How to Optimize Your Website for Social Media
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Note: This is a guest article by B. Lyttle. More details about her after the post. co-authored by A.R.Karthick in part as well!
How to Optimize Your Website for Social Media
With the Internet industry evolving like never before, many webmasters are constantly on a lookout to find loopholes in the system. They invest their time and efforts in finding their way to manipulate the SERPs by shrewd tactics. Thankfully, Google has finally seemed to have found the way to evaluate the relevance of websites in a lot better manner than before.
Social media signals are gradually taking a huge share of search engine algorithms if you are to believe the experts. They are a great way to judge the credibility of a website and thereby making it easier for search engines to know which sites are more trustworthy, based on several factors like people following their page, who’s re-tweeting their links and many others.
So what can you do to ensure that your website or blog is receiving the right amount of attention from social media, i.e. how do you optimize your website for Social media? Here are 2 simple tips for that purpose:
A. Never Underestimate Networking
With the advent of social media’s contribution to SEO, networking and connecting with users and power users on ‘social networking’ websites have become the order of the day.
Remember that you can never have enough number of users talking about your blog or website. This will be enhanced if you can connect with some relevant power users (like celebrities or experts) and convince them to popularize your blog by re-tweeting it or sharing it on their Facebook page.
The logic for this step is very simple. What blog will you prefer visiting as a reader? The one that turned up on your SERP or the one that comes up as trending on your Facebook wall with more than a few thousand ‘like’s and shares?
B. Incorporate More Sharing Options
Users must be able to share your post from the post page itself. No one likes to go through the ordeal of copying the URL from the address bar and pasting it on their social networking site’s share box.
This is why you also must incorporate almost all the known players in the social networking industry. You can also include options to enable your users to share the content via email from your page itself.
Also don’t forget to add the extra line at the end of your post urging the reader to share the post. It might just remind the reader to share which he would had otherwise ignored.
Social Media Optimization Rules/Strategies
Along with the fine pointers provided by Lyttle, as an editor of this blog, before wrapping up this post, I would like to outline 16 rules (rather strategies) of Social Media Optimization, originated by Rohit Bhargava and expanded by few others. Do click on the links to read the articles in full. Here they are…
References (SMO Rules in order) : 1 to 5 (Rohit Bhargava) * 6 & 7 (Jeremiah Owyang) * 8 to 11 (Cameron Olthuis) * 12 & 13 (Loren Baker) * 14 to 16 (Lee Odden)
1. Increase your linkability: give your static website a boost by adding a blog and update it regularly.
2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy: add social bookmarking buttons. Refer to point ‘B’ above.
3. Reward inbound links: list the blogs/websites that link back/trackback to you. Never allow spammy ones though.
4. Help your content travel: as soon as you publish a new content, make sure to post it on your social media/social networking sites – such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and StumbleUpon for starters. It’ll give a huge boost to your site traffic.
5. Encourage the mashup: let others share your content (but don’t encourage copy+paste), reblog or if possible even let them embed.
6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you: linking to others’ relevant articles will help your readers.
7. Reward helpful and valuable users: got comments? reply as soon as possible. A simple ‘thank you’ is enough to appreciate their time. There are more ways to reward your readers too like posting about top commenter.
8. Participate: engage with your audience on all social media channels to keep it going. Stale content rarely get any recognition.
9. Know how to target your audience: you can’t please everyone. So, find out for whom you produce content and reach them effectively.
10. Create content: going with the old adage ‘content is king’, publish fresh, quality content regularly and also discover what works for you.
11. Be real: being transparent to your customers is the key.
12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble: you started from level 1, right? Many good souls might help you along the way. Never forget to help them when in need.
13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh: there are changes… almost everyday on social media. So stay up-to-date and adapt quickly.
14. Develop a SMO strategy: what are your SMO objectives? Set goals accordingly.
15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely: Be aware of the steps that will trigger the result you wanted effectively.
16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices: find ways to incorporate SMO rather forcing it.