Photo courtesy of Andy Kinsey
How does one know when it’s time to jump on the Twitter bandwagon? When Oprah finally makes an entire show on Twittering that’s when! Lately it’s been Twitter this, Twitter that, everyone is “Tweeting” these days including celebrities who claim they don’t want everyone to know what’s going on in their lives but Twitter about it anyway.
So, if you’re not on the Twitter bandwagon yet, you’re missing out. Not just on how to stay in touch with friends, family, business colleagues, Oprah or so called the King of Twitter, but you’re missing out on possible opportunities to improve your brand awareness and SEO.
In this post I’ll quickly go over exactly what Twitter is, for those of you who live in the dark, how to use it, why to use it, and most importantly, how Tweeting will help your SEO strategy.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is another social networking program that is free. It allows you to stay connected with what your friends are doing every minute of the day if they decide they want to Tweet that often. (And some do, believe me!)
The people who created Twitter, feel that after much research, people do in fact want to know what’s going on at all times. For college students, apparently moms want to know when their kids are eating soup or skipping class. For high school kids or celebrities, people want to know where you’re at partying in case they want to meet up with you. And for employees, your boss definitely wants to know if you’re running late to a meeting.
How to Twitter?
What’s cool about Twitter is that you can do it via your computer or phone if you have access to the internet. You choose who you want to follow, and you can even put your account on ‘quite time’ in case you don’t want to be interrupted.
When you send an update via Twitter, you only have 140 characters to tell everyone what you’re up to. So you can’t write a novel, and that’s what makes it cool and easy to follow so many people. Some people even call it micro-blogging.
How Twitter can help your SEO:
The bigger question for most businesses is how does Twitting help out my SEO strategy? While using Twitter, within that 140 character limit you can include links. In those links you can include keywords you’re trying to target. Even though Twitter links are nofollowed, meaning no PageRank is being passed on from Twitter to your site, you can still gain relevant links and targeted traffic from Twitter. (Be aware that if you’re links are too long Twitter can use link shortening code that will remove your keywords.) So essentially by including keywords in your Tweets and links you’re targeting traffic that is related to your niche, and hopefully in turn that targeted traffic will link to your site in their Tweets, blogs, website articles, etc.
Look at using Twitter more as a branding tool. A way to get the word out about what you’re business is doing and a way to connect to potential customers or business affiliates.
You can link people to a particular project you’re working on, a contest or promotion, when you’re looking to hire new help or even to promote your products, you’re selling, videos, services, photos, etc. This will help drive targeted traffic to your site which can obviously help sell and promote your products/service and brand.
With any marketing SEO strategy, Twitter takes time and dedication. You won’t get a ton of followers right away. And the more you’re engaged in your followers the more followers will be engaged in what you’re doing, and the more followers you will get. Before you open a Twitter account, do some research on your niche to understand if Twitter can help. If someone else in your industry has a good following, start following them, hopefully they’ll follow you, and hopefully all of their followers will follow you too!
There are tools like Hubspot and Twitter Grader that you can use to grade your performance/growth. There’s also search.twitter.com where you can enter in particular keywords according to your niche to find other people that are related to your business.
Another important note about using Twitter to aid in your SEO efforts is that it’s very similar to blogging. Many of the same rules apply, like don’t write to sell. Write normally as if you’re speaking to a colleague or friend. If you’re constantly trying very hard to sell and get people to click on your link people won’t!
Andy Kinsey has a good and short top 10 post on using Twitter to your advantage. So, now you know of the bandwagon, is it finally time for you to jump on? What’s it going to hurt!!?