Earlier this year I started writing up some simple guidelines to help new website owners start attracting visitors to their new website.
Strategy 1 was all about optimizing your website so that it will appear in the Google listings.
Strategy 2 is to help your target audience find your website on social media.
Sharing your websites content on social media is an essential part of any website marketing plan. Having a page or account for your website helps in two ways:
When one of your visitors like or share content (such as blog posts, articles, photographs or videos) from your website they are letting their friends and followers know about it. If their friends are interested in the same subject then there is a good chance that they will also visit your website.
By encouraging visitors to follow or friend your website’s account you have opened up a channel of communication that you can use to tell your visitors about new content when it is published. You can now reach your audience on the websites they normally visit (such as Facebook or Twitter) without having to wait for them to decide to browse to your website.
5 Simple Actions To Attract More Visitors To Your Website With Social Media
Choose The Right Network For Your Audience
Decide which social network your target audience are most likely to be using and set up an account there. If you are using a network like Facebook or Google Plus you can also set up a business or website profile. Different networks are appropriate for different types of website.
If your website is about new technology Google Plus may work for you while a professional services website would benefit from a LinkedIn profile and a photography website could benefit from a image based network such as Pintrest or Flickr.
Make sure all your individual posts, articles or other content have their own social media buttons
For example if you run a photography website you should make sure that each image has it’s own page with it’s own share button rather than just one share button to share a whole gallery.
I am currently a big fan of the Ridiculously Responsive Social Sharing Buttons. As well as resizing automatically for mobile screens they are efficient and easy to add to any website.
If you are running WordPress there is a free plugin to add them here: http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/ridiculously-responsive-social-sharing-buttons
For other sites you can download a jQuery version here: Ridiculously Responsive Social Sharing Buttons jQuery Plugin
Schedule Your Updates
It’s easy to loose a lot of time on social media so you might find it helpful to decide on a schedule beforehand. Social media moves quickly so to get noticed its a good idea to share your content as regularly but 5 – 10 minutes a day to post an update or make a comment will go a long way.
Use pictures to make your Social media posts look good
When writing articles choose a relevant and eye-catching image to help your post stand out in your visitors social network feeds.
To make sure your pictures show up the correct meta data has to be included on each page of you website. I covered this briefly in my last post in this series to this time I’d like to recommend another free WordPress plugin I have been using recently called SEO by YOAST
The Social tab gives you the option to set up metadata for all the main networks automatically so you don’t have to worry about it.
Another feature of the plugin that I only found out about recently is the ability to include Twitter Card meta data. This means that when somebody clicks or expands your tweet the featured image from your WordPress post is automatically included without you having to upload them separately.
You can find a very handy quick guide to setting up Twitter Cards in the post Why You Need Twitter Cards (And How to Set Them Up in 10 Mins) by Joshua Coffy
Consider setting up a tool to automatically post new content to multiple social networks.
While I don’t recommend fully automating your social profiles, sometimes life gets hectic and it’s easy for your marketing strategy to get off course. If you have just launched a new website you are probably going to be very busy creating content so a little automation can save you a lot of time.
There are an increasing number of tools that will automatically post new website content to your social networks on a schedule.
You can use the tools below to make sure your followers don’t miss out by using the following tools to schedule your updates.
- SNAP (Social Network Auto Poster) for WordPress
- Automatically shares your posts to a number of social networks either when they are created or on a schedule.
- Allows you to queue up a list of posts in advance to be shared across your social networks on a schedule of a few per day. Very useful if you travel a lot or know in advance that you are not always going to have internet access.
- RSS Graffiti for Facebook
- A Facebook app that lets you automatically publish any RSS feed to your Facebook page. This could be your WordPress blog posts, portfolio entries, customer testimonials or any other feed you choose.
- If This Then That (IFTTT)
- A powerful although more complicated service that lets you trigger an action on one network when something happens on another source, for example send a tweet when a new WordPress blog is posted.
Bonus Action: Test and Fix Your Facebook Shares
Sometimes you may find that when your Facebook posts are shared they aren’t quite right. Perhaps the image is missing or the shared text isn’t showing up.
To avoid this you can use the Facebook Debugger before posting. Just go to the link below and paste in the link you are sharing and you will see a preview of what the post will look like on Facebook.
The page will tell you if there is any problem with the information it reads (scrapes) from your website so you can then adjust your page or use the above plugins to fix any errors. The Facebook debugger also updates the version of the share link that is posted, so if you change doesn’t seem to take effect just use the debugger to scrape your page again.
The Tip Of The Iceberg
I hope this quick overview has given you a good idea of some of the essential and most powerful first actions you can take to attract visitors to your new website.
If you have any questions or would like me to cover any of the items above in more detail then feel free to leave a comment below or a message on the contact page.
I’ll be happy to clarify any points or even work with you on a project if it all sounds too complicated.
The world is waiting for your creative project so it’s time to go and get the word out!