You must be well aware of the fact that social media is the most popular and effective way for businesses to get engaged with their target audiences. It is also likely that you post regularly on Facebook and even respond diligently to a few tweets. But why is it such a big deal?

Well, it is the fact that more than 92% of small business owners use social media and they consider it to be highly beneficial to them. Why? Here it is.

For the beginners, social media can help you to:

Because the number of global social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion this year, you will hardly find a better platform to find and use to get connected to your ideal audience.

And with Instagram having nearly one billion of them, there is no better platform across the social media networks to use for the benefits of your business. Even if you can get to drive one per cent of those Instagram followers towards your site, you will have an incredible rise in the traffic count to your site.

Getting started with social media Client-Friendly Webcopy

What is the best way in which you can use social media to drive more traffic to your site? The following simple points are proven to be effective and result-driven:

To get started with social media for your business you must first believe that, especially if you are just entering into this incredible world of web, the only options that you have are not the giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. All of them are fantastic options no doubt and maybe somewhat essential for any type of business, but actually, several other options are worth looking into as well. For example:

  • Pinterest: Share any visual content such as images and infographics from your blog posts.
  • Reddit: This is another useful platform through which you can prove your knowledge about the industry to your audience and of course, get engaged with a larger and more dedicated community.
  • Tumblr: Use Tumblr in the best possible way to create a multimedia diary which will, in turn, support your primary website.
  • Google+: Boost your SEO by sharing your content on this very own platform of Google.
  • Snapchat: Show the behind-the-scenes activities of your business through a well-crafted video.

The list could go on but these are the major social media platforms that most businesses often look to use for their brand and product promotions.

Follow your customers

However, with so many options available to you, and each of these having different features and functionality to offer, it may be difficult to decide which specific platform you should focus on.

The easiest way to proceed is to follow and know your customers. For this you will have to:

  • Research the demographics of each platform
  • Collect data on several aspects and
  • Know about the key statistics.

This will help to gain an understanding of your audience and their social media platform preferences. Here, you can determine whether or not those demographics fit within your buyer personas.

The importance of targets

The next important thing to do to make your social media marketing efforts a success is to know your target market and audience and how they relate to your specific type of business. They should align properly with your business as well as your marketing goals. 

Just like in any other form of a marketing campaign, the foundation of your social media success and activity should be your goals. You will need to know and analyze different metrics for that, commonly known as the Key Performance Indicators or KPIs in the industry.

These metrics will help you to know whether or not you are moving in the right direction to gain more followers, directing them towards your site.

 Measure your success  

You will need to measure your achievements now and then, especially after you accomplish a goal. This is the best possible way to measure your success and know exactly how much traffic you are driving to your main website.

When you measure your accomplishments regularly, it will help you in ways more than one, such as:

  • In determining whether or not the platform you are working on is effective.
  • In finding out whether or not there are is a large enough audience on that specific platform to tap, attract and engage with to raise the number of traffic count to your site.
  • Whether there is any scope to make any further development in your social media marketing strategy.

Until you have a significant number of active users on your business’ social media platform, you will struggle to entice them to visit your site.

Lastly, your goals

Last but most importantly, you should know your goals beforehand so that you can create a proper plan to achieve them. Make sure that you have small and easy to achieve goals and work on the bigger ones as and when you achieve each of your smaller ones. This will provide you with the morale boost and encourage you to keep ongoing.

Your goals can be anything from growing the number of followers in due time or increasing social referral traffic, but make it a point that you stick to it.

Author Bio

Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.

If you’re a freelance copywriter, art director or designer, your website is your shop. The more people that walk past the better. But you really want people to come in the shop, and walk to the back of the shop where the register is. That means not just a high Google ranking, but also a well designed website that gets people past the homepage. If someone walks in your shop and then leaves straight away, that’s called a bounce. Bounces are bad. SEO impresario Paul Robbins gives you advice:

Here are some SEO copywriting tips to help professional freelancers convert hits into assignments

  • Have a homepage with a single mission

What do you want people to do when they land on your homepage? Call you for a freelance gig? Ask you for a free quote? Sign up to your mailing list? Just asking them to look at your portfolio or read your CV is a pretty low-ambition. You want them to do something that’s going to pay your bills.

