Improve Your SEO in 2013 with Twitter lgLocal entrepreneurs on a tight budget looking to promote their business in 2013 might want to consider making this the year they start tweeting. eMarketer projects Twitter to expand to 36.3 million monthly U.S. users in 2013, up from 31.8 million in 2012.1

Twitter can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. Twitter is free to use and if done properly, tweeting can be a powerful tool in helping your site get found while raising your rankings on search engine results pages. Following is a list of top 10 Twitter SEO tips to maximize the benefits of this great social media tool.

Choose your account name wisely

In contrast to Facebook, your Twitter account name doesn’t have to be your real name. It can be anything as long as it’s under the 20-character limit, but choose wisely because your account name appears in the title tag and with every tweet you make. It’s also highly searchable by search engines and will appear in Google’s results and link to your Twitter profile. If you’re the president or notable head of a company, it’s probably a good idea to use your real name because people want to see tweets from a real human. If you don’t want to use your real name, use your company, product name or one of your keywords.

Select your username with care

Your Twitter username, often called your “handle”, can be up to 15 characters long. It should be short, meaningful and highly relevant to your business, brand or product. It does not have to be the same as your account name, but remember it is also highly searchable and appears with your profile page and individual tweets.

Fill in your URL

When you register, Twitter offers the opportunity to add a link to your website’s URL in your account settings. When users view your Twitter profile, your URL will be prominently displayed along with your account name and username. Ultimately, it could direct more visitors to your site.

Optimize your bio

At 160 characters, your bio is the longest field you get to compose on Twitter and probably one of the most important. Search engines use Twitter bios as a summary and index them constantly. Make yours count by using plenty of keywords to describe yourself, your business and what makes you interesting. Be witty, truthful and capture the reader’s attention quickly to pull them in.

Increase your visibility

Make sure everyone who comes in contact with your business knows you have a Twitter account. Add the Twitter icon with your Twitter site address when printing collateral, and a call-to-action such as “Follow us on Twitter” to your website, blog, in-store signage, Facebook and other social media pages. Every follower you get is one more person reading your content and a link for other potential followers to find you.

Tweet smart

Try to include important keywords in the first 42 characters of your tweets. These initial characters, along with your account name, are factored into each tweet’s title tag that appears on a Google search result. If you can’t get a keyword in the initial 42 characters, make sure the rest of your tweet is keyword-rich so it’ll be picked up by the search engines.

Tweet regularly

Keep your tweets as regular and on topic as possible so you remain relevant to your target audience. It’s okay to have some fun and go off-topic occasionally, but keeping your tweets keyword-rich encourages Google to rank your Twitter page higher than others.

Be retweet-worthy

If you’re providing interesting, useful or helpful tweets, there’s a good chance people will retweet your message and help you reach new audiences. But, you need to make it easy for them to do so by using only around 120 characters and leaving room for others to add “RT @username” to your tweets.

Use URL shorteners

Since you can only use 140 characters in any tweet, keep your web address or url short. If this is not possible, use a good URL shortener such as TinyURL or Bitlly. These tools will shorten your address but still direct people to your pages.

Add hashtags

The hashtag symbol “#” follows a keyword and allows users who aren’t connected to have their tweets appear in the same feed. This can help you get found by other users and lead to retweets.

Do you have any other SEO Tips for Twitter you’d like to share? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

1 – Source: eMarketer, AUG 9, 2012