[author: Julie Lorson]
SEO is about much more than web content. By optimizing your firm’s social media presence, you can actually increase your site’s discoverability and visibility across the internet. In this post, we’re explaining how social media and SEO tactics work together to leverage the power of search engines.
What is Social Media SEO?
Social media SEO refers to the process of optimizing your social media profiles and content so that more people discover your firm in search results – on social platforms as well as in search engines.
More social activity often translates to higher discoverability in search engines, which leads to more overall viewers, social engagement, and loyal followers. Ideally, leveraging social media SEO along with traditional SEO will attract more qualified leads to your content as well.
How Does Social Media Affect SEO?
It’s important to note that social media performance is not an actual ranking factor for Google. Search engines don’t look at things like followers or engagement rates when ranking your website. However, a lot of research shows that pages with more social shares tend to rank higher in Google results (a good example of correlation, not causation). Generally speaking, if you want to improve your overall SEO, paying more attention to social media is a good idea. A more robust social presence helps with:
Boosting branded search – People who have found or engaged with your firm on social media are more likely to search for the brand directly on search engines.
Increasing organic clicks – Those who have seen your presence on social media are more likely to click on your firm’s results when they appear in searches.
Establishing authority – Anything that helps you to demonstrate experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EEAT) will help your ranking factors, and a robust social media presence can do that.
Generating backlinks – Content that engages on social media is more likely to be found and linked to by others, which often leads to backlinks that have ranking benefits.
Collecting insights – Social media metrics and trends can go a long way toward informing your overall SEO strategy (such as seeing which topics your audience finds most relevant so that you can write more blogs on the subject).
Driving more on-site engagement – Social posts can do a good job of driving traffic to your website, and the resulting engagement is good for SEO (providing the content that website visitors reach is relevant).
Improving local rankings – Getting more followers and positive reviews on social media can help your local business listing rank higher in Google’s map results, and a strong review presence is important for credibility anyway.
The Best Platforms for Social Media SEO
Not all social media platforms are created equal – some offer better opportunities for SEO than others do. Here are the tools that we suggest you stick to if you plan to ramp up your social media SEO efforts.
YouTube– One of the best platforms for social media SEO, a lot of Google search results are from YouTube. You’ve no doubt noticed that upon performing a Google search, many of the top results are actually videos. Additionally, YouTube’s search function is extremely popular so optimizing the videos you post will make them more likely to be found.
X – The social media channel formerly known as Twitter also has a robust search function that allows users to find posts, profiles, photos, and videos. It’s also useful for exploring trending topics, which can lead to discovering new websites. You can also use the Social Tracker on X to monitor your competitors’ activity on the platform and get insights that will guide your own marketing efforts.
Instagram – The most popular social media platform to search on, Instagram is one of the best places to start with your optimization efforts. To ensure your profile is easily findable, choose an appropriate username (or handle) and incorporate relevant keywords and locations into your bio. Don’t forget to include hashtags and other relevant information in your posts to reach wider audiences.
Facebook – This one is interesting because when users search, their results are influenced by the behavior they have already displayed on the platform. From there, results can be filtered by posts, videos, marketplace, etc. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the various tools and formats that can help you make the most of Facebook and improve engagement among your audience. You may also want to look into a tool like HootSuite or SEMrush that can help you schedule Facebook posts, analyze competitors, and review analytics.
LinkedIn – Arguably the most important social tool for law firms, this professional networking site is especially popular among B2B companies. If you’re going to be present on LinkedIn, then it’s important to optimize with a descriptive overview and complete as many details as possible. Though we don’t know exactly how their algorithm works, best practices include experimenting with different formats and content types and using targeting tools to narrow the audience for your posts.
Related: Advanced Social Media Strategies for Law Firms eBook
An integrated approach to social media marketing and general SEO will maximize results across both. To make the most of social media optimization, make sure to link to your site from social platforms and vice versa, repurpose website content for social media when possible, and add social sharing buttons to website content. It’s also important to maintain consistent branding elements across your website and social platforms, leading to more brand recognition which helps with branded searches.
Social media SEO offers tons of potential, but it does take some work and strategy. Be proactive and thoughtful in planning traditional SEO efforts as well as social media content, so that the platforms can work together to amplify results.