Socialize your site, and the visitors will come

For those businesses focused on maximizing the effectiveness of their website, gone are the days of simply considering search engine optimization (SEO) and online ads. An increasing number of smart organizations are recognizing that by applying lessons learned from social to their website, they stand to improve traffic and, ultimately, its effectiveness.

Whether you’re in the process of developing a new site or want to strengthen an existing one, consider these four simple rules as a starting point:

Rule #1: Be visual.

Social media has made it abundantly clear that visual content is golden. According to Pew Research Center, more than 40 percent of Internet users spend time reposting photos or videos they find online. Feature visual content on your website that resonates with users, and chances are they will market your product for you by posting it on their social networks.

Rule #2: Be honest.

Industry buzzwords and thinly veiled sales pitches only turn users off. Rather, bring an authentic tone to your web copy. People want to know the “you” behind your brand. By telling your company or brand story in a real, conversational voice, users are far more likely to take notice and remember you. Write for your readers, not for your sales and marketing department.

Rule #3: Keep content fresh.

Websites never get to the point of being simply “done.” Get complacent with your content and you’ll see SEO slip and traffic die off. Instead, update site content regularly to leverage industry trends while highlighting company news and developments.

Rule #4: Be mobile.

Simply put, if you aren’t mobile, you are invisible to an ever-increasing percentage of your audience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be with your users wherever they go, whenever they need you, by using responsive design to keep your content accessible via phone, tablet or computer.

By implementing these four rules, your website can become a seemingly living entity that leaves a lasting impression. Better yet, it stands to work just as hard for your business as a sales force.

Chris Krasovich is a social marketing strategist at GS Design, a Milwaukee-based branding, digital and design agency.

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