As the result of a recently announced deal, Tweets now appear prominently in Google’s mobile search results on Android and iOS. Desktop integration is coming soon.
The impact on your #NPO’s search results could be significant. Google will take your social participation into account when determining your influence – a change not to be taken lightly.
Here are seven tips to help your nonprofit make the most of the Twitter and Google search integration:
1. Use high-value keyword phrases and #hashtags in your Tweets.
Google results will not show all Tweets, only those that its algorithm deems relevant to search queries.
Wrong: If your Tweet announcing a free webinar on video editing said, “Sign up for our free webinar,” it would not show up in search results on the topic.
Better: “Free webinar: learn new donor retention method” with a photo and a link. That way, a search on Google’s mobile app for “donor retention” could include your Tweet. Given that more people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices every day, this kind of semantic search is more important than ever.
2. Don’t use Twitter as a broadcast medium.
When you use a third-party app to schedule the same Tweet several times, you will decrease the chances of your Tweet showing up in search unless someone searches directly for your company name.
In that case, people searching your name on Google will see your repetitious stream and know that you are using Twitter to broadcast, not to engage.
3. Post often.
Haven’t posted in a long time? Your most recent Tweets – even if they’re a year or more old – will show up in Google search. Doesn’t exactly make you look like you’re on top of your game. Unfortunately, many nonprofits are not using Twitter to their advantage, and this will begin to increasingly count against their SEO.
Tweets showed up in the top 10 search results for both organizations, which both Tweet often. When there are several recent Tweets, Google results show them in a carousel mode, where you can swipe to see more of the Tweets, ReTweet them, comment on them, or follow the organization.
No paid Tweets show in Google search, since Google sells its own advertising.
4. Use images with every Tweet.
Tweets with images are prominently featured. You will need to size them to the correct dimensions for best mobile display.
5. Follow and comment on Twitter’s trending topics.
Google’s announcement says Tweets in Google searches are “a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”
That seems to indicate that when your brand Tweets something relevant to a trending topic, your Tweet has a greater chance of showing up when that topic is searched. Including an image increases the odds even more.
6. Monitor and respond quickly.
Monitor your brand for negative comments and respond quickly. If you are responsive, people seeing the search results will see that you care, you engage, and you make an effort to resolve issues.
7. Think before you Tweet!
What goes online stays online. Twitter’s blog says, “Even if you delete Tweets, Google and other search engines cache search results, which means that occasionally old information is still searchable. Although Twitter changes your settings immediately and deletes Tweets immediately, these changes don’t erase old information in Google’s search index.”
Initially, only U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and Google says it has plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months.
This development presents an opportunity for broad exposure for your NPO, so take a good look at your strategy.
B.L. Ochman (@whatsnext on Twitter) is a digital strategist for Fortune 500 companies and a guest contributor to Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. For more information about multichannel marketing for nonprofits, contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.