Keyword and Hashtags: Do You Know the Difference?

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A hashtag is much more than a keyword with a # symbol in front of it. Of course hashtags use the # symbol: but do you understand the difference between a keyword strategy and a hashtag strategy?

Hashtag or Keyword: Strategies for Content Marketers

1.  What social platform are you using?

Keywords are a critical content marketing tool for your website and blog. Your keyword strategy identifies which words or phrases readers enter into search engines to find content. Your website should be designed around your keywords, and your site and blog content should strategically use your target keywords to help users find your information. Search engines read websites to identify the most important information for readers - your keywords.

Hashtags are one or more words combined together with the # symbol in front of them; hashtags sort and organize content and create campaigns on social media channels. Not every social media network uses hashtags - LinkedIn does not support hashtags, and they've never been popular on Facebook, but hashtags are heavily supported by users on Twitter, Instagram and G+.

  • Your keywords may be used as a hashtag by combining them and adding a # symbol, or your keywords may differ from your hashtags

example:

  • keyword = Calgary public relations
  • hashtag = #CalgaryPublicRelations or #CalgaryPR

2. Immediacy of ranking

If you publish a blog on your website today it may take weeks for search engines to find, understand and rank your content on your keywords, and your SERP are subject to the search engine's algorithm. You can promote your content immediately on social media by using hashtags, and you control the message content and where and when it is posted.

example:

  • keyword = Calgary public relations
  • hashtag = #PRtips

 3. Voice and tone of message

Keywords tend to be very precise terms used to find specific content, while hashtags are more expressive and can convey emotion.

  • Keywords are read and analyzed by search engine robots. Hashtags are used and interpreted by humans.

example:

  • keyword: public relations professional
  • hashtag: #PurveyorofPR

Hashtags and keywords are tools to increase the online visibility of your business, and make your content more easily found by search engines and people. You can design separate but complimentary keyword and hashtag strategies to optimize your SEO efforts and help your audience find you.

For more about Keyword and Hashtag Strategy
Inbound Marketing Agents: How to Develop a Powerful Keyword Strategy
Forbes: Why You Need a Hashtag Strategy for Your Business