Get An Active Twitter Account
This is clearly the first step and sounds very obvious – but many people will be disappointed to discover that simply opening an account and tweeting their own content doesn’t miraculously fire their pages up the rankings! Your Twitter account cannot exist in isolation if it’s going to achieve anything – so you need to connect with relevant friends and industry peers.
That means doing more than posting links to your own website. You need to enter conversations, respond to questions and queries, talk to customers who mention your brand, and interact.
It’s a social platform, it only works if you use it socially. On top of that, if you want other people to retweet your content, you’ll have more success if you’re being followed by relevant people – so make the effort in building those relationships.
Use Twitter Tools To Help With Promotion
I don’t mean the automated follow/unfollow tools – but look for the type of tools and ideas which can help to leverage your profile.
Connect With Contacts From Other Social Media Sites
There are so many social media websites available that it’s almost impossible to keep up-to-date with the different sets of connections we all have. Obviously, these each have different types of target audiences and you’re unlikely to want to become Facebook friends with everyone you talk to on Twitter – but what about LinkedIn, Foursquare, FriendFeed, Quora etc?
In my experience, most people are happy to share the same/very similar contacts across different social sites, it’s just not always that easy in practice. There are two ways which I’ve found are effective at managing this:
- Sometimes it’s just a simple job of importing LinkedIn contacts via Twitter, and then looking to export your other social media contacts into Gmail and importing from there.
- If you want to dig a bit deeper, I find that tools such as Flowtown are a great way of grouping shared connections across social sites and then you can make sure you are connected with all of those key influencers in the same place.
By doing this, you are connecting with people who you already know from other sites, so they are likely to be valuable followers on Twitter who can help to connect with when building your profile.
Run Twitter Competitions
One potentially valuable way of leveraging Twitter to help your SEO efforts is to run retweet competitions. This is where people retweet a comment – usually including a link to your website, in the hopes of winning a prize you’re offering.
It can be an effective way to build a high number of links and increase followers, so many companies, including national newspapers, are leaping on the bandwagon. But this may not work for long. Google moves fast and it will be developing techniques to assess the value of tweets rather than something as simple as just the number.
So, make use of Twitter competitions for now, but don’t rely on this as a long-term strategy, because it probably isn’t.
Create Quality Content, Conversations Follow
This is the simplest rule for most SEO strategies, but it’s also one of the hardest to pull off. If you want people to retweet your content and enhance your importance in Google’s eyes, then create valuable articles and tools that will make them want to link to it and share it with their own followers.
While shortcuts like competitions will provide a quick boost, the best way to use Twitter for SEO is to fill your site with quality content, whether it’s blog posts, widgets, fantastic discount vouchers or whatever attraction you can create. Of course, that works in the wider web too. SEO shortcuts aren’t the answer, quality content is.
Posting quality content will also encourage people to follow you. Building high numbers of followers will enhance your authority in Google’s eyes, meaning, any links you post will carry more weight.
Also, have a look at the top stories featured on the homepage of Tweetmeme to get an idea of the type of content which generally performs well on Twitter in terms of getting shared – and ask yourself if your content is something that you would retweet if it was someone else’s work?
Use Your Targeted Keywords
Just as you optimise your own website with the keywords you want to rank for, make sure your Twitter account is also optimised this way to add context around your tweets.
Add keywords and phrases to your Twitter bio and use them (naturally, mind!) in your tweets. Without that, Google may not know how relevant your tweets and retweets are.
Make Your Tweets Retweetable
This is a very simple Twitter rule that gets completely missed by so many corporate accounts. Aim to leave enough space for people to retweet your comments and links, and to leave comments of their own.
There are only 140 characters to play with, so it’s not that easy – but it is essential.
Otherwise, you risk people cutting off the link in order to make their comments, or even deciding not to make the effort to edit it down and not retweeting at all. That’s not much use to you and your website’s SEO in the long run.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.