valued source, it just makes sense for users to use it to their advantage. This is why the relationship between SEO and your social media post are a very important factor to consider when creating content here.


Here are a few TikTok tips to boost your SEO:


  • Do your research. Research hashtags and similar content to find the best hashtags to get your content found.

  • Boost your most likely to be watched or followed posts. Set aside a budget and be sure to use that budget wisely when promoting your videos.

  • Present strong calls to action. Encourage users to like & share your content.

  • Use captions. Statistics show that many users will watch videos with the sound down or even off at times especially when in public situations. This will increase your likelihood that your video will be watched in its entirety or more often.

  • Use popular or trending sounds. This can open up your video to be seen by even more people.



YouTube mockup of the User Interface


YouTube


One of the top social media platforms, known as YouTube, has over 2 billion video users. Like many other platforms, some of the same rules apply regarding the user handle being consistent with the other social media channels, the profile picture reflecting the brand or person clearly, thorough keyword research, and being consistent with your posting schedule. Much like website SEO, following a full search engine optimization strategy is vastly important when creating your channel as well as creating the content for it.


Keywords on YouTube are an important factor to consider before you share on social media. They should be carefully chosen to reflect accurate content for users and should be worked into the title of the video itself. This will help in the search results and tell the algorithm that your content is relevant to those searching for those specific terms. For example, if your video is a review of a movie, include the movie title and the word review.



Selecting a category on YouTube


Another great way to boost your social media and SEO on YouTube is to carefully select the correct category. With a proper category selected, your video has an increased chance of being found by anyone who is searching for your specific content. If placed in the wrong category, your view time can be shortened or shown to fewer viewers.


This tells the Google search users that the video they are about to see should be disregarded and will be hence shown to fewer viewers. Welcome to page 3 or even 4 where businesses fade into the background.


Best Practices To Help Your Social SEO Efforts


The relationship between SEO and social media is very important when optimizing your marketing strategies. One of the ways you can increase your visibility is by using programs or apps that help you glide into SEO with ease.


By using specific SEO programs when posting to your channels, you can improve your social media efforts as well as improve your SEO efforts and meet your goals. We recommend researching and testing programs to see what best suits your specific needs. Some of these programs have free trials, some have paid subscriptions and some are even free of charge with limited usage.  Some of the most common ones are:


  • SEMRush

  • InLinks

  • Rank Ranger

  • BuzzSumo

  • SE Ranking


Once you've found the right tools and apps to make your social media posting easier, you are ready to launch. Combining SEO and social media marketing can ensure that your content doesn't go to waste. After all, social ranking can be very important when it comes to gaining new followers and even monetizing if you choose to do so.


If it all becomes too complicated or quite a daunting task, finding a local marketing company that specializes in social content as well as SEO is very important. Putting the right strategies in place can make sure that your social media SEO stands out among the competition.



Meet The Author - Angela Kaatz

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