Social media can be a great seo tool to drive traffic to your website and improve ranking on search engines.

make social media work for you | ginny rogers | mohawk valley web design

Why should I consider social media to improve my website’s seo? I already have people following me

It’s great to have a following on social sites. You also need to have folks going to your website. Why not use your social media to help? Websites have little value if people don’t go to them. The opportunity is for you to get that social following that you may already have established going to your domain and your website. This can help your website move up in search engine ranking.

What social media platform is best to drive traffic to my website?

It really depends on who you’re trying to reach. What audience or demographic is your website’s product or service focused on? Once you decide who your primary audience is, then it’s time to see what social media platform they use the most. In March 2018, Pew Internet released its most recent Social Media Use report that breaks down who uses what social media platform. This is a great resource to help you determine what platform would work best for you based on your target audience.

How can I use social media to drive traffic to my website?

Social media is a great way to develop and express an authentic voice that’s in alignment with your passions and goals. It’s a great place for people to get to know you. Social media can be used to share what’s important to you. Your website should build on this and give folks the most complete picture of your passion and what’s important to you.

What types of social media posts should I create?

Social media posts should engage folks to want to learn more about who you are and what you do. Shel Rogers Photography does this well by sharing a couple of photos on Facebook and Instagram and then including a link to her website so that followers can view more of her work.

Other examples are social media posts that point to an event, new products or work, or highlight an ongoing project. These social media updates point to something in the future. This can be a weekly feature, regular event or a big reveal. For example, if you’re working on a project and you want to create a bit of buzz, craft a few posts with sneak peaks at what’s coming. These social media updates should take advantage of social media peak times and point to what’s coming. To find the peak time for your preferred social media platform, just check out what your preferred social media says about it, or google it. (When googling, be sure use search tools that limits the results to the past year for the most current info.)

Basically, social media posts should always include website links that add to followers’ experience and engagement.

I had one client do a social network series announcing an announcement for an event. Yes, you read that right. For a week, she talked about how she had a big announcement about an upcoming event and couldn’t wait to share it. She talked about what she was getting ready for and how everyone was excited. After about a week, she revealed her announcement for her event. She was very successful generating a buzz and getting folks to preregister for her event.

How should I get my website ready for social media traffic?

Make sure plenty of web pages throughout your site expand on what you’re saying on your social platform. Give every opportunity for folks to have easy access to more information about what you’re doing and why it’s important. In effect, create an easy path for them to have a positive user experience.

Have plenty of content available for them to explore.

Share either in blog posts, video or podcasts on your website your “why”, and share this often. Your website really should exist because of your “why”. It’s why you can’t help but do what you do; you’re compelled to continue because of who you are.

Why is what you’re doing important? What is your purpose, cause or belief?

Answering these questions allow folks to have an emotional connection with you and see themselves sharing your vision and passion with you.

Whenever possible, give site visitors opportunities to connect with you or give you their feedback. If it works better for a quick response time, connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, by linking your feedback requests back to your social media accounts.

All in all, social media is a great tool to use to drive traffic to your website. Have fun and use social accounts to add value to your website on your domain. This will serve you best in the long run.

As I mentioned in my first post, my daughter encouraged me to relaunch my website. During a long conversation, she reminded me about how I needed to start my website with why.

Mom, you’re a wizard

While we were on the phone, there were some things on her website that were not working quite the way she’d hoped. She told me about one problem, and I fixed it followed by my standard, “Hit refresh.” There were a few more things that needed to be tweaked and I resolved those issues, too. Then she said, “Mom, you’re a wizard!” Hahaha! She didn’t expect me to be able to fix the issues she was having while on the phone chatting with her. Then, she told me that I needed to blog about what I do and share what I know. I thought it was a great idea.

I love sharing what I’ve learned about websites. This is my why.

Tell me about how you have an idea for a website.  Once you do, I’ll be thinking about all of the things you can do and how we can make your site look and work great.

Whenever I learn something new that makes my life easier, I make a note of it. I take any opportunity to share newly acquired life hacks. So much so, it’s a running joke in my family. I’ve been known to start many a conversation with, “I read this article today…” And then whatever nugget of new information I picked up, just spills out. This is who I am. It’s how I’m wired.

A helpful hobbit

I love taking a look at a website, or even thinking about an idea for a website, and seeing all of the potential available. Talking with clients, friends or family members, I’m happy to talk about anything online. I can see how their branding, logo, domain, web design, content, site features, graphics and printed material all fit together.

