Why I don’t put Social Links
(and you shouldn’t either).
Just like fashions, websites tend to be trend-driven. With each year bringing a new twist and influence on styling, we’re starting to see the cycle of website trends go full circle, but with small differences. For example, the website trends for 2023 embody some of the trends of 2017. Think, handwriting fonts, but with an update of much more negative space around elements. Brutalism is a design trend right now, taking its influence from the early noughties.
A large focus of these trends applies to the website Header. If you’re not sure what this is, it’s everything you see at the top of a website, in the one screen (or above the fold if you want to be technical about it!)
For years it’s been fashionable and desirable to have links to Social Media accounts in the Header, ready to show your audience who you are, when not on your website.
Here’s why, when including your Social Links on your website, you should never put them in the header.
You’ve worked hard to get people to land on your website, don’t send them away!
Getting Google to choose your website in search results isn’t a matter of luck, it takes hard work and experience. There are 2 practices you need to apply here:
The first requires for your website to be setup in the right way for the search engines to take notice of it in the first place. The second is a set of rules you apply to the content you post on the website to let the search engines know about it, index it and choose to show it in search results.
You don’t want to spend all this time, effort and money getting your website just right so it sends exactly that message to your visitors then immediately tempt them to the social media platform of their choice. They may nosey around your profile but pretty quickly they’ll get distracted by the noise and notifications of that platform and your website message will become a distant memory.
Your website has a certain message…
This message is one you’ve carefully crafted, alongside consideration of your user journey, to guide your visitor through your website to the end result – contact you/buy your product or service.
This message will be structured through the sections of the Home Page, About information, Services, best ways to contact you/sign up and often with a few testimonials scattered throughout. The idea is the content and structure is engaging enough for the visitors to spend a while on the site, clicking through until they feel they know enough about you and your service or product, to follow through and contact or buy from you.
When someone lands on your Social Media account, they’re going to be faced with your last post. Possibly scroll to see your last few posts and that’s not necessarily going to be the carefully thought out, painstakingly crafted message of your website.
You own your website.
The only people who awn the Social Media platforms are the Social Media companies themselves. You don’t own your Social Media accounts and you don’t have any say in the styling, character limit, calls to action or guidelines of the posts. Your posts can be taken down without any warning and whole Social Media profiles and accounts can be deleted without warning.
With your website you can literally style the whole thing so it perfectly aligns with and reflects you and your business. You’re in control of the hosting – how fast it loads, what’s on it, what software and functionalities are available. You have much more freedom with your website than you ever will with Social Media.
It never looks *quite* right.
With tools like Canva and brilliant packages offered by Graphic Designers, it’s easier than ever to design banners and profile pictures for your Social Media channels. However, with the best graphics and following all the rules, it can still be a little like trying to bash a round peg into a square hole as your business branding is never going to quite have the same look and feel on a Social Media platform as it does on your own website.
You can’t stop the scroll.
Social Media is intended to be noisy. The longer you stay on it, the more adverts you’ll see and the more money the Social Media platforms will make. It doesn’t matter how scroll-stopping your graphics are or how strong your messaging, once your visitors have consumed it they’re going to start scrolling. After all, they’re on the Social Media platform, which is sending them notifications and nudging them to move on from your stuff. There’s only so long you have your visitor’s attention, whereas on your own website you have your visitor’s undivided attention to get to know you and see if your product or service is the answer to the problem they were searching for in the first place.
You’re never going to hear me say Social Media is a bad place to market your online business. It’s a brilliant resource to share tips, tricks, experience, industry knowledge and the more playful side of your business.
Social Media should work alongside your website, rather than instead of it. Your social posts should encourage people to head over to your website to see the fabulously well thought out version of you and your business, you spent a lot of time creating.
Equally, blogs are designed to be shared on Social Media platforms so use the opportunity to schedule in regular blog writing so you show your visitors how well informed you are/how brilliantly your products perform. You can share those posts to your Social Media platforms to reinforce the message that you’re the right business for them.
If you’d like support with your website for your small business, and how to set it up to perform well in Google results and have a cohesive feel alongside your Social Media platforms, book a free, no-obligation call with me using the button below.
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