Optimizing your social media profiles for search engines is no longer a luxury; it's a must.
- Search engines use links from social media sites for ranking purposes
- Search engines index Twitter streams in real-time
- Google developed the Google Social Search
Here are some simple yet effective techniques that can turn your Twitter account into a SEO magnet. Let's get started
1. SEO Your Twitter Username
Think of your Twitter username as your Twitter domain address: all the rules that apply to choosing a domain name would apply to your Twitter username. Don't use underscores between words and make it short and memorable.
The Twitter username limit is 15 characters but it's best not to exceed 10 characters if you can.
Consider using abbreviations for your brand name combined with keywords. Let's say your company, Synergy Professional Services, offers training services. Then, @SPSTraining makes up a good Twitter username.
2. Link to Your Real URL
Using URL shortners on your Twitter profile URL section is a huge mistake as it may arouse skepticism and that's the last thing you would want. Using your real site/blog URL will boost the trust of your profile visitors in your brand and will give them a good reason to visit your actual site.
3. SEO Your Twitter Bio
Did you know that Google uses your Twitter Bio content as a the meta description of your Twitter profile on search results?
It makes sense and that's why you need to make the most out of the 160 characters limit and create a keywords-rich Twitter bio. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for a perfect balance between keywords and good content.
So, if you ask me what makes a good Twitter bio, I would say it should be informative, eye-catching, compelling and contain some keywords that represent your industry and/or field of expertise.
4. SEO Your Twitter Profile Photo
Give your Twitter photo file a keyword-based name separated by dashes before uploading it. Say "xyz-la-fitness-training.jpg".
Make sure that your image is limited 250 x 250 pixels for optimal page loading speed.
5. SEO Your Tweets
In order to ensure more visibility on search results, ensure most of your tweets include keyword phrases and hashtags. It's a good idea to save your important tweets in the favorite category.
Studies have shown that constantly including keywords in your tweets can boost your search engine rankings.
Also, getting lots of retweets will magnify your Social Authority and give your ranking a kick. That's why getting into the habit of tweeting what I like to call "retweet-worthy tweets" and curating your Twitter content is a smart thing to do.
6. SEO Your Twitter Lists
Although Twitter lists are rather new, search engines love them. Make sure to leverage them for optimal SEO results.
For starters, make your lists public and include descriptive keyword phrases in your list name. For example, "XYZ SEO" is a better list name than "SEO".
Twitter lists have unique URLs that you can use on your blog or Facebook posts. You can even tweet about your lists to grab attention to them on the Twitter sphere.
A word of caution here: be picky when filling your lists and avoid creating ultra-lengthy lists. People only follow good lists so make sure your list is "following-worthy".
If you are a Twitter lists beginner, the following video tutorial demonstrates how to create a list and follow other people's lists .
I also invite you to check out Garious article How To Use Twitter Lists for Branding and Competitive Intelligence for more insights.
7. SEO Your Twitter Videos
With Twitter 2.0 allowing you to embed/share videos and access them within the Twitter stream, you can have the best of both worlds: real-time search and video marketing. If you haven't tried Twitter videos yet, watch the video below.
When thinking of Twitter videos, it's important to note that all the well-known YouTube SEO Tips would work like a charm with Twitter videos. There's one tip I stress: Twitter videos must be ultra-short and sweet in order to nicely fit into Twitter's micro-blogging nature.
Finally, make sure to link to your Twitter profile from everywhere possible; your blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Newsletter, you name it.
Also make sure to submit your Twitter profile to popular Twitter directories (such as TrackingTwitter, TwitterHolic, WeFollow) for more visibility and link building.
Go ahead: follow these steps and turn your Twitter account into a SEO magnet. To your success!
Heba Hosny is an award-winning marketing consultant, a SEO copywriter and a social media strategist. She's a Canadian/Egyptian artist who strives to portray the best of both worlds (The East and the West) through her though-provokingly funny artwork.
Her artistic passions include script writing, humorous poetry, song writing, singing, drawing and acting. To add more creative juice to her online freelancing career, Heba teaches improvisational drama in a children's art center in Cairo. (Her "I am proud to" list includes winning a humorous speech contest and performing standup comedy in the yuk yuks club in Toronto. Believe it or not, people laughed! )
Heba believes that only a creative writer can find awesome jobs by bragging her "Stinky Sink" in personal branding video! Enjoy :-)