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Getting More Facebook Likes and Search Traffic

More Facebook referrals and more search referrals stemming from Facebook

Did you know there are small adjustments you can make to your use of Facebook’s Like buttons/social plugins that can have an incredible impact on your traffic?

Facebook can provide a level of engagement between businesses and consumers that you simply didn’t see much before it was around. Naturally, as a result, Facebook has proven to be an indispensable marketing tool and driver of website traffic. Granted, the content has to be compelling, but you already know that.

Getting Traffic from Facebook

Danny Sullivan posted a slew of Facebook Like button/social plugin stats that came directly from Facebook itself. Here are a few of the stands-outs:

– The average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.

– Users coming to the from Facebook spend 85% more time, read 90% more articles and watch 85% more videos than a non-connected user.

–, Washington Post and The Huffington Post are said to have more than doubled their referral traffic from Facebook since adding social plugins.

– Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010 and has maintained those levels since.

– Outdoor sporting goods retailer saw a 100% increase revenue from Facebook within two weeks of adding the Like button.

– American Eagle added the Like button next to every product on their site and found Facebook referred visitors spent an average of 57% more money than non-Facebook referred visitors

According to what Facebook told Sullivan, Like buttons get 3 – 5 times more clicks if versions that show thumbnails of friends are used, they allow people to add comments, they appear at both the top and the bottom of content, and they appear near visual content like videos or graphics. He looks at a specific example with Metacafe, which originally had a Like button at the bottom of its videos, but after adding one to the top in addition to it, tripled its number of daily likes and doubled its amount of referral traffic from Facebook.

That’s a pretty huge impact from such a simple adjustment.

Sullivan also references the recent Buddy Media report we covered last month, looking at Facebook’s EdgeRank (the basis for the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what shows up in users’ News Feeds), and how to optimize your Facebook activity to get seen in the News Feed more often, which is obviously going to help with traffic. Buddy Media, which in case you’re not familiar with, is a company that’s built a business out of creating Facebook tools for businesses, and counts major brands like Target, Johnson & Johnson, and ABC among its clients.

In the report, they suggested brands do the following on their Facebook Pages to get in the News Feed more and boost their “EdgeRank”:

1. Ask questions
2. Post games and trivia
3. Interact with fan engagement
4. Incorporate wall sapplets (polls, coupons, etc.)
5. Incorporate relevant photos
6. Relate to current events
7. Incorporate videos
8. Post content for time-sensitive campaigns
9. Include links within posts
10. Be explicit in your posts

In terms of getting Facebook referrals, don’t forget about Facebook’s recently launched “send” button, which can drive really targeted traffic.

Facebook and Search

Clearly Facebook itself can be very powerful for driving traffic directly to your content, but it also has the potential to be pretty powerful indirectly through search. It looks like this will only increase as integration gets more mature.

Of course Bing has ramped up its integration of Facebook. It’s displaying Likes in search results, where applicable. It’s showing actual sites your friends have “liked” (not just individual pieces of content). “Likes” are influencing search rankings in Bing on a personalized basis (and this is a powerful way to crack into the personalized SERP, which is no easy SEO task). Bing is using Facebook data to show “well-liked content” from sites across the web. It’s showing Facebook posts from brands when the brand is searched for. It’s letting users have conversations about some results with Facebook friends (mainly in travel for the time being). Bing has a feature that lets users share shopping lists with friends.

Bing uses Facebook in other ways, and will continue to add even more. Bing Director Stefan Weitz said in an interview with Inside Facebook, “It’s more than just Likes now. We think of people as having characteristics and attributes, not just actions. Now we’re considering what other meta data can we use that people will give us access to so we can continue to personalize search.”

He says 80% of people delay making a purchase online until they can talk to a friend. I’m not entirely sure where he’s getting this information, but 80% is pretty high, and Facebook is the online destination where many, many people have the easiest access of the largest group of their true friends (and family).

“Core search stuff has been taken care of by intelligent organization,” Weitz said. “But how do people sort through all the links and make a decision? You do all the research, but at the last minute you walk away from the purchase process because you’re not convinced until you get a social recommendation.”

About the Author:
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow WebProNews on Facebook or Twitter. Twitter: @CCrum237