There is no doubt that Twitter can be a very useful tool in effective social media marketing and expanding the reach of your company, but Twitter is often under utilized for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and natural link building strategies. Twitter can be a very powerful social tool and SEO tool because search engines crawl Twitter for links, which is factored into search engine rankings, while reaching a vast audience of followers to increase your presence on the web.
Twitter provides an amazing platform for natural link building strategies and inbound marketing, but it must be done in a natural way that fosters audience interaction for it to be effective. As one of the top internet marketing agencies, we will cover several link building strategies that can help optimize Twitter activity for SEO while still being natural and audience focused. These strategies of course will assume that you already have an active Twitter page with followers and that you follow users on Twitter as well.
Optimizing Your Twitter Profile to Build Links
This is often overlooked, but it is important to have your website URL in both the Web and Bio fields of your Twitter profile to easily make your website URL visible and accessible to Twitter followers. This can help by displaying your website URL in both Twitter profile and following lists. Also, if you can photoshop your URL into your photo, that wil further promote your URL although it canot be read for SEO. An example of this is shown in my profile.
Foster Meaningful Connections and Content
When using Twitter it is important to foster meaningful and relevant connections with other users. Interacting with users with relevant and quality posts will develop more meaningful connections and increase the chances that they will be willing to link to your site. Creating quality connections with users will motivate people to talk about your company because they will view you as more authoritative in your industry as well as increase trust and respect for your company. Essentially creating these relationships gives you more options for generating buzz and link building because other people will post links to share your content.
Gaining Links From Twitter Activity
Gaining links from fellow Twitter Users through meaningful Twitter activity can be an excellent method to not only help with SEO but also increase your authority within the Twitter world. There are many ways this can be done, so here are two easy and highly effective methods. Just to clarify, Twitter links are no-follow links meaning that they are not followed by search engines for search engine ranking. These strategies refer to gaining links on other websites that stem from meaningful Twitter activity.
The first method is to create Top Lists for various topics of industries. Select a topic, such as “Top 5 Places To Eat In San Diego.” From there you can compile a list of your top choices and use a service such as Follower Wonk to find people and businesses within that industry on Twitter. Create a piece of content for your list with a small positive description of each business or person, and Tweet this to the “winners” as well as other influential people in the industry. You can give the winners a badge or certification for having won which they will most likely put on their Webpage. They in turn will be likely to give you a link back to your URL or Twitter. Another advantage of this method is you are creating valuable content for other users, which can increase your following and authority among Twitter making it a highly beneficial action.
Another excellent method to get links from Twitter users is to offer testimonials. Positive testimonials are valuable for any company so this is a great method that fosters reciprocation among the users you give testimonials for. For example, you can create a blog post about how much you loved a company’s product. After creating this you can tweet to the company by saying something like, “Hey I loved your product and wrote a blog post about it. Direct message or email me for a testimonial. I’m following you.” You will likely gain a follower from it as well as an email for the blog post. They will then link to your blog post on their Twitter to share the information to their followers. Also you will be viewed in a positive light and they may be likely to offer you a testimonial as well. This is a phenomenal way to create links and foster meaningful relationships with Twitter users.
Correlation vs. Causation
It is important to address the concept of correlation versus causation on this subject. Social activity and buzz, such as on Twitter, does not cause search engine rankings to rise, as Twitter activity links are no-follow. However there is a correlation between social media buzz and improved search engine rankings. As social media buzz an activity increases search engine rankings will often rise, but the rise is not due to social media buzz. Often social media buzz will foster links on other websites which can attribute to increase rankings, but the actual links within Twitter posts will not be a cause of improved rankings.
Using Twitter Tools To Create Backlinks
There are several authoritative Twitter tools and directories out there that can be used to provide followed backlinks to your site, which will help increase search engine rankings. Before divulging too much into these sites, it is important to address the issue of account security with these sites, which will essentially run as applications on your Twitter. Once signing into any Twitter application or service using your information, it is important to make sure these applications do not have access to tweet for you. If you need to revoke access from these websites or applications you can revoke access to your Twitter account by viewing your account settings, clicking on the Applications tab, and then clicking the Revoke Access button (Settings>Applications>Revoke Access). This will allow you to use these services without allowing them to automatically tweet on your account. While few applications and services create tweets from your account, it is a proactive safety measure to take because websites and applications change rapidly and without notice.
With that said, there are several websites for Twitter tools and applications that you can use to get links from pages with high Pagerank (PR). Pagerank is Google’s metric to calculate the authority of a given page, and links from authoritative pages with higher Pagerank will carry more weight than backlinks from pages with lower Pagerank. Pagerank is a logarithmic scale, so a PR5 is much better than a PR2. Below are some websites you can use to get permanent do-follow backlinks ranging from a PR5 to a PR7!
Klout is an application website used to measure your Twitter influence on the web. Klout is a PR7, which is a great backlink and allows you to place your URL in your bio section. Klout automatically makes profiles for most Twitter accounts at http://klout.com/yourusername and you can sign in with your Twitter account.
Listorious is a PR6 website that allows people to search for Twitter users and lists. Within Listorious you can place your URL in the web link section, which will offer you a permanent do-follow link. You will need to sign up using your Twitter account and authorize Listorious access to pull information from your Twitter account to fill out the bio field.
TweetLevel is another Twitter application that measures your Twitter influence on the web. Like Klout, Listorious automatically generates profiles for Twitter users, so you can find your page at http://tweetlevel.edelman.com/User/yourusername. Listorious allows you to put your URL in the web link section to provide a permanent do-follow backlink. TweetLevel also offers a very detailed algorithm to your influence on Twitter and also offers tips to gain influence on Twitter making it a very useful tool.
TwtBIZCard is a PR5 website that allows Twitter users to create an online business card based on your Twitter account. TwtBIZCard allows you to place your URL in both the bio and web link sections, and provides permanent do-follow links from both sections. Since Google only follows a hyperlink one per page, you may want to add links to two different sections of your site to full take advantage of the 2 hyperlinks offered by twtBIZCard. Most users will already have an account which can be found at http://twtbizcard.com/yourusername, but creating an account is simple by signing in with your Twitter account.
Use Your Targeted Keywords
Your website is optimized for the keywords that you rank for, and similarly these keywords should be used in your Twitter activity. Naturally using these keywords in your bio and linked tweets will help to add context to your tweets and signify the relevance of these tweets to Google. You cannot add anchor text html links to your twitter, so the only way to add context to links is to use the keywords naturally around the link.
Make Your Tweets Retweetable
This is a very important and easy way to share your links among other Twitter accounts. You need to allow Twitter users to retweet your tweets because it will allow your tweets containing links to be posted and shared, thus increasing the number of backlinks you get. To do so, make sure that your tweets are less than 140 characters so that your tweets can be re-tweeted without cutting off characters and potentially the link. People will want to add their own comment on this, and 140 characters is the maximum number of characters that Twitter will display when people do this.
Wrapping It Up
Now that may be a lot to take in, but all of these tactics can be extremely beneficial ways to optimize your Twitter account and activity for SEO and link building strategies, as well as creating a better presence on Twitter. You will not only increase your search engine rankings, but also gain a greater following of people who support you or your business. This can also foster word of mouth advertising among followers’ friends and social sharing among other social media platforms when you truly inspire a follower. Try some of these tactics when using Twitter and let us know what you think. Also, can you think of any other tactics?