Hashtags vs. Keywords: A Basic How-To for SEO
Good search engine optimization starts with thorough mastery and understanding of the keyword. Among the keyword is its close cousin, which is the Hashtag. Still a rather young adaptation to digital media and modern technology as a whole, Hashtags and keywords work interchangeably in a way that internet marketers will find helpful. As related as the two may be, however, there are subtle overlaps and distinctions that are also imperative to know because the slightest misuse could make the difference between popular content and flagged content. Mastering the keyword as well as the Hashtag can set the stage for websites and viral social media content that convert.
Hashtags vs. Keywords: Basic Similarities and Differences
The Hashtag is rather flexible and acts like a keyword that pertains to the social media platform it appears on; and Facebook, Twitter,
Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ are all currently designed for its use. When someone inserts a Hashtag into a post on any of these social media sites, that shared content becomes visible to a larger audience. This visibility depends upon the popularity of that Hashtag and upon whether or not people monitor it. There are several variables that factor into the SEO strength of Hashtags, but the principle of how they work is still quite similar to how keywords help content rank in the search engines. The algorithms of Google Plus are perhaps the most compatible with web crawlers, thus, making their posts appear in search results much like blogs and web pages. This could also be because Google owns the site, and their company is renown for its top search engine. Hashtags behave almost exactly like keywords on Google Plus posts.
The Visibility of a Hashtag depends on how popular it is!
On the other hand, posts with hashtags rank almost instantaneously within the search engines whereas it could take days or even weeks for web content to be indexed. The “less is more” concept is generally a good rule of thumb to abide by when implementing keywords. A keyword or key phrase (these consist of spaces whereas hashtags do not) might consist of only a few variations. Conversely, a hashtag could combine multiple, completely unrelated words into one tag. That kind of method would essentially be considered keyword stuffing, which is something that can actually harm rather than help page rankings.
How to Use Hashtags
- Use them like keywords.
It’s that simple. Hashtags will never quite replace keywords or behave just like them, but it definitely takes its cues from it. Hashtags need to be properly interlaced into the body of a social media post just as much as keywords do within an article or on a web page.
- Don’t stuff them.
As beforementioned, stuffing is a bad practice for SEO. Below are examples of what tweets to this article could look like.
The first method portrays a message that has been stuffed with hashtag keywords:
- Ineffective Method
A #HowTo on #Hashtags and #Keywords for Your #Internet #SEO #Needs – Check it out! [url]
The second method portrays a message that uses hashtag keywords naturally and appropriately:
- Effective Method
#Hashtags vs. #Keywords – Some things ever internet marketer should know [url] #SEO
The Difference Between Hashtags and Keywords: A Basic How-To for Internet Marketers [url] #hashtags #keywords #SEO
The first and less effective method stuffs keywords within the content. It contains hashtags that are unrelated to the article too. A hashtag will tell social media users as well as search engines what the link points to and, essentially, what that page is about. You will want a relevant hashtag for this very reason.
- Monitor them.
Look up and choose Hashtags much like you would when doing keyword research. There are also monitoring tools on integration platforms like Hootsuite, inboxQ, and Tweetchat. You can choose a word, phrase, or Hashtag to follow and create an entirely separate feel around them as you would with a list of social media users. Monitoring the keywords provides real-time insight on how the tag is being used and how you might be able to use it to strategically connect with the audience buzzing around it. Remember Keywords are still very vital for organic SEO and Hastags is for covering wide range of social media audience. So you need them both for now.