Twitter and SEO
If you’ve delved into digital marketing, chances are good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is on your mind. SEO is an invaluable set of practices that enhances your search engine visibility and, by extension, your reach, and conversions.
In much the same way, social media strategies demonstrably boost your website traffic – and the two overlap. To illustrate this point, let us explore exactly how to use Twitter to boost your SEO.
What is SEO?
First and foremost, let’s become specific about SEO. SEO encompasses over 200 factors that affect Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) ranking, including:
- Mobile optimization
- Loading speeds
- Content length and keyword density
- Content engagement
- Security certificates
Fortunately, not all of them are equally impactful; you may focus on the basic principles of delivering responsive, relevant, valuable pages to engaged audiences and succeed.
How do Twitter and SEO overlap?
That said, how exactly can one use Twitter to boost SEO? Well, the two overlap in some significant ways:
- Google indexes tweets. Ever since the Firehose deal between the two digital juggernauts, Google indexes tweets – thus having them act as their own organic results.
- Twitter carousels show up in Google’s SERPs. In much the same way as you’d chase a top 3 position in SERPs, the Twitter carousels provide excellent visibility.
- Both promote your brand. Finally, the one metric where the two best converge is Click-through Rates (CTRs); they both boost visibility with engaged audiences.
We’re not touching on social media signals here, as those deserve their own section – more on that at the end.
How to use Twitter to boost your SEO
Now, let us discuss some of the best ways to use Twitter to boost your SEO. In no particular order, here are 10 practices worth your attention.
#1 Optimize your Twitter bio.
Starting with the basics, it is crucial that you optimize your Twitter bio:
- Add your full business name and keep the information as accurate as possible.
- Get verified to incite trust.
- Add keywords that are relevant to your brand, like you would with tweets themselves.
- Make it interesting, unique, and memorable.
- Include valuable hashtags.
- Link to your website.
These should offer a healthy SEO foundation, making your profile discoverable, memorable, accurate, and clear. When your bio can be the first impression audiences get of you, be it in SERPs or on Twitter, it needs to be impeccable.
#2 Engage in influencer marketing.
Then, right at the top, we must note that influencer marketing is something worth considering. A solid social media strategy can help Twitter boost your SEO, by all means, but influencer marketing can supercharge it.
Using some Statista statistics, it should be easy to see why:
- Influencer marketing spending is increasing.
- The global influencer marketing market size has more than doubled between 2019 and 2021.
- The influence of influencers continues to grow.
Thus, if you can budget for it, influencer marketing can yield tremendous benefits, SEO-wise and otherwise.
#3 Leverage the Twitter carousel.
Next, the Twitter carousel is one of the most crucial aspects of how Twitter lends itself to SEO. As highlighted above, the Twitter carousel may pop up in SERPs, above organic results – so leveraging it is vital.
- Work toward acquiring your own carousel. Amass followers, tweet frequently, engage with other accounts, and use popular hashtags until you get it.
- Use it to promote your brand. Share your business mission, promote your hashtags, and deliver content your audiences care for.
- Interact with other prominent accounts. Interaction is what social media users are there for, and tactical interactions can serve as excellent optics.
Having achieved that, you may continue to refine your strategies.
#4 Target the right audiences.
Arguably the cornerstone of most marketing outreach, you’ll need to target the right audiences with your social media activity. Not only will this let Twitter boost your SEO, but also incite more engagement, better CTRs, and more final conversions.
To do so, you may begin by consulting your SEO keyword research and audience insights, and then consider such Twitter management tools and analytics tools as:
- Sprout Social
- Union Metrics
Should you prefer to start with native Twitter Analytics, those too will provide excellent audience insights.
#5 Maintain consistency.
Now, if there’s one metric that beats follower size and SEO practitioners vouch for, content quality aside, that’s consistency. In SEO terms, consistency denotes expertise and professionalism, and incites engagement – and the same applies to Twitter marketing.
To do so, you may use such tools as the above or others to schedule tweets throughout the day. Remember to have audience insights inform your schedule, and don’t overdo it – spammy accounts are easy to unfollow.