For me, this blog gives me the opportunity to share all that I’ve learned in my years working on websites. Believe it or not, I’ve had to learn a lot of it by googling, watching videos or downloading ebooks. Having said that, I’ve picked up some shortcuts and wizardry along the way that have made my job easier and my clients happier.

The bottom line is I have a passion to help others express themselves online so they can share what they believe in and why they do what they do.

(Photo courtesy of shel rogers photography.)

If you have a WordPress site and would like to work on search engine optimization (SEO), then you might want to check out the Yoast SEO plugin. While there are a number of SEO plugins for WordPress, Yoast SEO is used by over 5 million websites. I find that it’s a good way to become better acquainted with SEO practices and make sure your site’s content is working for you. I’ve installed Yoast SEO on clients’ sites, as well as my own, because it’s pretty easy to use and it keeps you focused on SEO whenever a new post or page is added.

Because I’ve had folks ask me about how to use Yoast SEO, I’m going to go over it a bit here.

First time SEO configuration | ginny rogers | mohawk valley web design

1. Go through Yoast’s configuration wizard.

Yoast SEO’s configuration wizard goes through the basic settings for your website.

  1. Welcome Screen. On the first welcome screen, click the “CONFIGURE YOAST SEO” button to start the wizard.
  2. Environment. Choose Option A if your site is live. If your site is under construction, choose Option B.
  3. Site type. Select your site type from the options available.
  4. Company or person. Choose whether your site represents a company or person.
  5. Social Profiles. Add all of the social media profile URLs you want to include at this stage. The format needs to include http:// or https:// (if your site has an SSL security certificate). For example, it should look like https://www.facebook.com/yourprofilepage.
  6. Search engine visibility. The defaults on this page should work well for you. You will be able to check and change these options under the FEATURES tab.
  7. Multiple Authors. Choose whether your site will have a number of authors or just one to prevent duplicate content.
  8. Google Search Console. You can integrate google webmaster tools by getting a Google authorization code and entering in the field available. If you don’t want do this step now, hit the Next button, and you can go back to this in the WEBMASTER TOOLS tab.
  9. Title settings. You can change or specify your site’s title here. You can choose whatever title separator you want. This will be used to separate the site title from page, posts, and category titles.
  10. Newsletter. You can add your name and email address if you want to get a newsletter featuring the Yoast SEO plugin. If you don’t want to do this, just hit next without entering anything.
  11. Premium upgrade. If you want to upgrade, you can do that here. You might want to first get familiar with the plugin before upgrading. It’s completely up to you. If you’re not ready to upgrade, just click the next button at the bottom.
  12. Success! Now that you’ve finished the basic setup, you can get started with using Yoast SEO on your pages and posts.

Once you go through the configuration wizard, you’ll return to your main Yoast SEO Dashboard. Whenever you click General under the SEO menu on the left admin navigation menu (#4 SEO settings in image screenshot), you’ll return to your main Dashboard.

2. Features.

As mentioned during the configuration wizard, the features tab has several options that you can switch on or off. If you have questions on any of the features, you can click on the “?” in the circle next to the feature’s title for some explanation on the feature. All of the featured options should be on.

A word about XML sitemaps. XML sitemap generators create a list of your website’s pages, posts, categories, etc., for search engines to use to index your website. Search engines need to index your site for your site to come up in their results. Sitemap generators are beneficial because not only do they index you site, but they also notify Google when your site has been updated.

If you have multiple sitemap generators in different plugins, they will most likely conflict with one another. Either use the one in Yoast, or your preferred XML sitemap generator, but not both at the same time.

3. Webmaster Tools.

The Webmaster Tools allows you to integrate analytics from various sites in Yoast SEO. I use Bing and Google webmaster tools to submit and update sitemaps regularly and view traffic, analytics and stats associated with my websites. Verifying your webmaster tools associated with search engines like Google and Bing will add meta tags to your website allowing you to connect your site to these search engines webmaster tools.

Find out more about Google webmaster tools on Google.com/webmaster/tools and Bing webmaster tools on Bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/.

4. Yoast SEO Settings

Just to become a bit more familiar with Yoast, click through the different admin menu items in the left column under SEO.  While under tools there is the ability to do bulk edits, it’s better from an SEO perspective to do this per page. Check out how to make Yoast work for youon all of your website’s posts or pages.