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social media how to Have you thought about optimizing your social accounts for search?

Do you know where to use keywords in your social profiles?

In social media, there are two search engines you have to optimize for: the search function within each social network and Google search.

In this article you’ll discover where to use keywords in your social profiles and pages so you are found when people search.

optimize social profiles for search

Discover how optimize your social profiles for search.

Listen to this article:

Anatomy of Google Search Results

First, take a look at the anatomy of a result in Google Search.

social media examiner website in google search results

Example of a search result in Google.

There are three things you can usually (but not always) control in Google search results for your website and social profiles and pages: the title, page URL and description.

The title is shown first in a search result. This is made up of 50 to 60 characters generally found in the SEO title of a page. The SEO title for Social Media Examiner (as shown in the Google search result above) is:

Social Media Examiner: Social media marketing how to, research, case studies, news and more! | Social Media Examiner

The URL of the page is shown below the title. On social networks, your URL is usually the social network’s domain name followed by your chosen username.

The description of the page is shown below the URL. This is the 155 characters generally found in the meta description of the page. The meta description for this website is:

Social Media Examiner helps businesses master social media marketing to find leads, increase sales and improve branding using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube

For Google search results, also note that Google can only pull information that is available on your public profile. This means you need to log out of each social network completely to see what your profile or page looks like. Anything that isn’t publicly viewable won’t be indexed by Google.

Here’s how to use keywords in your social profiles and pages to improve your visibility in search results.

#1: Optimize Your Facebook Page

When it comes to Facebook pages, you’ll see that most pages appear in Google search results like this.

toyota facebook page in google search results

Toyota’s Facebook page in Google search results.

Google’s search results use the Facebook page name, short description, number of likes and number of people talking about the page.

facebook page elements that show in google search results

Specific elements of a Facebook page appear in Google search results.

In terms of keyword optimization, Facebook pages with keywords in the page name generally rank higher in Google search, as you can see below in a search for “cars on Facebook.” Although Toyota is a top brand for cars, their Facebook page doesn’t appear in the first page of search results.

google search results for cars on facebook

Facebook pages optimized for the keyword “cars.”

Facebook search, on the other hand, uses more than just your page name. When you start a search for “cars,” you’ll see an option to click on Cars Pages.

facebook search results for cars

A search for cars on Facebook.

When you click on Cars Pages, you’ll get pages in the Cars subcategory, found under the main brand or product category for pages.

facebook brand pages in search results for cars

Brand pages in Facebook search results.

If you switch your search term to just the keyword “cars” (without selecting Cars Pages), you have the option to find search results for that keyword under People, Photos, Pages, Places, Groups, Apps and Events.

If you’re a local business owner, note that your page will appear in Facebook search under Places based on your proximity to the searcher and the category of your page. In this case “car” or “cars” must be in the subcategory.

local facebook pages in search results for cars

Local business pages in search results.

Key takeaway: If you want your page to come up in Google search for a keyword, that keyword needs to be in your page’s name. To come up in Facebook search, that keyword needs to be in your page’s subcategory.

#2: Optimize Your Twitter Profile

When it comes to Twitter profiles, you’ll see that most profiles appear in Google search results like this:

toyota twitter profile in google search results

Twitter profile in Google search.

Instead of using the Twitter bio as the meta description for your profile in search results, Google pulls one of your latest tweets along with your profile name, username, number of followers, number of photos and videos and number of tweets.

toyota twitter profile elements in google search results

Specific elements of Twitter profiles appear in Google search results.

In terms of keyword optimization, Twitter profiles with keywords in the name or username generally rank higher in Google search, as you can see below in a search for “cars on Twitter.” Again, although Toyota is a top brand for cars, their Twitter profile does not appear in the first page of search results.

twitter profile results in google search for cars on twitter

Twitter profiles optimized for the keyword “cars.”

In search results on Twitter, profiles that are related to the keyword or phrase searched will appear, even if they don’t have the keyword in the name, username or bio.

twitter search results for cars

Twitter search results for a specific keyword.

For example, Top Gear isn’t optimized for cars, but is a well-known show about them. Further down in the results, you also see unrelated queries with a keyword match, like a profile for a musician named Carly.

Key takeaway: If you want your Twitter profile to come up in Google search for a keyword, that keyword needs to be in your profile name or username. To come up in Twitter search, that keyword must be textually relevant to your account. Including it in the name, username or bio can also help.

#3: Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page

For LinkedIn company pages, you’ll see that most pages appear in Google search results like this:

toyota linkedin company page in google search results

A LinkedIn company page in Google search results.

Google pulls your company page name and description for their search results.

toyota linkedin company page elements that show in google search results

Specific elements of the LinkedIn company page that appear in Google search results.

In terms of keyword optimization, LinkedIn company pages with keywords in the page name generally rank higher in Google search, as you can see below in a search for “cars on LinkedIn.”

linkedin company page results in google search results for cars on linkedin

LinkedIn company pages optimized for the keyword “cars.”

In search results on LinkedIn, company pages that have the keyword or phrase searched in their name will appear first.

linkedin company page results in linkedin search results for cars

LinkedIn search results for a specific keyword.

Key takeaway: If you want your company page to come up in Google or LinkedIn search for a keyword, that keyword needs to be in your company page name.

#4: Optimize Your Other Social Accounts

Now that you understand how profiles and pages from the top social networks appear in search and how keyword placement can help your rankings, let’s take a quick look at how to optimize your profiles and pages for other networks.

