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Where SEO and Social Media Collide

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO for those who live in a cave or just have spotty Wi-Fi), Google is the grand pooh-bah, the single entity that every digital denizen strives to please. Because when your brand name has become a common verb, you have proven that the world is yours to command. Without a strong Google ranking, does a website or product even exist?

We’re here to answer that question with a resounding “yes.” While Google is the search engine that makes the world turn, it’s not the only place people go to get information online. Social media outlets, while not individually the juggernaut that is Google, can establish a powerful presence when combined. The specific attributes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest (lotsa weird aunts online these days!) are not only incredibly useful in helping specific audiences find you online, but if you use best practices on them, you can also pump your search results on the Googles. Luckily, we’re here to help you with those practices!

Here are a few things you can do to get your brand found on social… and beyond.

Put your best Facebook forward: Optimize your business page

If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page, well, it should. But let’s say you’re living in the last decade or so, and you’ve built a robust Facebook page. Make the most of that page by optimizing your “About” page and using the “Story” tab. This means ensuring that your brand story uses all the keywords that you’ve researched and decided were crucial to your SEO results (you’ve done that, right?), has copious backlinks to appropriate pages on your website, and tells readers what they need to know. Always remember: Good content generally does a lot of the heavy SEO lifting. If you find your stories don’t naturally hit your keyword marks, maybe your story needs to change.

About that content: Create some! Google indexes Facebook statuses and notes, so make sure you’re putting effort into those updates, much the same way you thoughtfully created your “about” info and your story. With a good Facebook strategy, people on Facebook will find you and you’ll jet up the Google rankings.

Don’t be the missing link

Let’s scoot over to the business district of the social media world. LinkedIn isn’t always the sexiest tool in the World Wide Web, but it is essential to most businesses on some level. Because LinkedIn is more straightforward, so are the best practices for SEO on LinkedIn. Make sure every aspect of your profile and page description are filled out. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to miss vital parts. Don’t be shy when writing your “company overview,” because this is where you tell your story. Be thorough and fill in your “specialties,” because this acts as a sort of tag for your page. Create a robust “life” section (if your budget allows; this is a paid feature).

And lastly, post with hashtags. Hashtags are quickly becoming religion on the Internet (and yes, that does include LinkedIn). If you’re not hashtagged, you might not exist. Not a metaphor this time!

Speaking of hashtags…

Twitter and Instagram are quick-hitting bursts of social goodness, but they’re every bit as vital as Facebook and LinkedIn. They are harder to optimize due to the lack of places to post long form copy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can. For instance, both platforms’ “bio” sections are pretty tight and there’s only room for a single link, which brands typically use to link back to their primary dot coms. However, with tools like LinkTree, a single link can send clickers to a variety of important places. Never underestimate the tools available to you, and if you’re unsure what those tools are, give us a call. We use ’em all.

Instagram Linktree for | Woodruff

But back to those hashtags. Both Twitter and Instagram use hashtags as a primary search tool, so every post should have them. Just like you did your keyword research, do your hashtag research to make sure that you’re being found the way you should be found.

And lastly — again, should be obvious — post. Google indexes tweets, so the more often you post relevant content, the more you’ll show up in relevant search results. And while Instagram isn’t yet scanned by the Googlebots, your hashtags are their own form of search engine. The more you post with the right hashtags, the more the internal Instagram and Twitter audience will find you.

Don’t get pinned down

Pinterest is a trickier platform. There’s not a ton of room for profile-style content, but there’s unlimited room for organized strategies to target very specific audiences. Think of your Pinterest page as a series of very specific visual blogs all living under the same roof. The key is to shape those individual pages properly. By leveraging other topical boards, you can add more context to what the individual pins are on your board and improve how they all work together. You can find relevant topical board with keyword research, the Pinterest keyword research tool or through other tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.

Whatever tool (or agency) you use, figure out what your audience is searching for on Google and build a Pinterest board that will show up in those particular results. The Pinterest audience is more limited than other platforms, but the strictly visual “moodboard” style can capture viewers’ imagination and get your brand’s story across much more quickly.

The long (Facebook) and short (Twitter) of it

Whether you’re using the unlimited word count of Facebook, the 240-characters of Twitter or the “no links allowed” world of Instagram, social media platforms are vital to your customers’ journeys. The shareable nature of most social media means that connecting with your audience on these platforms can get you infinitely more mileage than old-school outlets. Do right by the audience, and they’ll do your job for you, and the proceeds can be exponentially useful on Google. Create your content properly, and Google will find it. But connect with the audience and Google will find them finding it. The best communications are those that your customers willingly share, after all.