Once they open your page you’ve got about 20 seconds – you only have to see your Google analytics stats to see that (read previous post) – so pick one action, don’t pack your website with things that are going to distract them. Keep it simple. Also keep in mind the value of the different actions. If your mailing list has a 1% success rate, but 50% of calls you receive lead to jobs, it’s clear that you push for calls above your mailing list.

  • Don’t play content automatically

Visitors hate it when music or video plays automatically when they hit your website. Often they’re already listening to music and your website will be the thing they close first. Your last TV commercial may be amazing so have it ready to play, but not playing.

  • Think mobile

Freelancer’s websites are their portfolios and often notoriously slow to load. Does that JPEG really have to be full-size? Mobile devices are taking over and wifi is becoming more popular than WLAN, but it’s slower. Be kind to your visitors and design a fast site – 3 seconds and 500kb max.

  • Pictures and change

Don’t become obsessed with Google to the point of excluding all pictures – they’re worth a thousand words and much more interesting to look at. Put them on automatic rotation, like The Collective’s website, so people get a different one every time they come back.

  • Flash is dead

Designers love to make beautiful websites in Flash, but Google doesn’t see them and Apple won’t load them, so forget about it. There are other ways to make make a beautiful site, and anyway, unless you’re a web designer, your work should be the focus, not the website.

Please let us know what you think of this topic by leaving a short (or long!) comment below. And sign up now for our regular newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Before you start different SEO services and techniques, check five SEO essentials on your website right now.

Record your ranking in these categories – just as you would measure your weight before you start a diet – and see whether they go up as you work harder. Paul Robbins of SEO specialists Inbound Interactive – who has advised The Collective of International Advertising Freelancers and other leading ad freelance figures – suggest you devote five minutes to checking five things, and then do the same for your nearest competitors.

STEP 1: Know where you are

  • Page Rank: 

How important does Google think your website is based on incoming links? The highest you can really aim for with a freelancer’s website is around 4/10. Any higher and you need to become a full-time blogger. If you’re disappointed with your pagerank, you might be more disappointed when you find out how few people actually link to your site. Now you can see how much work you have to do and how many friends you have to ask to link to you.

  • Social media

We all hear about the importance of social media, so check how popular you are with sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Google thinks this is another good judge of your importance.

  • Keyword position

Your keywords as a creative freelancer should be your discipline (copywriter, art director, designer) in the locality you service (london, paris, new york). Focus on these two keywords. You can’t be No. 1 in the world and you don’t want to be. People want local freelancers.

  • Keyword density

These two same keywords should be the most common words on your website so measure your keyword density now. The keyword density is the total number of keywords, divided by the total number of words that appear on your homepage.

Your two main keywords should make up between 3% and 5% of the words on your site. Less and google things you’re not serious, more and they think you’re a spam site. So don’t try and be a jack of all trades, filling your site with every conceivable keyword, as you will just dilute your real keywords. You have to stand for something.

  • Metatags

Metatags are HTML or XHTML elements used to provide structured metadata about a web page. Do you have the right metatags inbedded in your site? Again, don’t – aim for 20 that really relate to you.

  • How do you choose the right metatags?

After your discipline and city, it can be hard to know which other keywords you should include in your metatag. This is a handy tool that suggests other keywords related to your main keywords.

STEP 2: Know where you want to be

Once you’ve run this ‘SEO Essentials’ analysis on your own website, go back and run it on your competitor’s websites: other freelancers in your discipline and location who come up when you search your keywords. Now you can see what you have to do to get above them. If they have a pagerank of 2/10 you don’t need to bust your balls getting higher. Borrow their metatags, follow their keyword density, aim for their popularity. Choose your goals and make them realistic.

  • Goals and google analytics

If you’ve got these simple SEO essentials mastered, you can go much further with Google analytics. Once you’ve joined, you add their code to your website and it starts recording who’s visiting your website, where they’re coming from, what language they speak, how they got there, and much more. Invaluable information when you’re trying to improve your website.

