Leveraging Social Media To Boost Your Organic SEO

The relationship between social media and organic search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly intertwined. Social media platforms serve as more than just channels for connecting with friends or sharing cat videos – they have evolved into powerful tools for increasing visibility while driving referral traffic to your website. Couple this with Google serving up social media profiles in search results, and you have a match made in brand awareness heaven. In this edition of Plain Talk, we will explore how savvy use of social media can help increase your SEO rankings.

The (Indirect) Relationship Between Social Media and Organic SEO

At first glance, social media and organic SEO may seem like distinct marketing channels with separate goals. However, they’re more closely connected than meets the eye. Being active on social media can impact a brand’s online presence and is considered a key component of an off-page SEO strategy. (Off-page SEO strategy involves optimizing external factors beyond your website.)

Active engagement on social media can lead to increased website traffic, brand awareness and backlinks – all of which are essential factors in SEO. When searching for brands online, social media profiles appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) on Google or Bing, as well as your Google Business Profile (if you have one). This provides additional opportunities for exposure and click-throughs.

Although a lot of activity on social media doesn’t automatically equal high organic rankings, it can act as an “online echo” for search engines – meaning, it’s one thing to talk about how great your brand is on your own website, but it’s another to have people back up that sentiment on other platforms.

For example, suppose you have a lot of positive Facebook reviews. If your YouTube videos are also popping up in searches repeatedly and your tweets are showing up in searches for specific queries, that’s all “Google juice.” As a result, it’s likely to increase your credibility on search. Your social media content is positioning your brand as a trustworthy authority and signaling to search engines that perhaps they need to rank your website more.

Importance of Using Social Media to Boost Organic SEO Presence

With billions of websites vying for attention, businesses and brands must leverage every opportunity to rise above the competition and gain organic traffic. This is where social media and SEO come into play. Businesses can effectively complement their SEO efforts and increase their online visibility by strategically leveraging social media platforms to engage with audiences, share valuable content and foster community interaction.

Impact of Social Engagement on SEO

Social engagements are interactions generated on social media platforms. They include likes, shares, comments and brand mentions. These engagements may serve as indicators of a brand’s significance, relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines, and it seems search engines may consider social analytics a measure of content quality and user engagement. When content receives high levels of engagement on social media, it signals increased brand visibility and awareness, which can result in more inbound links and citations from authoritative websites. As a result, websites with strong social signals tend to attract more organic traffic and enjoy higher search engine rankings.

Optimize Social Media Platforms for Search

Many social platforms act as search engines, from searching fashion trends to home improvement tools; social media plays a role in how we search for products and services.

Google-owned YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind its parent company. Optimizing for YouTube is a great way for brands to reach more searchers, especially since videos are a type of search result filter.

Pinterest characterizes itself as “The visual inspiration platform where people come to search, save, and shop the best ideas in the world for all of life’s moments.” Over 80% of weekly Pinterest users have discovered a new brand or product on the platform.

Instagram and TikTok can also act as search engines within the platform. In fact, a recent survey by Adobe revealed that 64% of Gen Z internet users use TikTok for search. Refusing to let such a big piece of the search pie go, Google is currently testing short-form videos as a search results filter option.

Google short videos

Optimizing Social Media Profiles for Maximum Impact

There are several simple yet effective steps you can take to optimize your brand’s social media channels by prioritizing SEO best practices. A complete profile setup on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others provides users with a comprehensive overview of their identity, interests and professional background. Here are a few ways to optimize your brand’s social profiles for SEO.

Consider social media profile pages as virtual extensions of your website. Much like you would fine-tune site content pages for optimal performance with page titles, keywords and external links, you must audit your social media profiles to align with your website’s SEO strategy.

PriceWeber Instagram Page

  • Make sure your username and brand name are the same across all social channels.
  • Ensure that the brand’s profile image is high-quality and the correct size for the platform.
  • On Instagram, you can add up to five external links in your bio – make sure those links direct followers back to your website.
  • The profile description is very important when optimizing channels for SEO. Ensure that the description on your brand’s page is clear, concise, explains your product or service, and is grammatically correct. Adding industry-specific keywords to your description is a great way to optimize your social media channel. 

Optimizing Social Media Posts with SEO-Friendly Elements

Sometimes referred to as SCO or social channel optimization, a solid content marketing strategy is the cornerstone of social media/SEO marketing success. High-quality, shareable content is paramount to capturing audiences’ attention amidst thousands of posts flooding users’ feeds. Relevant content that resonates with viewers on an emotional level, entertains, educates or provides value is more likely to be shared, increasing awareness across all social platforms.

Moreover, incorporating SEO-friendly elements into social media posts maximizes visibility and complements your overall SEO strategy.

Here are a few ways you can optimize your brand’s social media content:

  • Keyword Research: Just like for website content, research keywords that align with your brand and target audience. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your social media posts, captions and hashtags to improve discoverability.
  • Optimize Meta Descriptions: When sharing links to your website or blog posts on social media, optimize the meta descriptions to provide concise content. Use relevant keywords and compelling language to encourage clicks and engagement.
  • Hashtag Strategy: Hashtags play a crucial role in sorting and structuring social content on social media channels. Research popular and trending hashtags within your industry and include them strategically in your posts to increase visibility and reach a broader audience. Avoid overstuffing hashtags and focus on using relevant ones. Currently, the Instagram algorithm encourages three to five hashtags per post.
  • Optimize Image Alt Text: When posting images on social media, include descriptive alt text that accurately describes the image’s content. This increases accessibility for the visually impaired and offers further context for search engines to grasp the content of your posts.
  • Optimize Video Transcriptions: Like you would optimize images on social media by filling out the alt text, you can also adapt this practice to video by optimizing video transcriptions with keywords. Google can’t crawl a photo or a video; it can only crawl code. So, it’s important to ensure keywords are included in alt text and video transcriptions.
  • Share SEO-Friendly Content: Share content from your website or blog optimized for SEO. This could include blog posts, product pages, infographics or landing pages with valuable information that addresses common search terms within your niche. By driving traffic from social media to your SEO-optimized content, you can enhance your website’s visibility and authority in search engine results pages.
  • Optimize Reels for SEO: To optimize SEO for Instagram Reels, integrate relevant keywords into your captions and video script, include subtitles in your videos, post during peak times within your niche and leverage Instagram-specific features, including polls and stickers.

Creating a Strong Social Presence

Even though social media and SEO are indirectly tied, creating a strong social media presence is important for your overall brand awareness and helps support SEO efforts. Building relationships with influencers and industry professionals increases the likelihood of people interacting with and sharing your content. Interacting with followers and potential customers in comments and direct messages can also help improve your brand’s credibility. Monitoring analytics can help drive content creation, depending on what followers are engaging with and sharing.

Taking simple yet effective steps to enhance your brand’s social media platforms is integral to boosting your SEO efforts. Evaluate your social media platforms’ current state and start making study changes today. If you need help analyzing how your social channels can be optimized for SEO, drop us a note or call us at 502.499.4209.

Today’s article was penned by Public Relations and Social Media Specialist, Alexis Bennett