This post was published on Travolution.
If done correctly, social media can drive more traffic to your website than any other channel. It’s this very reason why social media is now an integral part of the modern marketing mix for businesses in any industry.
In this article, we look at how social media can drive traffic to your own website and how you can improve your social output to attract brand new online audiences.
The main metrics many businesses use to measure social success are;
a) Sales – some brands post deals and special offers on their social channels to drive sales, while others take the approach of building loyal relationships to establish trust and increase sales.
b) Community growth and engagement – the number of people liking or following them on a channel, and the level to which that community is involved in what they have to say, and
c) Referral traffic – the amount of traffic social channels refer to their own website.
Increase organic traffic
1) Capture customer experiences on your own website
What better place to start when exploring how to drive traffic using social media than by looking at what you can do on your own website.
One of the very best ways to fully leverage the power of social media is to enable your visitors to upload reviews, photos, videos and comments directly on your website. But how does this drive more traffic?
Quite simply, every time a customer leaves a review on your website – that’s one more chance for your products and services to be found by a potential new customer when they’re searching on search engines. In fact, our studies show that each review drives 1 new organic search visitor per month. So, capturing 1000 reviews on your own website will drive 12,000 new organic visitors per annum!
User generated content created by your very own customers, provides authentic, fresh content for search algorithms, improving your website’s search engine rankings, while also helping prospective customers feel more confident about their purchase.
An example of technology you can use to achieve this is our very own Social Reviews Application which is search optimised to ensure that all photos, videos and text are correctly picked up by search engines, increasing rankings and driving more traffic. Click here to read more about our solution…
2) Expand your social footprint
On-going changes to search engine algorithms are placing more and more importance on social activity. Your business’s social profiles and pages, and the activity that takes place on them, now has an effect on your placement in search engine rankings. And the higher your placement, the more traffic you can expect to your site.
This shift towards social signals not only emphasises the growing importance of social media as a whole, but also underlines the fact that social activity is being seen as particularly ‘trustworthy’ by search engines, in a landscape where paid link building has proven popular in the past.
What can you do? Create a presence on all the social channels relevant to your business – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. And don’t forget about Google+. Many marketers may have mixed feelings about Google’s challenger to Facebook, but considering Google is the largest search engine in the world, it’s essential to have a presence on its social offering.
Remember to link up your different social accounts, and include a business bio and link back to your website on each channel.
3) Be socially active
Taking an active role on these social channels will further boost your organic search traffic. On a basic level, the more content and conversation around your business, the more credibility and relevancy Google can assign to your brand, and your products and services.
Create a posting plan for each of your social channels – ensuring you create a regular flow of content, and take time to respond to questions and comments from your followers/fans.
If you don’t have a dedicated social media manager, consider incorporating social updates into the duties of your marketing team, or outsourcing channel set-up and management to a specialised agency. Learn more about our social media management services…
Turn social sites into referring channels
4) Encourage action
Besides boosting your organic traffic, once your social communities start to grow, you can keep driving those people back to your site. The key to this is, again, content. Firstly, make sure everything you post – a photo, a comment, a video – includes a link back to your website.
If you want people to take an action (e.g. click on a link), be clear about what you want them to do and why they should do it. Tell them the benefit of clicking – to find out more, to see more content, to claim an offer.
If you’re short on space (for example, you’re limited by Twitter’s 140 character limit), use a url shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl to turn unwieldy links into something more manageable. The added benefit of using one of these services is that you can also track how many people click on each link – enabling you to measure what content is driving the most traffic.
5) Focus on engagement
Over time you will learn what content elicits the most engagement – the most clicks and shares.
If you’re a travel company, it may be beautiful photography; if you’re a retailer it may be exclusive offers; if you’re a media source it might be breaking news or a debate-driving comment.
Trial different types of posts on your social channels and measure what types of content your audience clicks on. Also, trial posting on different days of the week or times of the day, again seeing where the most engagement occurs. It’s worth bearing in mind the location and time zone of your audience – and also the patterns of the working week.
And remember – every time someone shares a piece of your content on one of their social networks, it has the opportunity to be seen by their community of friends and family – introducing your content to a whole new audience and driving traffic back to your website.
Photos, videos and anything involving humour are highly shareable – so gear your social media posts around these and you will be on your way to creating interesting, sharable content that expands your audience reach.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you drive traffic using social media, call us on +44(0)1179 055 195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How does your business drive traffic using social media?