Getting Website Traffic with Social Bookmarking

In making the Internet an easier place for users to navigate, the concept of bookmarking has become quite the commonly used tool. Whether you surf the Net using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or other selections, storing your preferred website links for future use is easy to accomplish when using “bookmarks” and “favorites.” Today, this same concept is being used to drive traffic to websites through a technique called “social bookmarking.”

The availability of social bookmarking has increased over the years with sites, such as Digg, Reddit, and del.icio.us. With these services, bookmarks are stored online instead of on a computer, making accessibility possible from any computer that connects to the Internet. Instead of using cumbersome folders to store bookmarks, these sites rely upon “tags.”

With this shift in traditional bookmarking, a user may assign and place their bookmarks into many different categories. Another advantage in social bookmarking is the innovative methods in which organization is achieved. This includes the many ways people are allowed to view their tags. For instance, “tag clouds” help locate bookmarks by using weighted lists coupled with visual design. The most frequently used tags appear in a larger font or showcase specialized emphasis. Alphabetization is also added to tag clouds, making it easier to locate tags in alphabetical order and by popularity.

When it comes to using social bookmarking as a way to drive website traffic, the ability to share favorite sites with other people aids in the discovery of new sites. When people show tags linked to a particular website, interest is created as visitors with similar interests click. For example, if you utilize social bookmarking and store many site links associated with growing grapes, you can keep an eye out for all of the bookmarks that other people interested in grapes have also saved. In the end, the convenient system allows users to expand their knowledge by clicking on the links (or tags) that mean the most to them.

Website traffic increases for sites when they become part of a bookmarking system comprised of many different people, as services often cater to specific topics and formats, which include feeds, shopping items, videos, and books. The most successful sites have been able to reach a wider audience and increase their chances for enticing a consumer to make a purchase. The key to luring a great deal of visitors is by providing helpful and useful information that encourages others to bookmark. Website owners are also able to track their progress with the public, as they can find out who has bookmarked their site.

Increased website traffic not only helps business and personal websites, but also blogs. Some people set up their blog to link to their favorite tagged sites, permitting visitors to their blog to easily bookmark the site. The increased traffic may also gain a better Google Page Rank for some. Depending on the social bookmarking service you select, you may add your own bookmarks to your blog, which leads to updated tags and links that take place on a daily basis. Traffic increases and users stand to gain a better page rank through suitable backlinks.

The only setbacks social bookmarking poses for some is the lack of standard sets of keywords; lack of standard tag structure; and unclear tags. Sometimes, mistagging occurs because of spelling mistakes. Also, users vary with their use of plurals and capitalization. Unfortunately, some people also abuse the system, which can lead to spamming, but overall, social bookmarking is far more convenient and beneficial for driving traffic than not.

A Complete List of Dofollow Social Bookmarking Sites

First of all, since I always like paying special attention to beginners, I’d like to explain exactly what dofollow social bookmarking sites are. Social bookmarking sites, in order to prevent spammy submissions, usually add nofollows, which are basically an instruction that the Google bot gets telling it not to pay attention to the link on their site towards yours. Therefore, the link does not enhance your site’s PageRank, which is one of the most, if not the most important factor to get top spots on Google.

Are these links useless then? The answer is no. They are still useful if you want traffic, publicity for your site and reader interest, among other things. However, there are dofollow social bookmarking sites out there. Right now, we’re talking about smaller websites, not the most famous, but submission is useful. It won’t replace a quality SEO and social media marketing strategy, but it can be an interesting part of it.

Here is a very complete list of some dofollow social bookmarking sites which I’ve put together. You might find more spam than usual here, and remember that these sites tend to appear and disappear fast – you might have to really go through the list and re-check it once in a while – but they are still a valid option:

BackFlip

Blinklist

Blogoria

Chain-Marking

Chipmark

Connotea

Current

Diigo

Dizzed

Ebaum’s world

FeedMarker

Folkd

Gozoof

Jim’s Free Links

Jumbomark

Kingtop

Kwoff

MyLinkVault

MyPIP

Oyax

Oyax

Planete Blog

Plime

So Force

Social Article

Tagza

Tamilers

Taqza

astoreseo

bibsonomy

blogmark

booklandonline

bookmark-tag

chainmaster

citijournalist

contentpop

countingbiz

crowdfound

delmaster

experts-views

eyoorl

ezinesocialmark

firstbookmark

firstdigg

firstwebonline

freelinkvault.

mainlinks

manualsocialmarks

memfrag

multiplysocial

mysocialmarker

mywebdesktop

qiinga

reebiesup

royallisting

seoblisting

socialbuilder

socialearth

sociatectmark

spotlinking

stingclip

surfurls

technoratitags

theclaimid

thelifelogger

themagicmenu

tweakonews

ugotreview

voteboat

way2marks

wedelia

xilinus

yomashnews

yucoffee

zangkok

So how do we discover nofollow links anyway? Although I’m usually a Google Chrome user, for this I recommend using the Mozilla Firefox browser, because it enables you to install what are called add-ons. If you search for ‘firefox nofollow addon’, you will be able to install a number of programs that mark nofollow links with red highlighting – a very useful trick for any webmaster. Whenever you go into a website which is all marked in red, you’ll know that links placed there are not useful for SEO purposes. On the other hand, if there’s no red highlighting, you’re good to go.

Other good ways to get dofollow links is by submitting work you write to certain PR (or Press Release) sites. While traffic on these isn’t generally huge, the dofollow links are valuable: just the same situation as with the dofollow social bookmarking sites we listed before… These PR sites don’t value quality content as much, so it’s fine to submit less newsworthy or informative items, such as announcements about your business, which – let’s face it – might be a little bit less interesting to a general public.

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.