Socially interactive websites generate more referral traffic.
So much of website maintenance centers on attracting and keeping a steady, growing stream of visitors from your target market going to your website. Your goal is to get them to interact with your brand and generate revenues. Therefore, everything about your offers and calls to action should be about strengthening your relationship with customers, prospects and other users of your website. When you think about it, everything positive in your business is the result of a relationship that enabled a transaction or other favorable initiative to happen.
As business relationships are also social relationships, how do you go about nurturing your social relationships with your web users?
If you’re one of the B2B holdouts who still thinks social engagement of a business audience is all fluff and of little real impact, consider the fact that Google and the other search engines favor websites with more social referral traffic and rank them higher. This is because people who click shared links in social media are opting to consume the message based on its relevance to their specific interests. Google raises your website’s authority as a trusted resource in your category when people recommend or share your page links.
Jayson DeMers writing recently in Forbes makes a few points on why a socially active Internet presence is so important for today’s businesses. “Social media is useful because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes. Of course, the catch to this is that you have to have high-quality, authoritative content to begin with. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to use to attract links.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’re so big on blogging and dynamic content. You need to give visitors fresh, relevant content to keep them coming back and a blog offers fertile ground on your website for that very purpose.
DeMers goes on, “Social sharing contributes to a brand’s authority much in the same way that external links do. To search engines like Google, any indication of a verifiable external source validating your brand or your content is grounds for an improvement in domain authority. So, if you can get five people to share your Facebook post, that’s great, but if you can get 1,000 people to share it, that’s even better. Likes, shares, favorites, replies, and retweets all count toward this increased authority.”
Maintaining lively social action on your website will continually send diverse visitors back and forth between your social pages, your website and the outbound links to which you want to associate your business. Backlink traffic from desired sites to your website can be pure SEO gold. When you devote effort into building social capital from your brand into the content on your sites, visitors will always have something new to check out and additional messages of yours to share. Then it follows that the more targeted website visitors, the more chances to convert them to paying customers.
Keeping your website socially interactive takes commitment just like any other worthwhile marketing endeavor. It begins with having a social media strategy that’s congruent with your overall brand strategy and business goals. Your website should have its social share links displayed with the appropriate emphasis, depending on what type of business you’re in. For example, some websites show live feeds of their Twitter and Facebook page posts.
Effective ways to make your website social
Lisa Parkin writing in the Huffington Post Business blog offers 4 powerful ways to attract social web user interaction. We highlight them below:
- Highlight top survey results – People want to know what others think and generally trust reputable consumer opinion survey data. They are apt to share it socially, especially when it validates their ideas.
- Install social commenting tools – This may seem like an obvious step, but many website owners never get to it. Naturally, 2-way conversations are what stimulate even more social interaction.
- Include user content – Contests and promotions are fine but a powerful method of showcasing user content is allowing product and service reviews on your website. It provides users a real glimpse into your strengths as well transparency into any weaknesses – areas your customers can help you improve.
- Make it easy to subscribe – Web visitors should see that you offer valuable information and updates. Make it simple for them to get it. For example, offer users the option to provide their email address OR sign up via Facebook.
Parkin offers this key piece of advice as an ideal to shoot for when designing your social website and maintaining its content: “When a user comes to your site, it’s important that any piece of content is one click away from being shared on social media.” Perhaps not every piece of content on every website should be so fluid, but the more easily shareable, the more people will share, and the more links clicked.
We can add a last word by saying that building a strong social following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog and with email is a whole other vitally important effort which goes beyond today’s post topic. However, if making your website more social has been one of your marketing goals, Parker Web Services has the technical know-how and development experience to customize and maintain website content, including strategically embedded social media, on almost any currently supported platform. Feel free to contact us at 1-877-321-2251.
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