How to find hidden SEO opportunities on Twitter

From personal profiles to hashtags, the inclusion of selected keywords can boost your presence in online searches.

Even though people discuss the importance of choosing the best words for every tweet and bio on Twitter, paying attention to exactly how we can use these carefully chosen keywords is the second half of the equation.

Because Bing and Google now count tweets, Facebook posts and other social media activity in their search results, search engine optimization is more important than ever before.

The SEO’d Twitter profile

The bio is the starting point to any successful profile. Incorporate as many keywords as possible here, because Google will sometimes use the bio portion of a profile as a description when a profile shows up in search results. Use the best keywords available by creating a list of specialties or services.

In Mayor Bloomberg‘s bio, he lists his main interests and job responsibilities, which makes him easy to find. Even though his most important and obvious title, mayor of New York, is how most people know him, listing his other interests will make his bio show up in other search results for users who most likely weren’t searching specifically for Mayor Bloomberg.

SEO your hashtags

Hashtags are an easy way to implement keywords. Marketing campaigns now create customized keywords for events, and many people add keywords at the end of their tweets. This is useful when the blog title or content you are sharing doesn’t list any relevant topic keywords.

Including hashtags that are broad and that name the industry can make tweets easier to find. Naming specifics as hashtags in generic titles can also help. A good example would be an article titled, “Search Engine Traffic Metrics for 2011 http://URL.com #google #bing #ask.”

Additionally, using the important words that are already in a tweeted blog title or message can save characters.

Try to choose hashtags that are the most important keywords in the tweet and the overall content. Hashtags make it easy to search by topic and will increase search result frequency and relevancy to the target audience.

Vanity links

When it comes to SEO, sometimes simply tweeting the pre-defined blog post and URL may not be enough to get the clicks, traffic and retweets that it deserves. Using custom vanity links from services such as Bit.Ly Pro and Cli.gs that allow for custom endings can help incorporate keywords into shortened URLs, which may hold SEO value.

Although there is no concrete proof that these shortened links can lead to high rankings in search results, doesn’t http://cli.gs/10-top-seo-blogs look a lot better than http://cli.gs/b453jfwhy?

Twitter lists

Lists are another area where it doesn’t hurt to incorporate SEO. When creating lists of Twitter users, use keyword-rich list titles. These will appear on your profile. Be sure to put dashes or underscores between words.

My lists use dashes and are quick to the point. Lists with run-on words—such as “ignitesocialmedia”—are harder to read. Also avoid slang and shortened words such as “junkies” and “tech”; people don’t often search for these words.

Bios, hashtags, lists and customized links are all easy ways to incorporate SEO techniques into Twitter. While some have been proven to work—keyword-rich bios and keywords in tweets, for example—these other areas could stand to get more attention in terms of SEO from Google and Bing and will continue to rise in importance.

Kelsey Jones is the founder of The Social Robot and contributes to Search Engine Land, where a version of this article originally ran.

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