For Google+ pages, Google uses the profile name and a snippet from the introduction in search results. Pages with a specific keyword in the name rank best in search on Google and in Google+ search.

For YouTube channels, Google uses the channel name and description in search results. Videos with a specific keyword in the video name are more likely to appear in Google search over channels. Channels with a specific keyword in the channel name rank best in YouTube search under the Channels filter.

seo image shutter stock 135856706

You can use SEO tactics to improve visibility for all your social profiles. Image: Shutterstock.

For Instagram profiles, Google uses the profile name, username and bio in search results. Profiles with a specific keyword in the name rank best in search on Google and in the Instagram app.

For Pinterest profiles, Google uses the profile name and description in search results. Pinterest boards with a specific keyword in the board name are more likely to appear in Google search results over profiles. Profiles with a specific keyword in the name will rank best in Pinterest search under the Pinners filter.

Conclusion

The takeaways for keyword optimization with social profiles and pages are as follows. If you can get your keyword or phrase in your profile or page name, it will help it rank best in keyword searches on Google and within the social network search itself. But ultimately, the name of your profile or page should be focused on branding for your business name.

What do you think? Does this inspire you to optimize your social profiles for search? In what other ways do you use keywords in your social media profiles and pages? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

SEO photo from Shutterstock.
how to optimize social profiles for search

Tips for optimizing social profiles for search.

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  • Krithika Rangarajan

    This is AMAZING – thanks Kristi! BOOKMARKED!

  • Always fresh and useful content. Nice tips!

  • I’m always tweaking my LinkedIn Profile for search. However, I’ve been tempted to hire someone to write it for me. This may sound strange because I’m a content writer. But even writers need help optimizing their social networks and pages. 🙂

  • Those are some really valuable tips, Kristi. I’ve saved this to share with all my collaborators. I wonder how many realize you can claim a vanity name on LinkedIn that would let you take advantage of your tips?

  • Roxana Nasoi

    What I’d also suggest… is to use the same visual (picture/avatar) on all social media profiles. Not just for search engines, but it’s great for users to remember your brand. And you grow that peculiar brand signature across channels. 🙂

    Other than that, I don’t think there’ anything else I can add, Kristi. You’ve nailed them all. Thank for posting this!

  • Great post Kristi. I’m going to do an “audit” of all of our profiles based on your tips.

  • Felicity Beadle

    This article was so useful. Inspired me to head off straight away and check all our company listings and update as needed. Thanks.

  • jody

    Thanks so much for this!

  • Challenges for brand that have multiple product.. the profile names can get pretty awkward

  • Subodh Rkr

    Everything in one place this is amazing. Especially for the IM. Thank you so much Kristi for this great read.

  • allan

    Nice article

  • Thanks Krithika! 🙂

  • Thanks Sandra! 🙂

  • It doesn’t sound strange at all. The hardest thing I have ever written was my own bio. 🙂

  • Thanks Gail! 🙂

  • That’s definitely great for personal brand recognition! 🙂

  • Thanks Tom! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Felicity! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Jody! 🙂

  • Very true – you have to think of each of them individually and optimize accordingly.

  • Thanks Subodh! 🙂

  • Thanks Allan! 🙂

  • Hi Kristi,
    This is really interesting!
    Optimizing social profiles for search
    Well written post with the relevant screenshots and pics as usual.
    Very informative piece. I sharing it in my social site. 🙂
    Keep sharing
    Best
    ~ Philip

  • Hey Kristi,

    Seems like putting the main keyword in the name field is a good idea. I wouldn’t think about changing the URL even if it helps in ranking, but generally you can’t change the URL anyway once it is set. But name can be changed and on Twitter, I have done that several times already.

    I have some very active and popular pages where branding isn’t a big concern. Am thinking to implement some of these tips and see if it helps in ranking further.

    Am surely going to Tweak my linkedin company page, that needs to rank somewhere!

    Thank you for the action-able tips,
    regards,
    Uttoran Sen,

  • Kristi – we all know that you are an exceptional writer, but the inclusion of the graphics (another “Kristi Hines Style” element) really drives it home. I agree with the others that this is a must-have for bookmarks. It would even be helpful as a free download lead magnet 😉

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  • Thanks Kristi! for such great insights on how to appear on Search Engine and within Social Network. 🙂

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  • Thanks Philip! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Uttoran! 🙂

  • Thanks Deborah! 🙂

  • You’re welcome Nikhil! 🙂

  • You wrote “In this article you’ll discover where to use keywords in your social profiles and pages so you are found when people search”

    In this article you’ll discover where to use keywords in your social profiles and pages so you are found when people search, this is good information, but not ALL the stuff that makes up having keywords indexed in the right places.

  • There’s a lot more to keyword optimization, yes. But there are certain places that are must-haves, which are defined in the article.

    Nice touch with the picture in the comment, btw.

  • infograins

    Kristi is great real model for Internet Marketing ( SEO & Content Marketing) she has really great experience..

  • Subodh Rkr

    Welcome Kristi. Hope to get some more informative post in future as well.

  • Dina Lynch Eisenberg

    Boom! Thanks for creating the roadmap, Kristi. I shared it with my FB group

  • Gonçalo D

    Really nice content. Looking forward to use it.

  • Great and easy-to-understand tutorial, thnx!

  • Thanks Kristi for nice sharing. Really informative.