As social media grows and continues to become more popular, businesses are joining in on the hype to gain sales, stay in touch with customers, and so much more. Twitter is one of those popular social media sites, and many companies are taking advantage of Twitter to use for Search Engine Optimization or SEO. If you are interested in doing the same, here are some tips to get you started inso you can start using Twitter for SEO and enhance your business considerably! SEO Basics In order to understand the benefits of using Twitter for SEO, you need to understand how search engines work. Search engines use an algorithm that is used to calculate your ranking in search results. The higher your ranking is, the higher your website will appear in the search results. So what factors can increase your ranking? Having the right keywords is essential to increasing your rank. This does not just include putting keywords in your text. You want to have top keywords in your URL, image names, and page titles. This increases your ranking significantly on websites. More importantly, search engines calculate how many web pages link to your site. The more web pages that link to your site, the better your ranking will be. This is where Twitter comes in handy. By posting links to your website on Twitter you increase your ranking for that Tweet. As people begin to retweet your posts, you will have more links to your website. Links that lead consumers back to your website are called backlinks and are an essential part of SEO. Consider Quality, Not Quantity When You Tweet Tweets have to be short. You are only allowed up to 140 characters. Because of this, it is important that you are able to get across what you want to say in as short a phrase as possible. Avoid fluff. Get everything to your readers. Keep your followers wanting more by leaving them curious. It is important to put links to your website in most of your Tweets. You do not want these all to lead to the same place. You may want to direct consumers to your website, product pages, or your landing page. Links to landing pages are a great way to increase newsletter subscribers. When you need to put a link in your tweet, use an outside tool to shrink your links so that they will fit within the 140 characters. Do not forget that the tweets you write should also contain what the link is about. It would be detrimental to your business to include a link to a product at the end of a tweet that has text regarding new content on your company's blog. This would give the image that you are trying to force a sale on consumers. Also, be sure to have a call to action at the end of your tweets. "Retweet!", or other variations of the popular Twitter phrase are the common calls to action for Twitter posts. The more Retweets you get, the more backlinks you have to your site and the higher your ranking. It also gets your tweet out there in the Twitter-verse so that you will gain new followers. The Marketing Funnel and Twitter If you have heard of a marketing funnel you may be using this to help transform website views into sales. Essentially, there are three parts of the funnel: exposure, involvement, and sales. Twitter is a useful tool for all three. First of all, Twitter can help with SEO which will increase brand awareness. In addition, as people begin to follow you your brand awareness increases as well. These both have to do with the widest part of the funnel: exposure. Consumers are exposed to your brand and become aware of what it is. The next step is to get clients involved. Twitter is a social media site which makes it great for interacting with consumers. As consumers read your Tweets they begin to feel like they know who you are and what you stand for. Links to your landing page can lead to Tweeters signing up for your newsletter which is a form of interaction with your company. By posting an interesting or entertaining Tweet you increase the possibility of Retweets. When a consumer retweets something you say they are not only increasing your exposure, they are also becoming involved with your company. Finally, when launching a new product an active Twitter account is a great place to introduce it. Include a link back to the product page and you have just begun to take your followers from involvement to sales. Use a Separate Account for Business and Personal So many small businesses use only one account for both their business purposes and their personal purposes. This is because it is easier to just log into one account instead of having to log out and log into a separate one. However, this can actually be detrimental to business growth. No matter how tempting it can be to use one account for both business and personal use, separate them. You will appreciate it when your business grows. Stay Updated Twitter is a great tool, but if you only tweet once, then do nothing for a week or a month, your followers are going to get bored. The biggest mistake companies make when using Twitter is not regularly posting. Interesting posts increase the amount of followers you get and keep more consumers from exposure to involvement. When followers can translate to potential customers, it is important to have a social media strategy that involves frequent Twitter updates. You might want to think about a daily Twitter schedule. You can post multiple tweets in a day, but avoid doing so just once in the day. Pace your tweets out throughout the day, so you do not clog your followers' news feed. Doing so will be seen as annoying and quickly get you unfollowed. Also, keep your profile updated. This means that you should have