You can’t have failed to notice those ubiquitous little buttons found on many web pages exhorting you to ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘Tweet’. These aren’t just put there for vanity or because of some need for validation – they’re actually valuable tools for selling.

Search engines consider these social media signals as a good indicator of how web site users value a page. In fact, they now take more notice of this than of standard SEO techniques. Simply by including the right social buttons on the right pages of your eCommerce web site design can work wonders for generating traffic.

Let’s say that a customer is searching for a particularly unique and stylish winter coat. If he or she finds it on your web site, they may enthusiastically want to show it off to others. This is where those little buttons provide a quick and convenient way for the customer to bring it to the attention of friends. Then those friends may click through to your site too – maybe becoming customers themselves as they find similarly pleasing purchases. Soon you have a social media snowball gathering new visitors and increasing site traffic. And that inevitably leads to more sales conversions.

Which social media buttons to display depends on your type of customer. Facebook may be fine for more leisure-related products, but if you are targeting a business audience it may be better to choose LinkedIn or Twitter. How many types of button you need to display is also a factor. Space may be a consideration – though a professional web design company like iWeb has the experience to balance the social and search benefit with the user and brand experience.

Where to place those buttons

We’ll take Facebook as an example. Here’s where you might typically see that little F sign:

  • Header or footer on every page – Insert icon links to the Facebook profiles for the site to enable longer-term communication with customers.
  • Category pages – Use the side navigational channel to show customers which of their friends ‘Like’ the site as a whole. It inspires confidence based on the number of people overall that have visited and feel good about your web site.
  • Product pages – Have a ‘Like’ button near the product image or name to capture the buyer’s point-of-excitement.
  • Shopping cart order confirmation page – People who are proud of their new purchase may want to show it off.
  • Blog and marketing page – A ‘Like’ button under the main headline or near the primary visual can help to create a positive buzz about your brand.
  • Email newsletter – Placing a ‘Like’ button at the end near the “Read More” link captures customers who have read the newsletter but have no intention of clicking through.

The more conveniently-placed buttons you have, the more you’ll get results from social media marketing of your eCommerce web site. And the more you can find out about what pushes your customers’ buttons, the more they’ll want to push yours. When you’re in the business of selling, that will always gets a thumbs-up.