David McClellan

David McClellan aka -Twitter Dave. I am a Co-blogger at SIM Mentors, a social influence media blog.

How to Turn Your Twitter Profile Page into an SEO Masterpiece

If you have spent any time around social marketing you probably know that SEO and social media go hand and hand. (Well you have at least heard about it, right?) So, how do you turn your Twitter account into a search-able masterpiece? Why is this important? Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats, press on and don’t worry, I will keep this in 5 year old terms (because that is how I think).

Let’s start off as if you are starting with a fresh profile. What is the first thing that you do when starting a twitter account? That is right, pick a name…

Picking a user name and actual name: Your twitter user name should include the keyword that you wish to rank high in. For example, if you want people to find your Twitter profile when they search for cupcakes, make sure that ‘cupcakes’ is in your name. @XYZcupcakes would be an appropriate example. It is usually a good idea not to use any dashes, make it short and easy to remember.

Next, with your actual name you can use your actual name, or take a step further and include the keyword again if it is appropriate (this doesn’t help with personalizing your account to you though). If you already have an account, you can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking “Settings”. From there, change your ‘Name’. Do not change your ‘Username’.

What to do with your website URL…

Make sure not to use a link that has been shortened by using a shortner like bit.ly. Do however, get rid of the “www” because Twitter will only show the first 20 characters, it will help in allowing people to see the link before they click on it. If you need to change this, go into your Twitter account and click “settings”. From there go to the “Account” page and scroll halfway down the page.

Next is your bio…

This should be easy to include your keywords again. Make sure that your personality can shine through, but be short simple and to the point. You only have 160 characters and don’t waste them on words that have no search value. Consider this a to-the-point snapshot of who you are and how you want to be perceived and also is what a lot of people use to determine if they are going to follow you or not (but, only if they are interested in a real give and take twitter relationship). Keep in mind that Google will sometimes include your location in this. Make sure that you give a good location.You can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking “Settings”. From there, change your “One Line Bio”.

You can even SEO your Twitter pic (avatar)…

Yes, you can even SEO your profile picture! You can’t add tags but, you can rename the photo before you upload it that way when it shows up in the URL it will have the keywords that you named. Be careful not to add spaces. Doing that will not translate the link very well. I don’t recommend changing your profile picture but, I would recommend changing the name of the profile picture and re-uploading it. You can do this by clicking on “Settings” and then “Picture”.

Burn Baby Burn…

Burn Your Twitter feed: Why would you want to use an RSS feed for Twitter? Well, by using RSS, people can subscribe to your posts (and in this case Tweets) and get instant feeds sent to them. Just like a blogger would use RSS feeds to increase their popularity with search engines and help draw traffic to their blogs, you can use RSS feeds to do the same for your Twitter account. So, how do you go about doing this you say? I will show you how to set this up in Google FeedBurner.

First you go to FeedBurner. If you have a gmail account you can sign in with this. Otherwise, sign up for a new account.

Next, in a different window open up your Twitter account and scroll down to the middle of your Twitter page and click on the RSS feed icon. Next go to the top of the page and copy the URL. (It should look similar to this: http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline/104933666)

Next, paste it into FeedBurner. Then make sure that you add your user name and password so that it won’t be locked when people try and look at the feeds (Use the same format as the highlighted text: http://username:password@twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/15473972.rss). Click next and you have just RSS’d your twitter profile!

Last, go through the dashboard and choose important options for your chosen use of your feed. You can share widgets, add pictures, set up a title for the feed and make sure that it pings (connects) with search engines.

Tweet This…

Make sure that your tweets contains keywords and phrases that you want search engines to pick up. Also, make sure to occasionally use #hashtags. Search engines are already ranking these and this will also help tweeps find you in Twitter search.

You’re My Favorite…

Twitter Favorites with Keywords: Make sure that some of your favorite tweets contain keywords, key phrases and relevant links.

Tiny?

Tinyurl.com your links. By Using a shortener like Tinyurl, search engines will recognize the link and rank them.

Build it and They will Come…

By actively following other and having others follow you, you increase awareness with search engines.

The Missing Link…

This is probably the most important part of your Twitter SEO. Make sure that you are submitting your Twitter profile and RSS feeds to directories. Also, be sure to add your twitter user name in blog posts and forums. This will allow you to get noticed by more people, more often, resulting in a larger and diverse following and higher page ranks.

Congratulations – You now have one of the most searchable profiles on Twitter!

Comments

  • February 26, 2010

    Interesting. Thanks for the info.

  • February 26, 2010

    Nice tips, I never thought about SEO’ing Twitter – hm, time to do some work :)

  • February 26, 2010

    Thanks for the tips! These are awesome! I better get to work!

  • February 26, 2010

    This is a great article, but I have a (stupid) question. When I click the RSS feed on my Twitter page, I get a message window asking me to load in my password and also telling me that I’m about to send my password in an insecure manner. Is my password at risk if I load my twitter feed into FeedBurner?

