The Internet offers the opportunity for businesses of all sizes to establish a major presence. For a small business, search engine marketing is the key to being recognized online. When looking for a particular product or service, Internet users see the websites of small businesses listed alongside those of major industry players, provided that these sites are optimized for search engines. However, search engine optimization is not the only thing that small businesses should be focusing on when marketing online.
A small business website should also be socially optimized. Visitors should be able to share site content and provide feedback over social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. A website optimized for this type of sharing tends to attract more visitors and establishes a higher level of engagement with prospects and customers. Adding social sharing buttons to Web pages is just the beginning.
Social optimization involves creating a website that encourages engagement and sharing. When developing text for the site, use conversational, action-based words that reflect the personality of the business and its culture. An example is adding a button that reads, “Ready to try it for yourself?” after providing a product or service summary. This creates a personal experience that increases visitor comfort level, making it more likely that people will share or comment on the information.
Improving the quality of website content is another component of social optimization. Website content should be interesting and it should also be useable. Include articles, posts, images, and videos that are worthy of sharing and place social sharing buttons near this content. Visitors, particularly those using mobile devices, are more likely to share concise bits of information such as infographics and short, informative posts so pepper these throughout the site.
Communication is an exchange of information so ask website visitors for feedback. Crowdsourcing is a powerful movement from a social optimization perspective. Ask site visitors to vote on new products or services, solicit ideas for app features, and get feedback regarding sharable information in order to create more of it.
Social optimization requires ongoing testing and adjustment so incorporate it into the ongoing to-do list. Test various types of content and different placements for sharing buttons using Google Analytics to learn how visitors engage on the site. By making social optimization part of small business search engine marketing efforts a small fish can become a big shark in the social media world.