— By Tamara Weintraub, content marketing manager, ReachLocal
When it comes to online search, about 85 percent of clicks go to organic links on the search engine results. It’s more important than ever for your small business to appear on the first page of the search engine results page, whether consumers are searching for product or service keywords or for your business name.
But how can you make sure you show up when someone searches? Make social media sites a key part of your SEO strategy — in addition to your business website, local directories, and business blog. Strategic use of social media sites will help more content about your business appear on the search engine results page. Try these five SEO tips to help your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages rank well in the search results.
5 Social Media SEO Strategies
1. Create a Vanity URL
A vanity URL for each social media site lets you easily optimize your sites for organic search. If possible, each URL should contain your business name. If you have a common business name, the URL you want may already be taken, so consider adding your location to the URL, such as in this example: facebook.com/davesplumbingdallas.
Make your various social media URLs as similar as possible. This not only helps consumers find your business online, but it also creates consistency between all your disparate pages across the Web.
2. Fill Out the “About” Section
If you want to derive SEO from your social media profiles, the more relevant information you provide about your business, the better. It’s important to optimize the areas on your site where people expect you to talk about yourself, like in the “About” section of a social media site.
First, update the “About” section for each site to accurately describe your what your business does. Be sure to include two or three business keywords you think your target consumers will use when looking for your types of products or services.
You can use Google’s keyword tool to look for keywords with a good search volume, but relatively low competition. If your social media site allows it, include a link back to your business website, which can help create inbound links to your website and boost rank in organic search as well.
3. Add Geo-Targeted Keywords
Most of your target consumers are probably looking for a business like yours within a specific geographic area. That means it’s important to include geographic markers in your descriptions, such as your physical address as well as the cities or neighborhoods you service. You can add local keywords in content areas specifically about your business, event listings, or special offers.
4. Create Shareable Content
Social messages on your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages can affect how well those pages rank on the search engine results page. In addition to the static sections of your pages, create content that engages your audience, such as images, videos, infographics, questions, events, and special offers that your core fan base are likely to share.
The more your fans and followers interact with your business online, the more authority you create within each social media site. Major search engines take this authority into consideration when determining how your social pages rank.
5. Regularly Post Fresh Content
Search engines favor sites that deliver fresh and updated content. Posting consistently and frequently to all your social media sites will help them to rank on search engines. Actively posting and responding on your social media pages will not only help them in search, but it will also keep your audience engaged with your pages.
It’s important to monitor your social posts and to review their results. This will help you determine the times that work best for your business on each platform. For example, many businesses see success on Facebook when they post five to 10 times per week, but posting more than 7 times per week created a 25 percent decrease in interaction rates, according to one study.
On Twitter, you can try using hashtags, which provide a 21 percent increase in engagement when you use a maximum of two per post.
Search engines consider many factors when ranking your social media sites organically. With these tips, you’ll be able to increase the chances of consumers finding your pages when they search for your type of business online.
Tamara Weintraub is the content marketing manager at ReachLocal (NASDAQ:RLOC), an online marketing company.
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