When you started working in social media, who knew Twitter SEO would be a thing? Well, as social media has evolved, its capabilities have also adapted. Social SEO is now an important consideration to keep in mind for any platform.
Improving your brand’s Twitter SEO is essential to increase your tweets’ visibility on the platform. It can even boost your search rankings off the platform (looking at you, Google).
Whether you’re a marketer in charge of improving your brand’s Twitter presence or a creator looking to reach more people, using Twitter for SEO is something you’ll want to implement into your social strategy.
What is Twitter SEO?
Twitter SEO is the process of optimizing your tweets and profile to rank higher in search results.
You probably know that you can target specific keywords on your website to improve its rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). But Twitter SEO gives your tweets a boost in visibility and reach — both on and off the platform.
That’s right — Twitter SEO is beneficial for your search rankings on the platform itself and can also help your brand’s tweets show up in Google search results.
Why does Twitter SEO matter?
Social media platforms are a valuable discovery channel for brands. Most platforms have created enhanced search capabilities that make social SEO essential across all platforms, Twitter included.
Twitter SEO helps build brand recognition by increasing the visibility and reach of your tweets and profile.
When your brand’s tweets rank higher in search results for relevant keywords and phrases, they are more likely to be seen by a wider audience. This helps increase brand awareness and gets your content in front of the right people.
Optimizing your Twitter presence can also help your brand boost reach outside the platform. Public tweets and profiles can be discovered on Google. Even people who aren’t on Twitter can find your brand’s profile or tweets by searching your brand name.
This is a Twitter carousel that pops up in Google search results if you search for Hootsuite:
Twitter SEO ranking factors
If you want to optimize your tweets for search, you have to understand how Twitter’s algorithm ranks search results.
Let’s go over each of these Twitter SEO ranking factors in more detail.
The most important factor Twitter considers when ranking your tweets is the relevancy to a search query. Does your tweet match what someone searched?
If someone was to search for “Emily in Paris,” then they’re expecting to see tweets about the show. If your tweets or profile don’t match that intent, Twitter won’t feature your brand in the results.
Twitter uses hashtags to categorize content and help people discover topics and brands they may be interested in. For brands, trending hashtags are still a great way to reach an engaged audience.
According to Twitter, when brands use relevant hashtags to tap into trending conversations on the platform, they see an increase in brand awareness, message association, and even purchase intent.
People can also look up hashtags around topics they’re interested in, whether they’re recommended in the Explore tab or the user searches for a hashtag directly in the search bar.
If a popular tweet gets a lot of engagement and sparks conversations, Twitter wants to highlight it. Engagement metrics like retweets, quote tweets, likes, and replies are all visibility factors.
This is why using relevant keywords and hashtags in your tweets is essential. Including these elements in your tweets helps you reach people who are more likely to engage with your content. The more organic engagement you earn, the more love you’ll get from the algorithm
Authority and reputation
Another key factor Twitter considers is an account’s authority and reputation. Optimizing your tweets helps establish your brand as a thought leader or authority in your industry.
Relevant, high-quality content allows your brand to establish itself as a reliable source of information.
This ultimately helps build brand recognition and credibility. A good reputation is key, especially if you want to stand out among similar brands on the platform.
Google SEO ranking factors
If your profile is public, then your tweets can be found on Google.
Google indexes Twitter profiles and public tweets. This means everything you say on Twitter is connected to your brand, and your tweets can also contribute to your overall Google ranking.
In addition to Twitter SEO factors, let’s review some of the factors that go into Google search rankings.
A user’s search intent is a top priority for Google. The search engine tries to match a search query with what the searcher actually wants to see.
Google has basically perfected its system over the years, so it usually knows what someone is trying to search for. That’s why Google results seem so smart — even if your search includes a typo or a synonym.
For example, check out this search for the phrase “sofas for small spaces.” Google knows that the words “sofa” and “couch” are interchangeable. That’s why it showed this page from Wayfair in the results:
Another factor Google takes into consideration is the quality of the content.
In Google’s eyes, three factors determine quality content:
- Expertise, and
Google wants to be sure that if they recommend a page or product to a searcher, it’s valuable and can meet their search intent.
Google also takes a look at the usability of content in search results. The search engine loves content that’s mobile-friendly and accessible. It makes sense — mobile devices account for 63% of organic search engine visits.
The search engine favors content that’s easy to navigate and digest, loads quickly, and is accessible to all users.
6 Twitter SEO tactics to help you expand your reach
With Twitter and Google search ranking factors in mind, let’s go over these Twitter SEO tips can you use to boost your brand’s visibility both on and off the platform.
1. Use keywords in your profile and tweets
What search terms on Twitter do you want your brand to show up in the results for?
If you run the social media accounts for a local restaurant, you’ll likely want to appear in searches for “[your city] restaurants.” Or perhaps you have a DTC organic skincare brand and want to pop up when people search for any of those terms.
Similar to how you’d conduct keyword research for Google rankings, there are certain keywords you should target on Twitter to increase your brand’s visibility.
To do this, create a list of keywords related to your brand, industry, or product. Use these keywords throughout the copy on your page — in everything from your Twitter bio to your display name and even in your tweets when relevant.
Let’s take a look at Hootsuite’s Twitter profile as an example of this tactic in action.
