Best Social Media for SEO in 2021 & How to Leverage It To Boost Your Ranking

Best Social Media for SEO in 2021 & How to Leverage It To Boost Your Ranking

The relationship between search engine optimization (SEO) and social media has been a subject of debate for a while now. While these are two different concepts, they are undeniably interconnected. SEO social media optimization refers to how the activity on your social media accounts can contribute to drive traffic to your website. A wide number of social media platforms can be used to improve the effectiveness of your SEO. Curious about the best apps, sites, and activities to include in your SEO strategy in 2021? Keep on reading!

What Does SEO Mean in Social Media?

Just how important are social networks in website promotion? We at Direct Line Development know from experience that social signals can have an obvious influence on a site's search engine ranking. Social signals are the actions of users on social networks, such as comments, views, likes, reposts, and more with links leading to your site. Search engines keep a keen eye on this factor and take it into account when assessing websites and ranking them in search results.

graph with social network activity (facebook, linkedin, pinterest) based on site rank

Likes

Google has admitted to giving weight to links that people share on the public pages of social media accounts. Social network activity metrics indicate how relevant or interesting your content is to the users.

Reposts

Reposts are an even more effective social signal - especially if they come from "big" users with a large number of real followers. Search engines pay attention to this indicator, therefore, on sites with a strong promotion strategy. We often see social media widgets next to website content with a call to share the material.

Account Activity and Traffic

Search bots are well aware of how “dead” groups and pages in social networks differ from live and active ones. A high-quality account or group not only pleases subscribers with regular posts but is also an important source of traffic due to clicks on published links. Social widgets installed on site pages make a significant contribution to increasing the audience of social accounts and maintaining user activity.

How Social Media Impacts SEO

You may be wondering about exactly how social media boosts SEO. Put simply, social media amplifies your website content. If you put out high-quality content that is clicked, liked, shared, and discussed, you’ll get more eyes on your site. It’s possible that this could generate more backlinks as well. Ultimately, social media should be a key part of your larger marketing effort even though it has a less tangible effect on SEO than other strategies. Let’s take a closer look at how SEO and social media interact with each other.

graph with social networks presence in relation to site rank

Links From Social Networks Drive Traffic To The Website

Posts with high-quality content get more likes, shares, and comments, and therefore, more people see them. An engaging text will stimulate users to follow the link to your site. The attracted social traffic, in turn, will improve the behavioral characteristics of the website, which directly affects the rankings in SERP. Moreover, you can get website visitors who may convert into leads.

Direct Line’s recommendation: Use every opportunity to share content from your site on social networks. This will increase the activity on your page and bring potential leads to your website.

Social Media Page Profiles Can Appear in SERP As Often as the Website Itself

If you enter a brand query into the search, it is highly likely that you will see a social network page in one of the leading positions, along with the main site. Therefore, if you keep posting across your social networks, you can keep the entire SERP occupied by your brand. Wherever the user clicks, he will see your brand. Sometimes, this can help knock out competitors' pages or negative information about your company from the top-ten page.

Direct Line’s recommendation: Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date, updated regularly, and similar in appearance to your website.

You Can Get Links from Social Media

High-quality links remain a very important ranking factor up to this day. Many bloggers and content creators look for information on social networks. This is when the link opportunity comes into the picture. By posting high-quality content on your social accounts, people can share it or refer to it on their websites, making a natural backlink that leads to one of your pages.

Direct Line’s recommendation: The higher the quality of the content you produce and publish on social media, the more likely you are to get a backlink. Try to post according to your visitors’ needs as this will encourage users to share your post.

social media designations

Behavioral Factors Play a Role

Here’s another thing you need to know about SEO social media marketing. Behavioral factors seriously affect the position of your website in the search results. If a user spends a lot of time reading most of the content presented on the page or even returns to the page, it means that they are satisfied with the content. This signals to Google that your content was useful.

As a rule, a person who comes from a social network is much better prepared for the content. Usually, a post on social media contains a preview and a short description of the material or product posted on the site. This post is seen mainly by an audience that is either subscribed to the page or interested in the topic. Such users have a better idea of ​​what awaits them on the site and, therefore they spend more time on the resource, studying the pages more carefully, and often returning to them.

Direct Line’s recommendation: If you’ve added a new product, article, or any other content on the website, make a post on your social platforms to inform your subscribers. This way, your new page will start to rank more highly.

What Is More Important: SEO or Social Media?

It’s pretty much impossible to say whether SEO or social media is more important. Each strategy has benefits and drawbacks so the best way to ensure that your digital marketing efforts are successful is to use both. SEO social media marketing boosts engagement and brings new readers and traffic to your website. SEO makes that content accessible to search engines.

