You’ve launched your new web theme, and you need to make sure it’s going to convert visitors. Social shares are going to make or break your SEO, traffic generation, and your sales funnels. So, it’s time to make sure your new theme is social friendly.
What is a Social-Friendly Theme?
Social-friendly themes are setup to allow for all the latest social features – sharing, follow tools, rich pins, featured images in shared posts, social commenting, etc. Here’s what you’re going to need to be fully optimized for social sharing:
- Responsive (mobile-friendly) social media sharing tools
- Follow buttons for your social media profiles
- Rich pin setup (If you’re using Pinterest to promote)
- Meta descriptions
- Featured images
- Facebook comments on posts
- Sidebar on blog pages
A social-friendly theme will allow you to add the following functions to your site with ease. Let’s look a little closer at each above item.
Social Media Sharing Tools
When a visitor lands on a piece of your content, it needs to be easy and enticing to share it. Social share tools are going to make your posts and pages viral-ready. Is your website theme responsive? Will the share buttons on your page work as well on mobile as they do from the desktop version?
Tip: Check to make sure that your chosen theme and social share tools are responsive.
If your website theme doesn’t have built-in social follow buttons, you are going to have to add your own. Your social media profiles should be easily accessible from any page on your website. This gives your viewers every way possible to connect with you.
Tip: Choose a theme with built-in follow buttons to make sure your links match the design of your site.
Rich Pins & Meta Descriptions
All themes will essentially allow rich pins and meta descriptions – some more easily than others. If your theme is already setup for rich content, this is a bonus. If not, you may need a plugin like Yoast SEO to streamline the process. And if all else fails, simply refer to a handy dandy HTML cheat sheet (there’s plenty online) to help check yourself.
Allowing featured images is a must for posts and pages in your website. They don’t necessarily have to show up on the site (that is a design decision), but you do need to be able to see them upon post shares.
Have you ever seen a post share that looks like this on Facebook?
[screen shot sourced from facebook.com/livingecologys]
In this post, the featured blog post image is missing. This can happen if the blog doesn’t have a featured image. In this case, that wasn’t the problem. There was something outside the image specs for Facebook thumbnails from the backend.
Tip: Learn how to make sure your thumbnail images are optimized for social shares.
Facebook Blog Comments
Allowing Facebook login for blog comments is optional, but great for viral content. When someone comments on one of your posts from the Facebook comments interface, their friends will get a notification that they commented, bringing in more potential traffic.
Tip: Make sure your new theme allows social commenting.
Sidebar on Blog Pages
Some site themes don’t have sidebars. You don’t want a theme like that, no matter how pretty it is. Sidebars give you space to place search tools, subscription forms, social media follow tools, timeline previews, and more. Leverage that space to your advantage.
Tip: Choose a theme with a sidebar option on the blog pages.
This is Where to Find Social Friendly Themes
Now that you have an idea what you’re looking for, this is where you can find impressive, social-friendly themes.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-navigate site to find website templates for nearly any need, this is the place to look. At template monster you can browse CMS, web, and eCommerce templates as well as plugins and add-ons to find exactly what you’re looking for.
When shopping is your game, ecommerce themes are the way to go. This platform has a lot to offer in the way of product display that is search engine optimized and user-friendly. These themes are sure to be updated often to keep up with eCommerce best practices and trends.
Part of the Envato Market, here you can find website themes starting at $2. You can also download new freebies every month, so it’s a good idea to be a part of this community, even if you choose your main theme somewhere else.
This site does business a little differently than most. Members pay a yearly or one-time fee to access 87 themes and even more plugins for unlimited use. You get a ton of options for the price of just one theme. Pay $69 to $89 each year or $249 for a different kind of theme access. The catch is that you have to prefer these themes to the plethora that are available elsewhere. Fortunately, the quality is high.
After you learn the qualities of a social-friendly website theme, you are ready to start shopping. There’s not a limit to where you can find a great theme, but using this trusted list, you are sure to find what you need. Share this post to help your colleagues choose wisely.
Jared Carrizales runs the team at Heroic Search in Tulsa and Dallas. They handle content marketing, social advertising, and digital public relations. Jared has worked in the digital marketing realm for the past 9 years and has the bruises to prove it.