Twitter is an integral part of social media marketing these days. Almost every business, big and small, is on Twitter. It’s the perfect network for connecting to customers in real time and building connections.

Unfortunately Twitter traffic has become more difficult to come by over the past few years. Even brands with large audiences have trouble directing users off the app and onto their website. In fact, data from Shareaholic on all major social media sites found Twitter to be the least effective in terms of driving clicks.

But hard doesn’t mean impossible. Twitter can drive solid well-converting referral traffic. Here are 10 tips for you to try and turn your Twitter influence into traffic for your website:

Make Your Tweets Click-Worthy

The first step in converting Twitter traffic is actually getting more people to click your tweeted links. It’s not that easy because Twitter users are lurkers. Only a few of them will find it worthwhile to click your link. Many people will even engage (reply, like or Retweet) without ever reading what you linked to.

The goal is to make that “link clicks” number higher. Here are a few ways to make your Tweeted links more clickable:

1. Keep an Eye on Your Stats

Twitter provides users with free statistics showcasing your most engaging updates, allowing you to see which kinds of engagements each Tweet has brought. It’s not easy to navigate though. For example, there are limited searching capabilities and no way to sort by something like your most clickable Tweets. However you can export the stats to an Excel file and from there, play with the data:

Sort the spreadsheet to see Tweets with most clicked URLs on top.

Alternatively, you can use Sprout Social’s social media analytics tools to easily sort through your most engaging Tweets. This cuts down the time it takes to make manual work sheets. Want to see how much time you can save with Sprout? Try us for a free 30-day trial!

Take note of your most clickable Tweets and try to replicate the success in the future.

2. Avoid Too Many Clickable Links in a Tweet

Twitter found that Tweets without a hashtag or mention generate 23% more clicks. The educated theory behind this case study is that both hashtags and mentions are clickable, so they may steal some clicks that could go to your link.

That being said, hashtags can help a Tweet’s visibility, so you cannot completely do without them. Mentions are great for influencer marketing (a mentioned user is likely to retweet the update giving it more visibility), so there’s no point in getting rid of them completely. Here are a few possible scenarios to diversify your tweeting routine:

  • Use no more than one hashtag per Tweet.
  • Move your hashtag and mentions to the end of the Tweet after the link.
  • Try Tweeting occasionally without hashtags or mentions and watch your Twitter analytics to see if there is any difference.

3. Bring up Your More Successful Tweets: Quote-Tweet Yourself

With the recent Twitter update, you can now quote-Tweet your own Tweets (and that quote is not counted into the 140-character limit). Not only does that help you add more context to your new Tweet without eating up valuable characters, it also lets you bring your older Tweets back on top.

So go back to your Twitter analytics, find more engaging Tweets or Tweets containing an important message and bring it up to the top using quote Tweets!

You can quote-Tweet your quote Tweet too, but the original message will be lost.

4. Ask a Question

According to Twitter, when the Tweet copy includes a question mark, it gets 25% more clicks, so Tweet plenty of questions.

If you need inspiration, try searching Twitter for questions and see how others put it. Use your keywords and “?” operator (with the space) in Twitter search and you’ll see previously Tweeted questions on your topic of interest:

You can also archive Tweeted questions using Cyfe. Just create a new widget for Twitter search and your searchable archive will be building up over time. Whenever in need for a new copy idea, login and look through:

Another useful source of question inspiration is Serpstat. It generates question ideas from Google Suggest results. People tend to type them in a search box often enough for Google to suggest them as you type, so those must be quite popular questions.

Asking these questions in a Tweet may engage more people because clearly those are frequently asked questions.

5. Use but Don’t Abuse Click-Triggering Words

Using calls-to-action phrases in Tweets may work very well. As simple as it sounds, often you need to explicitly ask to click the link for people to feel more willing to do it. Here are a few click-triggering phrases that may convince more of your followers to engage with more of your URLs:

  • Download: Research from Twitter showed that Tweets in timelines that ask people to download increase URL clicks by an average of 13%.
  • Click here: One of the most obvious and straightforward CTAs is “Click here,” which is sometimes the most effective. I use it occasionally and it usually triggers more clicks than my average Tweet does. It is a good idea to use this CTA in combination with another powerful click trigger: questions, for example.

