One of the most headache-inducing aspects of SEO is finding creative ways to encourage influencers such as bloggers, journalists and major publishers to link and share your client or companies site.
But what if you could leverage your Twitter followers to help build you awesome links?
After all, if an influencer already follows you – why wouldn’t they consider linking to you?
In the post, I’ll show you how to analyse Twitter Follower data using a mixture of Excel wizardry and geeky SEO tools to help achieve just that.
Ingredients (aka What You’ll Need)
Just to be upfront, this is a fairly advanced tutorial – so I’d advise familiarising yourself with each of the tools above before embarking on this adventure.
1) Analyze your Twitter Follower data
First, run one of Simply Measured’s free Twitter Follower reports on a @handle of your choice. I used it on my client, @Cool_Blades.
Once complete, grab the spreadsheet, open it up and navigate to the ‘Follower List’ tab. Right, time to get nerdy – we need to cleanse the data in quite a few ways to find our influencers.
Switch on the magical auto-filter feature in Excel and do the following:
- Exclude all followers who don’t have a URL in their profile
- Exclude any followers with less than – Exclude all of your followers who haven’t tweeted in a month
- Exclude the followers with less than 25 tweets on their profile
- If you wish to engage with followers in the same local area or country, filter out any users who don’t share the same time-zone
You’ll then have a list of all your active Twitter followers with an online presence.
Now, in order to make this data really useful, we need to refine it twice more by finding out their website address and combining it with key SEO metrics to understand their authority on the web.
2) Finding out your Twitter Followers Website Addresses
In your dataset, you’ll notice that all of your followers website addresses are been masked due to Twitter’s URL shortening service (http://t.co)
Using the superhero-like powers of SEO tool, ScreamingFrog, we can extract each followers actual website URL.
Start off by copy and pasting all the http://t.co/ URLs from your spreadsheet into a .txt file, using Notepad or similar.
Now, open up Screaming Frog and follow these steps:
- Select ‘Mode’ from the navigation and switch to ‘List’ mode
- Now click ‘Select File’ and import the .txt file you just created
- Press start and now take a moment to sit-back and have take a sip of that hot drink I told you to make (you might have even have time to eat a sneaky biscuit)
- Once finished, select the ‘Response Codes’ tab and hit ‘Export’
Congrats buddy, you’ll now have a .CSV file containing all of your followers website details.
Now open up the file, insert a new sheet and migrate over the Twitter follower data from earlier.
On this sheet, we can now use a vLookup formula (here’s a guide) to import the ScreamingFrog data to reveal the actual website addresses for each of your followers. Result!
It’s worth now spending a few minutes cleaning up the data, removing followers who have listed their social media accounts as their website or other irrelevant domains.
3) Add SEO Data to identify which followers have influential websites
It’s now time to add the finishing touches to the database and add key SEO metrics alongside each website address. This will then allow you to rank your Twitter followers based on how authoritative their websites are from an SEO perspective.
This can be done using NetPeak Checker, a little known gem of a tool that has saved me hours of time, I call it the Gandalf of SEO tools. Right, this is what we need to do:
- Click ‘Load’ and paste in the list of your followers website URLs
- Select the metrics you wish to check against in the left-hand navigation (e.g. PR Main & Moz Domain Authority)
- Click start and NetPeaks will then work it’s magic (time for another sip of that drink, if it’s still warm!)
Once finished, export the data and use another vLookup to combine it with your list of Twitter followers.
Feel free to filter the data however you see fit, a good rule of thumb is to pay particular attention to websites that have a Domain Authority greater than 30.
4) Start your Outreach!
Well done! It was hard work, but you now have a database of all your lovely Twitter followers that have influential websites. As a bonus, you can even try using Rapportive to get their inbox details.
Your final mission, if you choose to accept it, is now to outreach to each contact, say hey and figure out a way to work together.
Pitch a guest post idea, host a competition together, invite them to share your content, there are a million things you could do. Remember, they already like you, so it’s going to be much easier to convert that conversation to the all important, awesome link.
Pete Campbell is the founder of UK-based search marketing agency, Kaizen SEO. He’s always been pretty nerdy, building his first website at 11 years old, and now he works with businesses big and small on their online marketing strategy.