Social Bookmarking for Insurance Agency Web Marketing

Let’s begin with a simple definition of social bookmarking, then discuss how this can be used as a component of your insurance agency web marketing plans. Social bookmarking allows Internet users (and insurance agencies) to organize, store and manage online resources, akin to marking pages in a book for use at a later date. Unlike the bookmarks of old, and as with all things on the Internet, these bookmarks can be easily shared and distributed. Descriptions can be added to the bookmarks, so users can peruse the content (from the succinct descriptions) without requiring a download. These descriptions can include votes (good or bad), comments or tags (metadata). Think of tags in terms of keywords, short relevant phrases germane to your target audience.

Use

Social bookmark users can save web page links they want to share. These links are typically public and can be viewed chronologically, by category or tags, or using a search engine. I liken social bookmarking to some elements of asynchronous collaboration solutions, which allow users to share topics according to a category, project, etc. Collaboration systems allow users to subscribe to an information feed, very similar to the social bookmarking services which provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks and lists organized by tags. Arguably, social bookmarking is a simplistic type of asynchronous collaboration. The feeds or subscription functionality allow users to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users. Collaborating and managing these tags may be referred to as “folksonomy.”

What is Folksonomy

Folksonomy is a classification system created to manage tags to categorize content derived from a consensus of users. Insurance agencies can think of folksonomy in terms of the metadata and tags used on their insurance agency website and tag clouds which might be used on their insurance agency blog. Simply stated, tagging allows users to collectively classify and find information. For example, blogs often include tags, and their associated tag clouds as a way to help visualize tags in a folksonomy. Folksonomy also helps us in other ways. One of the inherent advantages of social bookmarking is the human factor, allowing users to determine content relevancy as opposed to deferring to search engine bots which automate the same process. By sharing, tagging, voting and describing content, users can better determine if the content is truly applicable to their needs, and computer error or misclassification can be removed from the formula.

Most Popular Sites

Top social bookmarking sites as ranked by eBizMBA include (monthly visitors estimated):

  1. Twitter: 200,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank 9.
  2. digg: 25,100,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 139.
  3. StumbleUpon: 17,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 112.
  4. reddit: 16,000,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 135.
  5. delicious: 5,500,000 Unique Monthly Visitors – Alexa Rank 342.

Others include tweetmeme, FARK, Slashdot, friendfeed, clipmarks, newsvine and diigo.

Practical Use for Insurance Agency Web Marketing

Why should your business be concerned with Social Bookmarking? Social bookmarking offers several web marketing opportunities for businesses:

  1. Organize and distribute your relevant content
  2. Drive traffic to your insurance agency website
  3. Improves your Internet presence
  4. Improves Insurance Agency SEO
  5. Improves inbound link popularity (Backlinks)

Conclusion

As you consider your most important agency web marketing initiatives, there may be higher priorities on your things to do list, including the creation and maintenance of a Web 2.0 website, blogging, ePublishing, eMarketing, and social media marketing (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter). That said, and when thinking about your social media marketing initiative, it’s fast and easy to add social bookmarking as an extra component for your agency web marketing plans.

Spread Your Influence By Joining A Social Bookmarking Site

Earlier, there were limited options to share an interesting video, favorite photo or an informative article on the web. The most commonly used medium was the humble email. One would include the link in an email or send it as an attachment. Even then, you could send it only to your contacts. This is where social bookmarking comes in.

A social bookmarking site allows a member to bookmark and share web pages they think might interest others. It does not include all the content of the webpage; only snippets of or links to tagged content. Other members can skim through and use content shared in this manner. Owing to its nature, it can be regarded as a form of social networking. Several sites offer social bookmarking services. We’re sure you’ve come across the names. Examples include Reddit, Twitter, Scoop.it, Delicious, Pinterest, Digg and StumbleUpon. They are slowly overshadowing search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing because it is easier to locate niche topics instead of having to scan through multiple search results until you find what you actually want.

How does a Social Bookmarking Site work?

To get started, a person must set up a user account with the respective site. He is provided with a username and password. Social bookmarking sites have different formats. The first type involves going back to the site and pasting the link of interest in the space provided. The second type is more convenient. These sites have widgets. The widgets have to be installed in a browser. Thus, when you come across an appealing article or video, you do not have to go back to the site. You can bookmark it by clicking a single button.

