SMX Advanced 2011: Yes, Virginia, Tweeting is SEO

By Tad Miller | Jun 7, 2011
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Social ranking signals now matter in SEO and this panel featuring Michael Hayward, Elle Shelley, Jennifer Lopez and Sean Percival is discussing just that.

Danny Sullivan’s intro gets into the hands off history that many SEO’s had with Twitter early on because it didn’t have anything to do with SEO in the early days (only about 2 years ago).

Michael Hayward of ROI labs – Michael was a former executive at 4 Seasons Hotels and they needed a Twitter strategy.  Getting a network of retweeters like 4 Seasons is important.  They have a corporate account and every hotel has a Twitter account. All the hotels organically retweet the corporate account.  They believe that they get link juice with their own custom shortened link that they own.  They also plan out their editorial calendar a year in advance and design and schedule all the tweets for their custom magazine website months in advance.

Doing this increased traffic from search 50% and getting the site ranking for non-travel search terms like “Best Pain au Chocolat in _____”.  Got them 21 different page rankings for variations of that phrase.

“Did you know” tweets are by far the most retweeted Tweets of any kind of tweets they share.

Elle Shelley from Zog Media – Her rules are integrate Twitter into your search strategy always use a link and be social.  Figure out what stages of the content strategy to can integrate Twitter into.

Tweets are not a Silver Bullet for search, but they can play a supporting role.  They can’t be a stand alone strategy.

Always use a “branded link”.  Ensure “link juice”.  Which I think she possibly means use your own URL or own custom link shortner.

Being social means interacting with other Tweeters that have some Clout.  Focus on Quality over Quantitiy.  Seek out mavens for retweets and retweet the Mavens.

Jennifer Lopez from SEOmoz – SEO Mind vs. The Social Mind.  SEOMoz ranks for some very general terms like “beginners guide” as the result of massive numbers of ReTweets.

Study the science of Retweets to maximize them.  Dan Zarella offers a great guide.

Do some keyword targeting with hash tags.  Use Twubs to find the hash tags with the most usage.  Use those hash tags in your tweet.

Use the short canonical version of URLs – not the long drawn out non-canonical version of URLs.

Make sharing easy with buttons on all of your pages.  Post the URL on the page also to make cut and pasting easy.  Shared Count is a great way to track all the places where your link was shared.

Sean Percival from Myspace – Went to work for the social network, MySpace and first asked “who owns Social?”  Marketing, PR, Agency?  Find out what works, have data and make Social better and you can “shape” it to make it better.

They use Social Flow to manage social.  Social flow uses “timing optimization” for Tweets.  They optimize to time tweets to correlate when the audience responds best to it.  It also gives keyword suggestions.  Social Flow is a paid tool.

They work with Celebrities.  They do “hi-jacks” to have celebrities take over the site.  You need to make sure that they are invested in the success of the content.  The Blake Griffin hi-jack was more successful than the Kim Kardashian hi-jack.  You need to get in front of events that the celebrities are working towards.

This just in: Celebrities get a lot of ReTweets.

Look for authorities in your field, more than celebrities like Kardashians.

Danny Sullivan says if someone doesn’t see your tweet within an hour, the chances are that it won’t be seen.  Search Engine Land also uses Social Flow.  It’s great for second chance Tweets.  It’s a no-brainer to do.

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