What is SEO? (and how to make your socials boost your rankings)
SEO is a major buzzword in the digital marketing world. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Okay … so what is search engine optimization? SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by making sure that the website appears high on the list of results on a search engine like Google. SEO is extremely important if you’re trying to get your product or brand found online. People are actively searching for solutions to their problems - and if you are offering those solutions, you want to make sure you show up easily on Google. There are so many SEO dos and don’ts when it comes to your website - which we’ll hit in another post - but today, we’re going to focus on how to make sure your social media is pulling its weight for your brand’s SEO.
How Do Social Media and SEO Connect?
First off, your social media posts are not indexed and searchable on Google. You’re not trying to make your individual posts pop up on Google, rather your social media profiles and website. So if you’re not trying to make your posts pop up on Google, how can they help? If you are producing content that users share and interact with, slowly but surely those interactions will lead to hits on your website and your posts being linked to outside sources. Check out this infographic that perfectly explains the connection between social media and its effects on SEO.
5 Practices to Put into Place to Make Your Social Media Support Your SEO
1. Put Your Website in Your Bio (Stop Reading and Go Do It Right Now)
As shown in the graphic above, the most direct way your social media can affect your SEO is users seeing your posts, heading to your profile, and clicking on the link in your bio. This will drive traffic to your website, and up your rankings on Google. Be sure to use CTAs in your captions to lead your followers to your website as often as possible.
2. Create Consistent, Quality Content
This practice (which you should already be doing to gain followers on your social media platforms) is highly recommended by Forbes as the most affective way to get your SEO up through your social media. If you make crush worthy content - the likelihood that people will make their way to your website will sky rocket. Shareable content also helps boost your SEO. We're not talking about the kind of "shareable" we normally discuss - like sharing to Instagram stories, retweeting, or reposting. This kind of shareable means users would copy the link to your post and add the link to an article they're writing, or share the link to another social media platform. This kind of sharing isn't as easy - and you have no control over it as the poster (it's hard to fit the sentence above into a casual CTA), but if you are creating great educational content, people will want to link your information to their own content. Keep up the hard work you're already putting in on your content, and slowly but surely it will help your SEO.
3. Use Keywords in Your Posts
Now that Instagram added keyword search, every social media platform now acts as a a search engine as well. You should already have keywords that relate to your brand in your bio, but now you want to make sure those words are popping up in your posts as well. When you write your captions, consider what people might be searching for that relates to your brand. Are you selling clay jewelry? The words "clay jewelry" should pop up in almost all of your posts. You have to teach Instagram what you're posting about, so it will show your posts to people searching for your product.
4. Make Sure Your Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words
Alt text is essential for better SEO. Facebook generates automatic alt text for every photo you post, but you can override that and write your own more detailed alt text. Instagram does not automatically generate alt text, so you have to insert your own alt text to every photo you post. Alt text was created for social media users with vision impairments. Keep this in mind while you are writing your alt text. DO NOT spam your alt text with random keywords to try and boost your search-ability. Instead, write a detailed description of the photo, and if a keyword makes sense, add it in. Like the example of clay jewelry above, it would be acceptable to write the words "clay jewelry" in your alt text if you are a posting a photo of your clay jewelry. It would not be acceptable if you're posting a selfie where no clay jewelry is visible. Use alt text - don't abuse it.
Also, the file name of your photos matters when you're posting it to Pinterest, your website, or a blog (Facebook and Instagram rename your files when you post them). Make sure your file is named by keywords separated by dashes or spaces. If you post a photo of a bouquet to Pinterest, the file should be named something like "bouquet flowers roses pink cream glass vase.jpg" before you upload it. This gives your photo a head start in its search-ability.
5. Start. A. Blog.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again. If you're trying to grow your social media following and up your site's SEO - start writing a blog that lives on your website. Increasing the output of words attached to your brand creates more searchable content for users to stumble across. When you're writing your post, try to include links to reputable sources that support what you're writing about. If you choose high ranking links, your site will be viewed as higher quality by Google.
If you want to take the power of that single blog post and triple it - post it to other free platforms with a different title (if you use the same title on every post - Google will see what you're up to and move your post down on the search results). Take your blog post and post it to Medium.com along with the URL from the blog post on your website. Then post it to Reddit.com, and finally created a Linked In article for your post. Make sure you include the original URL every time you repost your blog - to help drive users to your website. By writing one blog post - you've put your brand on searchable platforms and on Google 4 times.
BONUS TIP 🔥: Use the content from your blog posts as social media captions. Then tell your followers to head to your blog to read more. Work smarter - not harder.
Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact us at Media A La Carte. We've got you.
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