  • February 26, 2010

    David, nice post I have a question about URL shorteners: you recommend Tinyurl. Does this mean that a URL shortener on your own domain will not be correctly interpreted by the search engines (like awe.sm and bit.ly pro)? Are do the search engines just follow a link, and count the long URL if the URL shortener uses a 301 redirect? Thanks, Jep

  • February 26, 2010

    Awesome! I’m doing the Feedburner thingy right now. (Thanks for the 5 yr old level)
    @Partyaficionado

  • February 26, 2010

    Excellent info !
    Just SEO’d my picture and burned my RSS Twitter feed.
    Thanks a ton !

  • February 26, 2010

    Very useful. I must confess with some embarrassment to not yet having implemented Feedburn yet in any capacity, I’ll bookmark this and do so.

    BB

  • February 26, 2010

    Nice summary.
    Good to remind people that SEO and social media compliment each other and help to lift search results page rank.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • February 26, 2010

    have a question about the RSS Feed: is it safe to indicate my username and password for the feed burn ? What about hackers ?

  • February 26, 2010

    I’ve heard of people burning their twitter feeds — but even after reading the above, I fail to grasp why. Who would you share it with? Where do you share it? For people who don’t have Twitter accounts and/or don’t want to follow you? I hope, for your sake, you don’t tweet a lot.

    Also, isn’t there a privacy concern by adding your password into a url you are burning?

  • February 26, 2010

    Good tips, but you didn’t really mention one of the most important aspects of SEO, backlinks. Getting backlinks with good anchor text into your twitter account is one of the best things you could possibly do. And I would like to know the answer to Ari question about privacy concerns with having your password in the feed.

  • February 26, 2010

    This is a ripper article by you and certainly a good one to help people who believe in branding themselves on Twitter. I have followed all tips now.

  • February 26, 2010

    Great stuff!! Thanks. Question: You said “Post your Twitter profile and RSS feeds to directories”. Can you elaborate? Which directories do you mean? How would I find them? Can you tell I’m just about as low-tech as you can get? :o )

    Thanks!
    Monica

  • February 26, 2010
    Jochem

    Great post, thanks for that. One question though… Why use tinyurl while you advise not to use bit.ly? I like bit.ly since it tracks conversion.

  • February 26, 2010

    @ariherzog. The purpose of burning a Twitter feed is the same reason why you would burn a blog. You would subscribe to a blog because you get good information from it and don’t want to check in to see if there are new posts all of the time. Most of the people on Twitter that are successful, tweet to give good information and use it top build relationships.

    As someone who is marketing or trying to brand themselves, burning your Twitter feed increases your reach, keeping your subscribers tied into what information you have tio give. Entering your password is only for the feedburner to access your Twitter account and it will not be seen by others.

    As a side note, yes, if you do tweet a lot, this could be a little intrusive.

    -David McClellan (Twitter Dave)
    http://www.simmentors.com
    http://www.twitter.com/simmentors

  • February 26, 2010

    I am so excited to see there are a lot of people who have taken a lot of interest in SEO for Twitter. Ok, to answer a few questions…

    @jepc. Tinyurl uses 301 redirect, which search engines give the link credit to to directed link. It is a similar idea if twitter.com bought the domain misspelling twiter.com (without the extra “t” for us 5th grade minds) and redirected it to their site. I also like to use url shortners that can track links. The only problem is that they are not good for SEO unless they work using a 301 redirect.

    @sarahsantacroce. The password does not show up in the feed url. I have tried linking to the burner a few different ways and even clicking on the Twitter link and have not seen anywhere where it could expose the password. (I am not an experienced hacker though).

    @MonicaRicci. If you search RSS directories into Google(or any other search engine), you will see a lot of them. Most likely, you would find an RSS feed on a persons blog using a “subscribe” button. To get you started, here is one from Yahoo. http://publisher.yahoo.com/rss_guide/submit.php

  • February 26, 2010

    Very useful post. but you didn’t really mention one of the most important aspects of SEO, backlinks. I’ll bookmark this and do so.

  • February 26, 2010

    Super useful and explained! Thanks.
    I have the same question as Monica Ricci related to directories.
    Could you also tell me if the name of the feed burner should be optimized with potential keyword or it doesn’t make sense.
    Thanks

  • February 27, 2010

    You can even integrate the twitter feed into your blog thus constantly creating value for your own blog instead of creating value for twitter or feedburner.
    see example :http://blog.stramark.nl/zoekmachine-twitter/

    (works like crazy)

  • February 27, 2010

    @marionbauer Absolutely! In the section above “picking a user name” it talks about trying to use a name that has your keywords in it. So, if you are doing that, you should have your keywords in your feed.

  • February 27, 2010

    Great article! You can also use the bit.ly URL shortener for SEO too – I wrote about it here on SEOMoz : http://bit.ly/augX4t

  • February 27, 2010

    I like that Avatar tip.. never thought of that.. awesome.

