A Step by Step Guide on Using Tumblr Effectively for SEO & Social Media Marketing

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Tumblr is a fantastic platform that can really benefit your brand’s marking approach if used properly. The SEO benefits are direct, and social exposure is integrated. We will get to “the how” later in this post, but for now, let’s start with some theory. After all, that’s how you learn everything worth learning – theory first, and then practice.

The Fundamentals: What is Tumblr?

Tumblr is a hybrid blog and social network platform. Or, as I like to call it “a blog on SEO steroids”. Are you thinking “Sounds like WordPress.com. Why should I bother with Tumblr?”

With Tumblr, you will gain more exposure. Period. Don’t get me wrong, WordPress is great (I love the self-hosted software!), but the hosted solution is not “social” enough. WordPress.com hosts 70 million blogs. Tumblr, on the other hand, hosts over 130+ million.

Plus, if the big name brands are going for Tumblr, why not copy them? It’s an opportunity to copy their branding and marketing moves for free. It’s not like these guys can’t afford their own blogging software… They pick Tumblr because it rocks!

As I have mentioned above, Tumblr is more than just a blogging platform. Users can share and like each other’s content, follow blogs, and perform searches via hashtags. But what does all of that have to do with SEO? We are getting there…

Tumblr Win #1: The DoFollow Compound Effect

Most social networks set all their outbound links to be “nofollow” by default. Tumblr’s links are dofollow, which means that there is a certain flow of authority, PageRank, and “link juice” from Tumblr to your pages.

Dofollow links are not that hard to build. So what make Tumblr’s links so special?

They can spread easily…

Just like the retweet feature on Twitter, Tumblr allows its users to reblog the posts that they like. Let’s say you post a compelling image with a link back to your site and people reblog it 150 times. That’s 150 (okay, 151) dofollow links built to your site naturally – the way it’s meant to be done!

Tumblr Win #2: It’s an Investment

While Tumblr is usually used in conjunction with other channels, there is no law that prevents you from using it as your main one. When needed, you can make your Tumblr page your “main” site, at least for now. The social aspect (combined with the internal dofollow effect) makes it relatively easy to rank high in the SERPs on its own.

Why do I call it an investment? Because you can always use the page to post links to your main site later. By then it might reach a high PR (PR3 is very reasonable if you are good enough), and the links you post will weigh a lot.

How to make it work for your brand, your business, and yourself?

By now you can see the great power a Tumblr blog can have. Now how about putting what we’ve learned so far in action?

Remember, all Tumblr’s power means nothing if you don’t do your part. It’s still a social network. People need to like the stuff you post for the SEO benefits to start building up. That starts with posting compelling content.

I will give you a few content ideas in a moment, but first I would like to address something that I think is important…

Don’t just post anything. Unless your business model is similar to theirs, you don’t want to be like Reddit, Imgur, 9GAG. Yes, a wide range of content can go viral. But what’s the point if it has nothing to do with your brand message?

Identify the message you want to communicate to your followers (or future followers) and keep your posts centered around a theme.


These are 3 pictures I pulled up from the Tumblr of Norton, Red Bull, and Coca-Cola. Can you tell which brand posted which picture? That’s my point!

Hot Content Ideas

1. Photographs / Pictures / Illustrations

We’re talking about creative pictures here. Actually, have a look at the 3 pictures above! The Norton’s one looks like it requires graphic designing skills. If you have them, use them – they work great on Tumblr! Red Bull has a more complex approach in their picture. A quick look at their Tumblr page shows that they also post regular pictures. So if you are good with DSLRs, shoot away! Coca-Cola created something simpler, but very themed. They show that with enough imagination, you can even create something nice in Paint!

As long as you are creative, it doesn’t matter if you use a Nikon, Photoshop, or Paint (but you do have to be good, or hire someone who is!).

2. Memes


Memes are awesome! They have the ability to go viral if used properly. Please notice I said “used properly”. Unless you have a very large team of highly creative people working for you, it’s going to be hard to come up with a meme that’s actually witty every single day. Use them once in a while as part of your content, not as your main focus.

 3. Quotes from famous people…enhanced

It’s amazing how you can take one line, and instantly boost its perceived value by “packaging” it nicely and sharing it.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” – Albert Einstein


Which one are you more likely to “Like” on Facebook? The dynamics are the same on Tumblr. People like pretty stuff.

In Summary

Hopefully you now understand what Tumblr is and how powerful it can be in terms of SEO, as well as driving direct traffic to your site. Use the content ideas above and build your own mini SEO asset!

Sameer Panjwani

Sameer Panjwani

Sameer Panjwani writes on behalf of Directory Maximizer, a premier SEO company offering a wide range of link building services like - manual directory submissions,... Read Full Bio
Sameer Panjwani
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  • The crest

    Thanks for sharing! I’m gonna start setting up my tumblr account now!

