5 Optimizations for Social Media to Improve SEO

on August 4, 2015

5 Optimizations for Social Media to Improve SEO

When you think of search engine optimization, terms like meta-descriptions, sitemaps and link building probably come to mind. One term that isn’t usually at the top of a B2B marketer’s SEO lexicon is social media.

For years, SEO involved optimizing the content displayed on your website and then pushing that content to as many external sites as possible. However, as social media rose in use, search engine algorithms developed new ways to rank sites and content, taking into consideration the new ways modern marketers are sharing and rating content.

One of the challenges search engines like Google and Bing have always tried to overcome is understanding which external links exist solely for SEO purposes and which links represent a true indication that the source content is of value to the readers. Unfortunately, 95% of links from SEO link building never bring a single new visitor to your website.

To help evaluate “bad links”, search engine algorithms now incorporate social data – and they have for a while. Search Engine Round Table has compiled a timeline of Google Pagerank and Algorithm Updates to help understand how search rankings have evolved. For reference, here are the major events that specifically affect how social media has been incorporated:

As you can see, social media has had a major effect on how search engines rank content and on the experience of search engine users. Optimizing your social media for Google and other search engines can have a major impact on your overall SEO strategy. Here’s my list of the 5 things you should be optimizing:

Social Media Profiles

Your social media profiles can serve just like any other page linking back to your website. However, because these social media pages generally rank higher than other websites, and because search engines utilize social signals, their links will be seen as far more valuable. Here are some things you should do to optimize your profile pages:

High-quality Followers

Increasing your connections or followers on social media platforms is another valuable way to improve your search rankings. The number of connections or followers your company pages have, has a direct effect on your social signals. However, Google is able to detect proxy or paid followers, which is why expanding our audience organically is key. Not only does expanding your audience allow better rankings, but your content will also be distributed among a larger population of people and their extended network.


Optimization is not only for blogs, it’s for social media posts too. Especially in the real-time news feed, Google tends to favor popular social media updates in its SERPs. Here are a few ways your posts should be optimized:


Another method to improve your SEO is to optimize your social sharing buttons and include them on your website and blog. An optimized social sharing button should automatically incorporate a customized message, your organization’s handle, and a link back to your site. Social Media Examiner gives a great tutorial on how to create a customizable share button on different social media platforms. Forbes suggests another way to influence your audience is to incorporate giveaways or enter drawings for any ‘likes’ or ‘shares.’ This encourages your audience to share and also improves your SEO.


As the social network of the largest search engine in the world, Google+ deserves specific attention. Since its inception, one of the goals of Google+ has been to improve how Google identifies and recommends the best content for its users.

One way to improve your SEO is to make sure your company has a local listing on Google+. This allows customers to rate your business directly from Google. When prospects and customers search for your business, these reviews, a map of your location and any other Google+ activity will be shown prominently in the search results.

For specific posts, make sure to optimize Google+ Title Tags. The first sentence of your Google+ post is what Google will use to index your post and what will have the greatest impact in how that post is ranked for search.

One of the greatest criticisms of Google+ – the fact that only 9% of their users are actively sharing content – also presents the greatest opportunity to you. This statistic makes it less likely that competitors in your industry are using the network to improve their SEO, giving you the opportunity for a competitive advantage in the search rankings.

Social media is becoming one of the predominant forms of communication for businesses and individuals – and search engines are taking notice. Incorporating your social media strategy into your SEO strategy can help improve how your business is ranked and ultimately how it gets found.

How do you use social media to improve SEO? Let us know in the comments!

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