Twitter tutorial for Traffic and SEO

Is Twitter important?

Social media has become powerful platform for content promotion.Twitter is one of the most powerful social media networks.For few websites it works better than Facebook or any other social networking websites out there in terms of incoming traffic.

The impact of Twitter on search engine ranking is also important. Along with Facebook,Google Plus and Linkedin it constitutes the social signal group important for search ranking.Google does consider social signal in search ranking.This is known fact and I would not go in too much detail here.So it is better to include Twitter in your social media strategy

In this post we will see different widgets offered by Twitter.Also we will discuss about some basic tips and tricks for making best out of this social networking website.We will also see best way to place these widgets on your website as well.I have written similar article on Facebook as well.You can read the post at this link.

Twitter buttons for traffic and SEO
Twitter buttons for traffic and SEO

In short the benefits of Twitter can be summarized in below points

  • Getting incoming referral traffic from tweeted content
  • Lift in search ranking of the content tweeted
  • Increasing visibility of your content and brand (website)
  • Building Social Authority.A profile with good number of real followers is highly valued
  • You can opt for paid tweet service after having good number of real followers

Getting Started with Twitter

The first step is creating a Twitter account for your website.I have only one Twitter account.I use it for this website.You can have separate Twitter accounts (personal one and professional one) or one account for each of your website. This really depends on you. But it is better to use different accounts if website themes are entirely different.While creating the account keep in mind below points

  • Use a user name which reflects your website or you (in case using common account)
  • Provide a interesting description.It can be about you with reference to your website.Interesting description which says something about you or your website helps individuals with similar interest or business space follow you.
  • Use header image and profile image.You can use your picture or your website favicon image as profile image.In header image use image which says something about theme of your website.
  • Make your friends aware of your newly created profile.This entirely depends on your taste.Do you want to include your friends as part of your website twitter account or not.
  • Invite your email contacts to join you on Twitter.You should email to people subscribed to your website.
  • You can also share your twitter link to your website Facebook page,Google Plus profile and page
  • There are many social networking sites where you can add other social network profile links like Disqus,Livefyre (commenting systems),StumbleUpon (social news website),Pinterest etc.

Above steps provide initial lift needed for your newly created Twitter profile.In case you already have Twitter account but have not followed any one these then you can certainly consider doing the step.

After these basic steps we need to promote our Twitter profile for increased visibility.Twitter provides Follow button for this purpose.We will discuss about Follow button in detail later in the post.

Sharing your content on Twitter

As said above Twitter is great platform to generate traffic.For this purpose it is good practice to share your contents on regular basis.After publishing a new post you should tweet about it.This notifies your followers about new content.

But you should follow some basic rules while sharing content (or self promoting) on this social networking site.Though below set of rules hold good for other social networking sites as well.

What to share on Twitter?

It is not good practice to share only your links or posts on twitter.You can use below pointers to get an idea about shareable content.

  • Links or information relevant to your followers.Not necessarily from your website but from others as well
  • Off beat topics like productivity tips,humour,interesting facts you found online
    Your newly published content.
  • Being consistent in sharing content.Do not make too many tweets a single day and then go invisible for considerably long period of time.You should be regular.
  • You should share older content on your website to give them a freshness lift.

In short your tweets should revolve around entertaining your followers,giving them something productive and inviting healthy discussion on non controversial topics.It is equally important to know content you should avoid sharing on Twitter.

What not to share on twitter?

Your twitter account represents your business (website). You should avoid making tweets which is not good for your business.In short you should avoid tweets which are

  • Politically motivated or politically offensive
  • Hurts any ones religious sentiments or makes remarks about it
  • Controversial remarks on any race
  • Might not be received well across different geographies.
  • Looks like spamming.If you making lot number of same tweets then it irritates your followers

You can make controversial remarks about any topic related to your website subject matter and in turn invite discussion on it.But this should not be offensive.This type of tweets do catch attention of people.But they should be well thought of and backed up with interesting facts.

