Tag Archives: website

HOW TO: Use Facebook Social Plugins on Your Website

24 Mar

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

While many companies’ early social marketing efforts were limited to social media sites such as Facebook, most are now eager to build social capabilities into the rest of their marketing efforts and turn their customers into brand advocates at every touch point.

One of the easiest ways to make your online presence more social is by adding Facebook social plugins to your website. There are many different Facebook social plugins to choose from — here are four of the top plugins for business and tips on how and when to use them.

1. Like Button



The Facebook Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.

You can include a Like button next to any piece of content on your site, from a product listing to an article to a video. Otilia Otlacan, founder of online ad news site AdOperationsOnline.com, puts the Like button at the top of every article — she has found that nearly 0.7% of users click on this button to post it to Facebook, quickly adding up to a sizable number of free impressions.

StyleFactory, a crowd-sourcing site for home decor, enables shoppers to vote on which products should be produced and which products should be offered at a discount. The site encourages shoppers to share its products on Facebook and Twitter to help “tip” the deals. When a user “likes” a product, the product is posted to the user’s Facebook Wall along with a message noting how many more orders are needed to tip the deal. This extra push is an innovative use of the Like button.



Tea Collection, a children’s clothing site, also uses the Like button to enable customers to vote on their favorite dresses; the products with the most Likes at the end of the day are offered at a discounted price the following day. Its initial campaign drove more than 3,000 Likes in about 12 hours and a 300% increase in site traffic.

E-retailers should also consider including a Like button as part of the checkout process — customers are excited about their order, and it’s an easy click for users to share their brand loyalty with friends.

2. Like Box



The Facebook Like Box enables users to “like” your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website. For starters, you can choose a pared-down box with your Facebook Page name, logo and Like button (as pictured above).

On the other hand, you could choose a more fully featured box that displays how many users already “like”the page (and which of their friends “like” it, too), shows recent posts from the page and allows users to “like” the page with one click.



You may want to stick to the simplified version if your Facebook activity and fan base are limited. This strategy might also net you more engagement — Otlican saw her “likes” jump 31% when she switched to the simplified Like Box.

Some companies even provide an incentive for visitors to “like” their page. Motorcycle Superstore, for example, ran a sweepstakes on Facebook using Extole’s SocialBuilder that encouraged fans to share the Motorcycle Superstore page with their friends. The site experienced a 240% increase in daily “likes” and a 30% growth in total “likes,” with more than 13,000 “likes” generated during the month of the campaign.



Of course, the easiest way to enable visitors to become a fan is simply to put a Facebook icon on your site, either on its own or as part of a social toolbar such as the Wibar from Wibiya.

You can use one of the standard Facebook icons, or even use a custom design, as Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes of MKC Photography did here:



3. Recommendations


The Facebook Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like, based on what people are sharing. Otlican displays the Recommendations at the bottom of each article — she’s found that nearly 0.6% of readers click on content in this box.

You can even see how this feature will look on your site before you add it — simply enter your website address here, click on the page and it will show you the recommendations Facebook already has for your site.






The Comments Box lets your users comment on your site’s content — whether it’s for a webpage, article, photo or other piece of content. The user can share the comment on Facebook to post to their Wall and in their friends’ streams.

In addition to providing a viral engagement boost to your site, using the Comments Box can also reduce the amount of spam comments on your site. Users will need to be logged into a real Facebook account to comment, and they won’t be able to post anonymous comments. It can makes commenting easy, since many people are probably already logged into Facebook when they arrive at your site.

Getting Started

Ready to make your website more social? Visit the Facebook developers page for instructions on how to automatically generate customized code to add to your site.

Once your plugins are up and running, you can use Facebook Insights to track how they’re doing — check out this step-by-step guide to getting started. Understanding performance of your plugins will enable you to test which ones work best and which locations yield the highest engagement.



SEO Best Practice – How to Promote a New Website

25 Feb

Search engine algorithms have become very advanced particularly in their ability to analyze the interlinking structures of the web and to determine unnatural linking practices (or ‘link schemes’ as they are often referred to). Techniques like reciprocal link building which worked well a few years ago, now fail to significantly improve ranking and can in fact cause serious problems if undertaken on a large scale or free-for-all uncontrolled manner.

