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The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips

August 28, 2009

The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips

1. Choose a good handle

Be sure to pick an optimal handle thats relevant to your brand or campaign and easy to remember. Your handle (also known as your Username) then becomes part of your customized Twitter URL such as twitter.com/yoursite or twitter.com/yourtopic. Doing this creates a static address for future search indexing, which also helps usability for other cross-channel promotions. So choose wisely! The fun challenge: doing all this while keeping your name short and succinct so its easily tweetable.

2. Select an account name wisely

Optimize the Twitter account name to best reflect your brand. Your name is what appears next to your profile, which can be different than your handle/URL. You obviously want an account name that promotes yourself, your company or your brand. You should also consider which variation of you brand name has the most search frequency every month.

3. Make your bio count

Optimize your Twitter pages Bio line so it includes the most important, mission-critical phrases for your brand. Take advantage of all 160 characters! (Yep, thats right: They give you 20 more characters than a normal tweet.) Your bio is consistently indexed so its contents are what provide your Twitter page with its core relevance.

4. Spread the word

Now think about ways to build the link reputation of this newfound social web address. For example, you can integrate your Twitter URL into your website by placing a call to action on the site for your customers to follow you on Twitter. You could also integrate your Twitter URL within your sites Global Footer, which appears at the bottom of every page of your site. Both of these options offer usability to your site visitors and help drive your Twitter URL up in the search engines.

5. Remember your URL

In the account settings, be sure to add your websites URL or perhaps use it to promote your presence on another social platform, for example, yoursite.com. This is a great way to drive traffic back to your destination of choice; although, truth be told, the link does not provide any offsite reputation a.k.a. SEO link juice due to a Nofollow attribute that Twitter has in place. (Sorry Twitter spammers!)

6. Select the initial characters of each tweet carefully

The lead-in of each tweet appears to be important for SEO as it will determine what appears in the tweets title tag when it shows up as a search result on Google. Approximately 42 characters are factored into each tweets title tag, including the account name, as well as the initial characters of each tweet. Keep in mind that your full tweet and all its characters are still being indexed by major engines, though.

7. Write keyword-rich tweets if possible

Wherever possible, start your tweet with a primary keyword phrase to theme each message. Take advantage of any active lingo or buzz words as this will enable you to capitalize on timely searches on those terms. Of course, this doesnt mean you should fill your tweets with buzz words at the expense of providing value to your followers! Rather, think carefully about which word choices will best convey your message and also allow you to leverage the real-time and long-term index relevance across the engines that continuously spider and index tweets.

8. Mind your retweetability

Make sure your tweets character limits allow for optimal retweetability. If you want a message to proliferate on Twitter, its ideal to keep it under 120 characters so your followers can easily add RT @YourHandle in front of the tweet. However, the exact number is different from everyone as it depends on the number of characters needed for someone to include the phrase RT @yourname in their re-tweet.

9. Provide some link love

Insert back links to redirect users back to your content. Twitter has proven to be a significant traffic driver for bloggers and others using the space to share links. If you do share links, use one of the many URL shorteners available (TinyURL and Bit.ly (bit.ly) are two common shorteners). We recommend using the URL shortener Bit.ly, as it tracks click-throughs for the specific links you share on the platform. Bit.ly even has the power to track links in aggregate. For example, if multiple Bit.ly URLs were created and shared by separate users, all leading back to the same URL, the service can track and report click-throughs for all of them in aggregate. Bit.ly also tracks clicks over time, so you can see when people are clicking your links most.

10. As always, give em what they want

When providing Bit.ly links or any other URLs, make sure the redirection leads to pages which provide a richer content experience. Twitter users are hungry for information and accustomed to getting it right now. Send users directly to the details instead of having them fish around for it.

Mike Dobbs is the group director of SEO at 360i, a digital marketing agency that drives results for premier brands through insights, ideas, and technologies. The agency recently released the Social Marketing Playbook, a guide for brands utilizing social media to connect with their customers. You can follow 360i on Twitter.

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