One of the distinct advantages of an online business is that many effective marketing tools, such as social bookmarking and directory submissions, are free and easy-to-use. But manually submitting your website or blog posts to these sites can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a preconceived plan of attack; haphazardly searching the internet for every site that will accept your submissions definitely isn’t the way to go. If you are looking to expand your internet presence through social bookmarking and directory submissions, here are a few things to keep in mind:
~Web Directories and Social Bookmarking Aren’t the Same: Web directories work like an online yellow pages, offering people a comprehensive list of merchants of all stripes. However, humans rarely frequent these sites, so their main purpose is to build links. Social bookmarking, on the other hand, is a way for people to compile, organize and share online resources. We’ll be covering how to utilize these sites for business promotion, but people use these sites to for personal and recreational purposes as well.
~Less is More: One of the main benefits of making online submissions is the fact that you are creating inbound links to your website and/or blog. But remember: In order for a link to have clout with the search engines it must be coming from a reputable location. Seek out directories that are well known or are specific to your product or service, and focus on these first. Simply submitting to thousands of obscure directories isn’t going to cut it; in fact, it can hurt you. All of the major search engines now have parameters built into their algorithms to detect when people are trying to circumvent the system by simply submitting to a surfeit of directories.
~Don’t Pay: Many sites will offer an upgraded package that you have to pay for—don’t do it. There are more than enough free, high-quality sources out there to submit to.
~Make It Easy on Yourself: One of the main draws of a web-based business is the lack of work, and manually making hundreds of submissions is in direct conflict with this notion. As the saying goes, “work smarter, not harder.” Install plug-ins, such as Sexy Bookmarks, which let you submit your posts in just a couple of clicks. There are also free services available that will instantly submit your site to dozens of the most popular online directories and social bookmarking sites.
~Don’t Forget the Humans: Particularly when it comes to social bookmarking sites, remember that your submissions should be for humans as well as the search engines. To that end, be sure that you are actively working to attract people to your articles and encouraging others to share your information too. Of course, this is much easier if you’ve done your homework and already have compelling content.