You’ve done it. You’ve just finished your company’s website. The color patterns are just right, and the pages have just the right amount of content to engage but not overwhelm. Everything is polished, and the site looks new and modern.
Once the site launches, you may think your job is done and that millions of people will naturally flock to your website. If this is how you think, you’re in for a rough awakening. Welcome to the ongoing process that is search-engine optimization (SEO).
The quickest way to get your website and business out there on the Internet is to have a strong social media foundation. These free accounts can link back to your company’s website, building you a strong link profile, while giving you the chance to interact with your audience in different ways.
Follow these tips below, and your website will be on its way to better Google search results.
1. Strategize Your Social Media
Different social media platforms have different purposes–something to consider when developing your social media strategy. What you do on your Facebook business page is probably not the same as you would do with your Twitter account.
Learning how these social media platforms differ can be a huge advantage for your business. Take a look at the best features of each site:
Facebook: Great for general news. People who have “liked” you page will get your updates on their newsfeeds. Your posts can tell them about new features of products and special offers or you can ask questions to generate dialogues and interactions.
Linkedin: Best to connect with other professionals. Linkedin is great for showing off your company’s employees and connecting with other colleagues.
Twitter: Announcements or audience interactions. Since you’re only allotted 140 characters per tweet, you have to make them count. Pose a question to your audience or tweet the link to your latest blog update.
Instagram: Best for pictures. Post images of the latest products in your field, your own products or event and office photos. Instagram is great for connecting image marketing.
Google+: The biggest benefit of Google+ is the instant search results. Because it’s a Google program, your Google+ page might be higher than your actually website, doubling your company’s visibility.
YouTube: Perfect for video sharing. Create your own DIY or how-to videos to drive traffic to your site and your brand.
All of these platforms serve different functions so make sure you’re using them correctly. Learn how to properly use hashtags and what kind of photos get the most attention by practicing and paying attention to your feedback. A lot of marketing is trial and error, so go out and make some mistakes.
2. Blog Your Way to the Top
Having a blog is a good first step. If you don’t already have one on your company’s website, add it and start writing.
A blog gives consumers a reason to keep going back to your site. If you own a medical practice or other type of service business, customers may not need you every day, but you can keep drawing them back to the website to read updates on your blog. This popularity will help your SEO.
Be sure you are creating high-quality and relevant content. Readers don’t want ads in blog; they want to learn something or be entertained. If you run a medical practice, you might blog about preparing for cold and flu season or perhaps different home remedies for alleviating allergies. Give your readers something they can use and they’ll keep coming back.
With great content, you’re going to need to…
3. Add Social Media Buttons
Somewhere on a blog page, you’ll probably see three or four little icons, usually representing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google + among others. Sometimes, they’re in a floating toolbar that will follow you as you scroll down the page. These are social media buttons, plugins that blogging hosts such as Word Press install to allow readers to share whatever they’re reading or viewing quickly.
If a reader decides to share your post on a social media platform, he or she will create a link back your content and open your blog to a whole new readership: their friends and followers. A mother sharing your post about allergy remedies more than likely has other friends and relatives nearby with kids and is doing some free advertising for you. This might attract more readers, but also more customers to your practice.
Word Press and Blogspot have their own types of plugins. Word Press specifically uses a Social SEO Booster, which adds Facebook Open Graph, Twitter card and Google Rich Snippets to the website in order to give your website a boost in search engine visibility. The Digg Digg plugin lets all of those buttons display on a floating sidebar that will follow the reader down the page, silently encouraging them to share the content.
4. Encourage Comments On and Off Your Site
If you’re not already, you should be stalking the blogs within your niche audience. While it may seem like a waste to see what the competition and fans are doing, you can actually begin cultivating a healthy link profile.
Let’s say you’re marketing a shoe brand. When you comment on a style or fashion blog, you’re engaging with a community that is interested in what you have to sell. Furthermore, you can leave your website in the comments section for readers to see and click on. If they link what you have to say, they’ll be more willing to check you out. You’ll also be adding to your link profile.
Comments are also a great way to gauge engagement from readers and receive feedback. The easiest way to encourage comments on your site is to end your blog post with a question. What did the reader think? Did he or she have any additional suggestions or disagree?
5. Get the Whole Team Involved
Managing the social media marketing on a company doesn’t have to be on the shoulders of just the marketing department. Other employees should be engaging in the social media efforts as well. This shows camaraderie and teamwork. If the employees are excited about the product, that excitement might be transferred to customers.
Encourage your team to update their Linkedin profiles, tagging your company as their primary place of work. Ask them to post comments regularly and share your website’s link with others. If they’re posting something on Twitter that is work-related, be sure they’re using your company’s hashtag. The more they post, the more potential leads, searches and backlinks your website could accumulate.