Today’s post is part 3 of a four part series on SEO and your social media profiles. The first two posts focused on your business’s Facebook fan page and your LinkedIn professional profile. If you missed those two posts, you should go back and check them out because a solid social media presence as part of your overall online marketing campaign requires you are active on more than one of the social networks.
Today we’re focusing in on Twitter.
When you go to Twitter.com to create a new account, you will see on the right side of the page, “New to Twitter? Join Today!” with three boxes underneath. The first box asks for your “Full name”. This doesn’t have to be your name. It can be the name of your business or whatever name you want to brand. Choose wisely as this will be your unique URL (i.e. twitter.com/Fullname). Just like I discussed in the Facebook post, when selecting a User Name for your profile, you can create whatever you want, but we recommend you focus on one of two options: 1) your business name, or 2) your keywords. The search engines look for these, plus you want to protect your brand and / or make it evident what market you serve or what service you provide with your URL.
Next you’ll have to enter in your Email and a Password. When you click on the “Sign Up” button, it will take you to another page to let you know if the information you entered is available for you to use or if you have to modify your choices.
It may sound weird, but your profile name on the account doesn’t need to match your URL. For example, if when you tried to open your account, you weren’t able to get your business name as your User Name, you may have selected a keyword phrase for your URL, but you can use your business name as your Profile Name. So in sticking with the SEO consultant example, you may have twitter.com/seoconsultant as your User Name, but you could put John Smith (if that were your name) or Super SEO Consultancy (if that were your business name) as your Profile Name.
Just as I discussed is the case with Facebook in the last post, the search engines search tags of images. When you upload your photo, make sure the image has your name or your business’s name as the file name before you upload it.
Your bio is a great place to include keywords. The Twitter search and the major search engines can identify keyword phrases in this section. Plus, don’t forget to add in a hyperlink back to your branding site, too. You only get 160 characters, so choose wisely.
Link with Your Other Sites / Profiles
When you create your Twitter account, make sure you get the word out on your branding site and your other social network profiles. Many branding sites will have a Twitter icon that visitors can click on to take them to your Twitter account. You can also have your tweets appear on your branding site by using a plugin, too. Some of the social networks give you the option to have your tweets appear there, too. Facebook and LinkedIn both do. Make sure you set up these connections.
Twitter appears in Google searches and searches by some of its competitors. Often, what captures the search engines’ attention, and thus ranking, is the Profile name, and the first few characters of a tweet. So if you are an SEO consultant and you want to tweet something about SEO, put it at the front of the 140 character tweet and not at the end. Your full tweet is indexed by the search engines, but the first few characters often have the biggest impact.
Make sure you take advantage of hashtags (those names with the “#” symbol in front of them) as a way to have your content easily found by other people with similar interests. You’ll want to research which hastags have the biggest following and are most active, just as you would for keywords. Plus, to help you maximize the 140 character limit and allow you the impact of adding in hyperlinks, use one of the link shortening services, like Bit.ly, TinyURL or Ow.ly.
One Insider Secret
While you may already have trouble keeping your tweets to 140 characters or less, you should consider keeping them under 120 characters. The strength of social media is built upon people being able to share information. When it comes to Twitter, many save SEO users like to RT (or ReTweet) content. And when they do, they usually add in their User Name with it. To be able to fit in the RT @username, they need the extra characters. By giving them room, you are opening up the likelihood that they will share your tweet because they can get exposure from it, too.
BTW – just a quick disclaimer that I’ve put at the bottom of each post … If you’ve spent any time using social media, for personal fun or professional connections, you know the social media networks make changes to their services regularly. So if you’re reading this in 3 months time and Twitter has gone through a revision, contact me at SmallBizMedia.tv for latest updates.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide