We’ve suspected it for a while now but it was recently confirmed by extremely reliable sources (Matt Cutts from Google actually) that social media is having a greater influence on search rankings. A web page stacked up against another web page with the same credentials will apparently be given greater weight if it is shared around on twitter, facebook and other social media sites.
So let’s assume that you’ve taken care of the SEO essentials for your sit. This news certainly presents an opportunity to rise higher in the rankings. In most cases, implementation is not difficult. Let’s have a look at some of the options available.
Wibya – by far the easiest and only mildly obtrusive, wibya places a social media bar at the bottom of your website and remains there even when a user moves from page to page. It takes about 10 seconds to sign up and just as many to add to your website and they have a bunch of options from free to $30/month. We’ve witnessed the influence it exerts with our very own eyes so we know it works.
ShareThis – I feel like these guys have been around forever. They were once our default go-to but their button options started feeling a little stale when there were so many other, much slicker options. Well now it’s a different story as they have updated their selection. Also, their additional analytics and branding options add value. Easily customize your buttons on most platforms, including easy WordPress and Blogger integration and place the code in the appropriate location on your website.
Sharedaddy (by WordPress) is seemingly the default option for WordPress users (and there are plenty of them). This plugin is slick and easy.
AddThis is the self-proclaimed #1 Bookmarking and Social Sharing website and while this is most likely the case, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that their popularity is waning. That said, it looks like they’ve rolled out accompanying analytics which is a very valuable resource. Again, a super simple setup.
AddToAny is also a pretty popular choice with alot of options, possibly too many. Mouseover the button and a long list of sharing options pop up. Again, it is simple to implement.
Overall we see much better reaction to larger buttons with fewer options. Twitter, Facebook and maybe LinkedIn should probably be the only options plus possibly the opportunity for a much larger list. Try a few options and perform some split testing if you must but including these options on your website, especially your blog, has become the norm and as stated, will help your search visibility. Personally I like ShareThis as my main choice but of course we’re constantly experimenting and exploring other options particularly on different layouts, designs and audiences. We suggest you do the same and stop back to let us know what you find out.