Social bookmarking sites have been around for quite sometime. The whole idea behind social bookmarking sites is for people to post their favorite websites and content online. It’s effectively just like your local bookmarking feature in your browser. What makes social bookmarking different is that these tags can be shared among large numbers of people so that people looking for certain types of information can get ideas from other people who are interested in that same kind of information. It’s all about crowd recommendations.
Social bookmarking sites have gone through many different evolutionary stages. In the beginning, they were very easy to spam. Now, they’ve evolved so you don’t get many SEO benefits from bookmarking tags. With that said, social bookmarking sites still offer tremendous advantages for people looking for SEO benefits. This guide will step you through the process of how to use social bookmarking sites for SEO benefits. Keep in mind that you’re gonna be using social bookmarking sites to build links.
Modern SEO, after the Penguin update by Google, is all about relationship building. Forget about link building. Link building is really SEO of the past. If you want to get penalized, if you want to hit the bottom of Google, you’re more than welcome to try intensive link building. However, if you have a clue, and you know where SEO is headed, you would stay away from focussing your efforts on link building as much as possible.
Modern SEO is all about reaching out to people and influence leaders in your niche. These people have websites and blogs and by reaching out, you open opportunities for natural inbound links. This means you get people excited about your content so that they would link back to you. Real outreach means more than brand building and brand alliances. It means building credibility.
Where does Social Bookmarking Fit into all this SEO Outreach?
Social bookmarks make for great SEO outreach because active bookmarkers tend to be marketing professionals or bloggers themselves. They make a point of bookmarking not just their content but relevant content in their niche. By reaching out to these people, you basically get on the radar of their circle of influence when you show them your best-quality content. The key here is to get them excited enough about your content that they would either tweet about your great content, share your link with people that follow them, or in a best-case scenario, blog about your content.
However, you shouldn’t hold your breath regarding getting backlinks from this outreach. Outreach is not about instant results. Outreach is kind of like a long term marathon relationship building exercise that will pay benefits further down the road. If you’re looking for quick and easy traffic, there are better ways.
What I’m about to teach you is how to use social bookmarking sites for high-quality ethical relationship building. Your primary challenge is to reach out to people in a non-spammy way. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Focus on your Niche
For this step, you need to go to social bookmarking sites and look for categories that involve your niche. There are many different keywords involving your niche. Look for tags that include those keywords. Find bookmarks in your niche. Pay attention to what’s being bookmarked. If the content being bookmarked is absolute garbage, then you can’t trust the bookmarker. Chances are, this is a spammer. If you come across a bookmarker that always shares only the very best in your niche, you might want to pay more attention to that person.
Step 2: Find Quality Bookmarkers and Figure out their Role
As I have mentioned earlier, there are many bookmarkers on social bookmarking websites that are spammers. Basically, they use sophisticated software to just tag social bookmarking sites in the hopes of getting an SEO benefit. They also hope on a secondary level that they would get direct traffic. Obviously, these are not the people you should reach out to. These are spammers after all. There are, however, quality people who post quality links. These are real marketers and real influence leaders. This is the hardest part of using social bookmarking sites for SEO because this takes a lot of analysis. You probably would be better of hiring a virtual assistant to take care of this part of the process.
Step 3: Filter Potential Contacts Based on Link Quality
Now that you have isolated serious and credible bookmarkers, the next step is to pay attention to their website. Use opensiteexplorer.org to see if their website has a high domain authority or has a quality backlinks. Another tool you can use is to check for page rank. Regardless, you should filter these people based on the quality of their website. There are many enthusiastic bloggers using social bookmarking sites, but their blogs don’t really have any page rank. Their blogs don’t really have any authority. You can disregard those people. Focus only on bookmarkers that have great websites that can help you.
Step 4: Make sure the Content you’re Pitching is Truly High Quality
You’re going to pitch these people. You’re going to basically tell them, “well, since you already bookmarked this type of content, you might want to check out my content because it is somewhat related, but it has higher quality.” However, for this to work, you have to actually deliver on that promise. That content that you are trying to pitch must really be top-notch. At the very least, it must include updated information, has graphics, is very personable, engaging and has videos and infographics as extra benefits. The key here is to offer real value. The content that you share must be so amazing that they would have no hesitation bookmarking you and basically spreading the word about your content. You are looking for evangelists. You are looking for Internet evangelists. Keep that in mind.
Step 5: Give them an Option
Don’t twist their arms and tell them, “well, you need to blog about me. You need to basically build a link to me.” That’s not gonna fly. That’s going to go over like a lead balloon. You’re going to come out as a spammer. Always give them an option. Ask them if they could bookmark you, or link to you, or tweet about you, or post a review, their choice. The more they feel that they have a lot of choices, the more willing they would be to help you.
Step 6: Ask to Interview them
People love to have their ego stoked. When you ask to interview somebody, it basically tells them that they’re important. It basically communicates, in no uncertain terms, that their opinions matter. Ask for an interview. It doesn’t really matter whether they will link back to your interview page. What matters is that the people following them will see that you interviewed them and might blog about you, or at the very least, you get traffic from their followers. Regardless, when you interview the right people in your niche, your blog by extension benefits from their authority and credibility. As the old saying goes, birds of the same feather flock together. If you associate with the top names in your niche, your brand will ultimately increase in stature because of your close associations with the leaders in your niche.