Unlocking the Power of Social Media SEO: A Complete Guide

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As a business owner that’s built a website, chances are you already know the power that both social media and search engine optimization can yield for your brand.

But did you know about social media SEO? Social media SEO enhances your existing SEO strategy, and with more social media platforms popping up all the time, it’s never been more important to invest time and money into aligning your social media with your website and wider marketing efforts.

So with that in mind, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to social media SEO, featuring all the tips and tricks that you can implement for the best chance of online success.

What are you waiting for? Get reading!

What Is Social Media SEO?

Social media SEO is the process of optimizing your social media content to help users better find and engage with your content and profile.

Traditional SEO focuses on optimizing your website content so that it appears in search results, and social media SEO works similarly.

While social media platforms aren’t technically search engines, they do have search functionalities. Some of the biggest platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, have begun implementing algorithms and techniques to filter and rank the content they display in search results.

When social media platforms first launched, they were focused on showing users the content in their curated feeds from accounts that they follow.

Now, they’re increasingly used like search engines and platforms are implementing more traditional search tactics to match users with the content they’re looking for.

Optimizing Social Media Profiles for SEO

For the best chance of seeing results from your social media SEO, you need to make sure your profiles are optimized.

First, select the right social media platforms for your business. Think carefully about the type of content that you want to create, your target audience, and how your customers behave online.

For example, if you want to create short video content, Instagram and TikTok will be the best platforms for you. If you want to target an older audience, you should prioritize platforms like Facebook.

Once you’ve decided which platforms you want to use, you need to choose relevant usernames and handles for your accounts. Your best bet is to go for your brand name so users can identify the account straight away.

Outdoor clothing brand The North Face has optimized its Facebook profile for keywords such as “outdoor and sporting goods”.

Once you’ve set up your social media profiles, you need to optimize them for SEO. This includes writing a bio that’s optimized for your target keywords and including your target keywords in your captions and hashtags, too.

All of these things will help you to appear in social media search results for your target search terms and get your content in front of relevant and engaged users.

Top Tip: Undertake keyword research for your social media content. Find out what users are searching for on your chosen platform and optimize your content for these search terms.

Creating SEO-Friendly Social Media Content

One of the most important parts of your social media SEO strategy is to create SEO-friendly content that users will find entertaining and informative.

So how can you optimize your content for your target search terms? We’ve broken it down via platform and listed some top tips below!

Instagram SEO tips 

  • Include your target keywords in the caption and hashtags for your posts
  • Use subtitles to ensure your target keywords are included and appear on-screen
  • Edit the alt text for each of your images/posts to include your target keywords
  • Tag your location to target local searchers

Facebook SEO tips

  • Use your target keyword across your Facebook profile including in your main title, description, and URL
  • Add your business address to your profile to boost your chances of appearing in local searches
  • Include alt text for all of your images to help Facebook understand what your content is about
  • Feature your target keywords in your posts and image captions

Twitter SEO tips

  • Include your main target keyword in your Twitter bio to help your profile appear in Twitter search results
  • Add alt text to your images – not only does this make them more accessible but it’ll help tell Twitter what your content is about so Twitter can include your posts in related search results
  • Naturally include your keywords in as many of your posts and hashtags as possible, but it’s important you don’t overdo it or your posts will appear spammy

TikTok SEO tips

  • Include your target keywords in the video description to help boost your chances of appearing in TikTok search results
  • “Double dip” your keyword by including it in the audio of the video and the caption – by including it in the audio it’ll automatically appear in the TikTok-generated captions too!
  • Add relevant keywords to your profile and bio to help boost the SEO success of your overall TikTok profile

Pinterest SEO tips

  • Create Pinterest boards based on your target keywords and name them accordingly
  • Write a descriptive description for each pin that’s informative, engaging, and includes your target keywords
  • Use the titles of your pins to optimize for long-tail keywords such as “Things to pack when going camping” as opposed to “camping essentials”
  • Feature high-quality images so that you don’t miss out on searchers using the Pinterest Lens feature
Bath & Body Works use keywords it wants to target, such as “candle care tips”, within the titles of its pins and boards.

LinkedIn SEO tips

  • Use your most relevant keyword in the tagline and URL of your page
  • Create long-form content directly on LinkedIn that’s optimized to include your target keywords – and feature these keywords in the main body text, subheadings, and image captions
  • LinkedIn has one of the best filtering tools for spotting spam content, so if you stuff your content and posts with too many keywords, you’ll set off alarm bells!

Building an Engaged Social Media Community

An engaged social media community can do wonders for your social media SEO.

The more users that comment on your posts, the more chance there is to feature your target keywords both in their comments and your replies.

Most social media platforms are looking for the best content to show in search results so if your posts have a high number of likes and comments, it suggests that your content is adding value and is what users are looking for. This boosts your chances of appearing in search results.

So how can you build an engaged following to improve your SEO on social media?

  • Encourage interactions and discussions with your audience by asking them questions and starting conversations in your comments
  • Respond to all comments and messages promptly – this helps to build a relationship with your audience and you can include your target keywords in your reply too!
  • Build relationships with influencers and brand advocates who may be willing to share links to your website with their audience, boosting your backlink profile and website SEO
  • Encourage the creation of user-generated content and reviews (reviews in particular are a strong sign to Google of the quality of your content)

Leveraging Social Signals for SEO

Social signals refer to the engagement metrics that your posts generate, such as likes, comments, shares, and followers.

Social signals can be powerful for SEO because search engines and social media platforms will look at the number of social signals your content is generating to determine how useful it is to users.

Social signals can help to improve your brand’s visibility and authority and improve your overall search result rankings.

If you want to leverage your social signals for SEO you can:

  • Create shareable content that resonates with your audience
  • Make it easy for users to share your content by adding social media sharing buttons to your website
  • Encourage engagement to foster relationships and build a sense of community online

Monitor and analyze your social signals to see how your content is performing and determine any changes that your business may need to make

Social Media SEO: Summary

Social media SEO, just like regular SEO, is a constantly evolving machine. While the steps laid out in this guide are the perfect place to start, you’ll need to constantly adapt to new trends and algorithm changes.

From answering the question, what is SEO in social media? to providing you with tips to implement into your own social media strategies, this comprehensive guide has detailed everything you need to reap the rewards of a social media SEO strategy.

All that’s left for you to do is action what we’ve shown you and once you’ve done that, why not check out some more of our best SEO articles including the ultimate SEO checklist and the only SEO glossary you’ll ever need?!

Frequently Asked Questions

There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from and you should select the ones that make the most sense for your brand based on the content you want to create and who your target audience is. Some of the most popular social media platforms for brands are:
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Ideally, yes. It’s important to align your social media SEO strategy with the wider SEO strategy you implement on your website and targeting the same keywords is a good way to do this. That being said, it all depends on what users are searching for. You need to target the terms that your target audience is searching for on each platform.
While social media content is not necessarily the biggest ranking factor when it comes to website SEO and Google, it certainly plays a part. Optimized content and strong social signals can add valuable social proof and reliability to your content – two things that Google is always looking for.
Written by:
Black and white headshot of Lucy Nixon smiling at the camera
I’ve been a content writer for Website Builder Expert since 2021. Through almost a decade in the digital marketing industry, I’ve built up knowledge on everything from growing ecommerce businesses to building websites. I love breaking down tricky topics into digestible and engaging content for readers. Breaking down the jargon and uncovering the best platforms, tools, and strategies, I’m a meticulous researcher who’s committed to providing our readers with tips and advice that’s tried and tested.

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