Today an article that I authored entitled SEO Tips for Facebook and Twitter  was published on iMediaConnection, one of the best go-to publications for digital marketers. In it, I address the issue of SEO for social media, something that has been largely overlooked, even by major brands.
The great news is that like most social media marketing, search engine optimization for social media profiles is still anybody’s game. It’s the wild west out there. With some easy tips, you can drastically improve how your profiles rank on search engines for relevant keywords. Here are a few quick pointers for Facebook and Twitter.
- Choose an appropriate name for the page. This is potentially the most important early decision you will make. At the very least, include the name of the business. You might also include targeted keywords if appropriate, but don’t push it.
- Provide new updates as often as possible. Your fans crave updates and new content, so provide them with stories, discussion topics, videos, and photos. If you have a hard time keeping this up, make a calendar at the beginning of or each week (or each month) and stick to it.
- Choose a good username because it is what will show up in your URL. For example, Starbucks’s vanity URL is http://www.facebook.com/Starbucks. Vanity URLs provide an opportunity for further optimization with your business name or a selected keyword. Given the choice between the two, the business name will be more appropriate in most cases.
- Use the “about” box to write keyword-rich copy. This is one of the only places on your Facebook page that allows for fully customized copy to be written, and it is an ideal place to help the search engines understand more about your page.
- Your username, or handle, will likely affect if and where your Twitter profile appears on a search engine results page.
- Choose a good account name, which is slightly different than the username. Search engines look at both the username and the account name to determine relevance for keyword searches.
- Add links and keywords to your profile. Write your bio carefully and include relevant keywords if appropriate. For the “web” URL, it would be best to link to a landing page created especially to convert social media users, but you also might consider linking to a Facebook or YouTube profile. Linking to your homepage is a perfectly acceptable option too.
- The first 40 or so characters of each Twitter update are the ones that will appear in the titles of the search engines’ listings when an update, or tweet, is returned as a result. As such, this is an ideal place to include any relevant keywords that might define the content of the message. And as a general rule, try to include keywords in your tweets whenever it makes sense.
- Include back links, when appropriate, in your updates. Yes, they are nofollowed, but links from Twitter.com help.
- Optimize your background image – this is a biggie. Customize Twitter’s background image so that your profile shows links (technically just images of links) to your other social media destinations. Take advantage of this opportunity to stay consistent with your branding so that it matches your corporate website, blog, etc.
The search engines remain one of the best possible ways to drive traffic. Therefore, in order to get eyeballs on your social media profile pages, use the search engines to your advantage. If someone searches on your business name, ideally multiple pages that you own will appear and dominate the SERPs.
For more in-depth tips and examples of brands that are doing it the best (in my opinion), please take a look at the original article on iMediaConnection .
- Search Engine Land Article: The Key to Top Video Rankings on YouTube and Google  - February 16, 2010
- 5 Ways That Brands Have Failed In Social Media  - December 11, 2009
- SEOs Should Pay More Attention to PPC  - November 23, 2009
- SEO Best Practices for YouTube  - October 22, 2009
- SEO Tips for Facebook and Twitter  - September 10, 2009
- Tweet or Die: Getting Started on Twitter  - July 27, 2009
- Get Real with Corporate Blogging  - July 16, 2009
- KFC and Oprah Got It Wrong. Oscar Meyer Got It Right.  - May 29, 2009