The Social Media SEO Trick to Get More Traffic via Social Networks

19 Jul 2017

With their humongous user counts, main social media networks seem like traffic gold mines.

But, the promise of thousands of users or followers comes with a downside – how are they supposed to get to all the content you’re publishing, appreciate it and maybe – hopefully! – eventually, convert?

The key concept I’m going to give you is this: “social media SEO”.

That’s right, SEO optimization is not just for the “overt” search engines like Google and Bing. Social networks also employ their own search algorithms, so the whole «great social presence will automatically gain me lots of brand awareness» rhetoric will only bring you disappointment.

Throw great, hard-worked content out there in the social tangle just like that and you’re practically asking your target audience to look for a needle in the haystack. Which, of course, they don’t have the time and the willingness to do.

social media seo

So, before putting your AdWords or remarketing campaign in place, there is another step to be completed: taking into account the most basic elements of your shared content.

Like links, for instance. Or meta description. Or author display.

Simple tweaks like these could be decisive in getting a social traffic boost. So, it’s time I disclose the social media SEO trick you need to employ, in order to drive more people to click on your shared content.

It’s called the Open Graph Protocol and it grants you control over the look of your content on social platforms.

Making sure you have this Social Media SEO element within the overall SEO strategy is one step further towards driving the traffic you need from social networks.

Understanding Social Objects

Just like a smart shopfront which compels passers-by without them realizing it, a neat social profile makes it easy for readers to notice your posts.

And by ‘neat’ I actually mean ‘flawless’. No weird-looking links, no inaccurate thumbnails, no issues within the social graph structure.

laptop-mockup

Social Graph is basically another name for Social Network. In other words, a map encompassing all its user interactions on social media, a medium which displays “social objects” like:

  1. media items
  2. properties (e.g. websites)
  3. links

For these objects to be ‘share’-able across websites and social networks, there needs to be a data structure enabling the whole process.

The connection between this structure and other websites is the Open Graph protocol.

What it essentially does is it takes object-related details and passes them to the graph. These details called Open Graph tags are necessary for an ‘object’ to be added to the social graph.

I know, it seems a tad too abstract. So let’s take a basic example.

You have your most recent blog post. The elements you’ll need Open Graph tags for are:

title

thumbnail

description

preview data

They will need to be integrated within social networks’ native environment. Otherwise, your shared link would look somehow like a nagging banner ad – something no one likes, right?

You’d want something like this:

social media seo

 

The Open Graph Protocol

“The Open Graph protocol enables any website to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.” – Opg.me

A rich object is an element (your website) which presents the same attributes as any object which is proprietary of Facebook. It allows for seamlessly integrating your webpage into the News Feed, so that you get a better representation of your content.

The second you paste a URL in your status box, Facebook starts searching for that page. It finds the page and it reads it.

It reads the meta tag which provides the image, title and a short snippet which gets shown in the post you’re sharing. Meta tags provide information relevant to search engines.

There are 5 attributes:

content

http-equiv

name

scheme

charset

They help Facebook find attributes of the content meta-tag to help it read the article properly.

Without the use of Open Graph, the Facebook crawler takes just the basics of your content to share and doesn’t get you the proper distribution or insights gathering.

Tags, Properties, and Other Attributes

Open Graph Meta tags were introduced by Facebook in 2010. What they do is they allow other websites to become rich “graph” objects and to function as other Facebook objects.

social media seo

So, you can control how information travels from a website to Facebook when you share a page, like it etc. The information is sent via Open Graph Meta tags in the <head> part of the website’s code.

Squirrly SEO will grab the data from your Page/Post content and will build the Open Graph, so that each social share will represent your article type.

In case you notice your URLs are not displayed as rich objects, you can check them in the Facebook for Developers section to check whether you have the right parameters set up.

The 8 Tags to Rule Social Media SEO

8 tags, one condition. The condition is you need to put them in the header of your page.

og:title – Pretty self-explanatory. You put your article title here.

og title

og:site_name – Your website’s name.

og:description – A short description about the linked content. Think of it as a google snippet.

og description, site name

og:url – The pages URL. Note that this acts like an identifier for Facebook’s crawler, so having the canonical URL allows you to track your links progress with analytics tools.

og url

og:image – The image associated with your article. It's obligatory your image is .JPEG and has a size of at least 200×200. For the best results, your image should have a ratio of 1.91:1, otherwise Facebook will crop it or even worse revert to a less visible link preview.

og image

fb:app_id – The unique ID which lets Facebook know the identity of your site. This is crucial for Facebook Insights to work properly. Here’s a link to their documentation in case you want to learn more.

og fb app id

og:type – Specifies the type of media you’re linking. In our case, it’s an article.

og type

article: author – Links to the author of the article. It can link to either his Facebook Profile or Facebook Page. This allows for ‘expanding the current follower base of the author’.

These are the basics which will offer you a welcome social media boost.

If you want to go even further with Open-Graph, Opg.me has a list of all the currently available meta tags supported by Facebook.

One Setting, No Social Shares Trouble

As marketers, control is what we could very well use in our lives.

social media seo

It all starts with the attention we’re paying to details – and social media SEO is one of them. Checking that you have the Open Graph Protocol all set is pretty much the foundation of your social media marketing edifice.

Weave your posts in the social fabric and don’t allow any loose ends. A simple SEO setting will do the job and will make sure no reader is dissuaded from clicking on those links you worked so hard for.

In Squirrly SEO Plugin, here’s how you can take charge of your social-driven traffic, with a simple setting:

Control your brand to the smallest of details! 