  • Julian

    I am implementing this right away. I didnt know the links were dofollow

  • Billiam

    Cutting edge.

    Pick one. They’ve been around for three to four years and have been oversaturated, overused and have lost their meaning. See the “Awesome Content Ideas” article today for the perfect example of the Dos Equis one being used incorrectly.

  • Puneet

    WOW! That’s great article you have been shared on SEJ…Now I am set up my tumblr blog of my website…..

  • Buddha Statues

    Amazing. I was on blogspot and never tried using tumblr thinking it doesn’t have any large impact on marketing and SEO. Thanks for being my eye-opener.

  • James

    Thanks for sharing wonderful post. I never knew Tumbler is so important for SEO and Branding.

  • LA

    A very useful and welcomed article that perfectly explains the true power of Tumblr. Is obvious that Tumblr has SEO and Marketing advantages, but is also lot of FUN. We chose Tumblr as our main channel for blogging and we end up being one of the most popular Tumblr blogs.

    We never regret this decision, if we were to chose WordPress or other blogging software, we would never reached such popularity and have such a big number of friends (followers). We encourage everyone to give Tumblr a shot, for most of you will definitely become addictive!

  • Ydeveloper

    As far as popularity’s concern, the Tumblr is always been a better choice than WordPress and reason is its social networking capabilities. Now, the real difference is plugin and content management. DoesTumblr support interactive plugin? Also, its CMS isn’t better than WordPress. I prefer WordPress.

  • Saurabh Sharma

    Tumblr provides both content and social platform at one place that makes it different from all other platforms. Well said chandni!! I also think that most people still aren’t fully aware with the advantages of tumblr and your suggestions are really appreciable.

  • Aiden Ruse

    Nice Article, Chandni. Tumblr is truly great platform and offers several benefits. I use Tumblr but after reading this article i realized that i miss several other important things that Tumblr offers. Thanks…

  • Kris Harris

    Thanks for sharing – finding tools to build quality back links is extremely important in today’s search landscape and having a do follow link to throw in the mix is always a great positive. Like any search platform though you are right it’s got to be of a high quality or at least quirky enough to get someones attention to share it.
    I’ll be creating my Tumblr account today… Thanks again

  • Alexandra Petean-Nicola

    Awesome article. I’ve never used Tumblr but it’s great to see the power it has through it’s reblog feature. It seams quite relevant in SEO. It’s good to know all these before giving it a try. Thanks for the tips.

  • Craig Desmarais

    I use Tumblr for many of my clients and it provides much value to them. Specifically for behind the scenes and tips and tricks.

  • Kenneth von Rauch

    Great article and it totally requires to give this idea some thought. That said, I have a question though. Isn’t this guide gonna be a manual for brand new spammers to create Tublr.com accounts just to get Google juice from the platform? Sure thing, they need to make their blog at least PR2 or something along those lines, but even if your link is from a PR0 page, it’s still from a reputable domain, isn’t it? I’m asking that because I tried to do something similar for a less known platform and then I got an angry email message from them 🙂

    • Chandni Panjwani

      Good point Kenneth, I didn’t think of spammers while creating this post but I guess if anyone wants to spam, then they will anyways.
      Through this post I wanted to share how Tumblr can be used as an effective marketing and SEO strategy. But the fact is, if the content is not good no one will even bother to share and it will not generate more links. It all boils down to the quality of content!

  • Bill Farman

    Good advice Chandi. I have been taking advantage of Tumblr for SEO with great results. I would urge everyone to follow your advice.

  • Mizanur Rahman

    I have been using 1 + years Tumblr in multiple purpose – WEB 2 , link wheel , blog .. And obviously still it gives link juice get great result . By t his article i think reader should follow your advice.

  • Alva Somoza

    Nice post. I am using Tumblr but after I read your post I just know that Tumblr really helps. Thanks for sharing this kind of thought. Thanks.

  • Matt Coffy

    Tumblr is a really great tool for social media marketing. In fact, I think it’s better than WordPress owing praises to its reblogging feature. Thanks for this great article! Let me share this to my circle.

  • Matthew

    Thanks for this article. I’m currently planning a social media strategy for a client, and while Tumblr is in the mix, it isn’t particularly high up on the ‘To Do’ list. I’ll revisit it, and give it higher priority.
    Thanks again!

  • Chandni Panjwani

    Thank you guys! Am so glad you found my post useful 🙂

  • Liane

    It’s a great post, I have had a tumblr blog for some time , but never saw a useful way to use it, maybe this will help to get me going.
    I also saw somewhere you could add the whole tumblr blog to your main blog, does that make sense ?