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, this new news certainly presents an opportunity and in most cases, implementation does not need to be difficult. Let’s have a look at a couple of 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 seen it have some influence with our very own eyes so know it works.
ShareThis – I feel like these guys have been around forever and was once our go-to but their button options started feeling a little stale when there were so many others. Well now it’s a different story as they really updated their selection not to mention their additional analytics and branding options. 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) seemingly the default option for WordPress users (and there are plenty of them) this plugin is slick and easy.
AddThis – self-proclaimed #1 Bookmarking and Social Sharing website and while this is most likely the case, it wouldn’t surprise me that their popularity is waning. That said, it looks like they’ve rolled out accompanying analytics which really is a very valuable resource. Again, a super simple setup.
AddToAny – also a pretty popular option with alot of options, possibly too many. Mouseover the button and a long list of sharing options pop up. Again, 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 apparently 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.