While we always hear about how important it is to rank high on Google (and yes, it is important) there are so many other places that it is important to rank well in. One of them is Twitter. Here are a few quick tips to optimize your Twitter profile.

1) Focus on your profile key words – just like people use Google to search, some people also use Twitter in a similar manner, so use the limited amount of character you have to place some key words that are relevant to your business. As Twitter matures I suspect search is going to be an even bigger component of the service.

2) Focus on your profile part 2 – assume people are going to read your profile, so if your profile is stuffed only with key words and actually does not read as “human” people are not going to be interested in interacting with you – this is particularly true if you are looking to create relationships specific to your business – these “humans” are potentially your customers, so make sure you are talking to them.

3) Use a picture of yourself. Your twitter profile is a reflection of you. Granted there are some exceptions to this, but generally people want to feel like they are connected with other people. A generic brand will not do this. A hot girl will not do this (unless of course that is your business). A baby is nice but your baby is probably not running your business. A picture of you holding a beer or gutting a fish is probably not the message you want to send. Right out of the gate if a new person comes to your Twitter profile you want to make sure you are getting the most from their first impression and you want to make sure their first impression of you (and your business) is not their last.

4) Include your location in your profile setting. The more people know about you, the more they’ll feel comfortable having a relationship with you. Knowing that you are a human being in a ‘real’ location will go a long way towards establishing yourself as ‘real.’

5) Enable “Tweet Location” from your tweets. This option is in your settings, under the first button labeled “Account”. Location is huge, especially if you operate a local or region specific business. Even if you don’t I’d still advocate enabling this setting – you never know who might be just around the corner, and there is only upside to being able to move your relationship from Twitter into the “real world”. Enabling the location setting will allow people to know where you are and make taking that next step that much easier.

Bonus – Go into your calendar right now and set a reminder for a few months from now to put in a few new relevant key words on your Twitter profile – that way you’ll be exposed to an additional set of people searching for YOU.

Go ahead and take a peak at what I’ve done with my Twitter profile to see the above tips in action.

Screen Grab of My Twitter Profile as of Dec. 10, 2010

Screen Grab of My Twitter Profile as of Dec. 10, 2010

What do you guys think?