Many online marketers, particularly those who are new to the game, think of SEO and social media marketing as two separate things. But if you really want your online marketing efforts to bear fruit, you need to learn how to make these two work hand-in-hand. You may not have realized it, but your social profiles are useful not only building online presence, but also for improving your brand’s search visibility.
No matter how hard you try to provide the best service possible to your customers, there will be times when negative feedback can appear in search results about your brand. You can’t rely solely on your website to push those negative results to the bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs); you need backup and that backup can come from your social profiles. Together with your web content, you can work to make your social profiles dominate search results relevant to your brand. This way, you reduce the risk of negative results showing up on the first page.
So, how do you make your social profiles dominate search results? Why, you need to optimize them, of course! How exactly do you optimize social profiles? Read on for some valuable tips.
You need to ensure your social pages rank well for branded terms (search terms that contain your brand or company name). This’ll help ensure that your competitors don’t rank as well for those terms. The best way to start achieving this is to make sure your social pages are all named appropriately—no wrong spellings, missed punctuations, or any other inconsistencies. You should also make sure you have branded URLs; note that there are some social networks like Google+ that don’t automatically match your URL with your page name, which means you’ll have to claim your branded URL.
Using Keywords Wisely
In optimizing your social profiles, it is important not just to use the right keywords, but also to ensure the proper placement of those keywords. Keywords are important for both the search function of the social networking site and Google search. Here’s how to use keywords to your benefit for each of the most popular social networking sites:
Using keywords in your Facebook Page name is generally a good idea, as it is likely to earn you a higher rank on Google SERPs. To rank high in Facebook’s own search function, you’ll have to make sure your keywords are in your page’s subcategories.
Just like with Facebook, you get a better chance of getting high rankings on Google SERPs if you used keywords in your Twitter name or username. For the sake of Twitter’s own search function, you’ll want to make sure your account (and the content therein) is textually relevant to your targeted keywords. It helps to use the keywords in your bio as well.
Again, the use of keywords in your page name is very important. The same is true for LinkedIn’s own search function. So, as long as you have your main keywords in your page name, you’re good to go.
Keywords in the name of your videos will help you rank well in Google SERPs, while keywords in your channel name will help you rank well in YouTube search.
Keywords in your profile name and in your introduction should help you rank well on both Google SERPs and Google+ search.
Almost all social networking sites allow you to provide a description of your business/brand, links to your content, and other pertinent information. It is always advisable to fill out all the applicable fields. The more complete your profile is, the stronger it appears to be to search engines. So, wherever possible, include your brand’s history, mission, awards you’ve received, services you offer, and any other information that’ll help tell search engines and users alike what your brand is all about.
Make sure all banners and images in all your social profiles and pages are consistent. They don’t necessarily have to be exactly the same, but they should at least have the same general look and feel. The logo and brand name, of course, should be the same. Other than that, the color schemes, fonts used, and the tone of your content should be consistent across all platforms. This helps ensure that your target audience will automatically recognize your brand even at first glance.
The rankings of your social profiles will get a significant boost if you linked to them from your official website. Although this may seem like a no-brainer now that you’re reading it, you’ll be surprised at how many businesses and/or online marketers actually neglect to do this. And even those who managed to link to their social profiles only did so for some of those profiles. What you need to do is link your website to ALL of your social profiles.
Linking to all of your social profiles becomes even more advisable if you’ve already managed to build authority for your website. The link will pass your site’s authority on to your social profiles and increase their exposure as well. This could help you gain more followers and increase customer engagement, which could ultimately lead to better SEO performance. You may also want to include links to your social profiles in emails you send out and link all of your social profiles to each other.
You don’t necessarily have to post every single day, but it does help to post updates on a regular basis (at least two to three times each week). If you let a considerable amount of time pass between updates, your followers might think you’ve abandoned the page. You wouldn’t want them to click on that “Unfollow” button, would you?
Remember that updates shouldn’t be purely promotional in nature. Even if you post updates daily, if all you ever post are promotional messages, your followers are just as likely to unfollow your page as if you didn’t post updates at all. What you need to do is keep things conversational. Post updates that encourage discussion among your followers as well as between you and your followers.
Furthermore, you should keep in mind that updates don’t have to be purely textual in nature. In fact, your social pages will be more interesting if you posted a healthy mix of text updates, videos, teasers, and links to content on other pages, infographics, etc.
Remember that while there are many ways to take advantage of your social profiles for SEO purposes, there are also many ways you can go wrong in using social networks. Be careful not to commit any of these common mistakes:
- Using your name or an employee’s name as your social page’s profile name
- Using your photo as the page’s profile photo
- Using images that aren’t relevant to either your brand or the message you want to deliver
As long as you do things right, your social profiles can help you extend your brand’s reach and expand your digital footprint. And you can work your way towards edging out your competitors and keeping your target audience interested in your content and in your brand.