How to Prepare a Website to Generate Traffic from Visual Social Marketing

By Krista Neher

Across social networks and even across search engines visual social marketing can grow your business. Photos and videos can help generate additional views of your content and traffic to your website. To take advantage of this opportunity, you must ensure that your website includes the right visual content to promote your business.

How to assess the pages on your site that may be shared

The first step in preparing your website to generate traffic from visual social marketing is to assess the pages on your site that may be shared — and that therefore require pinnable images.

An easy way to see the image options that are available for any page on your website is simply to share that web page on a social network such as Facebook or Pinterest. Both sites let you see all the images that you can select when sharing a link to a web page.

Assess the pages on your website to determine whether you already have appropriate images or need to produce some, and then create a list of all pages that require images, as described in the following steps:

  1. Determine the images you need for your site’s home page.

    The home page is typically the one that’s most often shared and referred to. The home page is the introductory page of a website, typically it is the primary overview page of the site. Ensure that your home page has at least two workable sharing options. On your company’s home page, place an up-to-date image of the company’s logo and a visually appealing image that describes the company’s products.

    For example, Starbucks has an image of its logo and a picture of a beautiful cup of coffee or latté. This way, both scenarios have a relevant image where a user may be referring to the business (for example, “Starbucks is great”) or the product (“I’m addicted to the frappuccino at Starbucks”).

  2. Find the pages that have already been shared.

    Look at the pages on your site that are already generating social shares. If you have access to website analytics, which is software that provides statistics about your website, you should easily be able to see when pages on your website are generating traffic from social media referrals. These pages should be the next ones you work on, after your home page.

    Depending on the nature of your business, these pages may be product or service pages, informational pages, blog posts, or the About page.

    Because these pages already generate shares on social media, improving them should also improve the results from the social media sharing that is already happening.

    To see which pages of your site are being shared on Pinterest, go to www.Pinterest.com/source/yourdomainname.com (and replace the italicized characters with your domain name). You can see any content from your website that has been pinned to Pinterest. Other social networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+) have no easy way for you to view the content that has been shared from your site.

  3. Inventory the remaining pages.

    When you have listed the high-priority pages that are already being shared, create an inventory of all existing content on your site that requires images.

  4. (Optional) Build a plan for future pages.

    As you’re assessing your website for images, you can also build a plan to generate images for pages that don’t yet exist on your site. For example, the employees at Boot Camp Digital have a blog — and a plan for how to generate images for all our blog posts. Build relevant images into your strategy for your site.

How to generate images for website pages

When you create images for the pages on your website, the images you add should enhance social sharing, not necessarily enhance the appearance of the page.

For example, a blog post on your website may feature a video in which you share tips for search engine optimization. The video is the content, so from the perspective of the design of the blog post, you wouldn’t normally include an image. The problem is that when you share the blog post on Facebook, an irrelevant photo from the sidebar of the page is shown with the blog post.

To fix this problem, you must add an image of the video to display on Facebook beside the link. Be creative to come up with appropriate images for various pages.

When you create images for your website, create pinnable images. The more relevant the image is to the content, the more likely the image is to generate clicks to your site.

For example, if you write a blog post describing ten tools to edit images and you include an image of a toolbox, it isn’t directly related to the topic. Instead, you may start with the toolbox picture and then add text to it, such as Ten Tools to Edit Images, to make the image more relevant to the content.

When you add images to your website, strike a balance between adding the image to enhance social sharing and adding it to maintain an attractive website. You must continually balance these two objectives and determine what best fits your business.