Showing up in search results is always a challenge for small businesses. This is especially true in home performance, where many of the services you provide are either technical, or unknown to the general consumer, or can also be provided by a general contractor (and maybe at a lower cost) who doesn't know anything about building science.
In an effort to set themselves apart, many home performance companies will end up using the same words in their websites and business names, words like "green" and "energy" and "home" and... you get the picture. This convergence leads to a lot of similarity in names, and that similarity leads to confusion in the search results.
The last thing you want is a homeowner who is searching for you directly, using your company name, to end up on a competitor's website just because they decided to use those same terms. Basically, "owning" or "dominating" the search results for your brand or company name search is important, and it can be challenging for some companies in the home performance industry. The good news here is that Twitter is becoming a better option for getting yet another spot in the rankings for your brand search with some recent changes they have made.
As reported in these two posts over at Search Engine Land, the first of these changes was a small but meaningful tweak to something called the "robots.txt" file which provides instructions to search engines when they visit a site. You don't need to worry about that so much except that it is an indication that Twitter wants their pages to be more easily crawled by search engines. The second change is the more important one, and that is the mostly silent launch of a crawlable user directory. Once again the specific point here is that Twitter wants search engines to get through the site more easily, and in this case, specifically user profile pages. The result is that it should now be easier to get your Twitter profile page to rank highly for your brand name.
Optimizing your Twitter Profile
We could do an entire post about optimizing your Twitter profile for search, but here are the fundamentals:
- username: choose one that reflects the name of your company or your website, whatever people will use when they search for you
- profilename: this should be similar or identical to your username
- bio: use your company or site name (or both) again, use keywords, and make your primary value statement here
- links: link to your twitter profile from your website
Other Benefits of Twitter
We wrote recently about ways companies are using Twitter, and while some of you may not like the idea of adding Twitter to your marketing mix, we think it is becoming increasingly important. The aforementioned search result benefit is one reason, but beyond that it is a great channel for demonstrating authority, enaging with past and future customers, and at the end of the day improving the sense of trust consumers need to have when working with any home contracting business. We've already gone on record many times that Facebook is now mandatory for businesses marketing online, and while we have not made the same statement about Twitter, that may change in the future. At the end of the day Twitter can be one more way that you set yourself apart from your competition and generate business for your company.
How do you feel about Twitter? Have you decided to jump in or still holding out? Let us know in the comments.