  • February 27, 2010

    I tried to do what you described for rss feed and now I cannot log into my twitter account. I pasted the link wth my username and password before it and now I cannot sign in to twiiter on my computer, only on my phone. PLease help!! EMail me

  • February 27, 2010

    Good call about using bit.ly for the bio website. I’m still getting used to the idea of short URLs coming back

  • February 27, 2010

    whoaaa…i never thought about this before!!

    thanks for great info

  • February 28, 2010

    @SoupTruck You must have changed your password on accident. Feedburner would never change your password. If you can still access Twitter from your phone, I would recommend resetting/changing your password.

    As a side note, I will not be checking this posting after today. I thank all of you for the great response to this posting. If you have any more questions, you can @reply me http://www.twitter.com/simmentors. I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Thanks again.

  • March 1, 2010

    For sure. It’s surprising just how much you can squeeze out of your twitter profile. Nice tips, thanks.

  • March 2, 2010

    Wow – thanks for the fabulous information. I’ve been using Feedburner for my blogs, but had never thought to use it for Twitter…it’s set up now! Thanks again

  • March 5, 2010

    Thank you so much for this information. I am really glad I found it. I am not very computer savvy and this seems very easy to do so I’m printing it out to follow up on. Thanks Again!!!

  • March 5, 2010

    Wow I just came across this post and while some of these tips are standard – I love the labeling the picture tip and I had heard of listing twitter in technorati (although I couldn’t make it work) but I like the RSS Idea also.
    Thanks for sharing such great information.

  • March 6, 2010

    I came across this page while googling for something else SEO related. The thought of using twitter to improve on the SEO had crossed my mind before, but I just didn’t spend enough time on figuring out the best way to do it. Thanks for laying it out nice and easy for us.

  • March 7, 2010

    David, Outstanding bit of information. I will used this in the future especially when I set up a new Twitter account I’ll fresh with SEO Twitter techniques.

  • March 8, 2010

    Thanks for your information.
    QUESTION:
    Does TinyURL give backlink credits? and does it help search engines treat the URL as a normal URL?

  • March 9, 2010

    Nice and Informative!
    Its Great to see that sharing can help anyone and even business. We live in a plugged in world and if your not plugged in then your out of the loop. Even today’s news channels are re-iterating on what we found out yesterday.
    Keep up the great work!

  • March 9, 2010

    Interesting article and I totally agree with you on using twitter to drive more traffic to a website. But reading your article, I’m missing an import information, that people should take in consideration when they approach Twitter from SEO perspective.

    Every link that is posted on Twitter are rel=”nofollow” meaning the search engine bots won’t consider it when calculating ranking. It doesn’t matter what URL shortener you’ll use, and if you want to be consistent with your brand you can even build your own.

    On Twitter I would recommend concentrating more on the community, rather than on the bots. While bots won’t bring you many new followers just because you use some keywords, having relevant and interesting tweets delivered on a regular basis, engaging with your followers and with the people you follow will bring you more benefits on the long term.

  • March 24, 2010

    This was a great suggestion to be sure to add your twitter user name in blog posts and forums. Seems like a great way to attract followers and build your profile.

  • March 29, 2010

    great article except I noticed you used a ’short link’ for this post :O

  • April 18, 2010

    Neat. Thanks for the walkthrough

  • April 27, 2010

    I had figured out the keywords in your profile and your handle, but not the rest. Thanks for the SEO tips.

  • May 15, 2010

    What a goldmine of tips! I implemented them all, thanks to you! I never thought of submitting my Twitter RSS Feed to search engines…

  • June 25, 2010

    Amazing article for increasing the SEOness of your Twitterness.

    Ironically enough, I tried to come back to this just now by typing ‘SEO for Twitter’ and couldn’t find this page anywhere. Would have thought it would have been showing well on that term.

  • June 27, 2010

    it will treat as spam?

  • August 4, 2010

    Hi

    Does adding a twitter feed enhance SEO and page ranking of blog/website?

  • August 8, 2010

    Great advice on the Twitter picture! I didn’t know you could do that!!

  • August 22, 2010

    Perfect Article I just made at least 2 of the changes you recommended and I feel better about this twitter thing already… it just all seemed so pointless to me for a while

  • September 25, 2010

    I have an underscore sign in my Twitter username. You said this is not so good for SEO. Please could you tell me why?

  • October 6, 2010
    Sebbastian
    @ninjabout

    Fantastic. Great how-to guide with valuable insight

  • December 27, 2010

    Excellent SEO tips on Twitter… I thought that how much we can tweek in Twitter is very limited but your tips show me some good ways to get high ranking for my twitter profile.. Your idea about renaming the profile pic was something that I never thought of

  • January 18, 2011

    This is what I’m looking for, especially the tips about feedburner. Thanks

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