Tumblr SEO: What’s a Rebagel, Anyway?

Hear us out: Tumblr gets written off pretty easily when it comes to marketing. Over 40% of the platform’s users are age 18-24, and Tumblr is a notorious proving ground for anyone with a controversial socio-political message. It’s also a platform younger women use a lot, and we tend to write “girl stuff” off as frivolous, when in fact: it’s bank. Have you checked out makeup tags lately? Talk about Tumblr SEO value.

Tumblr’s also full of fandom. People who obsess about stuff, from The Avengers to esoteric types of literature. If you have a brand that fills a very specific niche, this platform could be the answer for you.

Tumblr has a lot of content from young people who do not want to monetize: but they’re inadvertently becoming influencers, even if they don’t mean to. Click To Tweet

Tumblr has a real bent towards inclusivity, so you need to get a sensitivity edit on your materials to make sure you’re not posting anything offensive.

Social Credit and Etiquette on Tumblr

Before we get into how SEO works for Tumblr, it’s important to mention social credit and etiquette on Tumblr. Building trust on this platform is done on a person to person basis, so it’s helpful to have a face with your brand to represent you. A reblog (also known as a “rebagel”) is a mark of trust and endorsement, and just like on Facebook, you can add your own commentary when you share something. Also, rebagels go back to your original content: pretty handy, and something Tumblr did way before Facebook.

Always credit the originator of the post; share, don’t save and re-post. That’s bad form, and in some cases, plagiarizing. Click To Tweet

Keep SEO in mind! It applies to comments, tags, text, and more. Sneak your long tail keyword into comments on your own Tumblr whenever you can.

Tagging: The Final Frontier

set of the blank tags tied with string

Get it? Tags? Anyone?

Many platforms (like any WordPress site, and now Facebook Groups) feature tagging. This lets you organize your posts by placing a tag on them. Later, you can click the tag and find whatever you need. Nice, right? Aside from organization for your own purposes, tagging helps Google’s fancy bot organize and collect information about your website.

You can also use other relevant tags to get your content in front of audiences. On Tumblr, people track tags. It’s like every tag gets its own newsfeed or dashboard. So if we look up #contentmarketing, that’s all we see.

Spamming tags is a cardinal sin. If it’s not relevant or you’re just being spammy, people won’t like it and it’ll negatively affect your brand.

Your Tumblr Page: Theme It

Themes are everything on Tumblr. That’s the skin of your page, and people love designing them. You lift some coding, drop it in (kinda like MySpace: it’s delightfully old school) and then tweak it to your needs.

That comes with some pros and cons. If it’s coded well, that’ll help with your Google ranking. If it’s not, it could mean disaster. Typical SEO problems with Tumblr themes include themes that are too bulky (and increase load time), minor code errors (that you can’t see, but Google does), and lack of mobile navigability, which Google punishes big time.

It’s usually worth it to get a premium Tumblr theme that covers these bases. And, if you’re a brand, make it a custom one. It’s a solid investment, and your theme is like the car you drive around your virtual neighborhood on Tumblr: everyone wants to pretend they’re above status symbols, but they all want a peek at the size of your…code, er, marketing budget.

Tumblr SEO is Your Content

What type of content do people respond to on Tumblr? Lots. It could be a rebloggable video, a paragraph with a unique take on a recent film, or a clever photo edit. The beauty about Tumblr is in these short snippets: they’re just important for engagement as long-form content is on your blog.

However: don’t forget to mix in that long-form. Google’s got preferences, yo, and those don’t change just because the platform likes other stuff.

You can always post links (we recommend posting yours, but also others’ links) and place commentary above them. Use those keywords.

Tumblr and Social Signals

Young pretty woman using social media on her smartphone

There’s that damned floating social network again. I swear we caught that sumgun last week!

People always forget about Tumblr, but it’s another social signal. Use it to tie together your social media (link to your website and other social media pages). If you have a Snapchat account, Tumblr’s a good place to send traffic from to build it, and vice versa (similar user demographic). Increase this further by linking to your site, and interlinking to previous Tumblr posts. That’s some strong SEO there.

Focus on Images: The Big Picture

Images will get you noticed on Tumblr, so make sure you position your content around images when you can: for example, you might want to budget for a cartoon and a brief description rather than a long-form blog post. Think about what’s shareable and what’s trending.

Make Custom Post URLs

You know how you need to do that in WordPress for quality SEO? It’s like that on Tumblr, too. Don’t be lazy. Take the time to put your keywords in your custom post URL. It really is, as they say on Tumblr, koala-tea.

Fix 404 Pages

Page not found. Toilet paper as web message

This was too good to not use.

Just like regular websites, Tumblr sites are known to give 404 pages. Creative people switch stuff around all the time and end up with these, but they can negatively affect your ranking. Just like any other site, you can toss your Tumblr into SEMrush or Moz to find those broken links. Do the thing!

Best Business Practices

As with your website, include your basic business information: business name, website URL, email address, social media, physical address, and phone. The phone is for SEO—most young people won’t use it unless you accept texts and that’s okay.

WordPress + Facebook Means Tumblr

Moz said it bestTumblr has the functionality of Facebook (especially as Facebook has updated to be a little more like Tumblr, honestly) and the customization and indexability of WordPress.

Meta Mighty

Computer Code HTML on monitor

Oh so meta?

Your theme, whether basic or custom, gets a meta description. For all that is holy, don’t ignore SEO just for the funsies because you’re on Tumblr. Google still loves that ish. Keep it light, but keep it keywordy, too.

The Linkage

Links on Tumblr are dofollow by nature, making them more valuable. That means you’ll immediately increase the authority and impact (and possibly ranking) of your own website by having an active, genuine Tumblr and linking out to your other channels. Plus, when others link to your Tumblr or other channels, you’re getting that sweet link juice from them. Cool, right? It’s a dofollow goldmine.

So What SEO-Rich Things Should You Post on Tumblr

People will read for days on Tumblr, but the visual content gets shared fast. If you don’t know your brand’s aesthetic, you need to make a mood board and post it on Tumblr, because…that’s how Tumblr works.

  • Videos: Link out to a video. It can even be a cat video. Especially if you sell pet products.
  • Gifs: Tumblr was one of the first platforms to embrace the “Gif react.” Get ready to roll and get ready to make and post some spicy gifs.
  • Memes: Have you always wanted to venture into meme territory, but didn’t have an appropriate platform? Welcome to Tumblr, friend.
  • Images: Do. Not. Get. lazy. With. Your. Image. SEO. Tag that ish. You’ll destroy the competition.

Follow the Microblog Road (and Rules)

Tumblr is technically a microblogging site, and Google sees it that way. If you post consistently and niche down, it is possible to go viral on Tumblr relatively quickly. And if you have a young audience, you’re out of touch with them if you aren’t on there already.

Tumblr Works Well for Many Brands

Cosmetics with jewellery on wooden background

You’d be surprised.

Anyone can meme. Tumblr’s a great place for most brands, especially:

  • Fashion
  • Cosmetics
  • Entertainment
  • Socio-political

Take a spin around Tumblr and explore the tags before you make your page. You’ll see what we mean.

Need Help? Dominate With SEO Can Navigate the Tumblr Sea

Tumblr takes a particular touch, but if you need SEO copy written for your Tumblr page or otherwise, we’re here to help. We can do an analysis of your Tumblr page and make sure all that special social is connected. Give us a call for a holistic evaluation of your business sites. To get started, fill out our Discovery Form.

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