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Part Two: Do Social Media Sites Help SEO? A Look at Twitter

Part Two: Do Social Media Sites Help SEO? A Look at Twitter

SocialMediaandSEO_TwitterOur social media/SEO series continues with a brief look at how Twitter helps SEO.

Twitter, a social site where you can follow any person or brand that has a public Twitter account, currently has over 500M users. Active users on Twitter like to be updated via ‘tweets’ on what their friends, favorite celebrities, and brands are doing at any given time.

Often, tweets are retweeted if users feel the information is important enough to share with their own network of followers. When a tweet has been re-tweeted many times over, the tweet has gone viral.

Virality is every marketer’s dream, social proof that the message was important enough to have been seen by a large number of individuals.

Twitter and SEO

Facebook and Twitter’s affect on SEO are very similar. The more a tweet is shared, or retweeted, the higher the weight it will have on a brand’s SEO.

An experiment was conducted by Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ to determine the affect of retweets on SEO. In short, his company produced a beginners guide to SEO and tweeted about it. It was then retweeted by Smashing Magazine, a company considered to be a high influencer by the likes of Google and Bing.

Followers of Smashing Magazine re-tweeted the article and it soon went viral. Rand took the liberty of checking their search engine rankings and found that they had ranked #4 for the keyword “Beginner’s Guide” in just one day – the day of the tweet.

That gives a very clear indication of how weighty a simple tweet can be on search engine optimization. It must, of course, have a link back to your site, be shared by high influencers, and be shared generously, however.

How do I Improve SEO With Twitter?

  1. Link back to your site when posting on Twitter (or Facebook) using a URL shortener that uses 301 redirects, like bit.ly and ow.ly. These shorteners also provide stats on click-through rate so that you can determine how frequently your links are being clicked and shared.
  2. Make your company’s social media profile(s) public so that everyone can access them.
  3. Become an authority in your field by tweeting photos, relevant articles, industry news, etc., that will make your followers keep coming back for more (and sharing your content).
  4. Be a good neighbor – Search engines love sharing, so spread the love by engaging with others and sharing their high quality content. Someone will pay it forward at some point for you.

Danny Sullivan, an expert in SEO best practices, interviewed Bing and Google to determine their perception of social signals and Twitter’s affect on SEO. In short order, both companies indicated that they use retweeted articles, especially by high influencers, to help determine search engine rankings.

As mentioned in our article discussing Facebook and SEO, anytime a link that refers users back to your site is shared, your SEO gradually improves. The more people referred to your site through tweets and retweets, the greater value search engines will place in your brand.

Our SEO series will continue in the next article as we explore how Google+ plays a part in search engine optimization.

If you’d rather be running your business than working on a Twitter strategy, please contact a PR Brigade Social Media Expert to find out how we can help you engage your Twitter audience.