Any company who has an individual “brand” with some customer awareness or loyalty will already understand the value of that, in search. Companies such as this will very likely see substantial proportions of their hits from brand searches and will find that PPC campaigns are cheaper on those keywords, and conversions in general (both PPC and organic) are far higher around brand searches, so the value of this is not in question.
But of course, anywhere there is money to be had on the internet, marketeers and competitors will be present too, often ranking for your brand name, or advertising on it using PPC, so the ability to basically dominate your brand SERP, and push brand snipers down the page, often below the fold plus spice up the results page with your real-time presence, complete with colorful eye-catching logos to ensure searcher’s eyes are drawn to you first, (on after all what is basically your market) is potentially a very good thing.
Better still though, is the ability to basically scroll your latest news, including competitions, offers, incentives and anything else you desire, live in the Google SERP for anyone looking for you, this is a powerful SEO win over your competitors if you can achieve it. In fact, we think this has now made Twitter quite useful for some real SEO work at last, which granted is a bit of U-Turn from a previous post – The Truth about Twitter - but then in fairness we hadn’t seen this happening at that point.
The Real-Time search results shown above now appear any time we let off a flurry of Tweets (more than one) and whilst we don’t fully understand all the hows and whys yet, below is summarized observations about it with regards to how it works on our site and the few examples we’ve looked at so far.
- You seem to have to be the *authority* site on the matter, at #1 for your name.
- You (obviously) need an active Twitter account in the brand name.
- Multiple Tweets seem trigger it, one every few hours does not.
- The (our) results will then stay there as long as new Tweets go out at least 1 per hour.
- Once conversation / Tweets dry up, (our) Real-time is usually gone after 2-3 hours max.
- We **think** that your Twitter profile maybe needs to rank first page for your brand too, wouldn’t bet the house on it, but haven’t seen any instances yet where it hasn’t been first page.
So lets look in a bit more detail..
1. Of course if it’s your brand, you should be #1 anyway, there’s something seriously wrong if you’re not already, this should always be a first SEO priority.
2. Any company trying to build brand awareness these days cannot ignore Social Media, and will likely have already dabbled with Twitter etc. You will need to organize yourselves, assign someone the job of regularly Twitting, and interact with people. Ensure this person is familiar with your company and brand values, do not leave it to the intern, because this person will be representing your company with their real-time thoughts direct in the Google charts.
There’s a good article here about the implications of real time search for businesses, if you’re in charge of this and you’re not familiar with business social media, it would be very wise to acquaint yourself.
3. Multiple tweets signify ongoing action around that word, i.e. news, one a day does not, and will not usually trigger this. It’s also likely that the authority and engagement levels of your Twitter account is a factor, i.e a reasonable amount of followers and mentions / ReTweets etc.
4/5. We’ve seen our real-time box go again anywhere between 39 minutes and about three hours, but one Tweet an hour will usually sustain it. It also looks like more authoritative Twitter accounts have longer staying power, see Rand below, his last utterances can show up to 48 hours sometimes.
6. This may not be connected at all, but for total Brand domination and reputation management reasons (should you ever need them) it’s always a good idea to fill the page up with your profiles if possible.
What else can you do to enhance your chances of getting this effect? Well now we are getting into pure speculation (even more so than usual)
- Obviously, your Twitter account needs to link to your main site.
- The main site should link back to the Twitter account, and using your brand name as the alt text on the image will help with ranking the profile page 1. We’ve never much liked the idea of site-wide PR leakage to Twitter, but if it leads to this it’s a bit more acceptable.
- It seems very likely that the more active and authoritative your Twitter account is, the easier this will be to get pop-up real time real estate in the SERP, and as above, the better known your Twitter account the longer real time hangs around.
Other (much higher profile) examples of SEOs we’ve seen that have got this down:
There are lots more SEOs besides, but if anyone knows of any good examples of brand businesses of any size (not celebrities) using this to good effect, or any other observations about getting this to happen where previously it did not, instances where the Twitter profile isn’t there etc, please do let us know in the (dofollow – just behave yourselves) comments.
Ibiza over and out.