SEOSocial Media
ContentIf you want your content to get out there and rank high in search engine results, focus on SEO. However, it must also be research-based and audience-oriented. The best content answers your potential customers’ questions and provides concise yet detailed information about your product.Active users of social media want content that not only entertains but engages them on an emotional level. Therefore, content that evokes an emotional response has a bigger chance to trend.
AudienceMake sure you have a clear idea about what your target audience consists of so you can tailor the content on your website for them. This takes time and research, but will ultimately pay off.Social media provides detailed insights into the demographics of who your followers are and allows you to target this specific niche.
Success Rate

SEO magic does not happen overnight. You’ll likely need months or even years to get a boost for the most competitive keywords and Google and other search engines take a while to crawl and index your page. SEO can be highly rewarding when you do it right.

SM too requires strategizing and working out ways to increase your outreach. However, it is perhaps the best way to engage your target audience and increase your chances of being found and noticed online. One major challenge is that each post has a short shelf life since new content is posted rapidly from rival companies and individuals.

cycles with seo and social media

Social Media and SEO Strategy

Social networks have become bigger than ever before. We go online not only to chat with friends, but we also want to learn the latest news and shop. Entrepreneurs also use SNS platforms as a powerful traffic source.

Website promotion on social networks is a special type of promotion because it involves several large tasks at once. On the one hand, you need to prepare a website for social media users. On the other, you need to optimize your profile, think about the content you will publish, and decide on specific promotion methods. It sounds difficult, but businesses today cannot do without promotion on social platforms.

scheme showing the connection between website and social media

Preparing A Website for Social Media Users

As it is with SEO, when working with social media, it is important to prepare a website for an audience coming from social platforms. This is called SMO - social media optimization.  This term refers to website optimization for social networks.

In this case, you need separate landing pages that would serve as a destination for people who come from Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Such a page should not only complement the information that brought the user to the site but also gives them the choice of goods and services. For targeted advertising from social media, a separate landing page is a must. It is important to attach analytics tools to such a page, set goals, and optimize them for mobile.

There are technical ways to optimize these landing pages for social media users.

Share Buttons

On every page, you need to add Share buttons for different platforms. Copying a page URL, opening your profile, pasting the URL into a post and publishing is much more difficult than just clicking the button you want. You need to make it as easy as possible for users to share your content.

Social Widgets

A widget is a small graphic block on a website that shows the latest posts from certain SEO social media accounts. It will help turn random users who came to your site from search into subscribers on your social networks. They will see public news and receive notifications about your events meaning you get leads from passing users. Through the widget, users can subscribe to your group, share a link, or check out the latest page news.

The Open Graph and Twitter Card Tags

Open Graph is an Internet protocol that standardizes the use of metadata to structure information on a page and turn it into a graphic object. It allows for rich previews that make your links more attractive.

The main tags are:

  • og: title - indicates the title of the page;
  • og: description - gives a short description of the article;
  • og: image - shows which picture will be displayed in the post as the main one;
  • og: url - sets the canonical URL of the page.

The repost of a page with Open Graph may be familiar to you. It looks like this:

the main elements of the open graph

The same goes for Twitter Cards, but there are several advantages over regular tweet links:

  • When reposting a page from a Twitter Card, you can add more text than a regular tweet;
  • You can attach not only pictures but also gifs, video, and audio files.

Optimize Your Social Accounts

Any social network has a built-in search engine. This is how we search for something on Facebook, Instagram, and so on. The search results on social networks are influenced by the same factors as in the search engines. These include page optimization and social metrics such as likes, shares, number of subscribers, and comments. SEO social media optimization involves adding keywords to the name of the page, its description, and posts.

Use Hashtags

Search by hashtags also works in social networks. If you correctly approach their selection, they will help you bring your posts to the top of results for a particular topic. Like keywords, hashtags are divided by frequency and content (brand / personal, geographic, niche, virality).

Among the main rules for using hashtags:

  • Add only relevant tags to your posts.
  • Do not use high-frequency generalized tags like #lifestyle, #me or #food. Your posts will simply get lost among other posts.

graph with average engagement per post and number of hashtags on facebook

Encourage Your Clients to Tag Your Page

You can offer a discount to customers who leave a review about you on social networks, post a photo with your hashtag, or tag your page in their post. If the review is negative, you can think of a way to change the customer’s opinion. For example, you may respond to the person and offer them a special service. Your interaction will be seen by this person's friends and followers, and if you leave a good impression of yourself, they may follow you too.

Communicate with Customers on Social Media

Be sure to pay attention to posts, users’ mentions, and tags. Answer questions, say thanks for good reviews, and acknowledge and empathize with customers who have negative things to say. Avoid responding in a similarly negative way.

You should also keep live discussions going on your page to attract new visitors as the posts of your followers about your company and services show up on the newsfeed of their friends and subscribers. That’s viral advertising at its best.

Our List of Top Social Media Platforms for SEO

There are multiple social media channels that can be used to skyrocket your SEO. Apps and sites discussed below lend themselves to SEO social media marketing due to their popularity and high ranks in search engines. Most users seeking information about a brand or company go directly to their social media profiles, not the official website. This is largely because social networks offer a personal touch and often, a faster response time. Social media also helps businesses to expand their outreach and connect with more potential buyers. Your target audience uses various ways to get insights into a company they just discovered.

laptop with speech balloons with icons of various sns platforms

Medium

If not enough people are visiting your site, writing blogs on Medium might be a good idea. This platform contributes to you building a larger following that you may not have been able to reach otherwise. Medium facilitates the publishing of original and repurposed content, personal stories, and republished pieces. Medium articles often rank high in search results for the most competitive keywords. 

