In social media, sharing is the new word-of-mouth. As users toss articles and links back and forth, businesses stand to generate a lot of extra attention and draw new eyes to their sites. Few things are more powerful than word-of-mouth, so making a social media strategy that encourages sharing is a great form of web site optimization for small businesses. Getting your web site into a position where content is easily and frequently shared, however, is tricky. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating your site.
Test Your Web Site for Social Media Sharing
Is Your Content Worth Sharing?
Not to put too fine a point on things, but all the web site optimization and SEO in the world won’t help you if your content sucks. People will only share content that interests them or that they think someone else might like. If you can’t make content that is worth reading or engaging in, no one is going to want to share it. This is why it’s of paramount importance that you do not neglect the quality of your content while trying to optimize your site for social media sharing.
Are the Social Sharing Buttons Easy to See?
You have likely seen the various Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Google+, or other social media share buttons either on the bottom of online articles on in a sidebar on the page. These are the cornerstone of any sharing effort and can’t be used if users don’t notice them. At the same time, you also don’t want the buttons to be obnoxious since that will end up deterring people. Do some experimenting to find the “Goldilocks size” that works for your site.
Are You Displaying Social Shares?
Much like showing off how many unique viewers an article has received, showing the number of social media shares helps give your content a sense of popularity and clout. Remember that for a small business web site, each share is essentially an unsolicited endorsement, so this should be a number you can be proud to show off.
Are You Using Social Media-Friendly CMS?
Your web site’s content management system (CMS) plays a big role in how social media tools appear and are managed, along with how content is presented in general. Most CMS systems have some form of social media integration, either as a downloadable toolset or as an already-available option you need to find and activate.
Do You Integrate Facebook or Google+ Comments?
Facebook and Google have comment plugins that let users log in and leave their thoughts by using their social media accounts. These are extremely convenient since they don’t require users to sign up for anything new and can allow them to quickly log in and chat or share with a single button. Having to create a new account, share personal information, go through verification, and remember extra passwords is a lot of hassle for someone who just wants to leave a comment. Using these plugins is easier on everyone involved.
Do You Have Good Metadata?
When sharing, metadata affects how the link to your page appears when presented to others. Getting good metadata in place can mean the difference between a clear title, description, and picture showing up versus an unrecognizable collection of letters and symbols someone thinks might try to hack their computer. No piece of content on your web site should go without the appropriate metadata.
Are Your Images Optimized for Sharing?
Visual content is important, but can be tricky. Every social media platform displays pictures in different dimensions and uses different rules and naming conventions for how they are presented. It is therefore important that you optimize your web site’s image suite for each social media channel you hope to be shared on.
Is Your Content Easy to Find and Link?
Visitors should be able to quickly find the content they want on your site, whether it is a presentation video or a white paper or a blog post. Categorize your content appropriately and make searching through subjects simple and painless. You can also consider bundling relevant content together, such as a white paper and any related blog posts. Aggregating external content from key areas of your industry is also a useful approach.
Are You Targeting Reader Emotions?
Emotional resonance is the key to going viral and getting lots of shares. Whether you are trying to incite awe, joy, anger, surprise, or another emotion is secondary to your content’s ability to elicit the right feeling. If you don’t include an emotional element in your content then you are missing out on methods that can engage and further spur readers to your call to action.
Do Visitors Have a Reason to Come Back?
Keeping content fresh and new additions predictable helps give readers a reason to return to your site periodically and see what has been added. Look at similar sites in your field and see what the competition is up to. Do they post new items daily? More than once per day? Weekly? Or on a Mon-Wed-Fri schedule?
Getting Professional Social Media Sharing Optimization
Numero Uno Web Solutions is a premiere provider of search engine and web site promotion services for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries. Providing sharing-optimized web sites is just one of the many ways we carry out this goal. Our strategies take into account both the latest developments in SEO and web marketing research along with tried-and-true approaches. Our precise, studied methods have benefited Toronto businesses along with industries across Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and more. Our success has even allowed us to extend our reach and offer SEO services to Texas, Massachusetts and Florida. For any business looking to achieve a more social media sharing-optimized web site, we are just a call away at 1-855-SEO-XPRT.