How effective is Facebook at driving traffic to your website?
Because a lot of small businesses don’t think it’s all that great!
According to a recent study, about 25% of small and midsize business owners think that Facebook isn’t very effective at driving organic traffic to their websites.
(In fact, 1 in 5 small businesses don’t even HAVE a Facebook page!)
Point is, if you think your Facebook page could be performing better, you’re not alone.
And the good news is that you can do something about it!
Making a few tweaks to what you post on Facebook and how can make a huge difference, so this post is going to review the things you can start doing today to make this network a more effective platform for your business!
So, where can you start?
Long story short: you should be sharing links to your website on Facebook.
Not just in a passive “If you click through to my Facebook page there’s a link to my homepage somewhere in there” way, either!
You should actively share links via status updates, and they shouldn’t all go to the same place.
Naturally, the easiest way is by blogging – and even if you already have a blog on your website, don’t skip this part!
Are the topics you’re blogging about as enticing as possible? Are you writing about them in a compelling way? Do you know what the most-shared articles on Facebook ALL have in common?
This blog post is a start-to-finish guide that’ll walk you through the writing process, so whether you’re constantly stuck in that “I don’t know what to write about” place or you just want to be sure you’re not missing any opportunities, take a look.
It doesn’t stop there, though.
Most of the people who visit your website won’t necessarily remember to keep on coming back on their own – they need to be reminded.
Build a newsletter signup into your site, so that you can collect email addresses for your most interested visitors and shoot them a heads up when you have something new for them to read. (They may even share some of those new posts on Facebook – see how this all comes together?)
That’s what you can do on the website side of things. How about on Facebook itself?
Not to link-shame or anything, but how are your Facebook links looking these days?
Yeah, you can do better.
Customizing your link previews and writing stronger updates makes it a lot easier to grab someone’s attention – here’s how!
1. Write a headline that tells the story, but not the WHOLE story. Give enough details for the reader to understand what to expect, but don’t be a deliberate tease – Facebook can actually detect clickbait-style headlines automatically, and you could be penalized for writing them.
2. Write a link description that contextualizes the headline. (They don’t call this a “link preview” for nothing!) You have a limited amount of room to work with, so keep it snappy. Hint: blogging platforms like WordPress make it easy to edit your own!
3. Choose an eye-catching featured image to go with your update. Images can have a huge impact on shareability, so you should have plenty to choose from right there in the blog post you wrote! (And again, a tool like Edgar will allow you to upload one when you’re scheduling your status update, if you prefer.)
4. Don’t forget to write a status update to go with your link! This text appears before your link preview, so it’s the perfect place to introduce or react to the information you’re sharing.
That covers what you’re posting – what about when you’re posting?
Facebook uses algorithms to determine who sees your updates and when. Those algorithms change over time, and they’re a big reason that people with Facebook pages don’t feel like this is a very reliable social network for driving organic traffic.
this is what a Facebook algorithm tweak looks like pic.twitter.com/4AX8Z3rKQj
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) December 3, 2016
Understanding these algorithms can help you more reliably post the right things at the right times.
Are there patterns in when your status updates get the most engagement or reach? Do certain types of updates, or updates about certain subjects, perform better than others? (And how can THAT affect how many people see what you’re sharing, both now and in the future?)
While you can always stick to a strategy of firing off updates at random and hoping for the best, the better you understand how Facebook decides who sees your updates, the more strategic you can be.
Remember that statistic from the beginning – that 25% of SMB business owners don’t think Facebook is very effective for driving organic traffic?
Can you guess which is the most important word in that statistic?
(Hint: it’s “organic!”)
Organic traffic isn’t the be-all and end-all of successful Facebook marketing.
In fact, Facebook pages generally pay for as much as a third of their total reach – and when you take the time to tailor the audience that sees your ads, you can really stretch your budget.
Take a few minutes to get to know the Facebook ad manager, and set aside a few bucks here and there for boosting posts you’re especially proud of. This is another reason that it pays for your website to offer a newsletter signup, so you can turn the people you paid to reach into repeat visitors!
So – how effective do you think Facebook is?
Are you one of the 25% who say it isn’t that great?
Are you one of the 20% of SMB owners that isn’t even on Facebook at all?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!