Adding social media feed to website - or not?
If the answer is something like "to get some content to your site." - consider again. The SoMe feed might benefit you or harm you depending how you manage it.
Here are some points to consider:
- Give your user relevant content if it is news or happenings or some other data about your business
- Show that you are active in SoMe and your business is alive
- Impacting positive to your page rank (if done right)
- Embed code (see: Installing below) have to fetch the content from third party service like Facebook and Twitter which can be slow. That again affects your page rank and your users will go away because nobody likes slow sites
- It takes place from your site and distracts the user from relevant content. Just put a link (with an icon) where is our Facebook page
- If your visitors actually click something from the feed (which usually is the purpose of putting a link) you lead them away from your site
If you still decide to put the feed in your site then the next step should be thinking about what you want to show to your visitors and how to embed the code to your site. We use Facebook as an example but all the major players offer pretty much the same possibilities.
INSTALLING (Setting up the feed)
- Use Widget (Plugin) or embed the code to your site.
- If you have Drupal or Wordpress or some other CMS you can create an App and the use a module like Social Media Channel Feed to do the job (how is shown in the video above)
- Embed iFrame directly which we'll not even going to discuss. :)
SEO DISCUSSION (OR SPECULATION)
The Widget or embedded JS fetches the content when the user (or Googlebot or spider) arrives so the markup is not actually there yet. Even though the spider would read JS it does not really help. If we would use caching or getting the content there before the spider crawls it would still no going to help because the feed is only an iFrame (and not much respected).
The second option is to use "App" so we can fetch the content of the feed beforehand an render it to the page. Then when the user comes it is already there and analyzed by Googlebot / page rank algorithm. This might actually help you or might not - depending what is there and where is it placed.
If you'll get the feed there on time then the next question is what and where to show it:
- All your actions in SoMe?
- Inbound and outbound links (ratio) in the feed
- In every single page?
- In which area considering (HTML5 semantic tags) <article><section><aside> or inside some unimportant <div>?
- Is it then duplicate content on your site?
- What happens when user has an add blocker?
If you then update the feed (post stuff in SoMe) regularly then your site seems to be active and search engines like your site more. So if done right it might help your page rank. Nobody knows how much exactly the spiders like (or hate) social media feed markup on your page. But if you're going to have one then do it right.
I think of having a SoMe feed or not should not be a question of SEO but rather about the pros and cons listed before.
What do you think? Which relevant aspects I forgot to mention about having a SoMe feed?