The effect of social media sites on search engine rankings has been endlessly picked apart in recent months and years, but there is another way to get traffic from social media – directly from the sites, instead of indirectly through ranking changes. People who visit your site through social media are considered targeted traffic, and they can provide a great boost to your website!
If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to know what you’re doing. Clueless newbies can damage their site’s reputation and rankings if they aren’t careful. Here’s what you need to know to use Twitter for traffic.
Follow conversations first.
Before you begin contributing to conversations on Twitter, follow some of the niche influencers – major authorities in your niche. See what conversations are happening, whether there are discussions at certain times (weekly discussion groups are common on Twitter), and what the most important subjects to people within your niche are.
Don’t chase a high follower count.
While the number of followers you have may be seen as important, people can also tell when you’re not truly deserving of that follower count. Buying followers or following people with auto-follow lists is useless because you aren’t gaining influence in your niche. Instead, you want people who are interested in your niche and in what you have to say. Include your Twitter handle in articles you write, forum signatures, and other places where you provide value.
Share great stuff regularly.
If you’re going to be trusted, you need to share stuff that isn’t just your own. Share cool stuff from everyone and anyone, and people will share your stuff in return. When you’re known as someone who shares great, thought-provoking, fun, or useful links, people will be more willing to follow you and pay attention to you – and thus click on your links when you do share them. You don’t have to stay completely within your niche, as sharing good quotes or funny pictures once in a while will make you seem more personable, but don’t overdo it.
Talk to people in your niche.
Instead of seeing your followers as people who might read your content – like newspaper readers – see them as people to engage in discussions with. Ask them questions, respond to their comments, jump into conversations, and ask for comments or feedback. The more your talk to them, the more willing they will be to chat back and give you feedback.
Make sure your content is easy to share.
Do you have a tweet button prominently displayed in one or two places on each post page? If not, you need to implement widgets as soon as possible so people can easily share your content if they find it useful. You may want to install one that includes a count of how many people have already shared it, as this “social proof” can be very useful. Keep an eye on Twitter to find people who are sharing your content and thank them.
Use headlines that make people curious.
Stay away from information-filled, long, tedious headlines. Use headlines that ask questions, provoke curiosity, or include clear details on what the article will teach them. The art of writing a title or headline takes time to learn, but will pay off in spades if you can master it. You may want to test sending two tweets with the article link – one with one headline at one time of the day and one with another headline at a different time. See which headlines get the best response.
Getting targeted Twitter traffic isn’t just about blasting hashtags with your content and hoping someone clicks. If you want to make Twitter a long-term, sustainable traffic source for your site, it’s better to focus on value-building and long-term engagement than short-term clicks on this one particular post.
Lorraine Gray is a website marketing consultant. She enjoys sharing her insights on various web marketing blogs. Visit the Hughes Net link for internet deals.