Internet Marketing Tools: Social Bookmarking and Web Directories
There are numerous internet marketing tools you can use to generates links to your blog and extend the reach of your brand. Social bookmarking and web directories are two passive ways you can increase your web presence.
What is Social Bookmarking
The first bookmarking website, itList was started in 1996. It allowed members to save links to web pages and make them private or public.
Bookmarking sites quickly advanced to allowing members to tag, categorize, and share their links with others.
Since then, bookmarking has gone social and has become popular internet marketing tools. Members contribute links they find to the community and have the ability to comment on the links, vote to promote the ones they like, and engage the other members of the site.
Some social bookmarking sites are considered social news sites as members contribute links to articles about a specific topic category (i.e. technology)
Different Internet Marketing Tools: Social Bookmarking vs. Social News Sites
Social bookmarking sites allows you to save links to website to any web page on the internet. You can connect with other members of the site, categorize your links, and vote on and leave comments about links that you like.
Social news sites have all of these things. However, typically, they focus on news in specific topic categories. For example, Digg is a technology news related site. This means articles on the newest releases from Apple are going to be popular rather than a list to tips on how to use a piece of technology.
Both types, though, are great places to market your business.
Benefits of Using Social Bookmarking Sites as Internet Marketing Tools
Social bookmarking is an excellent way to extend the reach of your brand because it allows you to widely distribute your content.
These internet marketing tools are great for building backlinks to your website which is important for increasing your rank in the search engine result pages for keywords.
Content that makes the front page of a popular social bookmarking site can generate thousands of hits
Bookmarking sites are a great place to find articles and information about a particular topic.
In addition to being great internet marketing tools, they are an excellent source of inspiration for articles.
By becoming an active part of the community you can also raise your personal profile, influence the community, and be thought of as a leader which will attract customers to you.
Social Bookmarking Strategies
The simplest way to use social bookmarking sites as internet marketing tools is to bookmark links to the content on your website.
When you bookmark individual pages, the site will create a page for it in the directory. This accomplishes two things. First you will receive a link back to your site which can help boost search engine rankings. Second, search engines love social bookmarking sites and will index that page quickly. Therefore, increasing the chances that someone will find when they do a search on the topic.
Another way to use social bookmarking is to participate in the community. The goal is to submit quality content that gets votes and develop a following of readers.
By becoming a contributing and active member, you will build an influential profile which can make it easier to get your content to the popular (or front) page of the site and drive traffic to your business.
Tips for Making It Work
Your headline is everything. This is the only thing that people will see on the site. Sometimes there is space for a description of the link. However 90% of the time, users will only read the title and make a decision as to whether or not they will click through to your article.
Make the headline catchy and attention getting. Copyblogger.com is a great resource for learning how to write awesome titles.
Put your links in the right category. People who are interested in a specific topic will click on that topic to see what is listed.
Use appropriate keyword tags.
Try to use keywords in your article titles as well. People also use the search functions on the site to look for information.
Submit to sites that are geared towards people in your target audience. Submitting content of interest to them will make it easier to attract them.
Try to create content that your readers want to share.
As an added note, try to write content that speaks to the site’s demographics. If the people on a particular social news site likes Apple products, then your post should have something to do with Apple.
Dos and Don’ts
Do fill out your profile in full so people know you are legit and not a spammer.
Don’t submit only your stuff. These internet marketing tools work best by when you submit content from other places.
Do submit to more than one site. The more sites you submit content to, the more dispersed your brand will be. There are literally hundreds of sites out there and internet marketing tools that will help you submit to many of them.
Do encourage friends to vote for your stuff. Try to get them to vote as soon as the article hits the site. Timing influences whether it will become popular on the site.
Don’t form voting parties but do strategically ally with other people to vote for or submit content. Social bookmarking sites abhor voting parties because it is disruptive. However, if you are discreet about it, you can partner with a few people to vote or bookmark your content in exchange for the same consideration. The operative word here is discreet.
Do ask your readers to submit your content to social bookmarking sites. Integrate buttons within your content to make it easy to do so.
Do interact with the other members and vote on their content. It is a social site, first and foremost. Engaging others will inspire them to return the favor.
Don’t spam. Social news sites especially do not play around. They will ban you.
Helpful Internet Marketing Tools
Ping.fm – Allows you to automatically submit links to your content to up to 30 social services.
OnlyWire.com – Another service that will let you submit your content to multiple sites. (About 20-25 sites available).
For WordPress Users, Sexy Bookmarks is a great plugin that will integrate the buttons of over 60 social sites for your users to bookmark your content.
Another good WordPress plugin is Digg Digg which will integrate social buttons as well as counters for up to 20 social sites on your blog.
Add To Any is an internet marketing tools that can be used on any blog or website and allows visitors to submit content to over 20 sites.
Popular Bookmarking Sites
Web Directories are Great Internet Marketing Tools Too
Web directories are websites that categorize other sites by topic. The most well known web directory is DMOZ which Google (and many other directory sites) use to power its own directory.
There are two types of directories: Those that accept all websites (web directories) and those that only accept blogs (blog directories).
The popularity of social media has given rise to a third type of directory that integrates social elements alongside the basic website categorization. Examples of this is BlogCatalog and Socialrific.
There are also several directories that only categorize social profiles such as Twellow and WeFollow.
Directories allow both free and paid submissions to their sites. Paid directories tend to be better quality but not always.
Why Submit to Directories?
The majority of the benefits to using directories as internet marketing tools indirect.
The primary benefit is increasing the number of links to your website which will help increase your search engine ranking position.
Submitting to directories with social elements is also a good way to get noticed and find readers who will visit your site.
People search social media directories, like Twellow, to find other people to network with who have the same interests as them.
Some popular directories, like BlogCatalog, have pages that show up in search engines which can benefit you by indirectly funneling traffic to your site. Also, the more people see your profile around the internet the more comfortable they are doing business with you.
Tips for Success
Craft a description for your website that tells people what your site is about but also contains keywords.
Many directories allow you to submit keywords that are associated with your site. Come up with at least ten that are relevant to the topics you write about.
Make sure you select the most appropriate category for your blog or website.
Submit to multiple directories. Five a week is a good start.
Submit to a mix of directories: website, blog, and social.
Take part in the community when submitting to social directories. Post in the forums, follow other members. Your goal is to build a community.
List of Popular Directories
Open Directory Project (DMOZ) – http://www.dmoz.com