Unless you still market via mailers and other non-electronic means—and we’re presuming that if you do, it’s while riding your Model T Ford around while lamenting the Kaiser’s aggression in Europe—you need to use links.
That’s true if you’re a blogger, as you can see by my wanton linking above. That’s true if you promote your company through social media, where you need quality links to promote your website or your written content. And it’s true when you’re sending out e-mails that link to landing pages or content you really wants your customers to see.
Nothing is more off-putting than a bad link, and even a link that looks crisp might not be doing you any favors. Here’s three steps to creating links that help you out from an SEO perspective as you move forward with your social media strategies.
3 Steps To Better Links
- Hyperlink. I cannot possibly stress this enough.Let me give you two examples to back this up. In one, you tell a customer to check out a link in your e-mail marketing messaging. To do so, you break up the sentence and insert some crazy long link, like http://www.doublebuttercookiesstore.com/cookie/sprinkles/delicious. That link is unsightly, to begin with, and incredibly jarring to the reader. Even if the customer clicks on it, they’ll notice that.Now the hyperlink. Your messaging can be “Please check out our great cookies.” By using a little HTML or a hyperlink tool, you’ve created a clickable message that intrigues the customer. What kind of great cookies, they ask. I must see them! Especially if you primarily market through e-mail, this is critically important. You have so few words to make an impression with. Don’t make one of them a giant, slash-filled run-on.
- Shorten your links. If you’re unable or unwilling to hyperlink, if you really need to set the link off, then make it as short as possible. You can accomplish that with services like bit.ly and ow.ly.This becomes imperative in social media, because there’s no real way to hyperlink on many of the platforms you’ll be using. If you want to drop in a landing page—and let’s face it, you should—it helps if you can do it in six characters instead of burning through half of your 140 character allotment for Twitter. Always shorten your links.
- Make your links SEO-friendly. Especially useful on blogs (like BizEngine!) or on your website, where you can use titles to let Google and other search engines know what’s in the link. You want to nail the essence of the link, with an eye toward its source and what you want to accomplish. The idea, of course, is to get it in front of as many people as possible. That way, they’ll get to where you want them to go.
So that’s my basic advice for your small business and its social media campaigns. Let us know if you find this social media blog post to be helpful.