Why would you want to optimise your social media profiles and what do we even mean by optimising them?
There are two main reasons; Firstly, optimising your profile means making it discover-able to new and relevant audiences. Secondly, both Bing and Google are increasingly integrating social media into their search results and are taking social signals (like shares and followers) into account as ranking factors. By optimizing your social media profiles you will make the information in them as easy as possible for search engines to understand, and hopefully, influence search results in the future.
General SEO Tips for Social Media
- Good practice for SEO copywriting still applies when you write your updates on your Facebook Page, Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. Whenever you’re writing updates, think about the keywords that other people might be looking for that could lead them to your comments and posts.
- The same rules of good SEO linking still apply on social media networks. Though they may not always be allowed, sometimes they are. Make sure that if you can link with anchor text, you do (e.g. in the notes section of your Facebook page), and that you are linking to pages you want SEO value for (this will mean you need good content on that page!)
- It can be tempting to stick things up quickly and share them, but remember the description on your photos or videos will be up permanently, so you should include relevant keywords in the photo description text where possible. Again bear in mind meeting the needs of both the user and the search engine. You’re talking to your fans first and foremost so include the keywords naturally.
Optimise for Facebook
- One of the most important places to link from your Page in Facebook is in the ‘About’ box of your page. While you can’t put anchor text here, you can include a standard link. You should also include some keyword rich terms here – but make sure you write for your fans first.
- Configure Your Timeline to make your history more complete and include more relevant content. To do this, write milestones in your company as status updates, then click on the clock icon to backdate it. You might want to do this for press releases, company establishment, when new products were added, when staff joined or when events happened.
- Find other pages where your customers hang out, then go and make comments on those pages to get more visibility for your own page.
- While your page name will be shown in important SEO parts of your page (page title and H1), it is rarely ideal to optimize your Facebook page name for SEO. You want it to be your business name so that people can find it and it has strong branding.
- Ensure you claim your Facebook web address at https://www.facebook.com/username
- In your Twitter profile, your ‘bio’ is actually the meta description for your profile page, making it an important aspect of SEO on your Twitter profile. Make sure you’re including relevant keywords here that relate both to the general content of your tweets as well as the website you want to promote.
- If you use a URL shortener, it may be better to use bit.ly which uses a 301 redirect (unless you have strong reasons for using another). You don’t want to use one with a 302 redirect.
- In an individual tweet, the first 27-40 characters count as the title tag within a Google search result. It’s important therefore to include your desired keywords early on in the tweet itself to make it more likely to rank in searches
- The more high profile you are, judging by the number of Twitter followers you have, the more your PageRank will improve within Google, having a positive effect on your search results.
- When uploading your Twitter profile picture, make sure to name it with a relevant keyword that relates to your Twitter profile. Also be sure to use hyphens in between words in the file name, not spaces.
- If you want your Twitter page to rank for your real name, and not just your username, make sure your Name is filled out correctly in your settings (do NOT change your username).
Optimise your YouTube Videos
- Use relevant keywords throughout the title, description and keyword section of your video on Youtube. Make sure they are written for users first and foremost, with SEO reasons being a secondary consideration.
- Consider leaving video replies to related videos within Youtube. When you’ve found the video you want to reply to, click on ‘Leave a video reply’ on the right hand side. This will bring up your videos, which you can select and leave as a video response on the page.
- Make a closed caption file to create a transcript for your video
- Don’t forget to make your video public
- If you link in your description, include http:// or it won’t work.
- Choose the right category for your video, and then further describe it using tags.
- Give the viewer the opportunity to find similar content from you by using video annotations.
- Share the video on as many video sites as possible.
Optimise Google Plus
- (For personal pages) Have your profile photo show in search results for pages you have written. It’s simple to do, find out more
- Content shared on Google Plus may be indexed more quickly, so consider sharing new content on Google Plus.
- Simply setting up a Google Plus page will not do – as it won’t be automatically indexed by Google. You need to put some people in Circles and have some base level of activity to make sure it gets indexed (This shouldn’t be a lot of work, you can just do a small amount in the beginning).
- If your business uses Adwords, you can choose to show your social button in your ads. This helps your ad stand out, but make sure you have a decent page first.
Optimising using LinkedIn
- LinkedIn can be used to help promote a natural links profile for your website. Employees, especially senior/well known employees should link to your website from their public profile page. This will make your website more visible to other LinkedIn members and search engines. These are the instructions they need:
- Under “Websites”, choose “Other” from the dropdown box, choose a title for your company URL and add in the URL. The reason for choosing “Other” rather than Company Website” is that “Other” allows you to insert a URL title that incorporates your targeted keywords. Save Changes.
- The profiles must be public for them to add SEO value, although of course you can’t enforce this for all employees.
- If you have a new press release, video or other form of announcement, update your status with a URL and description of the update. Once your update is posted, ask employees to “share” the update to their own profiles by simply clicking the “share” button on your update.
- Ensure that pages you own are as complete as possible, with relevant tags and content, so that people can find you or your business if searching within LinkedIn.