#6 Chase the hashtags, but do so wisely.
Similarly, there are few ways to engage and participate in conversations that are as effective as using popular hashtags. In this regard, the trending tab is invaluable – but so are your own analytics.
It is indeed valuable to use trending hashtags to gain traction, but they must also fit your brand; otherwise, why would your audiences engage or follow your links and content?
#7 Encourage audiences to use your hashtags.
This may be a relatively harder endeavor, but it’s just as important; you may encourage audiences to use your hashtags. Market them through quizzes, cause campaigns, social consciousness discussions, and more.
Not only will this let Twitter boost your SEO, but it will practically raise more brand awareness in the process.
#8 Use images and video.
Another point where Twitter and SEO overlap is simply visual appeal; images, videos, you name it. Data backs this up, as WordStream notes that tweets with images get 18% more clicks.
What’s more, it’s a perfect way to promote your infographics, how-to videos, and other content you may produce – win-win.
#9 Promote your website.
It should go without saying, but it still bears repeating; you must consistently promote your website to grow your business.
You should, of course, not do so in a spammy way, and you should engage for other reasons than self-promotion. But for Twitter to boost your SEO, it needs to generate website traffic from engaged, invested visitors.
#10 Engage, engage, engage.
Finally, as highlighted above, engagement is key; you simply can’t build a dedicated following without it. Promote your campaigns and pages, by all means, but remember to also engage meaningfully in a social sense:
- Start discussions
- Respond to inquiries
- Get involved in niche-relevant discussions started by your peers
As with marketing outreach, consistent engagement is key; audiences don’t value seldom posts and unresponsive profiles.
How do these Twitter practices boost SEO?
Now, let’s get more specific on how these practices affect SEO. No, it’s not about social signals, as we’ll discuss just below. Rather, it’s about fulfilling 3 key roles, among other benefits.
#1 They raise brand awareness.
Being active and sharing meaningful content to the right audiences raises brand awareness. That’s what spells the difference between inciting branded searches and being forgotten.
#2 They boost content performance.
Similarly, all of these practices boost content performance; they let your content reach more relevant audiences.
Put simply, your valuable infographics will perform much better if they make it to image search results. So will your landing page links if they reach the Twitter carousel above SERPs, instead of being buried under them.
#3 They incite backlinks.
Finally, backlinks are the proverbial backbone of SEO – referral traffic enhances ranking and increases final revenue. Whether it’s a Follow or NoFollow link, getting backlinks through these practices will undoubtedly help.
And what about social media signals?
To conclude, this is why we haven’t brought up social signals throughout this article. A huge discussion around them has raged on for a decade, and rightfully so. So, do they directly boost SEO or not?
Do they work?
Many, many marketers will claim they work, and often cite research and evidence to support this. Among many who do are Neil Patel, BigCommerce, and Entrepreneur.
There is indeed ample evidence to support this claim, then – but there is also the other side.
Or do they not?
Over the years, Google staff has repeatedly refuted this claim, which Search Engine Journal has summed up very effectively. To add to their citations of Google employees, consider the following:
- Gary Illyes asserted that social shares do not affect PageRank.
- John Mueller asserted that social signals do not affect rankings.
- More recently, John Mueller repeated that “[s]ocial media shares of a page and other social “applause” metrics simply don’t play into ranking”.
This is, of course, a very deep subject that’s sparked many discussions over the years, but these should cover the basics.
So what to do with social signals?
Thus, our conclusion should be informed by Matt Cutts saying “[l]et’s start with correlation != causation”.
It may very well be that social media signals factor into SEO in some ways – we never truly know the algorithm, only its effects. But since we can’t definitively know, and Google staff is pretty adamantly against it, we couldn’t definitively lean on it.
Thus, it’s likely that “[r]ather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content”.
Following the practices above, you will still reap the SEO benefits, directly or indirectly, and irrespective of social signals. Traffic and engagement will ensure Google of your content’s quality, and quality will generate backlinks. That’s how Twitter will boost your SEO; by raising brand awareness, boosting content performance, and helping you build backlinks.