In 2011, Google and Twitter cut ties with the end of the Real Time Search, which caused the search engine to have to crawl Twitter to index tweets. As a result, searching Twitter from Google was left very ineffective. Since cutting ties, Twitter has been working tirelessly to improve its position in search results.
Twitter’s efforts paid off as the social media giant is said to be once again joining forces with Google to promote the search experience. According to Bloomberg Business, Twitter will give Google access to the Firehose data stream. This will give Google the ability to index tweets as soon as they are posted instead of having to crawl the site.
As Twitter grants Google access to a stream of data from 284 million users, this mutually beneficial relationship will give Twitter more opportunities to convert, even among logged-out users. For Google, the search experience will be enhanced with access to real-time tweets to deliver broader search results.
What does all of this mean for you? More opportunities to rank well on Google. With the project predicted to be released sometime in the first half of 2015, now is the time to start promoting your Twitter activity to earn a higher ranking on Google.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags allow your tweets to be organized and easily searchable on both Twitter and Google. According to Twitter, a simple hashtag has the potential to drive engagement with as much as 12 percent higher conversions, which is largely driven by Google traffic. Once this new deal is underway, hashtag conversions will skyrocket.
To promote ranking with hashtags:
- Research and use niche specific keywords and hashtags, such as your brand.
- Less is more so keep each tweet limited to 1-2 relevant hashtags.
- Use hashtags your audience is already talking about, such as trending topics.
- Create a hashtag campaign.
- Promote the hashtag on other social media channels.
- Keep your hashtags short and simple.
Send Out Tweets in Intervals
You may think that posting a ton of tweets will earn you more rankings on Google under the new deal, but instead, Google will probably view it as spam. Plus, it’s annoying to have Twitter feeds clogged by an ambush of tweets. You want to stagger your tweets to post throughout the day at various times and alternate your tweets.
To maximize the visibility of your tweets:
- Determine the time best time of day to tweet.
- Share the same link more than once, but create an original tweet each time you post.
- Retweet and mention tweets from relevant sources to boost engagement.
Share Actual Website URLs
Even on Twitter, URLs have meaning and link juice. The power of Twitter links will now further be promoted with the Google collaboration as Google takes links very seriously. In order for Google to index and utilize your links correctly, you need to tweet actual URLs. However, Twitter automatically shortens URLs over 22 characters. This causes numerous problems. Keep in mind, most SEOs believe a shorten URL is not as effective as a full URL, as the shorteners usually perform a 301 redirect.
Furthermore, followers don’t know where shortened URLs are taking them. This can cause low conversion rates because spam and harmful links cant be easily be disguised. Actual URLs tend to have a higher conversion rate because they are less suspicious and users and Google will give them more authority. Plus, they are generally easier to monitor for performance on Google Analytics. Twitter links are powerful, so make sure you’re harnessing that power in the right direction.
Get Retweets from Influencers
Twitter influencers now play a critical role in the credibility you gain online. According to Nielsen, brands who are tied to industry influencers are 70 percent more likely to be viewed as a good source for information. With this added boost to your reputation, you’ll earn more followers, more online visibility, and higher conversions– all of which will contribute to your Google ranking.
To encourage retweets from influencers:
- Work to attract engagement from relevant industry influencers to establish credibility.
- Create great content that’s shareable.
- Build long term relationships with influencers.
- Retweet relevant tweets from influencers.
- Collaborate with influencers on projects, such as blog posts.
- Include visuals with your post as Track Maven’s recent report found tweets with visuals are nearly 4 times as likely to be retweeted.
With approximately 5,800 tweets posted per second, your tweet is up against tough competition to gain interaction and ranking. But, by creating personalized tweets with a unique approach on industry relevant and trending topics, you’ll build engagement for a boost on Google.
Encourage interaction by:
- Posting engaging and relevant tweets.
- Talk to industry specific followers.
- Retweet and mention relevant followers.
- Stay active.
- Respond to incoming tweets, direct messages, mentions, and followers quickly.
- Tweet infographics as their search volume on Google has increased over 800 percent.
Gain an Active Following
The number of followers you have on Twitter isn’t necessarily important. Yes, you do want to have a high number of followers, but only if they are relevant and active. Not only will active followers boost your engagement to rank higher, but it’s a good way to determine your influence as well. The more your tweets are retweeted, the better you’ll rank on Google.
The best methods to gain an active following include:
- Tweeting when your followers are online. Use an analytics tool like Followerwonk to determine the best tweeting time.
- Initiate conversations by searching key terms related to your industry.
- Share valuable content that’s used as an incentive to capture attention from other industry experts on Twitter.
- Keep the conversation going.
- Create a compelling profile.
- Tweet often but don’t be overwhelming.
Get Added to Well Followed Lists
Twitter lists are a feature used to organize people into preferred groups. When you’re added to a list, you are set apart from followers because you’ve been chosen to receive specific attention. Your followers will never miss a tweet, and you have an increased potential to gain new followers and connect with influencers. Plus, it’s another ranking opportunity.
To encourage being added to a list:
- Create compelling tweets.
- Share unique and relevant content.
- Establish yourself as an industry leader.
- Build engagement.
Use Twitter Ads to Extend Content Reach
Twitter ads are a great way to gain visibility with amplified conversions to grow your followers, generate leads, and earn an additional ranking factor. When using Twitter ads, make sure your ad campaigns are specifically targeted. Use UTM parameters for any links on the promoted tweets for Google to identify visitors and for conversion tracking to measure your ROI.
When creating Twitter ads:
- Target keywords in tweets and hashtags.
- Target specific Twitter users.
- Target people interacting with trending content on Twitter.
- Promote your profile to increase visibility in search results for a higher exposure.
Drive Twitter Users Back to your Website
Although Shareaholic reported Twitter’s referral traffic to have tanked over 14 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2014, 47 percent of users who follow a business on Twitter are more likely to visit the company’s website. And, with the release of the new partnership, the referral rate is certain to increase tremendously. Twitter will become an even larger means to generate more website traffic and conversions.
To drive traffic back to your website:
- Share photos and videos on Twitter as social is moving more towards visual content.
- Short, proactive tweets under 100 characters have a 21 percent higher interaction rate.
- Use hashtags and mentions.
- Retweet mentioned content pointing to your website.
- Ask a question to build engagement.
- Promote your tweets.
- Include your website’s link.
Plan for Future Relationships
In addition to an SEO focus, you need to strive to build long term relationships. With the foundation of strong relationships, you’ll establish yourself as a creditable source, earning more followers to connect with industry influencers. Plus, Google will view you as an authority, giving your preference over other Twitter users.
With a daily engagement rate of 36 percent, it’s estimated that Twitter users with an SEO focus can generate as much as 10 times more website visitors with search-related visits. The new deal between Google and Twitter will revolutionize the power of the social platform to capture the best of both worlds to become a power source.
To harness the new SEO power of the social platform, remain active to drive a higher influence on Google. Gain as many followers as possible, get listed on numerous Twitter lists, and share quality links to earn that number one spot on Google.
“Twitter: Renewed Focus on SEO Generated 10 Times More Visitors” SearchEngineLand
“5 Brilliant Ways to Use #Hashtags in Social Media Marketing” SearchEngineWatch
“10 Tips to Improve Your SEO Using Twitter” SearchEngineJournal