I wrote a post the other week about How to Make Google Love Your LinkedIn Profile and this week the turn has cometh to Twitter. Although you have far less space to write about yourself on Twitter, there are a few tricks you should be aware of to optimize your profile for search engines.
Good news, your name already ranks well on Twitter
Do a search for your name on Google; I bet your Twitter profile will come up on the first page (as will your LinkedIn profile). This means Google already loves Twitter in terms of search engine rankings for your name.
This means that if someone is checking you out online (a potential customer or employer), they are very likely to find your Twitter profile along with your blog, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
Now let’s rank well for your keywords
When a potential customer or employer know what they are looking for but not who, they are likely to search using keywords. Let’s say you are looking for an SEO guru on Twitter, you are likely to search with keywords.
Using Twitter Search, Twellow or Twazzup you can enter “SEO consulant” and you’ll get a result for everyone doing this on Twitter. Now consider that people run these searches every day. From journalists to recruiters, searches are constantly being run online for individuals with your skills.
To get your ranking well for keywords you can add the keyword to your twitter user name; @YourName could be @YourNameSEO for instance. This will give you a significant boost as most people search for user names.
If you think this looks a bit spammy you can simply change the Twitter name, meaning the box just above the location where you fill your own name in. Change this to “Your Name KEYWORD” if you like.
The other obvious thing to do is adding keywords to your 160 character bio. The best way to do this is simply to list what you do, e.g. “SEO consultant helping companies being found on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Jeeves and other search engines”. Anyone searching for any of these terms or a combination of these terms will get you on their radar.
As you can see I have put a few keywords on my own bio for this very reason. For more on bios, check out How to Breathe Life into Your Twitter Bio.
Let’s get you ranking well for location
And let’s face it – there will be lots of SEO experts on Twitter so the search will definitely use a location to narrow down the search results. So on top of punching in “SEO consultant” they will add a location like “Birmingham”. This will pull up all the SEO ninjas in Birmingham in a simple search.
To ensure you get on a search for your location, you will want to fill in your location info properly. Before you do this, think about your target audience. Are you a global blogging persona? Probably best to put your nearest big city, let’s say New York.
If you are a property surveyor in a specific area, probably best to localize it as much as possible so go with Hoboken, you could even state South West Hoboken. The more specific your location, the more specific interest you will get from people on Twitter.
The localization is one of this tool’s greatest strengths. Twitter is a global tool with a fantastic reach but in my opinion, it’s best at creating local communities. Every town, borough, parish, arrondissement and quarter has its own Twitter feed nowadays and it brings local folks together – and now they will all find you.
I used to have “London, UK” as my location but recently changed to “Covent Garden, London, UK” and it has generated quite a lot of interest which is exactly what I intended. Reaching the world is great but there are seven million people in central London who I can start with
Your website link
If you want Google to love your Twitter profile, you’ll have to link it either to a site carrying your own name, your keywords or your location. If you don’t have your own blog, this might be a good time to set it up. In my case, I’m linking to my company site and in fact even to the company blog so that visitors will go straight to our content.
Whatever you do link your profile to, don’t use a link shortener here as the search engines won’t pick up on the original URL.
Google could even love your photo
As I mentioned in a previous post, renaming your profile picture with your name, keywords, location etc will also help your rankings. Search engines robots can’t actually see images but they do look at the image file names. So instead of using “myphoto.jpg”, try “john-smith-birmingham-seo.jpg”. It’s a mouthful I know but it won’t be visible to anyone but your new buddy Google.
Can you add any more Twitter SEO tips? Please share in the comments!