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Best Practices for Using AddThis Website Tools

using-addthis-website-tools-best-practices

Even if you’re a long time user of AddThis tools, like our sharing buttons or the Recommended Content Drawer, you’re probably always looking for ways to use the tools better, general best practices, and overall feedback on which combination of tools works best. We’ve put some time (a lot) and energy (even more) into using our own tools, running some data on other usage of our tools, and have been able to compile some tips on how to get the most from AddThis.

Where Should I Place My Tools?

Consider the point where you want to prompt your site visitor to take action (i.e. share, follow, etc). Sharing buttons and recommended content tools should be present while your visitor is engaged with the article, or after they have read the article in full. This is when the user is most apt to take an action.

Follow buttons should be persistent on the site and easily seen/found so that if a visitor wants to follow you socially they can easily do so. Depending on how your site is laid out, choose the best location for adding these tools so they’re easy to see.

Conversion tools can be used at any time and are very goal-oriented, which means you’re prompting your visitor to take an action, like giving you an email address or liking your Facebook Page. Using them as a greeting on the site is subtle and non-invasive, like with our Welcome Bar tool, where it doesn’t distract from the overall experience. However, the Conversion Lightbox tool is a more direct call-to-action and, generally, should be used for something you’re promoting, like an event or a special price on a product. This is timely and the sense of urgency warrants this strong call-to-action.

Which Tool Combinations Should I Use?

Although we create tons of tools for your website, we actually don’t encourage you to use them all at once. Instead, the tools are there to help you pick, choose, and customize based on your needs and wants.

But we have seen data indicate that using our tools together––strategically––can increase performance all around without overwhelming your visitors. So when placing tools on your site you should focus on choosing one sharing tool, one follow tool, two to three recommended content tools, and one or two conversion tools to maximize your sites performance.

What Content Should I Promote?

You probably have a lot of evergreen content that was popular during a particular season around a certain topic, or it’s just relevant in general. Use recommended content tools to serve up your most popular content, what you know works best or is extremely timely, to engage further with your audience. This way you don’t have to publish new content all the time!

These are our thoughts, but what are yours? We’re interested to know some of your own website tool best practices. Comment below!

  • Great article. I would say it’s always a good idea to look at the “big” websites for inspiration. For example, Mashable puts their sharing tools right under the article title.

    However, what works best for some sites may not be the best for your site. So I say, experiment! Don’t be afraid to change things around! But always look at the result after a reasonable period of time, so you can decide what worked best backed with data!

  • Shannon

    Thanks Christian – and you’re 100% correct! Every site is different – which is what makes the web so interesting! Test, test and retest :)