Getting found online is the most fundamental way to grow your business in today’s economy. Search engine optimization (SEO) — the art and science of getting websites ranked by search engines — has evolved into a fundamental marketing channel. But do you know SEO isn’t just for your website?
Your social media engagement matters for your website ranking!
Google has made clear that social media links don’t directly add SEO value. But that doesn’t mean social signals aren’t important for search engine optimization and even for local SEO rankings.
Google wants to rank valuable content highly, and the size of your community and its engagement are strong indicators of your content’s worth. Also, content from social networks often appears in Google Search results.
No matter how you slice it, a large, authentic Twitter following and engagement with your brand’s content is a major boon for your business.
Here are 6 ways to put SEO best practices to work on your Twitter page to grow your following and your business.
1) Strategy before tactics.
Many businesses make the same mistake. They read about a tactic and implement it in a haphazard manner, only to move on to the next trending thing. Tactics are only useful in the service of a larger strategy!
Strategies begin with general objectives and highly targeted goals.
Your objective is the reason you use Twitter for marketing. Is it to increase brand awareness? Sell a new product? Boost traffic to your website?
Your goal is a specifically defined target to meet that objective. Perhaps it’s gaining another 100 visitors to your website each month. Or maybe it’s selling 10 units of your new product each week.
Identify your objective and your goal first, then carefully select and test the tactics most likely to help you reach those goals. If you’re trying to sell washing machines, your Tweets may focus on demonstrating the benefits for users and sharing relevant content, such as laundry tips. If your goal is increasing brand loyalty, you may want to ask your customers how they use your product or for suggestions for new offerings.
2) Develop, and be consistent using, your brand’s voice.
Every Tweet reflects your brand. They should always be faithful to your brand’s voice, which should be carefully crafted to reflect your identity and appeal to your ideal customers.
And edit, edit, edit! Not just for typos, but to make sure that you want to be associated with everything you’re sharing.
3) Grow your community by engaging first.
Sure, size matters (we all know that!), but on Twitter, engagement is king. Shares from your followers are votes of confidence, and fake fans won’t give you that. Cheap tactics to gain followers just aren’t worth the investment.
Instead get the ball rolling — and keep it moving — by actively engaging your followers and potential followers. This starts with putting out great content that people want to engage with, but you can keep it going by being responsive. Respond to all Tweets and direct messages, and retweet any mentions, adding your own note.
You can even take it one step further by searching for opportunities to jump into relevant conversations. Search keywords to find Tweets with questions that you can answer or problems you might solve. Consider throwing in an added incentive while you’re at it.
4) Choose the right keywords.
And speaking of keywords . . . it’s crucial to make sure your own content is just as easy to find.
Treat Twitter like a search engine. Using the right keywords in your Tweets, hashtags, captions, and bio can help your Twitter page rank for social media searches just like web pages do in Google searches.
If people are searching Twitter for keywords (and they are) make sure you show up for what’s relevant to your business!
5) Manage your reputation.
Now more than ever people are taking to Twitter to complain about negative experiences.
Per tip #3, you should already be actively monitoring your mentions on Twitter. Be sure to respond to anything negative, because it will definitely come up when people search for you!
First, respond to the Tweet with an apology and a desire to rectify the situation; then try to move the communication to direct message and away from the public eye. Even if you can’t change that person’s mind, at least potential customers will see that you are a transparent brand committed to delivering great customer service.
6) Track your Twitter traffic.
What isn’t measured doesn’t grow. I’ve heard that so many times, I’ve lost count.
So, if you haven’t already, turn on Twitter analytics to get an instant snapshot of how you’re doing and to track your engagement month-by-month.
Also, use Google Analytics to see how many page visits you’re getting from Twitter; it’s not as detailed as we’d like, but at least it will give you a sense of how much of your traffic can be traced back to Twitter.
Keep in mind that Twitter is a crowded place. Take care to craft messages that will make you stand out from the crowd. Keep your content smart and easy to enjoy at a glance. Above all, make it irresistible, because that is sure to be found.