a photo on your profile and up-to-date information about your business available on your profile. This information can include links to your website, blog, and more. You might even want to use one of your advertising catch phrases if you have one. Use Re-Tweeting to Your Advantage People do more than just create new and original tweets. They also retweet other people's written tweets that they find interesting or fun. Tweets that they want to put their own comments on also get retweeted. You should do the same because interacting with others in the Twitter-verse will show that your company is involved and listening. Of course the increase in backlinks will also help to increase your ranking on search engines. Reposting is key to proper SEO using Twitter or any social media website. Hashtags are Helpful If you are familiar with metadata then you are a bit familiar with hashtags. In a nutshell, hashtags are the Twitter version of meta data. These will also help you organize your tweets, and it also gives new followers the ability to find you just by searching for a specific hashtag. Depending on what your business is about, your hashtags will be different. A company that deals in game design is going to use completely different hashtags from a florist shop. If you want to add a hashtag, use the "#" symbol before the word or phrase. Do not include spaces for phrases. Mention Others in Your Tweets You can do more than just send out tweets to your followers. You can respond to tweets you receive and mention other people. All you have to do is put the "@" symbol before the name of the person you are referring to. Be sure that the name you are using is the name of their Twitter account. It will send a direct link to the person you are speaking to. As you mention others you not only grab their attention, but they also feel a sense of camaraderie. Mentioning Tweeters who are relevant to your company increases the chance that will mention you or retweet your Tweets. This creates more backlinks for your company increasing your SEO. Promote Your Blog or Website Twitter is the perfect place to promote your company. It is a large community, and if you use the tips above, your tweets will reach the readers it needs to reach. Your blog plays a key role in your business, and using Twitter, your blog will be linked straight to the readers that are interested. The same can be said for your website. Use the bio section on your profile to link to your website, but go beyond that. Are you tweeting about a specific product you sell? Link to that product on your website. Do you want Twitter followers to know of new changes to websites based on feedback from visitors like them? Let them know, and provide a link to your website. It does not matter if your website is also linked to your profile. You should continue to link it. Keywords and SEO If you are going to promote your company's blog and website using Twitter for SEO, you should also take advantage of using the right keywords. These keywords should be fit into your Tweets, Blog, and website content naturally to ensure that you are ranked high in search results. By Tweeting the right keywords you will also increase the ranking of your Twitter account in search results which will ultimately lead to more recognition. To find the best keywords you can use a service or a free online tool. You simply choose a topic and the tool or service will generate the top ranked keywords so that you can be sure to include them. It is extremely important that these keywords appear naturally so that consumers are not put off by awkward or keyword-packed content. Change Your Twitter Username Your company name should be reflected in your Twitter username. This will make it better for your SEO building. As an example, if your company is called Laura's Flowers, your Twitter username should be laurasflowers. Avoid other usernames like flowersnmore, even if you sell more than flowers in your shop. If laurasflowers is unavailable, come up with a numerical ending that would separate you from other laurasflowers. Use the Twitter Button Many websites now have a Twitter button. You should do the same with your website and blog because it will make it easier for your Twitter followers to share your content. Plus, it is free advertisement that you do not even need to pay for. Not only does it make it easy for your followers to share your content, but it also makes it easy for you to return the favor by sharing content with your followers. Remember, increasing SEO with Twitter is dependent on having as many backlinks to your website as possible. The Purpose of Your Twitter Account Instead of posting anything and everything that comes across your mind, you might want to consider a purpose for your business Twitter account. Whether you are trying to get out there that you have excellent customer service or you are wanting to promote new products, you will need to have a purpose for your Twitter account. Keep that purpose in mind when creating new tweets. Going Beyond SEO With Twitter Twitter can do more than just help your company with SEO. It can be used to help you build your brand and increase the visibility of your company. SEO is only one small part of online marketing. The whole idea of social media is to make new connections, and using those connections, you will be able to find new customers. Even if you have the top ranking on a website it is useless if you have not worked to increase your brand and consumer appeal. Take advantage of social media, and use it for more than SEO. It will be worth it for the sake of your company.