5 Ways to Design Your Website with Social Media in Mind

Did you know that 96% of first-time visitors to your company website aren’t ready to make a purchase?

While local searches are more likely than less-targeted searches to result in a purchase, you still need to consider how you’ll convert casual visitors into eventual customers. One of the most effective ways you can initiate these relationships, improve your site’s SEO and boost your social media following is with a socially-conscious design for your website. Not only will you increase your chances of turning visitors into social media followers, you’ll boost your social signals, increasing your authority to search engines.

To learn more about the benefits of a holistic approach to your web marketing, check out Integrating Social Media, SEO, and Local into 1 Winning Strategy.

Social Media and Web Design

Here are some attributes of socially-focused web design:

1. Include Social Sharing Buttons

Including social sharing widgets on your blog can instantly add viral potential to each piece of content you publish. Marketing expert Jeff Bullas reports that adding easy links to share resulted in an instant increase in his traffic. Click-to-share links make it really easy for your readers to share within their networks, meaning you’ll reap the rewards. For maximum benefit ensure your sharing widget isn’t buried deep at the bottom of your posts.

2. Incorporate Social Follow Buttons

What if a prospect isn’t ready to call your office, or pay an in-person visit to your local store? Gleanster research has found that 50% of leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy. Providing links to your social media profiles with your company’s contact information gives your web visitors a low-pressure means of keeping in contact or performing a little more research.

According to Forrester Research, follow buttons also provide the design of your website with a concept known as “social depth,” which is defined as building social experiences into your website to provide consumers with a more meaningful experience.

3. Use More Visual Content

46.1% of consumers today consider the design of a website the top criteria for determining the credibility of a brand. Not only will high-quality visual content make your brand appear more trustworthy, it’s far more likely to earn your brand social exposure when your pages and articles are shared. Visual content earns far more social engagement and inbound links than its plain-text counterparts.

4. Use Social Integration

While marketers may distinguish between social media, SEO, and web design, your prospects don’t. Integrate social media into your web presence to provide a seamless experience across platforms for your customers. Examples of an integrated approach to local marketing could include:

  • Pin-it Hover Buttons on Images
  • Click-to-Tweet Links in-Text
  • Creating a Google Local Presence

5. Publish Content Often

Even a highly effective design for a website won’t increase social reactions if your site lacks content. Publishing articles on a regular basis is among the most effective ways to generate traffic from social media, and increase your website’s social shares. If your site doesn’t currently include a blog, make adding one a high priority. If you aren’t blogging often, consider ramping up your content creation, which is correlated with improved SEO and social signals.

Does the design of your website improve your company’s visibility on social media? What approaches have you found most helpful in generating more social shares?