Make Your Web Pages More Visible with Social Bookmarking and Social Tagging

During five years of field-testing social media and social
networking systems, I’ve found it important to leverage webmaster tools
at Google and a plethora of social tagging and social bookmarking tools
from a range of vendors to maximize visibility of a website. The idea
is to make appropriate use of these social tools to establish your site
(or blog) on the Internet
so it’s fully visible to search engines and blog directories, and to
create visibility of its content by creating more tags. In time, these
activities will improve your search engine visibility and increase
traffic to your website.

There are two parts of my typical rollout plan:
•Part 1 is establishing the validity of the website, using Google webmaster tools
•Part 2 is posting entries into social tagging and social bookmarking
sites when significantly new content is added to your site.

Our goal here is to make certain
that Google and other entities quickly know about your website and can
verify that it is real (meaning, it’s not a SPAM site). Then to
appropriately use social tagging and social bookmarking with new
content to create links back to your website(s) for improved search
engine visibility.

Another critical point: Register all RSS feeds at Feedburner for the purpose of having centralized metrics.

Also, a designated person in your company needs to create a large
number of logins to various services and securely share this list
periodically. This person needs to be certain he/she keeps a record of
any login and password changes so that new people in the company
have access to the services they need to contact. This is especially
needed when there is turnover in the group; i.e., a designated person
needs to make each email address generic, not specific to a person. For
example, use info@mycompany.com instead of Tom@mycompany.com so the
email address can be easily and quickly reassigned to a new person as
needed. I’ve had clients experience major setbacks and loss of
productivity when people used their own email address, instead of a
generic one, for a login and no one had a record of their password …
and then they left the company. Heed my advice here; you do not want
the hassle that comes with not doing these things. So make certain this
process is clearly defined and rigorously followed, even if you have
only a small 1- or 2-person business.  Even a small company has a lot
more than one or two logins and passwords.

Consider using one of these two online password managers that
greatly simplify the river of logins that you’ll accumlate. Two
examples of such services are http://www.PassPack.com and http://www.Clipperz.com
I’m even seeing the beauty in this myself, for all the sites I manage
for my business. When I’m working with a client it’s a lot easier to
hand over an account to them at PassPack or ClipperZ and say, “Here you
go! All the logins and passwords for all the sites you’ll want to
manage yourself from this point forward are right here.”

Process for Establishing the Validity of a Site (New or Existing) on the Internet

1.    Claim the website at an account at Technorati
after you create an account there. You can claim all websites and blogs
you create there. It helps you to be recognized as real (not SPAM).

2.    Also, claim the website or blog at Google Webmaster Central.
Next, run the webmaster website tests to make sure all is well from
Google’s perspective. I’m often surprised what is found that needs
attention.

3.    It’s important to go to http://www.google.com/submit
often and resubmit your home page or blog and, in particular, the pages
way down inside your site that are new. This works. Google will make a
point of coming to visit your site. You’ll want to do the same at
Yahoo: http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html.

4.     If you have a new RSS feed, like for a new blog, make sure
it’s registered to your own Feedburner account. ALWAYS use the
Feedburner RSS URL for the public, too, so people subscribe to that
one, not the one specific to your site. This way if you move your blog
to another site or platform you can keep all your subscribers.  This is
another critical one to abide by.

5.    Use the PC software tool called RSS Submit to submit the
Feedburner version of the new RSS feeds to 100+ RSS directories. This
will help increase visibility and traffic of the feeds over time. It’s
not critical that you do this, but it doesn’t hurt.

Now for the Ongoing Activities: Social Tagging and Social Bookmarking

The question of how often to post into the social tagging and
bookmarking sites comes up regularly, and rightly so; you don’t want to
trip a SPAM alert at one of the sites.

I think it makes sense to post into each social tagging and social
bookmarking site when there are new audio podcasts and video podcasts
that publish on a weekly basis.

On blog articles, I would apply this process only to those articles
that are of educational value or possibly high-visibility importance
(events, review-of-product releases, newsletters, how-tos) because you
don’t want to overdo your use of the tools.

For each piece of content, copy and paste the title and description
into the social bookmarking and social tagging-related system. And if
you’re handing this off to someone else to do, add in a requirement for
that person to double-check and correct any spelling errors and feed
that back to the appropriate person. It’s important to do this so the
client can correct the misspellings themselves on the originating blog
or website.

Here Is What You Want to Do:

1.    Create accounts at the following sites. Remember to have a
process in place before you start to securely save and share all these
logins and passwords.

a.    Del.icio.us
b.    Digg.com
c.    Stumbleupon.com
d.    Twitter.com
e.    … you can add others. This is a good start.

2.    Since you might end up with 7-10 of these sites to update, consider creating an account at http://www.socialmarker.com. Social Marker makes it easy to update every one of them at once and reduce the amount of time spent on this task.

3.    It’s a good idea to look at the final postings that show up
with the Social Marker tool, just to be certain the system is working
properly. Some social tagging and social bookmarking sites will
truncate titles and descriptions. You may need to adjust titles
slightly if this occurs.

Getting Some HelpI imagine that after reading this
your head could be spinning with ‘how’ you’re going to do all this
work, especially if you’re a small company. There are two avenues you
can pursue. One is to use an intern from a local school or university.
Students like this kind of work. Another approach is to post your
process on www.Elance.com
and competitively bid (globally, I might add) to get the work done.
You’ll find a bevy of people from other countries interested in doing
this at extremely competitive prices. Look for someone you can build a
relationship with and earmark some of your marketing budget for these
tasks every month. Start small and simple at first with just a few
social bookmarking and social tagging sites. Make sure the process is
working for you in a way that frees you up to focus on creating content
versus managing it. Then slowly expand the number of sites you use.

Hope you find this helpful.
Tom

Reposted with permission from MarketsofConversation.com ©2009

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