Using Twitter for Search Engine Optimization
Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and today, even tweets are indexed and displayed in search engine results. This makes Twitter a great place to spread your marketing message and help improve your websites search engine ranking. Unfortunately, getting on to Google's front page is not as simple as putting a link in a Tweet and waiting for the hits. You have to carefully select your name, optimize your shortened links, and become a part of the community so people retweet your links.
The main advantage of Twitter is the other users. Many have their own blogs and websites, and becoming a part of the community can get you valuable static links, as well as links in their tweets. Developing these relationships takes time, but it should be part of every company’s long-term online marketing strategy.
Select Your Twitter Handle Carefully
Your Twitter handle is important factor for SEO. When picking a name it is important to avoid numbers, as spammers often use numbers in their names. As search engines penalize spammy tactics, so it's best to avoid them from the start. Your Twitter name appears in search results, so it should be close to your brand or company name. If you need to make it unique, add extra company or industry term instead of adding numbers.
Tweeting your links
Once you have established your Twitter presence, start tweeting your links. Include the targeted keywords in the tweet, so the link shows up in the correct results pages. Your links should lead people to interesting content, otherwise they won't visit again. The first few words are thought to be the most important, so get your keywords in early for the biggest SEO boost.
Get Your Keyword in the Link
Some link shortening sites allow you to keep a keyword in the link's URL. This helps both users and search engines establish were the link leads. Users are more likely to click and search engines assume the page is relevant for that keyword. If people find great content at the destination of the link, they will share it through their own accounts, increasing both traffic and search engine credibility. This benefit is multiplied with a keyword in the link because every time the link is shared the keyword is included.
Find Sustained Buzz
To receive static links you need to stay on top of people's minds. You do this by creating a sustained buzz around your website. Links from Twitter appear and disappear quickly, so the SEO value from them is short lived. However, a sustained buzz through numerous links in separate tweets helps you keep a link on Twitter at all times. In turn, this encourages users to create a static link from their website to your best content.
Make Your Words Count
Twitter statuses only have 140 characters, some of which are used for your link. However, only the first few characters show up in search engine results. Start off with the most relevant words, leaving your link and hashtags until the end of your tweet.
Tweeting links aside, Twitter's greatest SEO benefit comes the relationships you will develop with other users. Many users have websites or blogs and will provide great content with a permanent, static link on their pages. Search engine algorithms rate these far higher than Twitter links. Simply put, the more static links you get, the better your site will rank. Follow users who tweet about your industry or company and interact with them. It takes time to develop the type of relationship which results in a link exchange, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process.
When someone you follow has issue you can solve, reply to their tweet or message them to let them know you can help. Help for free, and they'll respond by promoting your services to all their followers and readers. You'll get the SEO benefit of links from their website, as well as increased traffic from their followers. Many Twitter users have large followings, so get involved, offer help, and the links will follow.
Offer Great Content
Viral links always point to interesting content. If you provide links to dull content, people won't share the link with their followers and may stop visiting your links. Too many boring links and your followers will stop following you altogether. Links to unique, insightful content draw repeat visitors to your website, while shallow, poorly written content will turn people away for good.
Develop the content while you are making the connections. One trick is to ask other Twitter users for their favorite videos, photos or articles on a subject. Create content based around those and provide a link to the users who contributed to it. If they were excited to contribute, they will send the link to their followers and help drive traffic. If the content is really good, it may even warrant one of those elusive static links. One essential word of warning – avoid copyright infringement. If you knowingly use another Twitter user's intellectual property it will torpedo the credibility you worked hard to build.
All SEO is a long-term effort, and Twitter is no different. However, involving yourself in the community can provide a lot of valuable links back to your website and provide some strong advocates for your brand. The relationships you build go beyond simple SEO and can lead to greater things down the road.