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social media how toDo you want more exposure for your Twitter account?

Have you thought about applying SEO tactics to your Twitter marketing?

With a few simple techniques, you can increase the chances that your Twitter account shows up in both Twitter and Google search.

In this article you’ll discover how to improve the visibility of your Twitter account with SEO.

optimize tweets for search

Discover how to optimize your tweets for search.

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Start With Relevant Keywords

Keywords that you’re already using in the metadata of your website are a good place to start. Your website keywords might not translate perfectly to Twitter, but if you combine them with popular hashtags and topics that work well in your content, you’ll have a good group to test.

You’ll know which keywords are working best by monitoring your engagement, link clicks and reach. Any spikes in those metrics will show you which tweets have effective keywords in them. Then you can use those keywords more in your tweets and profile.

google keyword planner results

Google’s Keyword Planner helps you find relevant keywords.

You can also expand your keyword list by including the names of events that your company is always involved with. Make the list as big as you like as long as every word is relevant to your brand. Most importantly, keep this list updated.

With your keywords in hand, here are some ways to boost your visibility for both Twitter and Google search.

#1: Optimize Your Account for Twitter Search

Tweets get the main stage on Google right now, but optimizing your account for search on Twitter will allow you to have long-term searchability.

Handle and Username

Make sure your handle and username match your website and brand name. Consistent branding across all of your channels is your best bet for being found by the audience you want. Your handle and username don’t have to match each other, but they should be related.

Your handle is also included in your unique Twitter URL (for example, https://twitter.com/SMExaminer). Your username shows up next to your profile photo for all of your tweets.

keywords in twitter bio example

Use your keywords (for example, “social media”) in your image and bio.

You can change your username easily. But changing your handle is trickier, and you’ll lose your verification badge if you have one. Changing your username or handle may also confuse your followers and cause people to unfollow you. If you’re going to change either one, try to do it only once.

Don’t use a lot of numbers in your username either because Google may flag it as spam.

Bio, Photo and Link

Your bio, photo and link are the places to make changes and updates to promote campaigns or events. Twitter indexes your bio regularly, so any changes affect your relevancy score in search. You can use up to 160 characters in your bio section, so make the most of them.

The bio’s main purpose is to explain to potential followers what you usually tweet about and why they should follow you. Update your bio regularly to match the type of content you’re currently tweeting about.

If you have a campaign or event you’re involved with, make sure you include relevant keywords and hashtags in your bio. This will help you show up more on both Twitter and Google when people search for those keywords and hashtags.

event details in twitter bio

If you’re holding an event, promote the event and hashtag in your bio.

The profile photo also has some SEO weight. Before you upload the photo, add relevant keywords, separated by dashes, to the filename of your photo (for example, social-media-examiner.jpeg). This won’t make you shoot to the top of results on its own, but SEO tactics are most successful when the different pieces are working together. Also make sure your photo is exactly 200 x 200 pixels for optimal loading speed.

Your link is the biggest call to action for your Twitter account. Many brands shorten their URL to make it more trackable and user-friendly. If you want to shorten your URL, get a branded link shortener because some link shorteners can be flagged as spam.

Also think carefully about which page your bio link is sending your Twitter followers to. The safest option is to use the main page of your brand’s website because it usually has the best SEO authority. You can use special landing pages for campaigns, but only if they’re more relevant to your followers than your website’s homepage.

Don’t forget to provide a link to your Twitter account on your website. That mutual link love not only gets you more traffic and followers, it also gives your account more authority. The more places that link to your Twitter account, the more credible a source it will appear to search engines like Google.

twitter button on a website

Make sure to include a link to your Twitter account on your website.

You can also add your Twitter account link to your blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, YouTube video descriptions and newsletters. And be sure to submit your Twitter profile to popular Twitter directories (such as Twitaholic and Wefollow) to catch the eye of influencers trying to increase their authority as well.

#2: Add Google’s Markup Code to Your Website

Google lets you embed code in your website to specify your preferred social accounts, like Twitter, to include in search results. For example, Microsoft’s social profiles are displayed in the Google knowledge panel on the right in these search results.

social profiles shown in search results

Google lets you include your social profiles in search results.

In addition to your Twitter profile, you can specify your profiles for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, SoundCloud and Tumblr. All you have to do is grab some code from the Google Developers site and drop it onto your website.

#3: Use Keywords in Your Tweets

Every time you tweet, you have the opportunity to show up in Google search results for a topic that your customers and prospects care about. While your tweets may not last as long at the top of search results as a website would, you get more chances to be relevant through your tweets.

Make sure you’re constantly testing and varying your content to see what works. You can use Twitter analytics to review your tweets and find out what’s working best. When you find something that sticks, make sure to expand your content plan to give you more ways to tweet about that particular topic.

tweet shown in search results

Every tweet is an opportunity for you to show up in Google Search.

Put yourself in the shoes of people searching and think about why they search. Whether people are researching an event or trying to find out about the inspiration for the latest Taylor Swift song, they’re usually looking for more in-depth information than 140 characters can provide. That’s why rich media works best for Twitter search.

tweet shown in top news results

Top new stories on Twitter usually have photos and links in them.

The words in your tweet will show up on Google, but the images and links in your tweet will show up at the top of the search results on Twitter. Make sure to give your readers everything you can in each tweet. When it comes to Twitter, the more effort you put in, the better your results will be.

#4: Encourage Retweets

Other than Google and Twitter search, the most effective way to expand the reach of your tweets is with retweets. Unlike Facebook, there’s no penalty for asking people to share your content. Some of the most effective organic tweets end with a clear call to action.

retweet example

Include a call to action in your tweet.

