How to Use Social Bookmarking for an SEO Campaign
Social bookmarking is a strategy that builds a reference point for your website (or your content) on the web, making it available to the public and giving you a better chance at getting ranked high for keywords relevant to your business. Much like traditional website bookmarking, which is done on your personal browser, social bookmarking allows users to keep track of your content, and these “social bookmarks” in turn let search algorithms know that your content is valuable enough to be remembered, thereby increasing your authority.
Using social bookmarks regularly and appropriately can be highly valuable for your SEO campaign, but only if you know what you’re doing.
How Does Social Bookmarking Affect Your Rank?
Regularly building social bookmarks increases your domain authority, which makes it easier for you to rank for keywords relevant to your business and industry. However, there are several qualities of social bookmarks that go into determining how much of an authority boost your site gets from them.
Accelerated Site Indexing
In order to generate and rank results, Google needs a running bank of information on all the websites available. It collects and stores this information in a process known as indexing, where it crawls the web for information and updates its collective knowledge base. Adding social bookmarks to the web, which help direct Google’s bots in the right direction, accelerates this process of indexation, which means your content gets found faster and will rank sooner than if you had no bookmarks.
Improved Social Signals
Social bookmarks also count as social signals, which Google uses to determine how popular your brand is among the public. For example, if you have a piece of content that is shared on Facebook 1,000 times, it’s going to increase your domain authority. Social bookmarks work the same way; if you have a history of producing content that results in a high number of shares, likes, or interest, you’ll receive a boost in authority and rank.
Social bookmarks usually feature a link back to the original website, in this case yours. As you might expect, as long as this is a dofollow link, this will count as any traditional backlink and pass authority to your domain.
Side Note: Referral Traffic
While it won’t directly affect your ranking in search engines, social bookmarking will incidentally increase the total amount of traffic to your site via referrals. People seeing your content bookmarked on popular social bookmarking sites will be likely to follow the link and get to your site directly. It’s worth mentioning, since successful social bookmarking strategies can nab thousands of new visitors every month.
Best Practices for Social Bookmarking
Like with backlink building or social media marketing, the process of social bookmarking has a handful of best practices that must be followed if you want to see great results.
- Look for quality. Authority matters. High-authority sites like the ones I list in the next section are important to pursue because they pass a correspondingly high amount of authority. Low-authority social bookmarking sites could actively damage your domain authority and reduce your rank—so don’t affiliate yourself with spammers.
- Don’t skimp on your profiles. Each social bookmarking site will give you the chance to claim a profile and fill out information about yourself. Don’t ever leave a field unfilled! The more information you fill in, and the more consistent you are with it across the web, the better indexed your site will be with Google.
- Engage with others. Social bookmarking is much like social media marketing. If you want to be successful, your best bet is to build a community. Start engaging with other users of your core social bookmarking platforms, and give back to the community whenever you can.
- Stay active. It’s not enough to submit a handful of links and be done with it. Social bookmarking is best implemented as a recurring, long-term strategy. Make it a point to build new social bookmarks on at least a weekly basis, and don’t abandon any of your profiles.
Great Social Bookmarking Sites and Tools
Below you can find some great social bookmarking sites to get started on:
- StumbleUpon is one of the most well-known social bookmarking tools, and you can get started with it after one simple download and toolbar installation.
- Delicious is another content discovery site that allows a Twitter-like interaction of following and subscribing between online brands and users.
- Reddit is an incredibly popular site, but you’ll need to be extra careful to comply with the rules of the community when you post.
- Digg has a very high authority, and if you can get your content popular enough to reach the front page, you can count on an overwhelming amount of traffic.
- Pearltrees is relatively easy to use, and serves as a perfect introduction for users new to social bookmarking as a strategy.
Like with any facet of your overall SEO campaign, it will take some time before you figure out exactly which tactics and resources will best promote your site. What works for one business in one industry won’t necessarily work for another. Keep a close eye on your organic search traffic as well as your referrals traffic, and take note of which social bookmarking platforms tend to enable your content to perform its best. As you learn more about the process and what works for your business, make gradual adjustments, and start honing your approach to perfection.
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