The first words in Hootsuite’s bio are “social media,” followed by “tools,” “tips,” and “news.” By including these keywords in its bio, Hootsuite is establishing its brand as an authority and a resource around social media topics. It’s also ensuring its tweets and profile show up in searches about social media.
And it clearly works. Hootsuite ranks at the top of the search results for the phrase “social media tips.”
2. Take advantage of Twitter threads
Twitter loves threads. Even before Twitter officially encouraged threads, people used the format to share a string of thoughts requiring more than 280 characters.
If you haven’t seen a thread before, a Twitter thread is a series of tweets shared by one Twitter account. There are multiple tweets in a thread, and they’re all connected to make one long tweet.
Threads are essentially like mini blog posts. They’re typically used to share long-form content. Think step-by-step directions, a compelling story, or a roundup of resources.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do threads help with Twitter SEO?
Well, for one, threads are made up of multiple tweets. This creates multiple opportunities for your tweets to be seen and engaged with.
Plus, Twitter labels threads as such and allows you to see the entire thread by clicking “Show this thread.” This also helps threads gain better visibility.
Imagine how much space a 10-tweet thread will take up in the feed compared to a single tweet that can easily be scrolled past.
Threads also provide an opportunity to talk about one topic in depth. Going into detail about a particular topic helps check off many of Twitter’s search ranking factors, from authority to relevancy to engagement.
3. Talk about relevant topics
Another tactic you can use to boost your brand’s Twitter SEO is topics. Twitter sorts tweets into topics to make it easier for people to find content and profiles relevant to their interests.
Users can explore trending topics in the Explore tab or follow topics they’re interested in. If a user chooses to follow a certain topic — let’s say recipe ideas — then relevant tweets from people they may or may not follow will be in their feed.
If you want to increase your reach and get your tweets in front of your target audience, then taking advantage of topics is a must. Create tweets based on the topics that are related to your brand — and tweet about them often.
One of the ways Twitter categorizes topics is by looking at people who talk about or interact with certain topics frequently. This tells Twitter that you’re knowledgeable about a topic, and other people may find your tweets valuable.
As long as the context is clear, your tweets will be categorized by topic and shown to people who are interested in that topic.
4. Use hashtags effectively
Hashtags are one of the primary factors Twitter uses to categorize tweets. Twitter recommends using only one or two hashtags per tweet to keep your message concise. And since you’re limited in characters, you’ll have to use hashtags strategically.
Include hashtags that not only support your tweet but are relevant to what people are searching. For example, to promote its limited edition Valentine’s Day box, Krispy Kreme used the hashtag #ValentinesDay in any tweet about the campaign.
— Krispy Kreme (@krispykreme) February 1, 2023
This works for a couple of reasons. The hashtag is broad enough for people to search for, especially in the month leading up to the holiday. And by bringing its donut special into the conversation, Krispy Kreme can reach anyone who engages with the hashtag.
5. Engage with other users on the platform
Engaging with other users is a great way to boost visibility and increase reach on Twitter. By interacting with similar brands, you can get in front of that brand’s audience and reach new people who may be interested in your brand, too.
Look to food brands if you want a little inspiration in this category. Food and beverage brands have created the formula for engaging with other brands on the platform. These brands take any opportunity to join in on relevant conversations and even roast each other occasionally.
There’s also plenty of camaraderie between these fun-spirited brands, as shown in this light-hearted interaction between Cinnabon and Skittles (with a special shout-out to Slim Jim):
This works because these brands know they have similar audiences and can expand their reach to new followers by participating in relevant conversations. As long as the responses are genuine and relevant, humanizing your brand on Twitter is always a good idea.
6. Don’t forget alt text
Adding alt text, or alternative text, to all your images is a social media best practice, especially if you want to ensure your content is inclusive to all users. These captions are used to describe your images to people who are visually impaired and use screen readers to access the content of an image.
Alt text can also help describe your content to search engines. If you include an image with your tweet, be sure to add alt text so Twitter can understand and index your content and help it show up in relevant search results.
Forget the groundhog, we use a 14,400’ active stratovolcano to predict the weather.
Mountain out? Good weather.
Mountain not out? Bad weather.
Mountain actively erupting? Lahar weather. pic.twitter.com/alHNKfFnmc
— Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (@waDNR) February 2, 2023
The alt text on this tweet from the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources reads: “Mount Rainier, a snow-capped and glaciated volcano, stands tall and majestically and unproblematically… for now.”
Frequently asked questions about Twitter SEO
What does SEO stand for on Twitter?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. On Twitter, SEO can be used to increase your tweet’s visibility and reach through targeted keywords and phrases.
Does Twitter help SEO?
Optimizing your Twitter can help with SEO in Google. Twitter profiles and public tweets can be seen and ranked on Google search results.
Do Twitter links count for SEO?
You can use Twitter links to direct traffic to your website. Sharing links on Twitter can increase your traffic and help boost your website’s SEO
How do I optimize my Twitter SEO?
To optimize your Twitter SEO, you should include relevant keywords in your Twitter bio, use hashtags, and tweet about topics that your target audience is searching for.
Save time by using Hootsuite to manage your Twitter presence alongside your other social channels. You can run contests, share videos, schedule posts, and monitor your efforts — all from one convenient dashboard! Try it for free today.