Welcome back to the weekly Twitter column. This time a few days late due to the SMX London coverage. Today I’ll introduce the most common Twitter SEO best practices. Twitter SEO means at least 5 things:
- Ranking with your profile for your name & brand
- Ranking organically with your tweets in Google
- Getting found in Twitter search and other tools
- Making tweets spread virally by retweets
- Entering Google results via realtime search
Plus many others I can’t cover today. Let us start with the basic best practices everybody should take into account.
Ranking with your profile on Google sounds simpler than it is. What do you want to rank for? You can’t rank easily for different keywords. I rank for Tad Chef with my profile. What about onreact though, my older nick name or brand? I had to set up another Twitter account to rank for onreact as onreact_com is considered by Google to be onreactcom.
In the end I added 4 extra accounts that cover the most common terms associated with me. Also Twitter outranks me for my Tad Chef. So one day I might want to change that be de-optimizing it actually. List are a good tool to cover more terms. You can add only yourself or your employees if you like too. A list called “seo london” will probably succeed rather than one called just seo.
Ranking organically with tweets largely depends on the keyword usage and what comes first in your tweet. You don’t want to rank for [RT @andy RT @bill RT @chris] so make sure you add the users you retweet at the end with a blog-like [via @andy @bill #chris]. Also you should add some meaningful tags: #seo is fine for Twitter but something more exact like #twitterseo might be better findable and more accurate.
Getting found in Twitter search is not really desirable if you ask me. The results are messy and lack focus. Even the so called “popular” results on top are barely relevant. People still use this search in spite of better alternatives like Topsy etc. though. Scheduling recurring tweets might be a good idea here. Don’t spam though. I think more than 4 tweets a day is too much. Lots of Twitter tools support scheduled tweets. HootSuite and CoTweet for example do.
Making tweets spread virally is perhaps the most important discipline of Twitter SEO. The other stuff is very basic. Add popular terms and keywords to your twet to make people retweet. Words like “free”, “tips”, “tools” etc., brands like “Google”, “Apple” everybody cares for and something that makes a tweeet stand out like “OMG!”, “WTF?” or a number.
Of course the link you tweet or the message must be worth retweeting. In case it isn’t nobody will retweet it. Tweets about Twitter, technology, social media, business that are helpful for most users will get more popular that tweets about niche topics like SEO. Humor is also key. Even SEO jokes are quite popular.
Entering Google results via realtime search is easy once you’re tweet has become viral but it sometimes also helps to tweet your link from more than one account and more than one time. For instance we at SEOptimise tweet from the company account first, then in most cases the boss himself, Kevin will retweet the link and I will post it again or retweet as an author.
As our postings have considerable value the rest is done by other regular users. Don’t forget that many Twitter accounts are mostly useless bots that retweet automatically based on keywords: Nobody clicks those links. They may show up in Google though as it doesn’t really filter tweets.
These Twitter SEO best practices are neither SEO secrets nor controversial. Everybody serious about Twitter SEO tweets that way. Other people don’t mind but if you’re using Twitter for business reasons should do more than just click and run. Make sure to act accordingly to perform better in search be it Google or Twitter or third party tools like Topsy.