By Amy Lamare
The Internet is abuzz with the news that Google plans to implement real-time search capabilities in the near future, but what does it all mean? Google’s new plans will index all real-time internet data – tweets, You Tube uploads, blog posts, and more –and return them in search engine results – as they happen in real-time. The results will be sorted by relevancy using frequently used keywords and/or current events. This is great news for individuals and businesses who seek to use social networking sites such as Twitter to get the word out about their products and services. In short, you will now be able to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles in your tweets and Google will return them in search engine results, opening up a whole new marketing platform for your business.
Let’s take a look at the best ways for you to optimize your company’s twitter feed so you are ready for this brave new world of real-time search engine results. Optimizing your Twitter feed is a fantastic way to reach out to your target audience and drive traffic to your website. Think of it as a living, breathing, constantly updating marketing campaign. Twitter is a fantastic way to optimize your branding and marketing messages. It is an incredibly useful real-time tool for interacting with customers and potential customers.
Following are ten tips to follow to make the most of SEO on Twitter.
1. Twitter Username
Choosing a good Twitter handle is important. You didn’t choose the name of your company or the URL of your website without putting thought into your strategy and brand, and you should put the same thought into your Twitter username. Your Twitter username becomes a part of your custom Twitter feed’s URL. For example, let’s say your Twitter handle is YourNameHere. Your Twitter feed would then be accessible to the world at twitter.com/YourNameHere. Be savvy when you choose your Twitter handle and it will pay off.
2. Twitter Account name
Your Twitter account name is what appears next to your profile. You should choose an account name that best reflects your brand. The account name appears next to your profile and can be a totally different name than your username. A good idea for an account name would be to pick a variation of your business’s name that incorporates frequently searched keywords. .
3. Twitter Bio
You have 160 characters to express what you/your company is all about. Use them all. Whittle your mission statement down to one powerful line that packs a punch. For example, a Family Law Firm might use the following bio: “Divorce, Mediation, Custody cases, Adoption and Arizona Family Law by the law firm of Alan & Alan. Call us today at 888-555-1212.” Your Twitter bio is constantly indexed and provides your Twitter page with its core relevancy.
4. Get The Word Out
The next step in optimizing twitter for your business is to get followers for your Twitter feed. You will want to put a link or button on your company’s website that is a call to action to follow you on Twitter. You can also integrate your custom Twitter URL within your site’s Global Footer so that it appears at the bottom of every page of the site. You can also publicize your Twitter feed on Facebook. All of these steps drive people to your Twitter feed and will move your Twitter URL up in the search engine results.
5. Your Website’s URL
In the Twitter account settings, they provide a place to enter your website’s address. Be sure to do this, as it will be another opportunity for you to get your name and URL in front of millions of eyes. Adding your URL in your Twitter account settings will also drive traffic back to your website.
6. Start your Tweets off Strong
The beginning of each tweet is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it determines what appears in the tweet’s title tag when it is returned as a search result on Google. Approximately 43 characters make up each tweet’s title tag, including the account name and the first few characters of the tweet.
7. Use Keywords Whenever Possible
Start your tweet with a keyword phrase to set a theme for each message. Use buzz words to leverage timely searches for those terms. Be cognizant of your readers, and make sure the tweet delivers a relevant message, not just SEO friendly text without a point. How can you best convey your message and at the same time take advantage of the real-time index relevance that search engine spiders pick up on?
8. Using Retweets to your Advantage
Users can retweet the messages you send out on Twitter, exposing you to a whole new audience. The easiest tweets to retweet contain roughly 120 characters, allowing your followers to add RT @YourTwitterUsername in front of the tweet.
9. Using Links to your Advantage
Twitter has proven to be a major traffic driver for bloggers and others who use Twitter to share links. There are a number of link shorteners for Twitter on the market that minimize the characters used. http://www.yourlongwebsitenamehere.com becomes something that looks like this http://bit.ly/dBCyWw, but still leads to the link your provided. TinyURL and Bit.ly are two popular link shorteners. Bit.ly, tracks click-throughs for the specific links you share on the platform, can aggregate the tracking across multiple bit.ly address that lead to the same page, and tracks clicks over time so you can see when people are clicking your links the most.
10. The Destination is Important
Make sure any links you provide in your tweets lead the users to a destination page that reinforces your marketing or branding message. If you are tweeting about a great sale, lead them to that sales page. Twitter has become the ultimate example of crowd sourcing. Twitter users as a whole are hungry for information, quick to break news, pass along great deals, information, and share content. Have your twitter links send the user right to the content you are tweeting about. If they have to go looking for it from a home page, they are not that likely to stick around.