One Easy Way to Get More Traffic From Twitter

I love Twitter, but lately it seems like my my tweet stream has become a hot mess over time. There are so many tweets from so many different people that they all start to look the same. I’m much more of a visual person…

This is why I like Twitter’s newish Twitter cards feature that will add a photo and a summary to tweets.

What It Looks Like

Twitter cards can be a very effective way to get some increased traffic to your website because they stand out from normal tweets. Please allow me to demonstrate with the screenshot below of a normal tweet.

Regular Tweet

At first glance, this looks like nearly every other tweet in my stream. There is a short sentence and then a link, which isn’t necessarily a bad approach, but compare the regular tweet to the Twitter card below.

Twitter Summary Card

Do you notice how the second tweet stands out much more? Not only is there the typical sentence with a link at the end, but there is a summary card that includes an image and a short description of the website.

The picture is what I want to focus on here. I don’t know about you, but when I see a view photo link at the bottom of a tweet, I tend to click it. And I doubt that I’m the only one that clicks the extra button to check out the image or summary of a tweet. It’s interactive. It’s fun.

Including an image and a summary with your tweets makes your website, and information, much more appealing, which will lead to more views of your tweet and likely more clicks.

So, How Do You Implement It?

In the Twitter cards documentation, there are three steps:

  1. Review the documentation for the type of card you want to implement
  2. Add meta tags and test markup
  3. Apply to participate in the Twitter cards program

Well, if you’re using WordPress we can simplify the the first two steps by installing a plugin to do all of the markup for us. In a few short minutes I was able to find and test a plugin called Twitter Cards.

This plugin worked like a charm and pulled a description, title, and the first image in the post and included this information in the meta of my test site. Below is a preview of how my Twitter card would’ve looked.

Twitter Card Tester

That doesn’t look too shabby. I did notice that my Twitter profile (@ebinnion) is not showing up though. This may be due to the Twitter Card Tester tool, but it might be due to the information just not being there. After all, I didn’t notice any settings to add that information.

This is why I kept looking, and I was glad to find out that Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin has also added Twitter card functionality. And, Yoast’s plugin does add all of the correct meta information. Below is a screenshot of a summary that was generated from Yoast’s website.

twitter-expanded-twitter-card

Notice how this Twitter card now includes the author at the bottom of the summary. It looks much more complete to me.

Once you have chosen one of the plugins above, all you have to do is apply to participate in the Twitter cards program. There is no guarantee that you will be accepted, but the potential payoff for simply adding a plugin is well worth it.

What Do You Think?

As bloggers, we are always looking for fairly simple ways to increase traffic to our website. What do you think about the power and easy of this strategy?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

Comments

  • Keith Davis says:

    Eric that is fabulous.
    Keep hearing good things about Yoast SEO and now we have this.

    Two things stop me using it:

    1 – I have built-in SEO wirth Genesis.

    2 – Looks as though there are a lot of things to configure and I might do more harm than good.

    Thanks for the heads-up Eric.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Keith,

      The Genesis framework plays nicely with Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. And I remember seeing a tool that will help export/import SEO data from Genesis/Thesis/Yoast’s SEO.

      Might be worth a look ;)

  • shamsudeen says:

    thanks Eric,that’s a very good information you’ve just let out.honestly,i would see how i can go about it.i used yoast also.i would let you know how it goes.thanks.

  • Dave says:

    Twitter can get messy, with so many social networks to choose from its a full time job, as for me I am sticking to googles gplus as I cant find another 24 hours in the day

    • Eric Binnion says:

      I undertand what you’re saying Dave. There are several tools out there that can help you save time with social network. I like the combination of using Buffer and Prismatic.

  • Parin says:

    Thanks for the post Eric! Wasn’t aware of this until I read your post – appreciate it!