Make sure your tweets are short enough to retweet. The optimum tweet length for retweetability is fewer than 120 characters. This leaves room for other Twitter users’ handles in their retweets. Some handles are longer than others, but 120-character tweets should provide enough space to accommodate even the longer ones.

Conclusion

Whenever you do a Google search, you’re creating a search stream just like Twitter does with Twitter chats. The only difference is that Google supplies a lot more content, and the change in the stream is much slower. Putting these two types of search together is a natural fit, especially since Twitter tracks keywords and hashtags in the Trends feed.

Although there aren’t many tools that can measure each tweet’s exact reach, it’s a factor in the authority level that Google gives your Twitter account. Posting retweet-worthy content, having high-quality followers and tweeting at times when you have the most followers on Twitter are the best ways to attain a strong overall reach.

The name of the game is getting good audience response to your content. All of these tricks are great, but they’ll never replace quality content. Always think of your followers first and SEO second. Algorithms change often, so make sure to always write for the humans reading your tweets, not the robots.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics with your Twitter account? Do you have any tips for expanding reach through Twitter or search? Let us know in the comments below.

how to optimize tweets for search

Tips for optimizing your tweets for search.

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  • Cynthia V. Anderson

    What does it mean to “get a branded link shortener because some link shorteners can be flagged as spam.” How do I distinguish between a branded & non-branded?

  • This goes to show that you got to be careful what you tweet or retweet. I did a google search on a motivational speaker few days ago, his tweet filled up the whole search results, but when I ran a search on me, no tweet showed up, is this feature rolling out in batches? Or not for everyone. I don’t know. Thank you Greg for the insightful post.

  • With Google’s structured markup for social profiles, do you need to include this code on each page of your website? Thanks in advance

  • Thank you for the comment, Illoh. It’s hard to say exactly how they plan on rolling it out, but it doesn’t seem to be fully launched yet because I can only get tweets to show up on mobile for me. Google search on desktop doesn’t return tweets for me yet, but I’m sure it will at some point in the future.

  • I think that depends on if you are trying to rank for every single page on your website with social profiles. We mostly focus on our homepage, but I’m sure you could include it on multiple pages as well.

  • Excellent post Greg, I love that you’ve pulled in some new tricks I’ve never heard of (like add Google’s markup to your website)

  • I think you just missed the importance of hashtags, which can provide more exposure to your tweet resulting in more retweets, favs. As far as indexing is concerned I have read it at a number of sites that the tweets from influencers usually get to show up on search results not from the normal users at the moment.

  • Thanks so much, Hugh. Glad you liked the article.

  • Yes, Salman. You are right that hashtags are a great way to gain extra exposure, but that is a whole separate strategy in itself. Jumping into a conversation for a trending hashtag is a very good way to tap an instant audience, but it is more of a responsive approach than a something that is easy to plan for. More standard hashtags like #socialmedia will allow you to plan out your tactics, but unfortunately they are dependent on how many people happen to be searching for that hashtag. I am not aware of any tool that can tell you that though the way Google can tell you search volume for keywords. Outreach to influencers is also a great strategy, especially if you can get them to syndicate your content with retweets. Thank you for reading.

  • Cynthia V. Anderson

    I understand now. Than you bunches for the clarification!

  • Great article Greg! With twitter’s new extended commenting feature on retweets, do the tweets still need to be short enough to fit in a retweet?

  • Never thought of Twitter SEO other than just using hastags. I like the idea of using keywords in the image. Great tips here.

  • Great article Greg! very informative …it’s time to step up our Twitter and #Hashtag game! Thanks again!

  • Great question, Patricia. The extended commenting feature does provide a bit of a loop hole in that tip. I would still recommend keeping tweets as short as possible though because people use tons of different platforms to monitor their tweets, and they may not all have that full functionality.

  • Thanks, Shalu! Hope it helps you expand your reach.

  • Thank you for reading!

  • Kasia Perzyńska

    Hey! What’s the difference between handle&username?

  • Grace Duffy

    Handle and username can used interchangeably. However, handle typically refers to the name after the @ symbol and user name is the name on the account.

    For example, on Michael Stelzner’s Twitter account you can see that the handle is @Mike_Stelzner and the tweets are coming from Michael A. Stelzner:

    https://twitter.com/Mike_Stelzner

  • Kasia Perzyńska

    Thank you 🙂

  • I don’t get the Google structure data markup part . How do we do it ? and where do we paste the code?

  • You can find the code you need from https://developers.google.com/structured-data/customize/social-profiles, and then you will need to copy and paste that code into the back-end of you site. If you have a developer on staff, they should be able to do this for you.

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting article. Think many people underestimate Twitter’s importance and the importance of using Twitter the right way. Still working on mastering Twitter better, therefore it is good and interesting articles has a great value for me.

  • Carlos Rodriguez

    Are things changing for Twitter? I, as a user, don’t find it so great any more. I’ve been doing my research and lots of companies have good engagement in other platforms, but on Twitter, engagement is practically zero. What are your thoughts about this?

    My boss wants to create a Twitter account but I really don’t see the point. Too much work and effort for so little engagement.

  • Hi Carlos,

    Twitter definitely requires more effort and resources than other platforms, but it also offers some unique advantages to balance it out. On Twitter you can do direct outreach, post content multiple times in the same day to test content themes and search public posts easily. If you’re target market uses other platforms a lot more than Twitter, it may not be worth all the effort it requires to stay active, but if you do have a large audience on Twitter, it could end up being your biggest source of engagement.

  • Thanks , for amazing post