Traffic jam alert: your social media search results

Pam Foster, Guest Author

Google just announced that they’re beefing up social search results. The official 2/17/2011 Googleblog stated, “Today we’re taking another step forward—enabling you to get even more information from the people that matter to you, whether they’re publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website,” and then, “social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom).”

Wow – think about this for a moment.

If you and your company’s fans are talking about your business, products and services in social media… in a compelling and inviting way… this news could mean a big boost in your website traffic and your bottom line.

BUT — is your website ready to capitalize on all that potential new traffic; ready to turn all those new visitors into loyal and lucrative customer relationships?

Or will it become a virtual traffic jam where people arrive at your site all excited… and then get stuck on your web pages and take a detour somewhere else?

It would be shame to quickly gain more attention for your website through social search, but then lose it when people arrive there.

Here are 5 strategies for turning all that new traffic into paying customers:

1. Relevance: Make sure your web pages are 100% relevant to your social media conversations. This will help you keep website visitors, not turn them off. For example, if you own a restaurant and your social media posts talk about a fantastic new spring menu, be sure your website link also brings people to your spring menu online, not the home page or a page about your chef or something else disconnected.

2. Promise: Whatever you post in social media (helpful tips, a new or better way of doing something, an exciting problem-solver, or even a special sale), make sure the web page delivers on that promise. There’s nothing worse than seeing a promising solution in Google search and then arriving at an unclear or disappointing web page.

3. Clarity: Confusion can kill even the most enthusiastic prospect. Make sure your social media posts drive people to web pages that offer clear solutions, clear navigation and an easy, clear way to buy your products, download a report, etc.

4. Conversion Focus: Remember to ask for the order on all your web pages! Let’s say you offer a great gift idea or new product through your social media post. And as a result, people may flock to your web page to see that great gift – and even buy it. Make sure you take that opportunity to guide your eager visitor to a sale. Show them the easy path to buying.

5. Engagement: Something you said in your social media search result has piqued the prospects’ interest and brought them to your website. Now you have a fantastic opportunity to extend the conversation and keep it going. Be sure to have a system on your website for capturing the prospects’ email addresses, or inviting them to comment on your blog, share feedback in some way and begin building a relationship with your brand.

By offering content on your website that complements and strengthens the impression you project in your social search results, you’re in for an exciting outcome.

Have you already seen great results with prospects who arrived at your site via your social media efforts? We’d love to hear about them. Thanks, and best of luck!

Pam Foster

Author, The Web Copywriter’s Clear Path to Profits
SuccessWorks Certified SEO Copywriter and Sr. Content Marketing Consultant
ContentClear Marketing and PetCopywriter.com