Every active user soon builds a long list of links. There are different methods to organize content systematically. The first includes listing content based on keywords or subject. They can also be sorted by dates. The lists can be adjusted for public or private viewing. In case of the former, all users of that social bookmarking site will be able to view and see content. However, in case of the latter it is made available only to family, friends and coworkers. You can also share an information product with a specific person, a group or within an informational network.

Social bookmarking sites are not confined to sharing interesting content on the web. Users can follow other users who constantly bookmark content that appeals to them. These sites have also evolved as minor discussion forums where users discuss opinions and share comments.

Why use Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking sites have closed loopholes in the previous systems. They have thereby increased the ease and convenience of sharing valuable information to a wide group of people. It is for this reason that social bookmarking has gained popularity as a blog and website promotional tool. It improves search engine rankings, attracts more traffic to your site and generates more revenue. It also boosts affiliate revenue.

So, spread your influence in the online marketplace by joining a social bookmaking site.

How to Save Time in Manual Submission to the Social Bookmarking Sites

If you are busy with various activities of online business then you might feel apprehensive to submit articles manually to all the recognized social bookmarking sites as manual submission is time-consuming and arduous. However, you know that manual submission is the safest option and it brings more success than automatic submission. The volume of traffic that would come to your site if you submit manually is also high. Now you are confused about what to do. In this scenario you can employ certain techniques that would help you to save time with your manual submission process.

(1) Select the most popular and important sites – When you have shortage of time you should pick and choose the ones that are going to serve your purpose. It is important to identify your niche accurately. Some of the popular social bookmarking sites are Facebook, Del.icio.us, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. There is another site, named Sphinn, which is also recommended by experienced SEO specialists. Nowadays video marketing has also become very popular as webmasters are discovering its efficacy in promoting any product or service. YouTube is a name that everyone knows, and it is considered to be a very powerful social networking website for videos.

(2) Use an automatic submitter with manual follow-up – In order to reduce your time, you can complete your first step of article submission with the aid of automated social bookmarking submitter. You must be certain that the quality of articles submitted is of premium quality. Only then can you increase your as well as your website’s popularity. To ensure that the articles have been properly submitted, you need to perform the follow-up manually.

You can also pursue directory submission along with the abovementioned techniques. It is worth mentioning that directory submission has been used for building links since a long time. If you are not too experienced in directory submission you can take assistance of creditable companies for submitting to various directories.

Benefits of Using a Dofollow Social Bookmarking Site

First of all why do we want a social bookmarking site? As the name suggests we need a social bookmarking site to bookmark our favorite pages, sites, articles or any interesting things we find online. We start tagging all these interesting things online but not on our local computer. We can access them later using any other computer or share with friends too.

What is dofollow?

The most important use of a social bookmarking site is that the users keep coming back for any updates on a regular basis. Most of them allow users to have a backlink to their site. But if the quality of the content is not good, users may not come back again thus losing the valuable traffic. This resulted in bookmarking pages to lose their valuable link juice benefit to other pages. This also resulted in losing page rank value etc.

Here, there are primarily two kinds of backlinks allowed to be posted in any content.

1) Nofollow

2) Dofollow

In the case of dofollow, the site instructs Google bot to crawl the backlink back to its origin. This way the targeted page gets valuable link juice benefit. But here there is one problem. If the site allows every user to link back to their pages irrespective of the quality of the content, this will greatly reduce the overall benefit to the site. Because backlinks to the bad pages will eat up the reputation of the hosting site. So over the period, social bookmarking sites started recognizing the fact that all the backlinks of the site do not point back to the good pages only but to the bad pages too. They found that ultimately they are losing the value of the site. So they decided to make all backlinks from their site as nofollow so that backlink benefit will not be shared back to other pages. This way they are not losing out any link juice to any other pages.

Benefits

By using only social bookmarking sites which allow dofollow backlinks one can get the benefit of backlink juice. Here Google spider crawls the backlink pointing to an external site and index that page. This way that external site gets indexed by Google spider thereby allowing it to be ranked in the search engine results.

Another benefit is an increase in the traffic. Link or no link, any page with a unique and quality content always generates a following thus creating traffic. More traffic means better reputation of the site. Ultimately this also converts into a better rate of return from a business point of view.