Your Twitter Bio is just like any other page: the number and quality of the incoming links affects the PA (Page Authority). Although outgoing links from Twitter are nofollowed, increasing your PA and influence is valuable for making your tweets and bio rank in the serps.
If your business is in a particular competitive niche or you have a new site, ranking your Twitter bio and using it to drive potential buyers to your own site can be faster and easier.
Why Would You Want Your Twitter Bio to Rank?
Ranking your Twitter bio is primarily to get customers, of course! Having a Twitter bio on the home page of Google is very possible as you can see in this example for an SEO agency whose Twitter account @topcharlotteseo was third for the phrase “Top Charlotte SEO”. SEOing obviously can rank Twitter bios.
If your site is new or does not have any authority yet, gaining visibility through ranking your Twitter (or other social network bios) could be faster. As with any other page you want to rank, how many incoming links you have and the PA of your Twitter bio affect where it ranks. The Twitter account in this example has 252 incoming links and a PA of 59. Typically, the Twitter account with the most influence for the desired keywords ranks highest. According to SEO consultant and trainer Adrienne DeVita of Digital Media Cube:
“All of Google’s algorithm ranking factors apply to Twitter rankings, too. For example, Google bots automatically see the bounce rate if a searcher hits “back” immediately; the interaction on the landing page it links to; the keyword relation to the search; the page authority on that page; and the click through rate from their SERPs. Strive to use your phrase as the first words in your bio and tweets whenever it makes sense grammatically for the person searching – and make sure your phrase is within the first 90 characters. Put any secondary phrase you wish to rank for in characters 91-115.”
When your Twitter bio or your tweets rank, you can use them for lead generation. There are now tools that search for Twitter users and reach out to them to start interactions. The best I know for automating lead generation on Twitter is Socedo.
How to Automatically Capture Leads on TwitterAs you can see in the screen capture below, you can choose your target audience by checking their profession or interest. Once it identifies someone in your audience, it favorites one of their tweets automatically. Then an hour later it follows that user. After the user follows back, Socedo can (depending on how you have your account configured), either:
- Start a conversation by sending them a personalized tweet
- Send them a message and link to your lead capture landing page
If you want more details on how Socedo works, read How to Generate and Close Social Leads On Twitter. Now that you realize how important Twitter can be for your business, let’s talk about how to keep track of your conversations there.
Business Dashboards for Tracking TwitterRemembering to keep on top of what you’re doing on Twitter in addition to everything else related to your SEO rankings is a challenge. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Cyfe. Kristi Hines wrote a comprehensive blog post with a screen capture showing 15 of their widgets. Check out that link for all the widgets that already exist for Twitter (and Klout, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, and YouTube). Cyfe offers 8 Twitter widgets plus Twitter search plus Klout and bit.ly (to see clicks on your shortened links). Here is an example layout from my Cyfe account showing the Twitter overview, Moz numbers, Twitter tweets, Twitter lists, bit.ly stats, Twitter search results for the search “growmap”, Twitter mentions, Twitter favorites and SERPs – a new widget I’m testing that hasn’t populated yet. Adding a widget is as easy as clicking on what you want and doing some very simple configuration. You can resize and move each window to wherever you want it. When you mouse over graphs, additional information appears in a pop-up. These are only a few of the massive number of widgets available for other social networks, analytics, advertising, sales and finance and much more. The image below shows details for a specific date showing tweets, following, listed (in Twitter lists), and Favorites. This data is not live so there is a delay of about 24 hours. (You can see another example in Kristi’s post linked above.)
Should You Bother to Rank Tweets?We focused on Twitter bios rather than tweets first because Google indexes only 7-9% of all tweets according to this comprehensive study by StoneTemple on how tweets could impact your SEO and what tweets Google is likely to index. It includes:
- Data on 133K+ tweets to see how Google indexed them
- Of 138,635 tweets only 7.4% were indexed!
- Twitter users with more followers have more indexed tweets (21% > 1 million; 10% for 10k-1M; 4% under 10k followers)
- Images and/or hashtags seem to “increase your chances of getting indexed, as the percentages are significantly higher than the average overall percentage of 7.4%.”
- “26% of the tweets with an inbound link from sites other than Twitter got indexed. That is nearly 4 times as much as the overall average rate of indexation.“
Twitter Best Practices
Some of us have been power users of Twitter since they started. I’ve gathered everything you need to know about Twitter into one post called Twitter Best Practices. From the basics for beginners to advanced strategies, everything important to know is in or linked from that post.
Have questions? Leave me a comment and I’m happy to assist.