In fact, at Squirrly, this is what we’re constantly working towards: helping everyone become #BetterMarketers with swift integrations and handy features.

Not long ago did we launch the latest, Quick Squirrly SEO, which also helps with your Open Graph integration. If you don’t already have it installed, you might want to click here and give it a try. It has never been easier for you to manage on-page SEO right from the WordPress editor.

 

Ioana Budai
I'm also on

Ioana Budai

Lover of books and whimsical accessories, Ioana is a wandering mind seeking to find some order in writing.
Supercharged by drama and ideologies, as well.
Ioana Budai
I'm also on

40 Comments

  • Shannon Patterson

    July 24, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    Bringing more traffic to your blog can be challenging. It’s interesting to learn more about how we can bring in more traffic using SEO.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:35 AM

      It’s true. Sometimes, through social media SEO you can bring in more traffic than through traditional tactics.

  • Jake smith

    July 24, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    As of the moment this is what I am working on, social media marketing. These are some very helpful and timely tips you are writing about. Thanks will surely apply these tips. Bookmarked this page too.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:35 AM

      Thank you, Jake!

  • Jenn JG

    July 24, 2017 at 6:00 PM

    I am going to have to try this trick. I am not too tech savvy and always struggle with SEO issues. I still have a lot to learn! Thanks for sharing

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:45 AM

      Thanks for reading!

  • corinne & kirsty

    July 24, 2017 at 6:03 PM

    So many great tips. I am working on improving the SEO of the blog but this post makes my day! it’s going to be so much easier and efficient!

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:48 AM

      Glad it helps!

  • interNATionalcaty

    July 24, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    These are all great tips. I am still trying to get hand of the SEO.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:48 AM

      If you have any questions, we’re here for you.

  • Amber Myers

    July 24, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Wow, cool, I didn’t know this. Thank you! I’m always eager to get more traffic, that’s for sure.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:49 AM

      Well, who isn’t, right!

  • Deanna

    July 24, 2017 at 9:11 PM

    This sounds great. I am not always great at the technical stuff but I love the idea of controlling what appears on Facebook. I know I have trouble with that from time to time.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:50 AM

      The appearance of any link shared on social media can impact the amount of traffic you get for that page.

  • Claudia Krusch

    July 24, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    I will have to give these a try. I am always looking for ways to improve my social media traffic.The Squirrly SEO Plugin sounds great.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:50 AM

      Thanks, Claudia!

  • Muna Kenny

    July 24, 2017 at 11:10 PM

    Knowing the ins and outs of social media is a must for online business owners and bloggers. With the continued change in social media algorithm, we (bloggers) need the extra help for sure.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:51 AM

      That’s right. The more help, the better.

  • Heather Johnson

    July 25, 2017 at 12:00 AM

    I have been going through my old posts — slowly but surely — to update my metadata for my social shares. I am working on improving my social referrals.

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM

      Keep up the good work, Heather!

  • Denay DeGuzman

    July 25, 2017 at 2:05 AM

    I am so intrigued by the Squirrely SEO plugin. All of the new tools available for web masters today are fantastic. I really appreciate the great tutorial. 🙂

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM

      Thank you!

  • Ana De- Jesus

    July 25, 2017 at 2:24 AM

    This is my first time hearing of rich objects but what a handy trick to get more traffic via social networks.How effectively would you say this would work for Instagram?

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 9:01 AM

      I’d say that it would work very well for Instagram because it’s all about visuals and rich objects help you make any link look good when shared.

  • Blair villanueva

    July 25, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Thanks for the tips. I manage the whole website and content and just doing self study and learning online. And these are truly helpful!

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 9:09 AM

      Wow, that’s impressive!

  • Gloria

    July 25, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    This is exactly what I was looking for. I am a food blogger, and since I got hit by the summer slump, I decided to read up on SEO and social media. You answered questions in your post that I didn’t even know I had. =D

    • Squirrly

      July 25, 2017 at 9:10 AM

      Haha, that’s nice!

  • Jessica Taylor

    July 25, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    These are great ideas! I am a mom blogger, and with so many people in the sale niche it is sometimes hard to drive traffic to my blog./

    • Squirrly

      July 26, 2017 at 8:39 AM

      Thanks, Jessica! Hope these tips will help.

  • michenn

    July 25, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    OOOH such a good tip! I love when people share their tricks, this makes it super helpful to us newbies!

    • Squirrly

      July 26, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      Thanks for reading!

  • Nadine Cathleen

    July 25, 2017 at 6:14 PM

    Amazing, didn’t know half of these tips! Thanks for sharing!!! X

    • Squirrly

      July 26, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      So glad this article helps!

  • Akamatra

    July 26, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    SEO has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face as an eshop owner and a blogger. I’ve read a lot and keep reading since its dynamic and keeps changing. Nice article.

    • Squirrly

      July 26, 2017 at 11:58 AM

      Thank you!

  • Anosa

    July 27, 2017 at 4:29 AM

    Indeed a very informative post. I am not a very techie person so I still need to study and learn more about SEO. Thanks for introducing and sharing some insights about it.

    • Squirrly

      July 31, 2017 at 8:51 AM

      Thank you for the feedback! Glad this was helpful.

  • Ophelia Tang

    July 28, 2017 at 4:14 AM

    I love these tips, they are very useful. These tips are so helpful to new bloggers. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

    • Squirrly

      July 31, 2017 at 8:52 AM

      Thanks for reading!