“Do hashtags affect SEO?” is a common question in the digital marketing arena. As popular as hashtags have become, they’re so much more than just a pop culture phenomenon. They began as a way of organizing conversation topics on social media, but they’ve morphed into something bigger.

Twitter may have been the major innovator of the trend, but you can find it popping up everywhere now. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and even YouTube have all adopted the concept, and each platform is doing its own thing with it.

If you’re not using tags in your social accounts, you’ll want to read on to discover the benefits. Your SEO can flourish if you take the right steps.


How Do Hashtags Improve Social Media Activity?

Many users of social media follow a particular hashtag to keep them in the loop on their favorite topics. If you tag your posts with popular words, you can increase your chances of people finding you. Keep in mind, though, the hashtag you choose should have relevance to both your company and the post itself. Don’t clog someone’s feed by tagging a completely unrelated subject.

Another interesting tidbit here is that each platform has a different sweet spot for the number of hashtags per post. Search Engine Watch shared some tables that highlighted data from a recent study. What these results show is that Facebook and Twitter posts benefit from fewer tags, while Instagram users do best with around nine.

If you want people to find you on social media, then the right hashtag does have an impact.


How Does Social Media Activity Help SEO?

Google has identified social shares as being an important factor for search engine rankings. Before you get too excited, there’s more to this than meets the eye. While there is a definite correlation between the two, there’s little evidence to suggest that one directly causes the other.

Imagine you create a tweet that links back to a blog post on your website. If you use the right hashtags, that tweet might go viral. As more people share it, more visitors flock to your webpage to check out what you have to say. If they like what they see, they may even link back to it in their own content; these are backlinks.

Higher page traffic and increased backlinks do help your SEO. A hashtag may not make or break your search engine rankings, but the side effects of clever tag use do make a difference.


What Makes a Good Hashtag?

Some people use long-winded phrases for hashtags, but you’re better off with a more straightforward approach. The name of your business can definitely be a good one to use, but also consider topics that are trending. Seasonal events or holidays make great tags if you use them at the right time.

Where you may get the most traction is with topical words. Consider the key terms that best describe your content. The more specific you can be, the better. If the keyword is too generic, you may have trouble competing with more popular posts and accounts.

You can also experiment by searching hashtags yourself. See what content comes up and how competitive a term is. Some social platforms show the most recent posts first. When people are constantly using the tag, however, these users can bury your content.


How Do You Start?

Social media can seem overwhelming at first because there are so many platforms out there. If you need some help organizing your accounts or choosing the right hashtags, contact Boostability. You’ll have a dedicated team to help your social shares go through the roof. With the right strategies in place, your SEO can reap the benefits.