With so many people on social media sites nowadays, it’s tempting to ask yourself if you should forget about driving traffic to your website and focus on marketing elsewhere. Why not go where people already are instead of making what can seem like a herculean effort to drive traffic to your website?
The answer to this question is that yes, its wise to go where people congregate but also to invite, bribe, entice, and otherwise encourage readers to visit your website.
Here’s why you should be sending traffic to your website through social media sites:
- Social networking sites own your list of friends and followers. You don’t. If one of them goes out of business, it won’t matter that you have 10,000 followers. Every one of them will vanish into cyber space. By contrast, the list you build through your website belongs to you.
- People want to know where you live online. If you’re spread thin across social networks without a strong central hub, your brand will be ineffective at best. Branding is all about distilling your essence for others to grasp with minimal effort.
- A neglected website reflects poorly on its owner. Those who connect with you on social sites will sometimes visit your website. A languishing website makes a casual visitor wonder what else you as a writer neglect. The same can be said of a languishing social media account. A good strategy is to maintain a strong base at one site and manned outposts at other sites of interest to your readers.
- Exclusivity. If your website becomes one of those places people gather, you won’t have to go out and haul people in to connect with you. This takes a great deal of thought and legwork up front, but afterwards can pay off.
- Less competition. That’s usually not true on social sites where instant messages, notifications, advertisements, and the updates of others all compete for attention. You still need to have an interesting website, but at least visitors will have fewer interruptions while you try to maintain their interest.
- Higher search engine rankings. The more traffic your website generates, the higher it can rank in search engines. A higher search engine ranking means that those who enter keyword searches matching content on your website will find that content closer to the top of search results. This brings traffic to your site without any additional effort on your part.
- The ability to sell products. Once you give friends and followers a valid reason to come to your site, you can then offer paid products to them. This privilege can be abused, so be considerate. Remember that first-time visitors to your site want an immediate takeaway, usually for free. Without one, they may not hang around to buy anything later.
Do all your social media accounts point to your website? If not, I suggest you change that as soon as possible.