The latest search engine algorithms place significant emphasis on determining the trust and authority of a site by analyzing who links to it. Get links from reputable sources relevant to your particular field and you will be rewarded with higher search engine ranking.

Because the search engines possess a finely honed ability to determine the quality and relevance of links there’s little doubt that SEO is becoming much more difficult. Higher quality one-way links are now required and not just to the website homepage, but to every category and service the website offers through a process called deep linking (acquiring links to internal pages or your site). These links should ideally be placed on relevant content-rich pages in the body content of the page, not on content-devoid pages that consist solely of lists of links or are used for ‘link exchange’ purposes.

If you want to avoid search engine penalties, it has been shown time after time that the most successful web design and SEO strategies take into account Google Webmaster Guidelines. Taking this into account, here are some best practice SEO tips to help promote any new website:

1. Test Website Accessibility Thoroughly
Before spending hours optimizing your website content, check that search engines can actually find it. JavaScript Navigation Systems can be inaccessible to search engines, as can links inside Macromedia Flash content. Search Google for ‘search engine simulator’ and use one of the free tools to check that all pages on your site are accessible. If not, re-design your website navigation system using text links or CSS drop-down menus.

2. Check Cross-Browser Compatibility
A site which doesn’t work in one or more web browsers will result in lost business as visitors turn away in the hundreds. Before embarking on SEO, check your website renders properly in all current browser versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome.

3. Each Page Should Have a Unique Purpose
No two pages should be optimized for the same keyword and the site’s structure should have a sensible hierarchy where main services and categories receive links from all website pages in what is called the persistent navigation. Less important pages should be linked from inside these sections or categories rather than in the main website navigation.

4. Research Keywords Buyers’ Use
Spend time doing thorough keyword research and always consider terms potential buyers would use when looking for the products or services you sell. Use a tool like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to check local volumes and competition for keywords and build rich content around these identified terms using unique keywords on each page.

5. Write Semantic Copy
When writing copy consider the fact that search engines now attempt to extract meaning from your content by analysing the mixture of keywords you have used. For this reason a page will achieve higher relevance if it covers a topic from all angles and contains many different complementary keywords relevant to that topic rather than repeating the same phrase time and time again. Start by assigning a page an H1 heading (the main page heading) and then breaking the topic down into four or five sub-topics each of which should have an H2 or H3 sub-heading. Each sub-topic will then have its own sub-set of keywords around the main topic. This technique can significantly improve the semantic meaning extracted from any content.

6. Build Website Value
Write compelling original content that is in-depth, topical and relevant. Don’t be tempted to copy content from elsewhere on the web as search engines employ advanced duplicate content detection. Write about topics which aren’t covered extensively elsewhere and offer valuable content which is helpful to your readers. Websites with unique content and value consistently sustain higher readership and acquire more quality links which in turn lead to higher ranking and readership.

7. Use a Unique Title Tag for Each Page
Each page on your website should have a unique page Meta Title Tag. Just to clarify, this is the TITLE tag inside the HEAD area of the HTML code. The Meta Title remains one of the most important aspects of SEO and is one of the top five Google ranking factors even after the latest search engine algorithm changes. Title tags should be less than 70 characters including spaces and should contain the page’s main target keyword along with a secondary keyword alongside your brand (if needed). Avoid repeating the same keyword more than once and place the most important keyword at the beginning of the title.

8. Write Unique Meta Descriptions for Each Page
While the Meta Description Tag now has little overall ranking influence, it is still frequently used by the search engines in the search results when listing your site’s pages. For this reason it is important. Having well written, unique Meta Description tags can significantly improve click through and result in more website traffic. Meta Descriptions should be around 160 characters long including spaces and comprise an accurate description of the page with a compelling reason to visit it. A few of the main target keywords should be incorporated towards the beginning of the description. The Meta Description can be found inside the HEAD area of a web page.

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