It wasn’t until a few years ago that it became necessary to start optimizing your Twitter page for search. In the past, Twitter pages were marked with “nofollow” tags in Google’s search algorithm, meaning that Google would not give tweeted links any credit that would count toward search rankings. Despite this, Google and Bing revealed in an interview in 2010 that they were still receiving streams of data from Twitter that they were using to weigh author authority and quality.
So what does this mean, exactly?
It means that links shared through your social sites can influence your search rankings, to an extent. In some situations, links do carry more leverage depending on who tweets them. Both Google and Bing searches (mostly their organic searches, news rankings, and social search functions) can be impacted by the number of times that a link has been retweeted by Twitter users who have proven to be more influential. These shares are considered “social signals” (votes) and can add some weight to links in search rankings.
Because of this, your Twitter page is now an important part of your search engine optimization (SEO) process. What can you do to make sure that your page and links are as optimized as possible when it comes to search rankings?
One of the biggest takeaways from the above research is the importance of having a network of influential followers who will share your content and retweet your links. Twitter authority is based on your influence, which is directly related to your reach. Take the time to cultivate a group of followers who are related to your business and influential in your industry. Share content that’s relevant to their needs and interests, and retweet their links to build goodwill within your network.
Keywords are just as important for social sites as they are for the pages on your actual website. Do some keyword research to determine what words are the most popular and have spurred the most interesting conversations (you can use marketing automation or social media monitoring tools like TweetDeck to do this). Steer clear of keywords that are too long so that users won’t be forced to cut them when they retweet, and make sure that tweets don’t sound forced. Try using a few of the keywords you’ve chosen on a daily basis.
Hashtags are a great resource when it comes to driving traffic and maximizing your tweet’s exposure. Take a look at the Twitter pages of any industry influencers and familiarize yourself with the hashtags that they use on a regular basis. Incorporate these into your tweets, but be careful not to overdo it. Too many hashtags can devalue a tweet.
Your Page Content
Simple SEO steps taken on your website are still applicable when it comes to Twitter. Make sure your image has an ALT tag attached to it that’s keyword-appropriate, and pepper your Twitter bio with relevant keywords and hashtags as well (you’ve got 160 characters here!). If possible, try to keep your username short and simple. This means staying away from numbers (username67937) that look like spam. The shorter your username (and tweets), the easier they are for others to retweet.
If you’ve followed the steps above, your Twitter page will have more authority and your content will be more likely to be retweeted by others with similarly authoritative pages — meaning that your page will be more influential when it comes to search rankings. What other steps have you taken to optimize your Twitter page for search? Let us know in the comments!