- March 28th 2014
Designing Your Way to a Better Social Signal
Social media is one of the most empowering forces in the modern world. Whether it’s driving political change from the bottom up or keeping friendships together across continents and oceans, it’s transforming the way that we live.
This is as true in search engine optimisation (SEO) as in any other part of life. Social signal is the big rising trend in SEO, and good design is central to getting it right.
Why social signal matters
While the algorithms behind search engine rankings may not be open to the public, it’s clear that social media outcomes – your shares, your likes, your followers, friends and circles – all feed into your search engine rankings. Google, which only a few years ago left Facebook largely untouched, now takes account of a broad spectrum of social networking sites.
Social signal of course feeds into backlinks, one of the biggest factors in SEO. If people are sharing links to you, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or any of a number of other sites, then that’s more back links to your site, and that contributes to a higher ranking.
But there’s something else as well, the actual social side of social networks. A strong social signal means you are more connected to your customers. It allows you to be more responsive to their needs, and allows them to feel like they can reach you. This adds to all those likes, links and other contributions to your ranking.
The best way to increase your social presence is by providing value through your site, and by making that value instantly clear when your pages appear on social media. This can be tricky to achieve. Most social media have limitations around what will be visible, such as Twitter’s 140 character text limit. Good design is therefore crucial.
Think carefully about which images will appear on each page, and where. Which of them will show when the site is shared through Facebook, through Twitter, through Pinterest? What image or design trick have you used to make your site appealing through those formats?
Think carefully too about how much text you put on the page and where. Which piece of text will Facebook show? What are your 140 Twitter characters, and why will they make people want to read more? The better your page presents itself on social media the stronger your signal will become.
What people see in the first instant after they click your link will also matter. We see hundreds of links a day on social media, click on a select few, read even fewer. If the very top of your page grabs readers then they are more likely to carry on reading and so to share. If not then your signal is instantly weakened.
Social media create a pull system for customers to get content, not a push one driven by producers. Your potential customers skim through the different options available and pick out those that appeal to them, not the ones you want them to read.
This means that, in designing your site, you need to stay focussed on the desires of your customers rather than your business. You might want them to go to your store, but unless they’ve already decided to buy from you that’s not the thing to show in your social signal. Design your pages to show customers interesting content in a pleasing way and they’ll come to you. Getting them to the store or the bookings page can follow from that.
As people grow up with social media, social signal is going to become ever more important. Design is a big part of that, so make sure that you’re designing to support your social signal.
- New: Manage Google Business Profile Manager in Google Search - June 7th 2022
- The Google Page Speed Update: What Can I Do About It? - July 6th 2021
- Small Business SEO: Q&A - December 10th 2020
"As part of the service, the team at Leapfrog reviewed one of my websites for SEO and presented their findings in video format. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I could see the results of the tests and clear recommendations for action. I can thoroughly recommend this part of Leapfrog's service!!"Peter Clarke, PPG Proofreading
"One area in which Leapfrog has excelled is communication. Any queries are always promptly dealt with and we also receive excellent monthly reporting, with videos that clearly explain our progress. This is great as it gives us a clear picture of what’s going on."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
“Leapfrog provides fantastic video reports, to help explain the topline results. As SEO is a hidden science, this has made the whole process a lot clearer.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"When it comes to organic SEO, Leapfrog's your company. Thanks for everything you've done for my business."Paul Deach, Deachy Social Media
"Over a 6-month period, we’ve improved from a position of no ranking at all, to achieving page 1 rankings for our key search term. In a highly competitive market, this is really impressive and has already increased our organic traffic by more than 400% over a 6-month period. We can definitely recommend Leapfrog to other businesses struggling to get seen by Google."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing has been key in supporting my clients, providing SEO services to allow them to achieve increased and more qualified traffic to their sites. I've worked with Geoff and the team on several different sized projects and am very pleased with the results achieved. I highly recommend Leapfrog Internet Marketing for your online SEO needs."Oliver Schlieben, Digital Marketing Strategist
“The company is really helpful and approachable and you’re never made to feel embarrassed when asking questions.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing has been a key resource in providing insights and strategies within the SEO arena. Their work is always of a very high standard and always delivered on time. I would have no hesitation in recommending Leapfrog to any business."Drew Griffiths, Mosaic
"I've been benefitting from Leapfrog’s expertise and experience for several months now and really value the way in which they make knowledge so accessible. We've worked on improving website authority and content, list building and social media optimisation. A great company to work with and very good value."Chris Farrance, Frontier Digital Business Consultants
"Month-on-month we’ve seen fantastic improvements. Over the first 6-month period, search traffic has increased by over 550%. We've achieved page 1 rankings for at least 85 keywords relating to our key products, the site is now found on Google nearly 5000 times per month and an additional 800+ users visit the site monthly."Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"The team at Leapfrog has been able to keep an eye on our site, using their specialised knowledge to not only spot any invisible problems that will affect SEO and site speed, but also identify any coding errors. This kind of value-added benefit is a great asset and makes a real difference for our company."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing have been working on our website for 6+ months now and we have certainly seen the benefits of professional SEO. Organic leads have significantly increased in line with our Google position and ranking. I’d highly recommend Geoff and the team at Leapfrog Internet Marketing."Mark Dalton, The Tech Lounge
“We’re really happy with Leapfrog Internet Marketing. We feel every step has been clearly explained, the communication is excellent and we’ve seen month-on-month improvements that have converted to enquiries and those all-important sales. We’ve definitely received the return on investment we were looking for.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery