Social media has got to be the easiest path to broadcasting you message, loud and proud; and with this great power comes great responsibility. Twitter is public and easily searchable, and anything you broadcast of this platform can, and will, be taken entirely out of context providing the circumstances are just right.
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If you’re a celebrity PR agent, Twitter has got to be your biggest nightmare; while the added exposure and proximity to fans is a bonus, the possibility of your client going AWOL and having a very public melt-down is a real possibility.
Even average Joe with a very ordinary job can find himself in hot water should his Tweets be read by the wrong person; and no, your profile disclaimer can not save you here.
Very recently, a Twitter user was sentenced to 56 days of jail time for a racist tweet which was aimed at footballer Fabrice Muamba. He may be cleared of these charges today, but this isn’t the first time legal action has been taken over a Tweet. As David Cameron so rightly said: “Too many tweets might make a t….” I’m sure he meant to say twit.
Here are some important lessons to be learned from some memorable Twitter mishaps.
Back in 2010 a man was fined £3,000 for an angry Tweet directed at Robin Hood Airport: “Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” We all know that no one takes airport security threats light-heartedly. He was obviously joking; but the lesson here is: think before you tweet! Take a moment, breath, and decide if you still want to send it.
Early this year, Labour MP Tom Watson had his Twitter account “hacked” by his intern. And when we say “hacked”, we of course mean “he left it logged in and she foolishly posted a tweet on his behalf”. While doing this to your friends may be funny, doing this to your boss is not.
And finally: every PR agents worst nightmare, your client going bonkers on Twitter. Which is exactly what Chris Brown did earlier this year. After sending a series of hateful tweets to his followers, he then attempted to delete the evidence, although some quick eagle eyed reporters managed to grab some screenshots. The lesson here: don’t tweet angry! Never post anything that you have any inkling you might want to delete at a later date.
Have you had any twitter disasters?
We all make mistakes, we’re only human, but when we start making SEO mistakes, it can have a disastrous effect on our page rank. Here are some of the top 5, most obvious, in-your-face, ‘how did I not notice that’, SEO mistakes… And the easy steps to take to avoid them. Prepare for a few face palm moments.
1. Using the wrong key words. This is easily done; you’ve built up your website from scratch, it’s your pride and joy, it’s your baby. You understand exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve, you’ve spent hours painstakingly selecting the key words to best describe the aims of your site; they’re perfect and poetic. It’s just a shame that your site is overlooked, because your keywords don’t match with actual search terms your users throw at Google.
Quick Fix: Do a bit of research into the needs of your target market, get inside their heads, and figure out what they search for. And then, once you have traffic passing through your site, respond to the key words that are driving them there. If you run a boutique pet store, but people are finding you through ‘chihuahua nutrition advice’, optimise with these key words in mind, and figure out why ‘high end pet food’ isn’t working for you.
2. Ignoring the Title tag and Focussing too much on the Meta tag. We all know how important that Meta tag is, you’ll see a lot of articles claiming it’s the magic touch your SEO campaign needs to succeed, just a sprinkle of Meta pixie dust, and all your SEO dreams will come true. Just to give a brief explanation of what both tags do; when you search for something in Google, it returns a bunch of results like so
The Title tag makes up the linked text, and the Meta tag is supposed to make up the description below (But Google generally just whips something up.) So they’re both important, and it can’t hurt to use them. It’s as simple as that. (Unless you go crazy and ‘over-optimize’, but that’s a whole other jar of cookies.)
3. Out of Date Content. The web is constantly changing, and with the pervasive influence of social media, it’s changing fast. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can set up a site, get your key word frequency perfect, and then just leave it. Your website needs fresh content, as this will encourage the search engines to continue crawling and indexing your site. More crawling means higher keyword relevance. Keep your content on topic and relevant to the aims of your site.
5. Lumping words together in URLS. We’ve all seen the hilarious results of lumping together words in your URL, which results in the rest of the Internet laughing at your expense. Whatever happened to Experts Exchange?
With the risk of looking silly aside, omitting a ‘-‘ or a ‘_’ from your web address and URLs can make it more difficult for search engines to pull out your key words. Take care with links, and make sure they reflect the content on the page. And while I’m on it; when you’re interlinking on your site, make sure the linked word is a keyword, and not ‘click here’, or ‘go to this page’.
So there you have it, some of the top, and most easily avoided SEO mistakes. How many have you been guilty of in this past? And did I miss any?