With over 10 years of experience handling SEO at the highest levels, Ben Oren has seen it all and done it all, twice. He has worked in medium and large agencies managing the internet marketing strategy for super brands like WSOP, Babylon and more, which he now combines with consulting and strategy for various medium and large clients after co-founding an internet marketing agency. Ben has also tackled marketing under start-up conditions, as he is the co-founder and CEO of an innovative e-commerce app.
Ben has truly tackled online marketing from every angle – conversion, SEO, PPC, E-mail, UX, content, and more – and the insights he’s accumulated have made him a regular contributor at leading industry publication Search Engine Journal.
Q: Over the years, you’ve worn many ‘hats’ and fulfilled different functions for different clients: in-house, agency, consultant, auditor. How do you feel that has contributed to your professional development?
A: I believe anyone interested in ascending to the top of their field today can’t settle for only one type of working experience, be it in-house, agency, consultant or other.
Personally, this variation in work type has greatly contributed to my professional development, and particularly, enhanced my ability to adopt a broad perspective when assessing problems and ways to tackle them.
There are usually two main variables to consider when faced with a business dilemma: the first is the industry itself, which in our case is internet marketing. It’s dynamic by nature and constantly evolving, meaning that there are countless solutions to every problem.
The second variable is the client’s niche, and everything having to do with their positioning within it – company size, marketing budget, online readiness, online state (penalties, priors, filters, etc).
Every single stakeholder has their own interests, limitations and special considerations when facing a business decision, and having an in-depth understanding of these can only help communicate and strategize better to reach an optimal solution.
Q: As an experienced marketer and entrepreneur, what is the greatest misconception you’ve come across among start-ups trying to use social media in order to ‘break’?
A: I can actually think of two basic assumptions which are misconceptions that lead start-up heads to choose social media marketing.
The first wrong assumption is that it’s free, and if we invest efforts into building a large audience then it’ll be free to advertise to said audience whenever we’d like to push our product and company. The second wrong assumption is that building a large, loyal follower base is relatively easy.
To address the first assumption, social media marketing is far from free, both when considering (1) the cost of producing high quality content by a dedicated content professional, and (2) the drastic downsizing of organic post reach in favor of paid advertising, carried out by social networks such as Facebook.
The current trend is to move towards a paid model, whether it’s by impressions or clicks – meaning that posts on a business page will only reach a very small percentage of that page’s followers unless you pay – ending up in a miniscule chance for a positive ROI.
As to the second assumption, a truly engaged, sizable, real audience that’s interested in a product or service rather than only having followed in exchange for a one-time offer, is challenging to achieve. Community growth takes time, resources, clear strategy and long term commitment towards gaining potential customers through social media, and retaining existing customers through social media. It necessitates a level of social media presence that not every start up realizes: real time response, professional outputs and engaging storytelling.
Unfortunately, time and again I see start-ups entrust no-one with the task of maintaining social accounts, ending up with deserted business pages that never took off and serve as a sad, outdated reminder. In the worst examples, the page is also flooded with questions and complaints that go unanswered, several damaging reputation.
In short, my recommendation to any start up interested in using social media is to build a sustainable strategy and be realistic about what it entails in terms of budget and man-power. Social media is a tremendous, powerful vehicle with many advantages, but for those to materialize it takes serious performance, patience and persistence.
Q: In your early days in the online marketing industry, you mainly handled SEO, but now you’ve branched out into content, user experience, conversion and a well-rounded understanding of marketing for large organizations. Do you believe that SEO’s future is questionable, and is that why you’ve distanced yourself from it?
A: I didn’t leave or distance myself from SEO. SEO is here to stay and will be around for a very long time; it’s just changing and developing, requiring us to adapt our methods and practices accordingly.
In my career development, I chose to expand my knowledge by tackling different aspects of online marketing, never neglecting SEO. I don’t think the future of SEO is questionable, but I don’t think it’s necessary or appropriate for any business.
SEO has undergone a transformation both in the way it’s performed and in the way it’s perceived. It is no longer regarded as a stand-alone channel, but rather as an integral part of a holistic marketing strategy. As a result, an SEO professional needs to be considerably knowledgeable about content strategy and social media, otherwise effectiveness will be hard to assess or measure.
Another component that’s constantly changing is Google’s algorithm, growing more and more sophisticated with every passing day. Links don’t behave as they used to, relevance is no longer measured the way it was, and engagement level holds greater weight, leading to the marginalization of spammy practices. If one fails to keep up regularly with all of these changes, it can be impossible to move forward and understand exactly what works and how.
Q: You’ve started and managed a start-up; do you have any tips to share from your experience, particularly regarding marketing a start-up?
