Search engine optimization (SEO) is undeniably a crucial component of inbound marketing, but marketers often don’t think about how it applies to social media. Similarly, many just think of social media as simply a tool for expanding reach, brand awareness, and engagement — neglecting to think about how it impacts search results. To start getting your social media updates found better in search, an easy place to start is Twitter. Take a few minutes a day to optimize your tweets and help your business appear in search even more frequently. Here are 7 key ways to optimize your Twitter presence for search.
1. Don’t completely believe the “nofollow” warning.
Yes, once upon a time in the dark ages of social media SEO, networks like Twitter and Facebook were automatically marked with “nofollow” tags. This attribute signaled search engines to not give SEO authority to inbound links from these social networks, meaning those links wouldn’t help optimize your business in search. But this time last December, both Google and Bing confirmed in an interview that tweeted links are in fact a signal for a search engine’s organic and news rankings. So tweet away that content! It counts.
In the same aforementioned interview, Google and Bing both indicated their algorithms check the authority of the user tweeting the link. Google is quoted saying, “We do compute and use author quality. We don’t know who anyone is in real life :-)” This means that Google is basing your Twitter authority in search on your influence on Twitter. Building a stronger reach with high quality followers will help boost your tweets’ rankings.
3. Create a special subset of Twitter keywords.
While your business should have a set of keywords it tries to rank for, all those keywords may not translate over seamlessly to Twitter–especially if they’re long. Analyze your keywords through various tools (HubSpot customers, use the Keyword Grader tool) and pick a subset of keywords specifically for Twitter. This set should be smaller, as Twitter is updating constantly, and as we learned a few weeks ago, Google updated its search algorithm to display the most recent results–so that tweet from yesterday is probably long gone! Try to have a small set of keywords and use them throughout the day in your tweets to help boost your rankings.
As if the constraint of 140 characters isn’t enough, here’s a little more limitation. First of all, try to integrate SEO-ready keywords into your tweets so that these updates appear in search. Then make sure these tweets save a solid 10-20 characters of legroom so that users who “RT @username” don’t have to eliminate your keyword to make it fit! Try creating a formula for your tweets based off how long your Twitter username is (which brings up the importance of a short username).
Now that you know the importance of authority and have learned the art of SEO retweeting, it’s time to ensure your content is remarkable enough that other influencers are also retweeting your posts. Search engines will register the value of other authority-holders and correlate them with the value of the link you posted, which would basically become the Twitter equivalent of an inbound link. Posting these updates that appeal to influencers will truly boost your optimization efforts.
Many Twitter spammers have usernames that include a bunch of numbers (e.g. @Name546789). When Google’s algorithm scans links on Twitter, it often completely disregards usernames that includes numbers since there is no way to differentiate between who is real and who isn’t. Therefore, choose a unique and professional username, and try to use your company name if possible.
7. Include keywords in your Twitter bio.
Twitter allows 160 characters worth of information to be displayed on your homepage. This “about” section is typically used to provide bio information. Don’t riddle this with keywords, but be sure to have at least one in there to reflect your business in an accurate way, while helping to improve search visibility. Keep in mind that search engine results often display your Twitter bio in the description of the link when a Twitter username appears in search. Make it attention-grabbing so that users are inclined to click on the link.