The relationship between social media and SEO

30 Apr 2021

SEO Social media

Hannah Wilde

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If you run a business, chances are you’re on all – or at least some – social media channels. Maybe you’re using Pinterest on the daily, tweeting your mantras, or filming TikTok reels every week. Whatever your brand and content, you can now minutely tailor your social media marketing for different platforms with both paid and organic social campaigns. 

Social media is a part of our everyday lives, and that means billions of users. Billions of people scrolling for hours, discovering different brands and actually clicking and purchasing. But, it’s much more than just a social networking tool, did you know there’s actually a link to your SEO?

The difference between SEO and social media marketing

Firstly, let’s look at the difference between the two. SEO covers all of your link-building, website tech, and copywriting strategies to improve your Google ranking – heading for that page one for your targeted keywords. Social media marketing involves running organic or paid (or both) campaigns across platforms that have followers, likers, pinners, tweeters, subscribers etc. 

Content on social media can take the form of videos, text, images, slideshows, links to articles, gifs, polls, stories, and going live. And with every content type, followers can engage with your brand.  

With SEO, you can gain traffic from people who are searching questions and phrases on search engines that are related to your brand. With social media, people can discover your brand more easily because they’re spending time to connect, and be entertained or educated. 

How are social media and SEO connected?

So, how then are your SEO and your social media connected?

Whilst they are two different kettle of fish, they can work together, with social media able to influence your SEO. 

Google recognises your social media pages

That’s right. Having a business social media page on Facebook can directly link to your visibility on the search engine. Businesses’ Facebook pages are now showing up on page one on Google for their industry keywords. Google likes to show directories at the top, especially for local relevance, and they recognise Facebook as one. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that isn’t on it. 

Google search engine result page showing a business's Facebook page at the top for directory results for the keyword 'nail artist'.

Optimise your social profiles

Spend some time making sure all info on your profiles is correct, following a similar process to optimising your site for SEO. Use keywords in titles and captions, and make sure you have your sector listed. Is your industry keyword in your Facebook URL? Facebook allows you to list your business under a few different categories, so make sure you’re choosing relevant ones to help with identity and relevance. 

For instance, in the example above, the Facebook page for that nail artist showing at the top of Google’s SERP has ‘nail artist’ in its URL and has tagged ‘beauty salon’, ‘artist’ and ‘cosmetics shop’ on its social profile.

Applying a keyword strategy to your social content

You can apply a similar SEO copywriting strategy when producing content on social media. Just like you would use targeted keywords in your website copy, you can apply this strategy to social media content where appropriate. No keyword stuffing! Remember, it’s about relevance. Including relevant keywords for your business helps both your social media discoverability and contextual relevance for searchers and machines. 

Also, think about hashtags as keywords. If the content itself needs to be said in a certain, creative way, your hashtags at the bottom of the post can get your keywords in. By hashtagging, you increase your brand and content’s visibility tenfold, especially if you hashtag a breakout trend. Make sure your content is relevant though, people won’t be happy if you’re just jumping on a bandwagon for the sake of it, and they’ll scroll right past, or may even criticise you.


Just like getting your business on Google Maps, you can increase your discoverability on social media by assigning a location and geotagging. So, as well as having your address on your Facebook and Instagram (remember they’re connected), you can check in and tag locations to your posts. This works really well on Instagram because of its style. People share tons of images every day, hour and second, and people love geotagging an Instagrammable plate, for example. 

As the business or social media manager of a restaurant, for example, you can market your mouth-watering plates with stunning images and tags to your business location so people can view it on a map on the platform. Users can also see all other posts that have tagged the same location to get a gallery of temptation. 

Social sharing on your website

If you’ve been discovered from Google, go you! But, by the end of a user’s visit, if you’ve not had a form filled in or query submitted, you may be forgotten. Adding your social profile buttons can direct your traffic to your platforms to stay up to date with you, when visitors aren’t quite ready to convert. But, in one month’s time after a few snazzy social posts, updates, and an impressive timeline of content, they may be ready to push that button. You can also add social sharing buttons to your articles to entice people to share on platforms and get your message out there. People love to share articles on social media, especially if it’s a great conversation starter. The more shares, the more engagement, and more links back to your site.

Links and social signals

Speaking of links, the more links you have in social posts across the globe, the more visibility you have with increased social traffic that Google reports for you in Google Analytics. 

Google Analytics information on The Social Relationship to your website

Links in social posts, like tweets, are no-follows, but if your Twitter page has an above-average authority score, this counts for something. Google has stated that who you are as a person on Twitter can impact your page’s web search ranking. If you have more authority, or are getting links from authoritative accounts, then this can play a part in social signals for ranking. But, of course, Google goes through a huge list of ranking signals, and social isn’t a priority for them. Your website’s content, tech and usability takes priority. 

Using influencers

YouTubers and Instagram influencers with high follower and subscriber counts are great resources to use for social campaigns. And it merges with your SEO strategy because of the backlinks you gain. Whether you plan a gifted campaign or offer a mutual-benefit deal (I’ll guest post for you, and you for me), you can get a great link in there, as you can specify the anchor text and get a niche, related website to direct traffic to your website, helping your SEO and social media if you ask them to tag in your social page too.

Social media is a tool for socialising!

Many businesses create social media pages and let them sit there or just schedule their posts and leave it at that. But, you’re forgetting its actual selling point – it’s there to connect and be sociable. Just like with networking, social media is a platform we can use every day – without having to travel – to schmooze and build potential relationships on. By interacting, starting and joining in conversations, and delivering amazing content, you can establish promising connections. That means opportunities for future link-building strategies, and SEO improvement. Not to mention potential added business opportunities. 

In a nutshell, social media can mirror your SEO strategy with keywords, hashtags, backlinks, social signals, and online directories. With the right Facebook page, you can show up tops on SERPs, and with the right hashtagging you can increase your brand’s visibility. By creating impressive content that’s shareable on social media, you can get those inbound links.

Increasing your followers and driving more engagement and links for those SEO points isn’t easy though – and engagement is so important for your social media algorithms. Your saviour is here though with a social media agency. We take charge, and create and deliver your SEO and social strategies for you; and it’s all data-led. 

Contact us today to see how it works, and what we can do for you.

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