Do you rely on social media algorithms to get your content seen (also known as posting and hoping for the best)?
If this is the case, you may be missing out on new followers and potential customers. Social SEO makes your content more visible to people who are actively looking for businesses like yours or the products and services you provide.
Let’s discuss what social SEO is, why it matters, and, most importantly, how it can help you grow your business’s social media accounts.
What Is Social SEO?
Social SEO is the practice of adding text-based features to your posts such as captions, alt-text, and closed captions to make it easier for people browsing social platforms to find your content.
To understand social SEO, you must first understand the fundamentals of traditional SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimisation in digital marketing. Search engines such as Google and Bing allow you to search for information and then present you with a list of web results that lead you to the content you’re looking for. (Or, at the very least, what the content algorithms believe you want to see based on the search phrase you used, your location, previous searches, and so on.)
Although social networks are not technically search engines, they all have search boxes. And major social platforms are incorporating more traditional search engine features to help match users with the content they want to find.
People used social networks initially to view personalised feeds of content from specific people and brands they followed. People now actively use social media to search for specific information. Consider product reviews, brand recommendations, and places to visit in your community.
The goal of social SEO is to be seen when people are actively looking for content rather than scrolling through their feeds.
Social SEO Tips For Each Platform
- Optimise your page SEO by using your main keyword in all areas – page title, URL, about section and description.
- Include your company’s address in your profile. If it is relevant, your page will be included in local search.
- Create location pages for each location. If you have multiple physical locations, create a location page for each one to improve their chances of appearing in local searches.
- Include keywords that are relevant in your posts. Make sure to include the most relevant keyword in each post and photo caption using natural-sounding language.
- Optimise your page SEO by using keywords in your name, handle and bio. Also, make sure to include a location if applicable.
- When writing a caption, include relevant keywords and hashtags. Hiding hashtags in comments is no longer a viable option. Keywords in the caption contribute to the visibility of your content on keyword search pages.
- Include alt-text. The primary goal of alt-text is to increase the accessibility of visual content. However, it also helps Instagram understand what your content is so that it can serve it in response to relevant searches.
- Always tag your location. This will ensure your content will appear on the new Instagram Maps, which can be used to search for local businesses.
- Optimise your page SEO by adding relevant keywords to your user profile
- Combine your main keyword with TikTok itself. In your video clip, say out loud the main keyword for your TikTok and include an in-text overlay on the screen. When you say your keyword out loud, it is also included in the automatically generated closed captions, making this a triple-dip.
- In the caption, include relevant keywords and hashtags. Captions refer to the video description rather than speech captions (although you should include your keywords there too, as noted above). For better TikTok SEO, prioritise keywords over hashtags.
- Use your primary keyword phrase as the video file name.
- Include your main keyword phrase in the title, but write it in a way that someone would if they were using the search bar: “How to tie a bowtie” for example.
- In the video description, include keywords. Especially in the first two lines, which are visible without further clicking. Include your primary keyword, and if possible, add a secondary one or two later in the description without sounding like keyword stuffing.
- Turn on captions and say your keywords in the video. Make a point of speaking your keywords aloud at some point in the video. Then, in YouTube Studio, enable subtitles.
- Optimise your page SEO by using keywords in your name, handle and bio.
- In your posts, use relevant keywords and hashtags. Because you don’t have many characters to work with, choose your keywords carefully. Incorporate them naturally into the post to ensure that your post remains valuable to readers.
- Include alt-text. If you include images in a Tweet, include alt-text with your keywords (if relevant to the image – remember the main point of alt-text is to make content accessible to the visually impaired).
- Optimise your page SEO by incorporating your most relevant keyword in your page’s tagline and about section
- Make long-form content using relevant keywords. LinkedIn Articles allow you to create valuable content based on important keyword clusters.
- Don’t go overboard. Linked-In categorises content as spam, low-quality, or high-quality right away. Guess where your post will go if you stuff it with too many keywords or hashtags? Not on the first page of search results. Include keywords naturally (rather than stuffing them in) and only use truly relevant hashtags.
How can Social SEO help your business?
Grow your channels faster
Connecting with people who don’t (yet) follow you on social media is the goal of social SEO. As a result, it may be a more effective way to grow your social channels than relying solely on algorithms. New eyes are the key to expansion.
Get your content seen
Getting your social content seen in the past was all about manipulating algorithms to get your content into people’s feeds. People are now searching for content more actively, rather than simply scrolling through what is presented to them.
So the emphasis on discoverability is not new. Simply changing your perspective on how people discover your content is what social SEO is all about. You want people to find your content when they search for information on social media platforms.
Reach new customers outside the traditional search engines
Instagram launched a new searchable map feature this summer to help users find popular locations using the app. Instagram is now directly competing with Google Maps to be the best local business search provider.
Whatever product or service your company offers, there is a potential customer base that will never find you via traditional search engines. The key to connecting with that audience is through social SEO.