Twitter SEO: Beyond #Hashtags

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hall-e-lu-jah! Lo, they did rejoice!

Hear that? That was the sound of Twitter users rejoicing last year when the social media platform announced that it was upping its longtime character limit from 140 to 280 characters, making things a little easier for the verbosely challenged.

All subtle barbs aside, it was a struggle to write informative, helpful, and engaging messages in 140 characters all while also trying to also include #hashtags, AKA keywords. We don’t blame you if SEO was often and even unintentionally punted as far as tweets were concerned.

In regards to hashtags alone, think about how many characters #teenagemutantninjaturtles is. Even #ninjaturtles is 13 characters long. Luckily, there’s also #tmnt, but you get the point. It took some serious creativity or tweaking of copy to create the perfect tweet.

Twitter SEO: Getting It Right

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With 280 characters to play with now, there’s no excuse not to make keyword integration a focal part of your Twitter strategy. As tempting as it is let loose and have fun in HootSuite, you should first understand how to optimize content on your Twitter profile. Believe it or not, there is certain Twitter etiquette to follow (we know, womp, womp).

Armed with this knowledge, you can increase your profile’s search ranking and your overall web presence. 

Don’t Forget About Your Profile

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First, remember that hashtags, links, and images draw all the attention—and for good reason; people can interact with all them easily. Still, it’s important to optimize your actual Twitter profile. If you have multiple social media profiles, use the same username and handle for all of them, if possible. Also, avoid using numbers and symbols, because Google sometimes finds them spammy.

Keeping your basic deets consistent and clean helps your long-term findability. Believe us, you want that.

Another option you have to increase your Twitter profile’s visibility and reputation is to get “blue checkmarked.” Receiving that verification badge lets Twitter users know the information on your feed is from a legit, verified organization. From there, it’s on you to keep things real with your audience.

Let’s not forget your profile picture, though. It’s recommended that you use a 200×200 pixel image for optimal page-load speed. Before you upload it, implement a keyword into the filename. If you use multiple words, separate them with dashes. This helps the search engines find you easier.

What about your profile’s copy? One thing that has stayed the same is the 160-character limit for Twitter bios. So, choose your words carefully. If possible, adopt the language of Twitter by using #hashtags and @mentions. And not only because your Twitter etiquette and cred will improve tenfold, but because hashtags and mentions essentially serve as clickable keywords. Score.

Don’t forget to link to your company’s website. Think of that link as your Twitter profile’s call-to-action button. With that in mind, make sure the link leads to a page of your website that will impact the most visitors or easily prompt them to take action.

Last but not least, you want your Twitter profile to be personable and attention-grabbing. When in doubt, a little humor never hurts. We’re a big fan of that philosophy. Anyway, remember: first impressions are everything. This is the opportunity to highlight your company’s value and expertise. Make the most of it, or as we like to say: Cowabunga!

Yeah, we love the nineties, so what.

#Hashtags = Keywords

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We’ve alluded to this several times already, including just a few words ago, but hashtags are keywords (or vice versa) in the Twittersphere. Hashtags enable your tweets to appear in specific topic searches or Twitter Trends feeds. For example, if you use the hashtag #tmnt, anyone who searches Twitter for TMNT can see your content! Talk about making your content findable. As we love to say: cha-ching.

Not sure what hashtags to use? Keyword research tools are your best friends. If you don’t have access to them yet, perform some good ol’ manual research. One method would be to see what the competition is doing. Imitation really is the best form of flattery. And don’t worry about not finding enough keywords. For Twitter purposes, three hashtags a tweet is fine. Too many and you could (not surprisingly) draw the ire of the Google Spam Police.

Use Twitter Analytics to monitor the performance of your keywords. By identifying which ones get the most likes, retweets, and clicks, you can focus on using keywords in more targeted ways. Speaking of retweets, they are huge- as in they can significantly increase your traffic.

Get Retweeted. A Lot.

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Don’t be shy about asking people to retweet your content because you could miss out on some serious traffic boost action. If you need more convincing, here you go: Asking for retweets isn’t frowned upon and you won’t be penalized. You also can bet your competition does the same thing because we all know it’s a dog-eat-dog world.  

That said, don’t forget you still have a character limit. If you’re going to ask for retweets, you need to make room for them by using shorter tweets. This also allows retweeters of your content to comment or mention people in their retweets. Engagement is key to thriving on Twitter, so do all you can to get retweets. But maintain some self-respect. Ask, don’t beg.

Get Social in Search Results

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We mean this literally. Make sure all your social profiles, not only Twitter, appear in search engine results. For example, you can add social media profiles to your Google Knowledge Graph Card, by using markup from your website. Google then will use algorithms to display the most relevant social media profiles to users’ queries.

Not that you need any more Twitter gains after our previous tips, but hey, why not take advantage of every glorious resource that is available to you, especially ones from Google!

Finding Success with Twitter

We threw a lot at you, but the good news is a lot of this is easy stuff and shouldn’t take too much time. And at least we didn’t try throwing ninja stars. After you get your Twitter profile optimized and your social media profiles showing up in search results, it’ll be a matter of perfecting the art of hashtags.

But if you think of them as keywords, that should help you embrace putting pound signs before words. Having more characters to work with also should be a big boost. Think about all us pre-fall 2017. Don’t wait any longer to make Twitter etiquette an increased focus for your organization. You’ve got retweets to earn, so tweet away!

And if you still are having problems, consider hitting us up. We’re professionals. This type of knowledge is the thing we carry around in our back pockets. Let us take the stress out of your Twitter and SEO experience. It’s kinda what we do.

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