Mentions of your website on social media websites can positively influence your search engine rankings, and they can also deliver targeted visitors to your website.
For that reason, you should make it as easy as possible for your visitors to mention your website on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The easiest way to get more mentions on Facebook is to add a "Like" button to your website:
What does a Facebook "Like" button do?
When a visitor of your website clicks the "Like" button your site then the Facebook profile of that person will show that he or she likes your site. The link usually shows up as "Recent Activity" on the Facebook wall of the person.
Why should you add a "Like" button on your website?
1. You add credibility to your website content
If many other people have clicked the like button on your website, people tend to trust your website more.
Suppose you were looking for an ice cream cone and came across two shops side by side, one with a line out the door and the other that was empty, which one would you be drawn to?
People are a lot more likely to interact with your website if they see others already doing it. The Facebook "Like" button can show the number of "likes."
2. You benefit from word-of-mouth advertising
When someone clicks the "Like" button on your website, your website will appear in that person's Facebook news feed. Everyone who is included in that person's Facebook friends list will be able to read that news feed. If they click on the link that leads back to your website and hit the "like" button as well, you will create a word-of-mouth avalanche.
3. You will get many new website visitors
The average Facebook user has at least 100 friends. If only a few of the friends of the person who clicked the "Like" button also click the "Like" button on your website, you will get many new website visitors.
► You can test the Facebook button at the bottom of this page.
Similar to Facebook's "Like" button, Twitter offers a "Tweet" button that enables you to offer your website visitors an easy way to tweet about your website.
What does a Twitter "Tweet" button do?
The "Tweet" button enables your website visitors to share your website with their followers.
Why should you add a "Tweet" button to your website?
1. Word-of-mouth advertising
The Tweet that your website visitors sent about your site will be seen by the followers of the Twitter user.
2. Improved visibility on Google and other search engines
Google and other search engines display real-time results on the search results pages (for selected keywords). If your website is often mentioned on Twitter, it will appear in these results.
3. Improved search engine rankings
It seems that Google is using the number of mentions on Twitter (and other social media sites) as a ranking signal. If a website is mentioned often on social media sites, Google might trust that website more. Trusted websites get higher rankings.
► You can test the Twitter button at the bottom of this page.
In contrast to Facebook, LinkedIn is for business and professional networking. Your LinkedIn profile summarizes your current and previous professional experience, your company and its industry and affiliates, your educational background, and any websites you own or are affiliated with.
By providing this type of professional information, you can then connect with colleagues, clients and partners on LinkedIn.
What does a LinkedIn "Share" button do?
The "Share" button enables your website visitors to share your website with their business network. A sample LinkedIn button can be found at the bottom of this page.
Why should you add a LinkedIn "Share" button to your website?
1. It's good for your business
LinkedIn is a business network. If your website is shared on LinkedIn, it will be seen by professional people who might be interested in your products and services.
2. It enhances the credibility of your website
If your website is shared by professional business users, this will have a positive effect on the credibility of your website.
► You can test the LinkedIn button at the bottom of this page.
Google's +1 button is newer than the buttons of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It is similar to Facebook's 'Like' button.
What does a Google +1 button do?
The Google +1 button enables your website visitors to share your website with their friends on Google's social network. Google also shows the +1 button on its results pages.
Why should you add a Google +1 button to your web pages?
1. It affects your rankings
The number of +1 clicks influences the position of a web page in Google's search results. The more unique clicks a page gets, the better the rankings.
2. Your website will be seen in Google's social network
Clicks on your Google +1 buttons will be shown in the Google+ profiles of the people who clicked on your link. You might get additional website visitors through these mentions in Google's social network.
► You can test the Google +1 button at the bottom of this page.
In addition to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter, there are many more social media sites. These sites aren't as important, but they still can help you to get more website visitors.
The easiest way to support these additional social media sites is to add a "Share" button to your web pages that offers quick access to multiple social sites.
Why should you add a "Share" button to your web pages?
1. Your website gets additional exposure
Not all of your website visitors might use Twitter and Facebook. Some of them might have an account at another social media website. A "Share" button make sure that these visitors also can share your site.
2. Visitors from different countries use different sites
A dynamic "Share" button makes sure that visitors from Germany get the most popular social media sites from Germany, while visitors from the USA get the most popular social media sites from the USA, etc.
3. You will get new backlinksSocial media websites usually add backlinks to your website when you website is shared by a user of the social media site. These backlinks can contribute to the search engine rankings of your site.
► You can test the 'Share' button at the bottom of this page.
Adding these buttons is relatively easy. You just have to insert a small HTML code snippet on your web pages:
Instead of adding the code for Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media websites manually, you can also use services that manage these buttons for you:
These services make it very easy to add social media buttons to your website. ► The buttons at the bottom of this page are added through an AddThis HTML code snippet. Click them to test the buttons.