Facebook

Search engines consider the amount of likes and reposts that Facebook users add to your company page. They are valued more than the likes collected by individual posts. The number of likes is directly related to the number of links to the site. Each user who likes the company's page leaves a link on their own page. When it comes to reposts, they are even more effective than likes. Of course, for website promotion, it is most useful when users both leave a like and share the post.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most effective way of generating leads. Because the primary objective of SEO and social media is bringing in leads, the website is highly valuable for businesses. A large percentage of B2B marketing specialists include LinkedIn in their content marketing arsenal. If you use LinkedIn, your brand is more likely to be discovered by users in search results. Optimize your profile in accordance with SEO best practices such as using popular search terms aka “keywords” in your texts, adding call-to-action phrases, etc.

graph showing different social media platforms’ visit-to-lead conversion rate

Twitter

The most effective social network in terms of SEO. Search engines react very quickly when a link appears in a tweet. When indexing Twitter, search engines give the best positions to those tweets that have:

  • A significant number of retweets
  • An authoritative author with a large number of followers.

People will find your tweets quickly if you use relevant hashtags. This promotes brand recognition and drives website traffic. If you haven't been using Twitter to assist in your social media marketing, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity. You should tweet links to your site often without coming across as a scammer. The likes, retweets, and comments will help Google to rank your site highly.

YouTube

YouTube’s search engine receives the second-most amount of traffic after Google. However, there usually isn’t much commercial intent behind these searches. Still, you can use the video-sharing site to support your SEO.

If your business niche makes it possible to create video content with subsequent posting on YouTube, you definitely need to use it. It’s important that you put a link to your site in the description box. However, you should make sure that the content is really interesting since the number of link clicks depends on the number of views.

Quora

People don’t always realize just how much Quora can help their SEO. People use this site to ask questions about things they’re interested in. Their queries contain keywords that your target audience is using on Google. You can respond to their questions with helpful information and a relevant link to your blog or website. You can also create your own content on Quora. Exchanges on this also appear in search engines.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a worldwide catalog of ideas. It is similar to Instagram in that the main focus is on visual content. Users on Pinterest post pictures or videos - so-called Pins. For each Pin, you can add a description and a link to your site. Pinterest is an ideal platform for the promotion of E-commerce websites. The main condition for successful promotion is high-quality visual design. The more attractive the images look, the more likely it is that Pinterest users will click the link. Beautiful images also generate traffic from image searches in Google. Having a good photographer on staff and setting up an SEO-optimized profile can help you to attract long-lasting, free traffic to your site.

infographic showing reasons to use Pinterest and Facebook

Reddit

If you use Reddit properly, you can drive large amounts of traffic to your website. However, you need to take the time to understand the type of content that does well on this platform. You’ll have to find your niche and create a linked post for a related subreddit or discussion group. You should also prepare your website for your new visitors. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. The landing page should be very high quality. The site itself should make a good impression and have a modern design. It shouldn't be oversaturated with ads.
  2. Your site should be mobile-responsive. A large proportion of Reddit visitors come from smartphones and tablets.
  3. Your site should have a call-to-action for subscribing to your email newsletter. It would be silly if you attract thousands of interested visitors to your site and don’t provide them with the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter. Reddit can very effectively accelerate the growth of your subscriber base.

Final Thoughts

It should now be clear how social media boosts SEO.  Even though Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter may not directly impact your rankings, they play an important role in your SEO strategy. This is because they get more eyes on your brand and your content and this further drives traffic to your site. Social media pages also rank highly on the usual search results pages so optimizing your pages will contribute to your larger SEO strategy.

FAQ

  • What is SEO for social media?

    It is a kind of optimization when social platforms are used to increase website rankings. Social media optimization refers to how the activity on your social media accounts can contribute to driving traffic to your website.

  • What does SEO stand for social media?

    Although Google has never acknowledged that social media can help with search engine rankings improvement, it is obvious that the more shares, likes, tweets your business accumulates, the more likelihood of it moving up in the result pages.

  • How is social media used for SEO?

    Social media can positively affect SEO in the following ways:

    • Traffic generation -  social media gives exposure to your content and in turn increases activity of peoples on your website . 
    • Profile visibility in result pages - if people use branded keywords, there is a high chance that your social media profile will be shown on result pages.
    • Gaining more audience through social media - with sufficient activity on social media, your content will gain notoriety. Increased content reach will generate high traffic which will boost your ranking.
    • Increase local SEO ranking - If you have consistent NAP information across all social media platforms, you will get a credibility boost by google.
  • Which social media is best for SEO?

    There are multiple social media channels that can be used to skyrocket your SEO. Here is a list of top social media platforms for SEO:

    • Medium
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • YouTube
    • Quora
    • Pinterest
    • Reddit

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