How to Set Up your Website for Social Media SuccessAnita Kirkbride
Updated: September 2018
In most marketing models, your website is the heart of your business and social media are the arteries bringing lifeblood to it. Social media spreads the word about your website and encourages people to come and read what you’ve written, or check out your products. We often think of social media as standing alone in this but really, if you want want to be efficient, you need to set up your website for social media success, too. They work in tandem, not alone.
Make your website mobile friendly
Nobody wants to squint to see the menu options, or pinch and zoom to read your content. All the major web design platforms have responsive website design options that will work no matter what computer or device your customers use to access your site. It’s time to upgrade. Google is now penalizing you in search rankings if your site isn’t mobile optimized.
Click here to test whether or not your website is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes.
Add social media icons
Yes, you’re going to use social media to point people to your website, but you also want to use your website to show people where to find you on social media! Add social icons to your site in a prominent place that appears on all pages. Don’t relegate this vital information to a contact page! Only feature icons for the social networks you are actually using consistently. You don’t want to send customers to outdated social profiles. And for heaven’s sake, make sure when you click on the icons it takes you to YOUR profile–not the page for Wix.com or Weebly.com and definitely not to the Facebook or Twitter login page.
Social sharing buttons
You’ve told your readers where to find you on social media, but you also need to make it easy for them to share your content. Be sure to install sharing buttons for the social media platforms your clients are most likely to use.
Install Google Analytics so you’ll know where your traffic is coming from! There are tons of features you may never use, but at the very least, learn how to go in and look at where your referral traffic is coming from so you know where to focus your efforts!
Content sharing plugins
Not all web platforms have the ability to add these types of plugins, but if you’re on WordPress, investigate your options. I’m currently using JetPack Publicize to automatically post my new blog content to my social profiles. I’m also currently using Revive Social to post my older, evergreen posts to my social profiles on a regular basis. One less thing you have to remember to do in your social media marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) help
Whatever web platform you build on ensure you learn how to use the SEO plugins or features. In WordPress you can install YOAST SEO. These plugins help you tell Google what your website, pages and blog posts are about so you’re found by your ideal clients. Plugins make the work easy by showing you all the things you might want to do to improve your SEO. Both YOAST SEO and Social Warfare enable you to dictate specific images to be shown on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Optimize for Google AMP
This is a feature of Google that will tell readers when search results are optimized for mobile devices, which will encourage more people to click on your result over the ones above and below. You’ll know a page is optimized for AMP when there’s a small lightning bolt beside it in the Google Search Results. There is a WordPress plugin to take care of this for you.
Set up optin forms
Social media is great, but email isn’t dead yet! If you’re blogging on a regular basis, or your business is based on getting volumes of people into a marketing funnel, you’ll need to have a way for people to optin to receive more info from you. This could be in the form of a pop-up or a landing page, or it could simply be the signup form you see at the bottom of this blog post (way down below in the page footer). This is a great way to let your fans know when you’ve written something new and get some traffic to your website.
Lead magnet landing pages
It can help to incentivize someone to give you their email address. A simple free download is all it takes but you have to have an easy way of getting it to people when they enter their address. If you get super popular you don’t want to have to manually send out hundreds of emails! I like LeadPages for this. You can either host the landing page outside of your site, or embed it right into your site. LeadPages automatically sends them your downloadable file so you don’t have to.
Click to Tweet
Make it easy for people to share your content with their networks by adding a click-to-tweet button, link or box to your pages. This tells people what you want them to say and most people won’t bother to change it, although they can. There is a program called Click to Tweet, and official and unofficial plugins for WordPress, but I use the Social Warfare (Aff) version of this because it seems to work better and I like the styling of it.Doesn't this pretty box just make you want to share? You know you wanna!Click To Tweet
Easy to remember urls
Keep your best content top of mind with easy-to-remember website addresses (urls). This can be especially helpful on Instagram where we still cannot post hyperlinks in the descriptions. And easy-to-remember url might help someone get to your site to read your content. In order to do this you may have to install a redirection plugin to your website. It’s something I kinda can’t believe isn’t already built in to WordPress, actually. So, for example, if I want to get someone to my landing page, which is hosted by LeadPages, I can use twirp.ca/sizes instead of the long, ugly LeadPages link. Using redirection my website sends readers to the proper place, but I get all the traffic information in my analytics. Redirection can also help if you move or delete content but still have links out there pointing to it.
This blog post was inspired by a workshop I did recently entitled Setting Your Website Up for Social Media Success. Here’s the slide deck in case you’re interested!