SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media have been moving closer together over the past couple of years. Now it seems they’re more integrated than ever, particularly as Google increasingly experiments with bringing in social elements into search results.
You can’t really afford to know one without the other, as you risk doing half a job or missing out on potential traffic. To help with this, we’ve compiled some of the top SEO tips across social media profiles, so you can make sure you have your house in order. Bear in mind that all of the below are recommended as general good practices to stick to – not promises of top positions for your keywords. I would always recommend that you run your social media profiles with your community in mind first and foremost, then consider best practices for SEO after.
These are tips to implement alongside the natural conversations in your community. Many of these tips apply for internal search, such as through Facebook Pages as there will be certain restrictions on the content Google will and can index.
Keywords in Facebook Page updates
It can often be a bit of a push and pull between writing content purely with the user in mind, and writing content that has one eye firmly on SEO. Good practice for SEO copywriting can still apply when you write your updates on your Facebook Page. Since everyone that searches on Facebook has the ability to show results by ‘everyone’, individual posts you write on your Facebook Page could be crucial for getting found by people searching for something current. I wouldn’t advise you let this guide your content strategy overall. Don’t try and write about the royal wedding if it bears no relevance to your brand or community, but when you’re writing updates, think about the keywords that other people might be looking for that could lead them to your Page.
Writing anchor text on your Facebook Page
The same rules of good linking still apply on your Facebook Page, such as linking often and to relevant Pages. In certain places, Facebook also gives you the option to use anchor text in your links, which is a good practice to adhere to. You can do this in the ‘notes’ section of your Page for example. Here you simply write out the code for anchor text as you would normally, replacing the content with your own website and desired anchor text:
When you publish this it will appear as anchor text on your wall. Remember to use relevant keywords in the anchor text, that relate to the page you’re pointing to.
Link often on your Facebook Page
Sending links out from your Facebook Page in general is important in helping to improve your SEO rankings within Facebook search. You should take advantage of the places that Facebook gives you to do this, including the wall and Info text. One of the most important places to link from your Page is in the ‘About’ box on the side of your Page. While you can’t put anchor text here, you can include a standard link, such as in the screenshot below:
Keywords in Facebook photo captions
Even though certain activity within a Facebook page is ‘no follow’ by Google, you should still retain good keyword and linking strategies in all places. This is often overlooked in the ‘photos’ section of your Page, where it can be tempting to stick it up quickly and share it on your wall. The description is on your photo permanently however, so remember to include relevant keywords in the photo description text. Again bear in mind meeting the needs of the user and the search engine. You’re talking to your fans first and foremost so include the keywords naturally in the text, but paying careful attention to those keywords you might want to be found for, both in Facebook and Google search.
Keywords in your Twitter bio
In your Twitter profile, your ‘bio’ is actually the meta description of your Page, making it an incredibly important aspect of SEO on your Twitter profile. Make sure you’re including relevant keywords here that relate both to the general content of your tweets as well as the website you want to promote. This can often be overlooked in terms of keyword optimisation, but should be well-considered, albeit within 160 characters!
Use bit.ly or tiny to shorten links on Twitter
Using URL shorteners is often done on Twitter profiles mainly as a way of making links more readable and easily sharable as they reduce the amount of characters used within the tweet. They are also incredibly important in terms of SEO as well. Using url services such as bit.ly or tiny.url use permanent 301 redirects to your content, meaning that your original url benefits from the SEO juice, and not just the tiny url itself.
Keywords early in tweets
In an individual tweet, the first 27-40 characters count as the title tag within a Google search result. It’s important therefore to include your desired keywords early on in the tweet itself to make it more likely to rank in searches. This is what will be indexed by Google so it’s important to keep to this structure as much as possible, while not distracting from the actual conversation in Twitter. Keep these keywords relevant to the rest of the tweet and any URL you include for consideration of the user as well as search engines.
Followers boost your PageRank
This might not be a direct tip, but it’s an important consideration. The more high profile you are judging by the number of Twitter followers you have, the more your PageRank will improve within Google, having a positive effect on your search results. These followers are indexed as ‘inlinks’ to your profile – i.e. Google recognises one Twitter account as linking to yours as a relevant link. Try and attract these followers by tweeting popular, relevant content, which sits very much in line with your natural Twitter strategy.
Use Twitter directories
There are some very easy ways that you can build links to your Twitter profile, while also getting in front of new followers that may be interested in your content: Twitter directories. Through different sites you can link to your Twitter profile, often with the option to add in additional keywords, that should strongly relate to the page you’re linking to. Check out this article from CNET, for a great list of Twitter directories you can add your profile to.
As much as this is a consideration for your natural Twitter activity, it’s also important for Google search results, now that they integrate tweets into their main search results. If you’re tweeting often about current topics then you can help improve your chances of appearing in Google results. These Twitter links are also contained prominently above the fold in Google search engine result pages, so is a great way to attract new followers, provided the content is in some way related to your core product or service.
Name your Twitter profile picture
A nice little SEO tip to follow here. When uploading your Twitter profile picture, make sure to name it with a relavant keyword that relates to your Twitter profile. The image file name is contained within the link when you click to expand, so avoid just using the file number, as shown in the example above. You can see this yourself by hovering over your profile image in Twitter. Also be sure to use hyphens in between words in the file name, not spaces.
Double keywords in a Youtube video
Obviously, using relevant keywords throughout the title, description and keyword section of your video on Youtube is important. But a good tip to follow is including a keyword twice within a title, such as ‘Facebook Tips: SEO Facebook tips for your business page’. This is good in terms of SEO to get an incredibly important keyword listed twice, but is also good from a usability point of view, as you provide an easy to read format, telling people what your content is about. This is the perfect balance between writing for people and SEO.
Repeat keywords in the video title
Often when it comes to adding in keywords to your Youtube video, you try to add as many relevant keywords that you can think of. While this is good practice, help Youtube out a bit when it comes to displaying your video by repeating words contained in your video title throughout the description and keyword section, as it will help your video to be shown both within Youtube and Google search as this pulls in Youtube video results as standard.
Leave a video reply
Google and Youtube like video pages that have a lot of links built into them, as it shows the relevance of the video content. A great way to do this, which also provides a new organic community around your video content, is by leaving a video reply to related videos within Youtube. You can do this while you’re logged into the correct profile for your Youtube video channel. When you’ve found the video you want to reply to, click on ‘Leave a video reply’ on the right hand side. This will bring up your videos, which you can select and leave as a video response on the page. Use this according to best practice and avoid being too spammy a this could have an adverse effect on your actual content!
Write a full script for your videos
A great way of adding in extra text around your video is to consider writing a full script in the description. Here you can put in additional keywords that are featured in the video and it also allows people to find out more about the content of the video. Next to the title, the description is the second most important thing about your video so make sure it’s well optimised.
Get active on Quora
Google recently announced that they were adding activity on Quora such as asking questions or adding answers into their indexed realtime search results. Quora is a great place to network and build your community anyway, but now that this has such as direct effect on Google search, it should be considered by most marketers and businesses. As these feature in the ‘realtime’ section of a Google SERP (Search Result Position Tool), best practice both for search and your community is to make sure you’re answering and asking questions often.
What Social Media SEO tips do you love? Share them in the comments!