Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Drive More Facebook Traffic to Your Website in 5 Easy Steps

Getting Facebook fans to your website (and then hopefully onto your email list) is even more critical with Facebook’s recent announcement of decreased organic reach for pages.
Use these five steps to help you get more traffic Facebook to your website.

#1: Make Sure You Have a Steady Stream of Shareable Content on Your Website

If you have a website that never changes, you’re going to struggle to get much traffic to it. Posting links to the same page on your site over and over is as futile as Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill.
These days, the name of the game is content marketing and you had better figure out how your business can participate.
The fresh, new content you post on your site is important—not only for social media marketing, but also for search engine optimization. Google rewards sites featuring fresh content with higher ranking. But you don’t have to post epic blog articles three times a week to win at the content marketing game. Posting something new and helpful once a week or even once a month can benefit your website traffic.
Here are some ideas that can help you brainstorm how you can add new content to your website:
  • Post a weekly tip about your niche. It doesn’t have to be long; a paragraph or two with a nice photo will do just fine. Start with the frequently asked questions that come in from your customers.
  • Post a weekly news bite with a photo about what is happening in your business. This works well for businesses that have events.
  • Curate a list of top 10 helpful articles from around the web that you found that week. Add a short sentence about why you liked them.
  • Interview someone in your office or in your industry. The interview doesn’t have to be live or with video (but that makes it even better). You could send the interviewee a list of 5-10 questions beforehand.
roth heating & cooling website
Roth Heating & Cooling posts quick tips that benefit their audience.
Not only will you increase the keywords on your site (which benefits you on search engines), you can use this material for social media postings and in your email newsletter. A win-win-win!

#2: Make it Easy to Share Your Content to Facebook on Your Website

Once you have fresh content, you need to make it shareable. Your first step is to add a social share plugin and/or Facebook Share buttons.
Use the Digg Digg plugin because it has all of the buttons you want to display and it floats along the side of the post as the reader scrolls through the article. But you may also want to consider adding static share buttons at the beginning and end of the post that are inline with the article. You can also do this with the Digg Digg plugin.
digg digg sharing plugin
The Digg Digg plugin has the floating sidebar and inline sharing buttons.
Don’t ignore share buttons on the individual pages of your websites. While people may not be sharing your “Contact me” page, you may have good content on a resource page of your website that you want to allow people to share easily.
Also consider asking for a Facebook share if you feel you have a particularly helpful blog post. Remind readers at the end of your article by saying something like, “Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to share it on Facebook by using the buttons below.” Remember that people are mostly going to share something that is useful to them. When you’re creating content, always keep your customer’s benefit in mind.

#3: Optimize Your Facebook Posts

The next thing you want to do is make sure to optimize the way you post. There are basically three different ways you can post a link to your website, and depending on your audience (and how Facebook’s algorithm happens to be working at the moment), you can get different results.
The traditional way to post a link is just to cut and paste the link into the status section and allow the link to pull in the photo and metadata. The issue with this method is the photo that is pulled in can show up smaller if it isn’t a 1.91:1 ratio.
facebook update with small photo from website
If the photo on your website is not sized optimally, the link won’t pull in a large photo.
facebook update with large photo from website
When you have a photo that has the 1:91:1 ratio on your website, it appears larger in the news feed.
facebook update with no photo on website
And when you have no photo or description at all on your article, the fields are blank.
Another way to post a link is to post a photo and then add the link into the status update with a little blurb about the link. The nice thing about this is that the description travels with the photo when it’s shared so you’re then controlling the message a bit more. The other nice thing is that photos can show up larger in the news feed.
link posted with an image
Post an image with the link in a status update.
One technique that has been popular in the past to get greater reach is to post your link in the status section and then X-out the link data that is pulled in to change the post to text only,” even though it has a link in it. The benefit of this in the past has been that text-only posts were getting more reach.
But Facebook recently announced that the new Facebook algorithm will show fewer text posts from pages. So we will have to watch how the effectiveness of this strategy changes.
link in an update with no image
Changing the post to a text-only post with a link may not work as well in the future.
With all of these approaches, you need to test which one gets the most engagement and drives the most traffic for you.
Once you post the content, you may want to consider boosting it with some advertising. See #5 for more information on advertising on Facebook.

#4: Optimize Other Places on Facebook to Add Links to Your Website

To drive more traffic to your website, make sure you have links in other parts of your Facebook page that people may be visiting.
Use your About page to direct people to different areas of your website.
website links on about page
Add links to your About page to direct people to different areas of your website.
Add links to your milestones.
website links on milestones
Milestones stay on your About page and can have links in them.
Add links in your photo descriptions.
When someone clicks on your photo, they will see the photo description.
website links in photo descriptions
Use links in your photo descriptions—especially your cover photo, which will be clicked on more often.
Use custom tabs with links to your website.
Consider using an application like NetworkedBlogs to bring in links to your blog posts into the tab automatically.
networked blogs
People can easily access your most recent blog posts.
Optimize your personal profile.
Don’t neglect your own personal profile when considering how you can drive more traffic to your website. Make sure you’re sharing your blog posts to your personal profile and optimize your own About section with links.
website link in facebook profile about section
Add links to your personal profile About section.
#5: Advertise
Advertising on Facebook can be a great option to get targeted traffic if you have a budget. And with Facebook’s recent announcements about decreased organic reach, advertising is going to be even more critical for marketers.
To drive traffic to your website, you can either create an ad from scratch with a link to your website, or boost content  that you’ve already posted. When you boost content, remember to post something that doesn’t have a photo that has more than 20% text in it or it won’t get approved by Facebook. You can use Facebook’s text overlay tool to measure the amount of text.
boost your facebook post

Boosting a post with a link in it can be a good idea.
One issue that I’ve found with boosting a post is that it doesn’t usually result in a lot of link clicks. You typically get more likes and comments on the post, which boosts the engagement of the post itself. However, if you truly want clicks to your website, you’re better off using the Ads Manager and choosing that objective.
facebook ads manager
For a better click-through rate to your website, use the Ads Manager.
Remember to use the news feed ads to help you improve your click-through rate even more because the ads in the right column do not get clicked as much.
Guide your website traffic to achieve your goals.
Finally, make sure you know why you’re driving more traffic to your website. If your website isn’t giving a call to action once your visitors get there, you’re missing the point.
Each piece of content on your website should do something to escort your potential customer further along your sales funnel. You might ask for people to comment on your blog post to engage with them, or tell people to sign up for a freebie so you can get them on your email newsletter list or even pick up the phone to give you a call.


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