More Click Triggers

For more ideas, I have created a list of action-triggering words here. It’s geared more toward web calls-to-action but you can easily try some of them in your Tweet copy.

One word of caution: Don’t abuse those calls-to-action. You shouldn’t use them in every Tweet (even if you find them to work) unless you want your Twitter stream to be too salesy and aggressive.

6. Tweet About Relevant Trends

Trends always result in a spike of interest whether it’s a blog post or a Tweet. If you use the two together—covering a trend in a blog post and then using Twitter to get people read or watch it—you’ll notice a spike of Twitter clicks too.

I use BuzzSumo’s “Trending Content” feature to spot some interesting trends to cover in a blog post and then Tweet it.

The “Popular hashtags” feature in Hashtagify is another way to spot trending content to build your content around. It shows hashtags that are rapidly rising in popularity.

Obviously, I also pay attention to Twitter’s trends any time I login to Twitter through the web interface as well.

7. Tweet the Same Link Several Times

The lifetime of a Tweet is very short unless that Tweet goes viral, which won’t happen in most cases. Moz reports the lifetime of a Tweet is about 18 minutes.

Imagine that your Tweet can be seen by anyone for 18 minutes before it becomes almost invisible. Only a small fraction of your followers will see your update within that time-frame and very few of them will click. Unless you try to bring your Tweet forward again and again, at different times of the day, on different weekdays, it has very small chances to get noticed.

You can only quote each of your Tweets once, and you most likely won’t quote all of them. That’s why you’ll need to re-purpose.

You can use Sprout Social to schedule Tweets ahead of time. That way each time you publish a new article, you can schedule Tweets for days or weeks in advance so you don’t have to worry about it later.

In addition to scheduling Tweets Tweets, you can also do manual republishing such as:

  • Tweeting quotes from the page (tagging whoever said that)
  • Tweeting the same link using different copy (playing with questions and different click triggers)
  • Tweeting using different visuals (visual quotes or screenshots from the page).

The idea is to showcase something new in each Tweet and then analyze which of the tricks has worked better for clicks.

Optimize Your Landing Page

To better convert your Twitter traffic, here are a few tricks you need to apply to your landing page:

8. Use Twitter Cards

Twitter cards ensure that your URL gets special treatment when it’s Tweeted. Depending on which Twitter card you use, Twitter may show the page thumbnail, video or website icon attached to a Tweet.

Twitter cards are useful for two reasons:

  • Your Tweets look richer and more attractive
  • The Tweet creates expectation. The user has already seen the thumbnail, so they will feel more comfortable when landing on your page and are likelier to convert.

One important benefit of using a rich Tweet instead of attaching an image to an update is that a rich Tweet thumbnail doesn’t steal a click. When you click a thumbnail, it takes you to a linked page outside of Twitter whereas when you click an image attached to a Tweet, it expands the image.

If you are on WordPress, installing Twitter cards plugin is the easiest way to go. Use card validator to make sure the plugin has done everything right.

9. Social Media Reviews

One of the best ways to convert Twitter traffic is by using social media reviews. Even simply embedding a Tweet praising your service or your product is likely to catch an eye of those who land on your page.

To easier aggregate and display social media testimonials, use Yotpo. It uses powerful curation feature letting you pick social media reviews or testimonials you want to feature on your site and publish it using the site widget.

10. Don’t Forget the Basics

Twitter users are always in a hurry. They are used to consuming information in bits, so they won’t wait for a slow page to load. Make sure your landing page is:

  • Mobile friendly: Use Google’s tool to preview your page on a mobile device.
  • Rarely down: Use Uptime reports to see if your site is hosted reliably enough.
  • Loading quickly and efficiently: Use this tool to discover what slows your page down.

Another important note is to make sure you are A/B testing your landing pages. You’ll never find the best-converting layout unless you test a bunch of them. Here’s an easy-to-digest guide to A/B testing.

How well does your Twitter traffic convert? What works best for you? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments!