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Twitter SEO: Ninja Tricks for Reputation Repair

August 14, 2017


Twitter is one of my top slam-dunk assets for trying to displace negative content in search results.If your reputation has been harmed by some negative content that ranks when your name is searched, a strong Twitter account could be one of your primary resources for pushing the bad stuff lower on Google and Bing.Unfortunately, many individuals, small businesses and reputation agencies do a poor job of optimizing Twitter profiles to enable this to happen.Read on for my ninja-level tricks for Twitter SEO!When searching for the names of individuals and businesses in search engines, Twitter accounts can appear on page one of Google and Bing if they have been properly optimized.

Optimize your Twitter handle!
I’d count this as one of the two most influential and critical elements for your Twitter optimization effort.Your handle, also known as your username, is incorporated by Twitter into your profile URLs and page titles.It also can appear numerous times in the visible text of the profile,and in links and titles pointing from elsewhere to your page.

Here are some tips on crafting good names:

*Again, imitate the version of your name that people use to search for you.(People often leave off words like “Inc.” and “Company” when searching.)The ideal naming convention is to spell out your name, leaving out any spaces.The closer you match your spelling, the more search engines are likely to evaluate the handle to be highly relevant for your searches (e.g., @chrissmith).

*If your ideal name configuration is unavailable, which is more likely the more common your name is, then you will have to craft a variation on it.Try to choose an abbreviation that’s as close to the original name as possible.The higher the degree of similarity, the more relevant the search engines will consider the name compared with your actual name.Craft a name that may look like yours if read rapidly, and then test it byusing that name to search in Google.If Google automatically associates the alternate version with your website and other online identity materials, then chances are good that you’re on the right track.

*If your name is longer than the 15 characters allotted by Twitter — which happens ALL the time — you will obviously have to abbreviate it. Again, craft this abbreviated name carefully and test it in Google.For instance, if I tried to use my full name without spaces, it would be:@chrissilversmith.At 16 characters, it’s one character too long to be accepted by Twitter.Instead, I might choose to use @chrissilversmth or @chrissilvrsmith.

Optimize your full name
In addition to the Username field, Twitter provides a “Full Name” field (some people refer to it as a “headline”).The Full Name appears prominently at the top of your profile below your profile avatar pic, and also appears with your avatar icon on all of your tweets.The Full Name is quite important for a few reasons, including: 1) the name becomes incorporated into the profile page’s Title text, along with the username; 2) it’s displayed in larger text near the top of the page within an <h1> headline tag; and 3) it appears with all of your tweets, and this text is anchor text everywhere your tweets may appear, linking back directly to your profile page.So, the Full Name helps reinforce for search engines what your name is, and therefore what keyword sequence the page should be considered most relevant for.As with the Username field, one has limited characters to use, albeit it’s longer than the usernames, being 20 characters long, maximum.Make the Full Name imitate your actual name that people search on as closely as possible — hopefully the 20 characters are sufficient length to hold your full name.If
not, you’ll need to abbreviate it in some way.

Optimize the ‘Bio’ description field
This description field is yet another area for adding some keywords related to you.If your name is so long as to not be included in theUsername and Full Name fields without abbreviating, definitely reiterate the full name in the Bio, at the beginning of the text field. Otherwise, the bio can allow you to include other combination keywords that can be valuable to your online identity and representation in the search results.The field should certainly describe succinctly who and what you are.But you could also include the name and Twitter handle of your company, if you’re an individual, or the name of the city where you’re located if you’re a local company.

Fill in the Link URL and Location fields
These should be no-brainers, but they apparently aren’t, since some individuals and even businesses, will leave these blank.Filling in your Link field with your website URL can strengthen its rankings in search.Please be sure to use the proper, canonical URL for this.Avoid using shortened links or other redirecting links.Your main website should also NOT be just a Facebook page — it should be to a standalone website about you or your company.If you’re a nationwide brand or not primarily associated with a particular locality, you may leave the Location field blank.

You may be surprised to learn that simply tweeting a lot over time will optimize your Twitter profile, but it really does.Each individual tweet is linked back to your Twitter profile page.So, the more tweets, the more links within Twitter are pointing to your profile.This doesn’t mean you can spam the heck out of Twitter via your account — even if Twitter anti-spam monitoring systems allowed you to do that, there are additional factors that Google uses to determine the trustworthiness and value of tweet pages.Also, if and when other accounts may retweet your posts,this produces links from their profiles over to yours as well.

Retweets and Likes
Sharing others’ content by way of retweeting it or clicking to Like it (the heart-shaped button, also sometimes referred-to as “Favorite”),enables you to come to the attention of other Twitter users.Even better, some retweets and Likes will actually provide you with links to your profile.Not all retweets or Likes will nab you a link, unfortunately.On a tweet’s main page, up to nine linked icons may appear from the total set of Twitter users who retweeted or Liked the tweet.Don’t obsess over becoming one of the nine, but just steadily retweet and Like other people’s tweets that make sense for your account’s topic areas, and you’ll eventually accrue some valuable links to your own profile.

Obtain more followers
The more people who follow you, the more people will have a chance of seeing your status update postings, and the greater chance you have of them retweeting your posts.At my agency, we have consistently found that Twitter accounts with healthy numbers of followers tend to rank better in search.There are multiple ways to get more followers.You can return-follow those who follow you, and follow other accounts that have a close follower-to-followed ratio.You can pay for advertising on Twitter to get followers rapidly.There are a number of other methods for increasing your followers as well, but proceed carefully, because some methods require adept experience.

Verify your account
The more your tweets get indexed, the more your profile page is likely to achieve ranking benefits as well.Now, it’s quite likely that verified accounts may generally have a number of other signals that convey authority to Google, aside from a checkmark icon, so verification itself may not be the advantage that these accounts seem to enjoy.In our experience, there are many instances of non-verified accounts that rank well in Google, too. But, there could be some advantages to this, so if you wish to cover as many bases as possible, go for verification.

Link to your Twitter account
It’s amazing how many people and businesses neglect to link out to their Twitter profiles.Linking directly to your Twitter account from your primary website and other ancillary sites can help ensure it gets indexed and gives it more chances of ranking.It also gives your website visitors a chance to connect with your tweets.

Post images and videos frequently
Tweets containing images or videos generally will have more interactions — particularly interactions like Retweets and Favorites/Likes that can be valuable to you.Sure, you may not be able to generate such content super-frequently, but you can also get value out of curating such content from other sources.

Incorporate Twitter Cards on your site
If you blog or otherwise post articles on your website on a consistent basis, set up the semantic markup code on your site’s pages to integrate Twitter Cards.They allow previews of a web page’s content to show up when tweeted, and these previews automatically make tweets much more interesting-looking than strictly text-based tweets.Twitter Cards will pull in example photos or videos from your web pages when their URLs are tweeted, and the content will draw in users to interact with it more.

Use emojis in your tweets
I have recommended using emojis and other special characters in tweets because I had observed that it increased engagement rates. Others have researched this and found the same. Since engagement rates often equate with links to your tweets and Twitter account, this means usingemojis can bump up your links a bit over time, too, helping your account to rank better.I suspect that when you’re operating a well-optimized Twitter account, your profile link to your site and links in your tweets that get indexed by Google may help the content you’re linking to achieve better rankings.Now, Twitter has set all profile links and status update links in tweets to include the Nofollow attribute — meaning that it’s signaling for the links to not pass any PageRank benefit.Some interpret the presence of Nofollow in link attributes as conveying zero SEO benefit.However, there are two things to keep in mind.First, it’s possible for Google to choose to ignore Nofollow for a particular site, or particular content from a particular site.So, under certain circumstances, Google may be using links from Twitter that meet certain higher quality criteria for passing PageRank.Second, even if PageRank is not conveyed, Google could be using tweets as another source for discoveryof links — so, Twitter can potentially help your content get indexed quicker by Google, even if it might not help that content rank higher.And getting indexed earlier can enhance ranking performance indirectly.Research on this topic has varied for some time, and it’s frequently difficult to eliminate the many other variables involved in rankings.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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