As social media continues to be a big influence on consumers as to whether they decide to purchase with your brand versus a brand not on social media, some of us may be asking, what happened to SEO? Although I’m still a firm believer in professional search engine optimization services, we internet marketers need to be cognoscente on where an audience is searching for information about your brand. According to a study by HubSpot, if 85% of Internet users have a Facebook account and 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands via Facebook , then your brand should definitely not only have a brand page on Facebook, but one that is fully optimized and engaging. When creating social pages for a product or service, be sure to follow these steps to create a fully optimized social network.
Before I begin breaking down each channel you’ll want to gather a keyword list from your online marketing company’s SEO department. Narrow down the list to your top 3-5 keyword phrases which will be included in all descriptions across your social networks. Now let’s begin:
With the ever-changing world of Facebook, it’s important to stay up to date with all of the new updates within the platform (i.e. editing your brand page to Timeline view). The about section is your chance to give a short description of what your brand does, while also including a keyword and link back to your site for Google to index. It is also a best practice to include links in the description section to all other social networks that your brand is active on.
For even more SEO value within Facebook, consider placing a keyword at the beginning of your status update; especially updates that include a link back to your site. Click on the timestamp of each update and you will be brought to a separate page specific for that update. The first 18 characters, sometimes a bit less, of your update will be the SEO Title for that post.
With only 140 characters or less, there’s not much SEO opportunity on this platform, but still some SEO benefit.
What you write in your bio information is very important not only just for SEO, but also for other tools that gather Twitter users based on a search query (like FollowerWonk). Don’t forget to insert a keyword in your bio and also include a link to your site. Design a custom skin for your Twitter page that includes more information about your company and calls to action.
A social network result from the search engine giant itself, we have Google+ and its land of opportunity for SEO.
Before creating a profile for your brand on Google+, decide whether you want to create a local page (for a specific address like a hotel or restaurant) or a brand page (for products/services). A Google+ local page now integrates with Zagat reviews. Once your page is created, edit your descriptions to be keyword-rich. Google+ allows you to link those keywords within your introduction, creating the dofollow links that Google loves. Having a profile that is linked to a website will also help your credibility; it’s a simple snippet of code provided by Google that is to be inserted on your sites homepage. Learn more about profile and page verification badges on Google+ here. Once this is done, your Google+ page will show up on the right hand side of the Google search page for relevant queries, thus making your Google+ page more discoverable. Lastly, don’t forget to include links to all of your company’s other social networks in the links section.
Another social network result of Google is the video sharing platform YouTube.
Although there is no option for anchor text links in the about section of your channel, be sure to include your keywords as “tags” in the channel settings. Link to all other social networks and also take advantage of designing a customizable YouTube skin for more information about your product or service and calls to action. As you begin to make a presence on this platform, keep in mind that your video title doubles as a SEO title and the video description doubles as your Meta description. This is a great place to add keywords as your “tags” for each video uploaded if it doesn’t sound right in the description.
According to my research, there isn’t much SEO value so far from LinkedIn brand pages. Therefore my recommendation would be to include keywords in the about section, specifically in the specialties box which will help your company appear in search within LinkedIn. A link to your website is also not to be forgotten.
Who would’ve guessed that a virtual pin-board would create so much buzz so quickly? Getting verified on Pinterest is much like getting verified on Google+. All you need to do is download the verification file from your settings and host it on your sites homepage. Don’t forget to include keywords in the description of your Pinterest page, and if possible, title your boards with a keyword. Boards also have SEO opportunity within their descriptions, so be sure to have a keyword there as well.
Now that you have properly optimized six social media channels for SEO value, watch as the referral traffic from social increases over time. With the ability to reach over 50% of Americans, according to We Are Social, social media networks should not only be created, but optimized to ensure you are building relationships while also ranking in the search engines. Have other social SEO service recommendations? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!