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Boost SEO rankings by building your Twitter presence

How to use Twitter to improve your Google SEO rankings

When it comes to social media marketing, there’s always a little more you could do to use a network to its maximum potential. Twitter is a golden example of how social media can boost SEO rankings.

While Facebook and Instagram have had plenty of attention from businesses of all sizes, Twitter has remained, for many, just the platform that you have to be on. It’s fun and enticing, useful for promoting blog content perhaps, but not exactly a goldmine of strategy like the other two.

Well, there’s actually more to Twitter than you might have thought. Of all the social media platforms, it’s the one that’s most beneficial to your SEO efforts.

What’s the deal with Twitter and Google?

The debate on whether social media affects SEO is pretty much wrapped up – the short answer being yes, it does. It’s not a direct ranking factor, but building your brand and widening your reach on social is an important part of your overall marketing strategy and beneficial to SEO indirectly. However, Twitter goes a little beyond that, holding a special place in Google’s cold algorithmic heart.

Boost SEO rankings

That’s right: the platform was handed an important role in SEO back in 2015, when it partnered up with the search engine giant. As a result of this partnership, Google has access to the Twitter stream so that it can index tweets in its search results – it’s the “Results from Twitter” you’ve probably grown entirely used to seeing. Now, Google might not index your tweet per se, but that doesn’t undermine the SEO appeal that the partnership entails.

It’s an invaluable platform to pair with your website, so here is how you can leverage it to squeeze every bit of SEO benefit from it too.

Dive in and take part in the Twitter community

Shall we repeat together the good old “It’s called social media for a reason” phrase?

There’s just no getting around this one.

The crucial point to understand here is that no matter what kind of partnership with Google there is or which new SEO hack comes up, the essential role of social media is building trust – and the tangible benefits can only come afterwards.

Try to think of the bigger picture: how does your presence on Twitter contribute to your brand image and your overall marketing efforts? If you’re new to the whole game of branding and social media, have a glance at the portfolios of professional digital agencies to see how the pros integrate social media into cohesive marketing campaigns. It’s about showing your brand voice, building relationships, and finding your place as a valuable member within a niche.

And in the long run, this is part of a legitimate SEO strategy because an active and engaging presence on Twitter will help you widen your reach and drive traffic to your website.

Although retweets, for example, do not directly boost SEO rankings for your website, they are an important part of the strategy. By gradually building credibility and sharing valuable content, you’ll be able to overstep the bounds of the Twitter ecosystem and have more people discover your content, potentially sharing it on their blogs and websites too – and those are the links that will definitely help your Google rankings.

Tips for maintaining an engaging presence on Twitter:

  • Follow other brands and industry leaders
  • Participate in discussions
  • Host Twitter chats
  • Facilitate conversation – engage your audience by asking questions in your tweets
  • Don’t hesitate to share other people’s content, both in the form of retweets and by tweeting links to other relevant websites
  • Track mentions of your brand and respond to them
  • Use @mentions to give shout-outs to other brands, show your appreciation, or include someone in a discussion
  • Respond genuinely to customer inquiries
  • Encourage user-generated content

Quuu's Twitter chat

Tweak the bio with relevant keywords

With only 160 characters at your disposal, you really want to make your bio count. For one, the bio is how you make that crucial first impression. It’s where you want to bring your brand’s identity to light so you can attract targeted followers. These are the types of followers who are very interested in or relevant to your business and industry, who participate actively on the platform, and who will ultimately be the most engaged with your brand.

In light of that, keep in mind that Twitter is a search tool in its own right, so make sure you include industry-relevant keywords in the bio. That makes it more “indexable” for Google and it makes it incredibly easy for targeted followers to discover your brand. You don’t need to go overboard and stuff your bio with keywords – only go for the relevant ones that will help you present yourself more effectively.

Use target keywords in tweets

You want relevant keywords in your tweets for the same reason you want them in your bio. Since Google has access to the Twitter stream, the social platform sort of has its own, internal SEO. When you include industry-related keywords in your tweets and retweets, you’re helping Google determine how relevant they are to certain queries.

Basically, you need to optimize your Twitter account for target keywords just like you optimize your website. Your primary goal is writing effective tweets, but try to include focused keywords as much as possible in order to rank better. Don’t let context fall out of sight, so if a tweet can’t include the keywords you want to rank for but it is beneficial to building your brand identity and driving engagement – go for it.

Content Marketing Institute's Twitter bio
Content Marketing Institute’s Twitter profile ranks second after their website for the search term ‘content marketing’ on Google – meaning they get to take up two spots.

Use hashtags effectively

How can there even be Twitter without hashtags?

Not only can they be a great push for marketing campaigns, but they are crucial to Twitter SEO. That’s because hashtags are there to make your tweets searchable – and not only on Twitter, but on Google as well.

In order to maximize the effect hashtags can have on your rankings, follow these tips:

  • Keep them simple. Think along the lines of “What would someone search?”
  • Use industry hashtags and niche-specific keywords. You can use a variety of tools to research popular hashtags and help you find the right ones.  
  • Run a hashtag campaign as part of a larger advertising campaign. This can be a good marketing strategy to widen your reach and stay top of mind, but make sure you integrate it with your other social media profiles.
  • Include 1-3 hashtags for each tweet in order to keep them focused. There’s no need for more unless it’s a part of a campaign which specifically targets more hashtags.
  • Don’t always use the exact same hashtags on all of your tweets. Keep them focused but switch them up every once in a while to widen your reach.

Mind your timing

Twitter is always buzzing with activity. The platform is insatiably curious for in-the-now info and everything is bound to get old on it pretty quickly. This, of course, leads many people to wonder how much they should be tweeting.

Don’t get hung up on quantity, but don’t underestimate its importance either. Good timing is going to help you establish that much-needed balance and not get ahead of yourself with incessant tweeting. An abrupt avalanche of tweets is only going to hamper your efforts – your audience is likely to feel annoyed and ambushed, and you can also risk Google viewing your activity as spam.

Boost SEO Rankings

In order to make sure your Twitter account works to your advantage and that every step is in line with your SEO efforts, the best thing to do is to schedule your tweets (you can use Quuu for that) and spread them out strategically throughout the day. According to Hubspot, B2C (business to consumer) companies perform better on Twitter during weekends, so that’s one of the times you know your posts will gain the most visibility and interaction. You can use tools such as Twitter Analytics to track when your followers are most active and use that data determine the best times for tweeting.

Conclusion – Boost SEO Rankings with Twitter  

Lastly, don’t forget the cherry on top: promote your Twitter profile. This part is vital, although it’s less about trying to boost SEO rankings and more about spreading the word. Provide a link to your brand’s Twitter profile on your blog and in the author byline in your guest posts. You’ll see the latter tactic widely used by guest post authors, and it’s believed to help enhance the profile’s authority in Google’s eyes.

The takeaway here is that your website and your Twitter profile are really meant to work closely together, benefiting from each other’s authority. Hopefully, these tips were helpful and will push you to boost SEO rankings with social media – use them to fix your weakest point on Twitter and maximize your account’s SEO potential.

Meaghan Yorke

Meaghan Yorke