Ahhh, hashtags. Whether you love them or you hate them, there’s no escaping them. The hashtag phenomenon has turned into a culture has permeated everything from songs, to TV shows, and most importantly, social media.
But besides invading everything you know, hashtags are also a great way for brands and businesses to interact with people and reach out to customers who otherwise would never have heard about them. Hashtags are one of the best ways to keep track of what is being said on social media. Most social media marketers know (or at least savvy ones) how to incorporate them into their posts to increase their messages’ reach.
And just like hashtags have taken over a number of platforms, including sites like Google+, Twitter and Instagram, it has managed to make its way into search engines and SEO. Looking things up with a hashtag will pull up results from Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, to name a few. Put just applying a bunch of hashtags will not help. Nor will it be effective. See, when you put a hashtag before a set of words, these become a link if you may.
The point is, hashtags are here to stay. And while they are here, why not use them to your advantage and #growonline? After all, every business wants to grow, amirite?
Here are some basic suggestions you can take today to grow your business’ exposure online, or #growonline:
- Do your research: Just like keyword research in SEO, research your hashtags before you decide to use one. Especially if the hashtag you want to use is currently a trending topic on Twitter. Not doing your research can result in embarrassing situations, or worse yet, making yourself more of a ghost online. Using the appropriate words can make a huge difference in your reach and get you engaging with more potential clients. Hashtags.org is a good place to start for hashtag ideas.
- Don’t forget your keywords: This one may seem a little obvious, but it is still important enough to mention. Hashtags that are based on your keywords will help increase the number of visitors to your website, which ultimately helps your SEO. As mentioned before, Google now takes hashtags into search considerations. Keywords play a key role in SEO, and so do effective hashtags. Hashtags are like keywords in that sense, serving the same purpose of targeting a specific set of words and yielding results when people do a simple search. Having said that, hashtags are a discovery tool, which fits perfectly into every business’ need: to be discovered by more people (who will then turn into clients), and to #growonline. See more: How to use hashtags effectively
- Use location to your advantage: This is very important to brick and mortar stores or businesses that are in need of business, locally. If you are a restaurant or a shop-owner, being seen by customers in your city is key to your growth. One way to connect with your customers is through social media, and using location-based hashtags will expand your reach even further with local customers. Using the name of your city, like #Vancouver in our case, as a hashtag can do this. Plus, geographical hashtags will give a great boost to your local SEO.
- Think about your content: Keep your posts about what your brand stands for. Hashtags about what your brand does helps improve the SEO of each post, making them more discoverable. Now, I don’t mean don’t use non-brand related hashtags, which are also important for discoverability and to stay human in the eyes of your customers, but keep in mind which hashtags are relevant to your brand. These hashtags are not necessarily trending, but are related to your posts’ content. For example, at CodeTactic, we use a lot of content hashtags such as #socialmedia and #onlinemarketing. Using these hashtags help our posts stay on the conversations around these topics, but also help one’s content marketing efforts. Hashtags help content to be seen, and help maximize your efforts in the content you create. Reposting old content is a great time to use hashtags.
- Use hashtags in your titles: Most of the ideas mentioned here are about posts on social media, but what about other types of posts? Say, blog posts? Including hashtags in blog posts is a great way to leverage your on page SEO. Doing this helps good content be found and discovered. When people share a piece of content, the thing that will firstmost appear is the title of the piece. There being a hashtag already in it will make it social media ready and visibility so much better.
If used correctly, hashtags are a great way to market your brand and make your business #growonline. Their nature makes them a great way for customers to discover you, which is why it is slowly creeping into SEO. Take advantage of hashtags now that it is in its infant stage, as this will turn into a boom rather quickly.
Promoting your business online can get tough, especially if you are without proper guidance. If you need help, we can be of your use! Our SEO services include keyword research, on and off-site page optimization, and elements important to discoverability such as content creation of blog articles, press releases and personalized visuals.
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