It’s not strictly SEO, but it might improve your website traffic

9 Oct, 2009

Although it’s a little off-topic for this blog, I thought I would give a little mention to Twitter. It’s nothing to do with search engines, or optimising your website, but it is something that can add to your website traffic and so is worth a short mention here.

I only created my Twitter profile a few weeks ago.

Why, you may ask, after having created a Business Networking website (and therefore knowing the importance of growing networks and building relationships) and having had a keen interest in building website traffic for many years, have I been so slow accepting Twitter? After all, it is a free opportunity to get to know (virtually) more people, to develop relationships with them, and an additional marketing channel for your products and services, a mechanism for asking for help and to help others, and a way to drive traffic to your weblogs and websites.

I have been a little slow on the take-up because I have been busy with other things (and so perhaps did not consider that I needed it) and also because I have been sceptical that the cost to me (in terms of time spent tweeting, reading, responding) to develop its potential would be much higher than the return it would ultimately provide.

For me, the jury is still out, but then it is early days. I try to tweet once or twice a day, and I only post things that I genuinely find interesting, and which I think that others will also find of interest. Of course, only time will tell if others do find my tweets interesting, and I guess that I will adapt over time to deliver more of what gets the best results.

I’m still experimenting with Twitter to see what works, but Neil Ryder, who has been tweeting for just a few weeks longer than I have, has posted a great blog entry on what he learnt in his first 2 weeks. I found this to be both an interesting read and a useful guide to where I might look to make Twitter more successful for me, and thoroughly recommend you take a look.

I can also recommend Why you need Twitter, a blog post by Penelope Else, a really nicely written post on why you need to understand Twitter from the inside (which might explain why I have taken so long to get in).

I’m interested in knowing who to follow. How do I choose from the millions of twitterers out there? This got me Twitter popularity toolthinking. Wouldn’t it be fun to come up with a tool that worked out a kind of twitter popularity score, based upon the loose concept that a person might be a worthwhile follow if they had acquired more followers than they were themselves following, or if they had a high ratio of followers to the number of tweets that they made. If I could bring this to the attention of the twitter community, who in turn visited my website to play with the tool and see where they were in the league table of, well, ‘interesting’, then I would be well on my way to achieving a goal of delivering more website traffic plus understanding more about Twitter itself, and I might even pick up a few followers along the way.

Well, after a couple of days fiddling about, the tool (just for fun, you understand) is ready. Please go and take a look, and let me know what you think. I know, it’s a shameless attempt to lure you all to my website to play a completely pointless game, but it’s an experiment to see what works. The algorithm is my secret for now, and I may tweak it in future. One of my initial thoughts is to develop something akin to Google Pagerank, where each Twitter user is ranked according to the strength / value of those following them. This is a little way off, and may well be a step further into pointlessness, but it might appeal to some. UPDATE 2020 : The Twitter Popularity tool has now been retired!

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