A: Co-founding and managing my start-up, I encountered three main limitations:
- having a limited budget
- limited man-power
- limited time
This is shared by all start-ups I know, and it often leads to the irresponsible misplacement of valuable funds in dubious marketing shortcuts publicized in who-knows-where. The combination of lacking real marketing know-how and not investing in expert guidance, is a sure way to throw time and money down the drain without any results to speak of. Therefore, my best recommendation is to hire a marketing consultant – someone with rich, varied experience and results under his/her belt – to guide the existing team on the best uses for their time and money.
Marketing efforts will still be carried out by the existing team members; however, they’ll be monitored by a professional and form part of a strategy that’s been tailored to the start-up’s niche, state, budget and competitors. Sure, it’s an expense, but it yields results and, more importantly, it can be thought of as an investment: empowering the existing team to handle marketing and slowly decrease dependency on external consultants and agencies.
Q: Outside of your experience with start-ups and small businesses, you’ve handled online marketing endeavors for enormous, international corporations such as WSOP, Caesar’s Entertainment, Babylon, Bouclair Home and more. Please highlight the professional methodological and executional differences when working with both types of companies.
A: Methodologically, surprisingly enough, there isn’t much of a difference. The difference lies in the ability to execute more advanced methods, and the subsequent quality of said execution. Larger companies have a clear advantage thanks to their budgets and recognizability, lending them greater possibilities that small and medium businesses don’t have access to.
For instance, if a large, leading corporation is interested in a partnership with a well known figure, its clout and deep pockets mean it’s likely it will come to fruition as long as there’s agreement between both sides. Small and medium businesses often don’t have the means or access necessary to even garner initial interest.
On the other hand, small businesses benefit greatly from a shorter decision process and a quicker, more efficient turnaround time. Corporations often struggle with miscommunication between different departments, sometimes yielding mediocre execution for otherwise brilliant campaigns. For example, the content and marketing department may not have direct, ongoing communication with the sales department, ending with a marketing campaign that isn’t optimally geared towards the company’s actual end clients.
This site for a southern California criminal defense attorney has content written in English using Google Translate to create pages translated into Spanish. Notice the choice in the top right corner for English – Espanol. Click on the buttons and you’ll see that the pages change between English and Spanish.
In this example, a separate site is not needed because both languages are targeted at ranking in the U.S. If this attorney had a second location in Spain, then ideally he would have a separate domain registered with a country code TLD and hosted in Spain. With locations in two countries, the easiest way to rank is on separate domains.
How much effort is the company willing to invest in ranking in separate countries? Will you register a country specific domain for each language or use languages in directories?
More expense and work is involved with separate domains:
- Building additional sites
- Paying to host multiple sites
- Renewing multiple domains
- es.wikipedia.org for Spanish
- de.wikipedia.org for German
- it.wikipedia.org for Italian
Read How to do Multilingual SEO for WordPress Sites to get a better idea of your choices. The WordPress multilingual plugin available on that site makes translating and doing SEO for multiple languages much simpler.
How Search Engines Recognize LanguagesWhile search engines can detect languages, it is best to use the <html lang=”xx”> tag to indicate the language a page is in. For more details, read Multilingual Sites and Search Engines: Part 1.
According to that post, “global corporations as a rule have separate sites (and most often separate domains) for the countries they operate in.” While that is the most effective method, it does require more work to create and maintain.
SEOChat Supermod GabrielG suggests you can even “get sophisticated and detect a user’s language, geolocation, or other characteristics and serve the appropriate language site, in case Gooogle doesn’t do that automatically.”
Why Machine Translation is NOT Good EnoughWhile using Google translation or some other machine translator is the least expensive way to go, these translations are very inaccurate and sometimes impossible to even understand. While there are translation plugins, do not use them unless you just cannot afford a human translator.
Do not sully your brand’s reputation by skimping on content in additional languages. Using human translators is a must. If you do not have someone within your company capable of accurately writing in the language, contract with a company that specializes in language translations for business.
Keep in mind that being able to speak a language does not guarantee a person can write well in it anymore than assuming that everyone who speaks English can become a paid writer or editor.
If you use machine translation, you will end up with major brand reputation issues. See this infographic from Understanding and Avoiding Communication Blunders.
Hopefully you now understand why machine translation can never take the place of using the best human translators who are excellent at both translation and content development.
Duplicate Content on Multinational WebsitesIf the languages involved are totally different (English and German, for example), there is no duplicate content issue. Having the same content on pages written in languages that are closely related – such as UK English versus US English – would definitely create a duplicate content issue.
See the Brick Marketing post Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites for more details about duplicate content. Nick Stamoulis wrote:
“If your site takes a massive hit in visitors and rankings for at least three months (enough time to call it a trend), your site might have been flagged for duplicate content.”
The goal is to SEO a multilingual site so that it will rank in each location. For that, separate sites are best, but even with one site your goal should still be to rank each page if at all possible.