For example, if you’re getting lots of French visitors to your English-language website, but they all leave after the homepage, maybe you should put a section in French.

You can also get Google analytics to track the goals you’ve set for your website, which is essential for determining your success. Up to your eyeballs in statistics? A few minutes looking at the results in Google analytics should be enough to convince you that you need a professional.

  • Go SEO pro

From here on in though it starts to get more complicated and take up more of your time. As we established in the previous article – The most common mistakes on a freelancer’s website – we recommend that you hire a SEO company to help you achieve your goals. If you want your website to be the best, you have to hire the best.

Please let us know what you think of this topic by leaving a short (or long!) comment below. And sign up now for our regular newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Designers are supposed to be communication experts, but as with the mechanic’s car and the gardener’s garden, their own websites and Google ranking often leaves a lot to be desired. Paul Robbins, a SEO specialist at Inbound Interactive in Austin Texas, looks at graphic designer’s websites and gives advice on what you can do to improve.

Here are his four most common SEO mistakes to avoid.

I have seen hundreds of freelancers websites when they’ve come to me asking for advice about how to get higher in Google, and these are the most common mistakes I see reoccurring.

1. Location, location, location

Being No. 1 in Google when you search for your name is not an achievement. If clients already know you, they’re not going to search for you in Google. You want new clients from the internet – think of your website as a sales tool not an online portfolio – so you need to think of the search terms they’re going to search for a designer such as yourself.

What most freelancers forget is that clients want suppliers local to them. A client in Dusseldorf will Google “freelance web designer Dusseldorf”. The web has not made the world a smaller place, people want to work local. You don’t need to make your website promote your specialties, you need to specialize your location. That also means hosting your website in your country and not with an international domain like .com, but with your country domain.

2. Hire a SEO professional

If you think you can get a high position in Google by reading a few blogs about SEO and taking the advice about adding your website to some directories, sending out press releases and articles, and filling your homepage with keywords, then you’re sadly mistaken. How does a brochure look when the client designed it themselves? How good is a logo when they made it? You advise them to hire a professional, maybe you should take your own advice when it comes to SEO.

If you haven’t spend thousands of hours studying SEO and worked at it full-time for a few years then you cannot hope to achieve the same results as a professional. With all their tips, tricks and contacts, they can accomplish more in a few hours than you can in a few weeks. And is it better to pay someone else for a few hours work or spend your time, when you could be doing what you do best.

One thing you can be sure of is that your competitors have hired professionals. It might not be cheap but remember you get what you pay for, and one big freelance job will pay your SEO bill – and your odds of getting big jobs are dramatically increased if you have a high google ranking.

3. Converting hits into jobs

There’s more to life than being No. 1 in Google.  You can get hundreds of hits but if people don’t feel impelled to contact you, you won’t get new jobs. The creative’s websites I see all look beautiful but they don’t sell. A contact page with an email address does not qualify. Would you make an advert for a client that just had a picture of the product and their email address on it? I don’t think you’d be a very successful.

Your phone number has to be on the homepage with a ‘call for a free quote’ in big and bold letters. There have to be quotes from satisfied customers. There has to be logos of the awards you’ve won and the clients and agencies you’ve satisfied. Your homepage is the only page and it has to smack of experience and success. You work in advertising and marketing – you’re a glorified salesperson – and as the old adage goes: “if you can’t sell yourself, what can you sell?”

4. Local links

Freelancer designers work alone in a very competitive and their websites reflect this solitary nature. When I run a check on a designer’s website I often find very few people link to them – usually because they link to know one. This is the key to getting high in Google – popularity – and you get what you give.

If you’re a graphic designer you don’t have to link to other designer’s, but you could gain reciprocal links by directing visitors friends. Again the secret is local… don’t link to people all over the world, link to friends you work with in your own town. Google registers this and you move higher in local searches.

And if you’re part of a network, association or an agent, such as The Collective, link to them as well, as your profile is listed there and it shows you’re part of a successful website. Google also gives credence to links to .edu and .gov as it thinks these are more reliable.

Please let us know what you think of the 4 Most Common SEO Mistakes by leaving a short (or long!) comment below. And sign up now for our regular newsletter at the bottom of the page.