How to build links with Twitter

Created: Kristi Hines
Categories: Link building, Twitter

Most people don't think of Twitter as a resource for their link building activities. Yet it can play an important role in the link building process in different ways. In this post, we're going to look at three ways you can utilize Twitter in an effort to increase links to your websites – and your clients'.

Use Your Twitter Profile for Links

Twitter offers not one, but two places in your profile to add a website link. The first is the main website field itself, and the second is within the 160 character Twitter bio.

Let's take this Twitter profile as an example of someone who places their link in both areas.

In addition to the link on the Twitter profile, you get a link on the sites that pull data from Twitter profiles, such as Klout.

Other sites that pull information from Twitter profiles include Twellow, TwitterCounter, Twitaholic, and Favstar. You just need to go to those sites and either check your stats or sign in with Twitter to (effectively) activate them. Some like Twellow allow you to add even more details to your profile, which leads to the opportunity for more links.

So if you don't already, set up your Twitter profile or modify it to include links to your website in both the website field and the 160 character bio. If you have clients, have them do the same.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using your Twitter profile for this method of link building. For starters, not all links will be dofollow. Also, you will only be getting links to a URL (http://yourdomain.com) as opposed to links with keyword anchor text. Last, but not least, you will need to use the full URL of your website – not a Bit.ly shortened link – to get the most out of this approach. Some sites will shorten your link automatically to a t.co when pulling your information from Twitter, but others will leave it intact.

Use Your Twitter Profile for Credibility

One of the reasons that many webmasters do not respond to link requests is because they feel like those requests are spam. With so many automated services and people who don't speak the native language of the recipient sending out link requests, personalized requests stand out from the crowd. One way to personalize your link request is to offer the recipient a way to learn more about you on a social networks such as Twitter. Instead of ending an email with "Best regards, Sam", you can end it like this.

Signatures like these (created by WiseStamp) will put a face to your name, and allow people to learn more about you and your business. Even adding just a Twitter icon without others will make it even more convincing.

Some things to note about this approach are the following.

  • Are you building links for your own website? If so, then clearly identifying yourself can add some sincerity to your request.
  • Are you building links for clients? If so, this could be a bit complicated as you may or may not want to divulge the name of your link building company / SEO agency.
  • Are you building links using a persona? If so, adding a Twitter handle to your persona's profile can make the difference between looking like a non-descript johnsmith@gmail.com to looking like a real person.

As always, be sure you are sending a relevant, fully personalized link request. Addressing the recipient by name (not Dear Sir/Madam) and letting them know who you are, what your website is, and why they should link to it (i.e., how it will benefit their audience or business) goes a long way in making your link requests successful.

Use Your Twitter Profile for Link Promotion

One of the easiest things to build links to is content, and the easiest targets for links to content is blogs in a related niche. Having a Twitter profile with a strong following allows you to broadcast your latest pieces of content (or your clients' latest pieces of content) to a large audience. If your following is made up of bloggers, then there's a good chance your reach with that tweet will result in a link to your content (or your clients').

One way to increase your odds of getting more links to your content is to follow the bloggers most likely to link to similar content. Seek out bloggers in a specific niche that create link roundups. If you create content about SEO, an example of a great blogger to connect with on Twitter is Matt McGee who does the SearchCap and Marketing Day roundups. 

As you start engaging with bloggers who run series highlighting the best post of the week in their industry, you'll be able to take advantage of one of the following. Each time you tweet a great piece of content (for yourself or a client), they'll take notice and maybe link to it. Alternatively, you can email them and ask if they feel your new piece of content would fit in their link roundup. Because they will recognize you from your Twitter interactions, you stand a good shot of making the cut with a great piece of content.

Also, be sure that you stretch your tweets beyond your audience through the use of hashtags. You can get exposure for tweets with hashtags like #SEO with people who follow the hash and even applications that create news stories based on it.

In Conclusion

All in all, remember that social signals are rumored to help with rankings. So while individual tweets may not count as traditional links they can help you achieve the ultimate goals of link building, which is an increase in traffic and rankings. Plus, they have the ability to lead to exposure, which can in turn, lead to more links. So if you aren't already utilizing Twitter in your link building strategy, give it a try and let us know if you start seeing results!

You can also participate in Twitter chats using designated hashtags. These are simply conversations at a specific time and date on a specific topic. You can see a huge list of Twitter chats here. While you don't want to spam a Twitter chat with links, you can share highly relevant links with a Twitter chat audience when applicable. Since that audience will be focused on a specific topic, your link will may get shared with lots of people, some of whom may share your link later on their blog.

Author: Kristi Hines
is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!