Your business social media accounts are great for generating conversations among your target audience. You can ask questions, share relevant information, and best of all show that your business has real people behind it.
Did you know that your social media accounts can also help with SEO?
It’s true. Let’s take a look at a few ways why optimizing your social media accounts is important to your business.
What’s Your Reputation?
What do you see when you type in your business name or brand into Google? Known as reputation management, typically your own website will rank first. But what do you see after that? Do you see press releases? Videos?
Perhaps you see something you don’t like…for example, a bad review.
90% of consumers perform a search about a business before making a purchase. Make no mistake about it, your potential customers do this as well. If your business has some less than stellar results showing up for a branded search, no need to worry. Optimizing your social media accounts can typically help displace these negative results off of the first page of search results.
Your company can’t stay in business without generating leads. If you are able to, I’d like to know how! Social media accounts are great channels for lead generation. In this case, I am not talking about tweeting, sharing, or pinning to generate leads. In fact, I am specifically referring to your social profile.
On most social networks, you are provided with an area to talk about you or your business. One of the best opportunities to maximize this is on Google+.
In your “Introduction” section you can use links and anchor text. This allows you to drop some relevant, keyword rich links Inside the content where it makes sense. While keyword rich anchor text does not provide the punch it once did, you can still use branded anchor text which can ultimately help you with reputation management.
Before most users decide to follow your business (in this case on Google+), they commonly read the “about” section of your profile. Since this section is about your business, be sure to talk about what you do and periodically link to different parts of your website for the user to learn more.
With a well written “about” section, you can start to build trust with your new follower, engage with them through your copy, and ultimately turn them into a lead by having them click on a link to your site.
Impact on Rankings
Probably the biggest impact an optimized social profile can have is on the SEO reach it can have on your business. While SEO and social reach are two separate things, search engines are starting to use social signals as ranking factors.
Bing and Google already use social signals for personalized search results.
Even though we are still early in the social signal game for SEO, the importance of an optimized profile is already evident.
How to Optimize Your Social Media Accounts
Depending on the social network, some of the following may not apply. If you need help, please ask.
Just like your branding is consistent across multiple channels, your business information needs to be aligned with your social accounts. To do this, we need to be as consistent as possible in each of your social business profiles.
Let’s say that your business name is “Joe’s Towing Company.” We’ll take a look at how Joe would go about optimizing his business social account for SEO purposes.
No matter what social site you are using, it is important to use the same exact name across each site. Therefore, you need to be consistent. You need to use your official business name “Joe’s Towing Company” and not vary it with alternate names like “Joe’s Towing” or “Towing by Joe”.
Being consistent helps avoid confusion among customers and ultimately builds a stronger brand.
Different social sites allow you to display various means of contact information. However, you need to be consistent on how you enter this information. For example, if the street address is “9764 Jeopardy Lane”, you will need to be sure to never deviate from this. Meaning that it should not be used as “9764 Jeopardy Ln.” – notice the abbreviated version of the word “Lane”? Same goes for phone numbers, if you use parenthesis around your area code, be sure to always use parenthesis.
Listing your website is simple on practically all major social media sites. The real important thing to be sure of is to always link to the homepage (or any page) using the same prefix. For example, does your domain use “www” or not? To check this, simply visit your site and look into the address bar of the browser.
If the site is setup correctly, you will only be able to view either the “www” URL or your domain without the “www” prefix. Having a site display for both the “www” prefix and without is no bueno for SEO. While this is typically an easy fix, it often gets overlooked.
Other Social Accounts
The majority of social media sites will allow your business to link to or connect with your other social channels. This is a great opportunity to expose followers on one social channel to your presence on other social sites they may not have been aware of.
Many users view profile pages of an account when deciding to follow or just for more information about the company. To satisfy these users, you simply need to add the social profile addresses of accounts your company is active on.
Social sites like Google+ allow you to write endlessly about yourself and your business. Additionally, you can easily create links within your text to link back to your site as well as any other relevant sites regarding your business.
Within your description, you will want to use relevant keywords in your content that speak to the products or services you offer. When necessary, you can link some of those keywords to specific pages on your site that speak to that subject in more detail. However, DON’T OVERDO IT!
On social sites that allow you to upload photos, you will want to rename your files to something that actually describes what the picture is. For example, if your filename is “DSC30545.png” what does that really tell Google (or users) about the image? Instead, you will want to use something a bit more descriptive. If the image is of your tow truck (and your business is located in Houston), try naming the file to be something like “Houston-Tow-Trucks.png”.
Additionally, when you have the opportunity to provide a description of the image (like is available in Pinterest), be sure to provide a relevant description to accompany the image. Same thing goes for any albums you create.
Who doesn’t love a great video? As a hypothetical tow truck company, there are countless videos you can create for your potential clients. Videos showing the proper way to change a flat tire, safety tips for driving in bad weather, how to reduce the chances of getting in an accident, etc.
Creating the video is just part of the equation, while the other half is optimizing it. When optimizing your video, there are some key points you should address.
- You should aim to keep the title less than 66 characters
- Should you want to use your brand name in the title, it is best to place it last
- The title should be descriptive and to the point while engaging the user
- Make sure to use your target keyword phrase as well as the word “video” in the title
- The description should also contain your target keywords as well as be engaging
- YouTube allows a maximum of 800 words in the description, so be sure to stay within that range
- Your first 2-3 sentences should contain your target keyword phrase
- Add your URL to the beginning of the description so that users can click the link if the description is collapsed
- Use at least 10 keyword tags (maximum character length on YouTube is 120)
- Create tags for both singular and plural phrases
- Transcribe your video
Are Your Social Media Profiles Optimized?
The importance of having optimized social media profiles is becoming more and more evident. With the increased changes within search engine rankings, social influence is starting to take a larger role. Aside from the increased SEO benefits of optimized profiles, a consistent approach to your various profiles helps create a positive and cohesive experience for all your accounts.
Do you need help optimizing your company’s social profiles? Or do you have any questions? Be sure to sound off in the comments below.
Better yet, do you know of a business who is struggling with optimizing their social profiles? If so, point them to this blog post to help get them on the right track.
photo credit: HarcoRutgers