We all know that getting on the homepage of social media sites such as Digg, Del.icio.us and Netscape can drive tons of links and traffic, which is why we try and leverage these social sites on a regular basis. But are you leveraging them fully?
Below, some tips not to overlook, such as the importance of good post titles to encourage relevant anchor text, the need to keep content concise, pushing your feed URL and content being king.
Good Post Titles
SEOs know that the titles of their articles should contain the terms they want to be found for. But those titles might not be the most attractive to visitors at social media sites. That’s OK. Your submission to sites like Digg doesn’t have to use the same exact title of your article. However, you still want your submission to make use of the key terms you want to be found for. That helps ensure those seeing your article via these sites might link to you using those titles — and thus getting your key terms in anchor text, which helps with rankings.
Example: Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. The post did very well on social sites such as Del.icio.us, and because of the post title, he now ranks high on Google for the phrase search engine optimization.
Keep It Concise
Social media visitors in most cases don’t like reading a lot content. Because of this, you want your content to be easy to read, short and to the point. Make sure your introductory paragraph is enticing enough to get people to read the rest of your material. By doing this, you will get more people to read and like your content, thus increasing the chance that they actually link to it.
Example: Brian Provost wrote a simple article called How To Generate Targeted Site Traffic Without Search Engines and it received over 900 links after getting on Digg.
Push The Feed
Visitors from social media sites probably will not click on ads or purchase products, but that doesn’t mean they are useless. One way to get them to keep on coming back to your website is to place a big RSS button in their faces. By doing this, some will subscribe to your site, which will also cause some of them to submit future content from your site to these social sites. The other great thing about RSS is that you could place ads within your RSS feeds, which is one way to make more money.
Example: John Chow has been on social media sites like Digg dozens of time, which has helped him get over 300,000 pageviews, 4,000 RSS subscribers, and $8,500 in monthly revenue.
Content is King
Content, content, content. The more you have, the better chances you may have of getting traffic. Social media users love to give input through comments, but tons of websites or blogs make it difficult to comment. Don’t require users to sign-in, and don’t place any other barriers that may stop them from participating. Instead, invite them to give their input by baiting them at the end of your content. [Editors Note: Yes, we require sign-in here against Neil's advice. We understand the trade-off this causes in terms of potential comments. More on that is covered here].
Example: I wrote a simple article on Google’s Growing List of Domains which encouraged comments, and it ended up receiving 168 of them after getting on a few social sites.
These are just some of the ways I know of leveraging social media traffic. What other ways have you found effective?
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.