After the Penguin, Panda and other subsequent updates from the house of Google, the traditional and somewhat spammy link building tactics have met a dead end. Marketers are now left with the only option that is creating great content that gets traction on social media.
Brands have woken up to the reality that by investing into great quality content, they can help their websites gain more visibility on the social media front. And it is not just the visibility that the brands are vying for, there are other benefits too. Say for example, search engines have neither confirmed nor denied the impact of social sharing on search rankings. Of course, we simply can’t expect them to spill the beans on this anytime soon because there is a possibility that people will start abusing social sharing as they have done with link building in the past.
Even if we keep aside the impacts of social sharing on Search Rankings, there are some tangible benefits of creating great copy for greater exposure on social media platforms. Some of the direct benefits are – natural backlinks, increase in direct traffic, brand awareness and more.
So, if you are convinced to create optimized web content for better social media exposure, the following tips are going to help you –
The easiest way to encourage people to share your content is by adding Social Sharing Buttons. And the good thing about these buttons is zillions of them are available on the web. Now, don’t cram the web page with innumerable social sharing buttons because it will eventually confuse the visitors. Try to limit the number of social sharing buttons to 4 or 5.
Now, if you are unsure which social network to include and which ones to give a miss, you need to login to your website’s Google Analytics account and then try to find out which networks are sending the most traffic.
As obvious, you need to place these social sharing buttons in places that grab the most attention, otherwise they will be languishing in the cold. Most people do not read the entire content and therefore it does not make any sense to place the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the page. Keep them on the top so that people can locate and use them easily.
Now, if you are a part of MotoCMS family, you would not have to bother about how to integrate the social sharing button, because you will get the option in the Admin panel. Just click on the Widget button then select ‘General’ and then finally select ‘Share Buttons’. It’s that easy.
Just writing great quality content will not necessarily help you grab attention on the web. Online readers have notoriously short attention span and therefore, you simply cannot expect them to go through block of texts. Nope, you are asking too much from them!
Rather than trying to increase the possibility of getting more social shares, you need to present the information in a user friendly way and this can be done by using different typography, bullet points, sub headings, images, interactive elements and more.
In short, you need to create consumable content.
Make the URL look simple and meaningful. If you have written an awesome article on Web design, the ideal URL structure should be something like this –
It looks simple and it is fairly easy to assume the topic of the web page just by taking a look at the URL structure.
Moreover, as it appears, real URLs are trusted more than their shortened versions. Try to avoid URL parameters as they tend to make the URLs look long, unintelligible and untrustworthy. So, try to use clean URL as they tend to get more traction on the social media front.
It is good to reference image in Meta data because this enables Social Networking sites to capture and show audience the image that you want to be shown. If we are living in a Utopian world, marketers would have been using different sizes images to cater to the needs of the audience. Like for example, Twitter recommends 120 x 120 pixels images whereas Facebook prefers 600 x 315 pixels images.
But as we are not living in a Utopian world, we can’t create different images for different social media platforms. Therefore, we should be using one large 600 x 315 pixels image that will cater to the needs of all social media sites.
The good thing about social commenting is that it enables users to comment directly and then share that article immediately with their friends. By integrating plugins like Livefyre, Echo, Disqus etc, you will be able to increase the reach of your website’s content. As users have already been verified, the chance of spam attack is quite nominal.
To help people optimize content for social media sharing, different social media sites have come up with their unique set of Meta data.
Open Graph for Facebook
Facebook encourages website owners to use Open Graph to describe the web page content. Open Graph works almost like Meta Data; the only difference is that it is meant only for facebook. However, Pinterest and other similar networking websites are now using Open Graph as well.
Here we have tried to show you an example of how we can implement Open Graph for MotoCMS’s home page (replace them with yours)
<meta property=”og:locale” content=”en_US” />
<meta property=”og:type” content=”article” />
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Make a Website – MotoCMS Website Builder” />
<meta property=”og:description” content=”MotoCMS™ is an award-winning website builder that allows developers and the users with no programming skills to create stunning HTML and Flash websites.” />
Twitter has its unique set of tags to help websites get maximum exposure on its platform. Though there are different types of tags available, here we are providing an example of Summary Card with Large Image –