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List of SEO Hashtags for Social Sharing

In October, LunaMetrics’s Dan Wilkerson published a study about the impact of hashtags on reach, which have always seemed to be an afterthought in SEO. For me, a typical interaction with Twitter goes something like this.

“Wow, fifty percent of US mobile owners have smartphones that keep search engines continuously within reach. I should share this fun fact. Unfortunately, the musty gentleman next to me on the T doesn’t seem concerned about the growing influence of mobile search on organic web traffic. Tweet: ‘Still holding off on that mobile site? @eMarketer reports 50% of US mobile pop. has a smartphone.’ Send. Oh, wait, I probably should have used #SEO and #mobile, but I’ll remember next time.”

Dan’s report on using Twitter hashtags changed that process because he found that using two per tweet resulted in 87 percent more retweets and 255 percent more mentions. So, Dan, now you have my attention.

You can see why SEOs are quickly adopting social best practices and befriending social media experts. These channels provide new tools and opportunities to earn links in an environment where (traditional) link juice taps are drying up. A couple years ago, a SEO would create a piece of optimized copy and push it up the search results with a complementary link building campaign, which demanded most of the time and energy.

Research, write, publish content = 2 hours
Promote through link building = 6 hours

The obvious problem is that the content consumers lose because producers are investing more in distribution than product quality. Social media are changing that. More time can be spent on the article/graphic/video because promotion is streamlined. In a perfect plan, it looks more like this.

Research, write, publish content = 6 hours
Promote through social media = 2 hour
(Simultaneously earn links instead of asking for them.)

Like I said, this is an ideal situation, and we’re not there yet, but that’s how search engines hope it to be someday. So, that gets me back to where I started: using hashtags to expand reach.

While attempting to use more hashtags in the weeks that followed Dan’s post, the biggest challenge was discovery. Each tweet demanded a hashtag discovery tool, which was not difficult to use, but added a step, and tech people don’t generally enjoy steps (in either sense of the word).

To streamline discovery for others in the industry, I created a list of SEO-related hashtags then tested it using two social metrics to compare popularity and reach. The first one, hashtags.org, is probably familiar. This is a look at #seo.

#seo hashtag

Essentially, this graph uses a sample to estimate total “#seo” frequency on Twitter during the past 24 hours. At it’s peak, #seo generated just under 700 impressions per hour. That makes it more popular than, say, #SEM, which peaked at 173 per hour.

The other metric, TweetReach.com, reports in terms of how many Twitter users could POTENTIALLY come into contact with that hashtag. Remember, just because someone you know uses a hashtag, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to see it. The same is true with TweetReach. It only estimates how many people could see it.

Now that we understand the evaluation process, let’s have a look at our SEO hashtag contestants.

List of SEO Hashtags

——– Hashtag——— –Peak Frequency In 24 Hours–
   #google                    1,035
   #SEO                       668
   #SEM                       173
   #analytics                       125
   #search                         97
   #contentmarketing                         78
   #measure                         75
   #bing                         52
   #contentstrategy                         34
   #internetmarketing                         34

 

What’s the big take away? Here’s the tl;dr summary:

  1. It turns out that #google, #SEO, #SEM and #analytics have the highest Twitter frequency among SEO-related hashtags.
  2. Although, #SEO, #search, #measure and #bing reach the most Twitter users.
  3. But, none of the data is completely reliable, just a good guide for selecting related hashtags. So, when in doubt, go with #SEO.
Andrew Garberson

About Andrew Garberson

Andrew Garberson is the SEO Department Coordinator at LunaMetrics. His inbound marketing and public relations background includes management experience in entrepreneurial, nonprofit and agency environments. Andrew spends much of his free time as a pro bono communications consultant for international grassroots organizations in the nonprofit sector. He has master's degrees in business administration and mass communications.

http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2012/11/19/seo-hashtags-list/

3 Responses to “List of SEO Hashtags for Social Sharing”

Sam Insalaco says:

Nice work Andy. As usual. Let me know about those SEO discussions you mentioned at the AMA thing. Again, nice work.

Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a low frequency to high reach ratio, making #measure and #search the best hashtags of the bunch?

Andrew Garberson Andrew Garberson says:

I think that’s a fair assessment, particularly if you are trying to avoid the noise of higher frequency hashtags. On the other hand, a high frequency hashtag might be favorable because people are interacting with it. Reach is passive.