Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it had reached a licensing agreement with Google and that the search engine would now have direct access to Twitter’s “firehose,” or the data stream that Twitter’s users generate with their approximate 6,000 tweets/minute. Previously, Google could display tweets on its search engine results pages, or SERPs, but doing so required that its spiders first crawl Twitter. This resulted in lost information because Google would only crawl Twitter periodically.
Now, with Google showing tweets more in real-time, Twitter will probably benefit in terms of traffic and ad revenue. Conversely, Google will likely be searched more often for real-time news and events. Having tweets in its search results will also place Google on solid competing ground with Yahoo! and Bing, two engines that already show tweets in their search results.
Now that Twitter is collaborating with the #1 search engine, it’s time for you to start taking advantage, and better advantage, of this micro-blogging platform in terms of ramping up your SEO efforts. Here are just a few things you can do to place your tweets at the top of Google’s SERPs:
1. Consolidate your user names.
With Google increasingly showcasing social media content, it makes good sense to generate the same user name on your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Doing so will also add more weight to your overall profile, which of course includes your Twitter profile and tweets. A social media “heavyweight” will naturally get more attention from Google.
2. Post regularly.
You’re only as popular as your last post, which means that if you don’t tweet very often, you won’t be remembered by Google. One method of overcoming Twitter inertia is to create a mindmap of your content topics and generate roughly 70-100 tweets from those topics. Then, you can use a tool like TweetLater to schedule your tweets. Plan on scheduling at least five tweets each day in order to remain top of mind in both your readers’ and Google’s minds.
Another useful feature of TweetLater is its ability to send you reports of keyword usage on Twitter. This can help you branch out your mindmap even more as you add to trending conversations.
3. Don’t forget hashtags.
Reply to hashtag memes that resonate with you and/or your brand. You can also search Twitter for trending topics that are typically associated with hashtags (and which are probably getting extra Google love).
Also, don’t be afraid to start your own hashtags and to encourage participation in the topic. If you’re at a loss on what kind of hashtag to create, RiteTag is a free trial tool that helps you generate hashtags and figure out which ones are likely to do better in Twitter than others. You can also perform post-hashtag release analytics using this tool.
4. Use Twitter Analytics.
Twitter Analytics ties into Twitter Ads, but you can also use this platform to track your follows and unfollows and measure tweet impressions and engagements.
Twitter Analytics also offers a lot of useful demographic info about your audience, including its interests, geographic location, gender and other Twitter follows.
Based on this information, you can generate more targeted content that is clicked on and retweeted by your current audience, resulting in your tweets having a higher probability of being picked up by Google.
5. Address issues and complaints immediately.
If you are going to reap the benefits of increased notoriety thanks to Twitter, you’re going to pay your dues too. These dues include being much more vigilant about any negative tweets regarding you or your brand and taking steps to address them quickly. Whether it’s a complaint, technical issue, or even a question, you need to keep tabs on your Twitter account and follow-up on such developments. Otherwise, your brand will suffer.
Luckily, you needn’t be on your Twitter account all the time to know what’s going on: TwitterFox is a Firefox-based web browser plugin that enables you to view tweets within your browser in real-time.
6. Use Twitter tracking tools.
There are many useful Twitter tracking tools available, which can help you figure out which of your tweets are successful and which ones are resulting in unfollows or even complaints. Some of these tracking tools include the following:
Followerwonk– Allows you to easily search Twitter bios, compare yourself to your competitors, and analyze your followers.
Social Crawlytics– Crawls websites (including those of your competitors) and gives you a report on the most retweeted content.
TwitterCounter– Shows how many new users are being added each day to your account.
Qwitter– Notifies you when someone unfollows you after you post a specific tweet.
Twitter cards– Another one of Twitter’s advertising platforms that functions like Google AdWords. Granted, Twitter cards (and AdWords) aren’t exactly SEO, but the rich media possibilities of cards makes them very useful for driving traffic back to your website once a viewer comes to Twitter and then sees your videos or photos.
Twitter also offers Twitter Card Analytics to help you determine how well your cards are performing and where your content is being shared.