Twitter, Facebook & Co: Why you should integrate them into your website
Want to drive more visitors to your website? Then you'll probably need social media to help you.
Search engines Google and Bing recently announced that they would include criteria from social media channels to determine their website rankings.
What does this mean for bloggers and website owners?
If you want to (continue to) rank highly in Google, in addition to links from other websites, you'll need Facebook Fans and Likes, and Twitter Tweets and Followers. So how do you get these?
- Provide great content (makes sense).
- Make it easy for visitors to share content or become a fan.
Let's look at this second point in more detail.
What are the most important social media components?
- Facebook's Fan Page, Like and Share buttons
- Twitter's Tweet This button
- YouTube channel (if working with videos)
What does this mean exactly?
A Facebook Page is separate to your personal Facebook profile, and allows you to represent a company, artist or website on Facebook. Much like your personal profile, you can share news, links and videos which will appear in the news feed of your fans when they log into Facebook.
Tweet, Like and Share buttons facilitate the sharing of content. With one or two clicks, you can share interesting content with your friends on Facebook or on Twitter. Website owners can harness these tools too, and don't even have to register with social networks to do so.
You must register with Facebook to set up a fan page though.
Linking social networks to your website
The best way to connect social media to your website is with AddThis. This tool gives you a choice of Bookmark or Like / Tweet / Share buttons. See what it looks like at the top left and bottom of this post.
Installing AddThis is easy. Select the kind of button you want and copy the corresponding HTML code. Then paste this code into the correct spot on your website, for example by using a HTML widget.
The big advantage with this is that AddThis gives you access to a wide range of bookmarking and sharing services.
You can also get buttons directly from Facebook or Twitter.
If you already have an account on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, make sure the links to your profiles stand out on your page. You can download a free set of icons for every social network under the sun.
To make it easier to gain fans, it's a good idea to add a Facebook Like box to your website. You can see an example on this page in the column on the left. Most Facebook users are logged in to their accounts automatically all the time, and can Like your page with a single click. This means that any news you post to your Facebook Page will appear in their news feed.
Website builders: pre-installed social media features
Even easier than installing these features manually, website builders include social media widgets that ready to go.
Web 2.0 website builders include features such as the Facebook Like box or Share buttons, ready to be added to your website at the click of a button. This makes it easy for beginners to create their own websites.
It's simple to do: in your website's content settings, choose the Share Button and drag it to where you want to place it on the page (screenshot from Jimdo).
Squarespace, Weebly and Webnode also allow you to easily add social widgets to your website.
The key is to create great content that people will want to share. The easier it is to share, the more visitors will find your website. Social media buttons are a great way to do this.
Have fun giving it a go!
How Brent Thomas of BikeWrappers is crushing it with his Jimdo online store and even got featured on CNN