Twitter Sharing tips and tricks

I have compiled list of sharing tips and tricks.I have employed these tricks with good effect.These are safe tips and in no way belong to grey area.So you can feel free to use any or all of them.

Tip 1 :

You should target specific accounts while tweeting your content.This might not be applicable for all the contents on your site but few does belong to this category.Lets understand this with an example.

You have written a post on product A.Now product A has a twitter account or company behind product A has a twitter account.You should direct your tweet to that account along with link and small description of your post.

This will catch their attention and is great for your content if they retweet your link.This will make your content visible among their followers.This is good for that particular content and your brand as well.You get immediate traffic.Also the retweet will help your search engine ranking as well.

Tip 2 :

Timing the tweet is also important.Lets say you have 500 followers.On Saturday morning 300 of them are active on twitter or will check their account.On other days roughly 200 to 250 is the maximum limit.So ideal time to tweet will be Saturday morning.So that your tweet is visible to more individuals and chances of getting traffic from it increases.

For example most of my Twitter friends are from India.I should consider India Time Zone while tweeting.In case most twitter friends are from some other country then you should consider time zone of that particular country.Tweeting a content when most of your friends are not online is not fruitful.

Tip 3 :

You should follow accounts which are relevant to you.There are many accounts available on Twitter which follow back if you follow them.It is good to increase follower count but they do not add to traffic from Twitter or getting your tweet retweeted.

Adding accounts just for increasing number of followers does not convert into traffic.This is just wastage of time.I certainly not recommend buying such fake accounts or using tool for this purpose.

Tip 4 :

While sharing try to think of proper hashtag for the content.For example if I am sharing a post on WordPress then it is good practice to use include WordPress hashtag while sharing the content.Below are example of tweet without and with hashtags.

Without hashtag

Download your copy of WordPress performance tutorial from

With hashtag (better)

Download your copy of #WordPress performance tutorial from

Tip 5 :

It is good practice to include images and videos relevant to the content you are tweeting in your tweet.You can also add location as well.These things do add value to tweet.The tweet will contain lot more information.

Pictures and videos do act as main attraction and makes tweet more attractive.It increases chances of getting more traffic from the tweet.

I would like to know tricks which worked well for you.Above we saw all about content shared by us.Now it is equally important to make content shareable by visitors as well.

Enabling visitors to share your content on Twitter

Twitter tweet buttons allows your website visitors to share your content on twitter.With power of Twitter it is good to have your content shared on twitter.Two ways to share your content on Twitter

  • Using tweet link
  • Using twitter button

Lets see both ways.You can pick any one of the method depending upon your requirement.

Using Twitter Tweet link

In this case we use Twitter logo.Whenever a visitor clicks on that logo a pop up window is displayed and visitor can share current post on Twitter (after sign in). This method does not require loading JavaScript.Below is the code I use for placing Twitter share button.This is tested code.I am explaining the code below.

<input name="submit" type="submit" id="sharetwit" value="Twitter " onClick="demotwitter();"/>
<script>
	function demotwitter() {
		_gaq.push(["_trackEvent", "SocialShare", "Twitter", "Share",, false]);
		var feed = "http://twitter.com/";
		var url = encodeURIComponent(location.href);
		feed += "?status=" + url;
		window.open(feed, "Twitter Share", "width=800,height=600");
	}
</script>

Instead of using images I prefer using HTML button with share text.A pop up window is displayed after visitor’s click on this HTML button.Every click is being tracked in Google Analytics as well.So that you can monitor performance of this method.Just copy and paste above code where you want to display the share button and it will work.

Using Twitter Tweet button

You can use official Twitter tweet button instead of above method.Tweet button allows you to show number of times the content is tweeted.But this method requires loading of JavaScript.

As in case of Follow button you should defer loading of JavaScript.You can copy the same code as in Follow button.If you have included the code once then there is no need to include it again.It will work.

You just need to create Tweet button code as per your need.Copy the first part of the code.Paste the code where you want to display the tweet button.Above is the first part of Tweet button code.You can also copy code given below (just replace Udinra with your Twitter user name

Horizontal Button

<a href="https://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-via="Udinra">Tweet</a>

Vertical Button

<a href="https://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-via="Udinra" data-count="vertical">Tweet</a>

Placing these widget is not enough.The visitor should find the content worth of sharing on Twitter or other social networking site.Placements of these buttons are also important.Ideal placement in my opinion is just below your post content.

Promoting your Twitter profile

After creating your profile and inviting your contacts the next step is to make your website visitors aware about your twitter profile.There are couple of ways to do this

  • Use twitter icon and link it to your twitter profile URL.
  • Use twitter follow button
  • Using your twitter profile in Email signatures
  • Adding your twitter account to other social networking profiles of yours
  • Adding your twitter profile information to Disqus or other similar places

We will discuss first two here as others are easy to implement.Out of first two I prefer using Twitter Follow button.Twitter follow button makes it easier for your visitors to follow you.But you should load JavaScript after initial page load else page load time increases.I have discussed this below in detail.

But many webmaster link Twitter logo image to their Twitter account.This method does not involve loading of JavaScript.So in case you do not want to load extra bytes then follow this method.

Using link to your Twitter profile

The first step is to find your Twitter profile URL link.

  • Log into your twitter account
  • After login in hover your mouse button on image or your name.
  • Click on that and copy the URL from browser address bar.
  • Now log out of twitter account and browse the URL you copied above.You should see your profile page.This is just for test purpose.

Now grab any cool Twitter icon.You can find many on Internet.Download the image and upload to your server.Copy the below code and make necessary changes according to your requirement.I have included placeholder texts in the code for your easy reference.

<a href="paste your twitter profile link" onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'TwitterProfile', 'TwitterProfile', 'TwitterProfile',, false]);" ><img src="paste your twitter image link" title="title for the image" alt="Alt text for image" /></a>

Above code also tracks performance of the link in Google Analytics.Every click on this link is reported in Events section of Google Analytics as TwitterProfile.So you can easily monitor performance of this link.

Using Twitter follow button

To add follow button on your website follow below steps

  • Log into your Twitter account
  • Open Create Twitter buttons link after log in
  • If you open above link after log in then your Twitter user name gets populated.You do not need to enter it.
  • Copy the generated code.The code will look as shown below
<a href="https://twitter.com/Udinra" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @Udinra</a>
<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');</script>

The code contains two parts.The first part begins with <a and ends with /a>. The second part begins with <script> and ends with </script>. Copy first part of the generated code and paste where you want to display follow button.

In case you are using WordPress then you can use WordPress text widget to copy the code.There are several plugins for this purpose but I would suggest against usage of any plugin.Too many plugins slow down your website.So it is better to avoid using plugins for this common purpose.

The second part of the code should be added above closing body tag (</body>). The code should be loaded after page load.In other words you should defer loading the JavaScript.You might have seen these terms during
Google PageSpeed test of your webpage.

<script>
function downloadJSAtOnloadT() {
 var elementt = document.createElement("script");
 elementt.type = 'text/javascript';
 elementt.async = true;
 elementt.src = "//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";
 document.body.appendChild(elementt);
 }
 if (window.addEventListener)
 window.addEventListener("load", downloadJSAtOnloadT, false);
 else if (window.attachEvent)
 window.attachEvent("onload", downloadJSAtOnloadT);
 else window.onload = downloadJSAtOnloadT;
</script>

Copy the code shown above and paste just above </body> tag.If you are using WordPress then this tag is present in footer.php file of your theme.Using this method will not impact your initial page load time and Google PageSpeed score.

Conclusion

A twitter account for your website is a must have.It is great platform to get traffic and also increase your search ranking.Consider sharing this post if you found it useful.You can also download this tutorial for free using this download link.

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