A How To: Social Bookmarking on Your Website

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Adding social bookmark links to your blog or web site makes it easy for readers to save and share your content. But once you have decided to add social bookmarking buttons, you have to decide how to add social bookmarking on your site.

Start by asking yourself what your display options are. You can have a share button with a drop down menu listing social bookmarking sites, or you can list them all visibly, with checkboxes. Finally, you can send your user to a page which lists all the sharing options. Let’s examine these options in detail to complete our how to of social bookmarking.

If you have a button with a drop down menu, you will be taking up less space on your page layout, which is a positive, but it will be less visible, so you could lose some potential links on social bookmarking sites. I would say that if you decide to list them all visibly, with checkboxes, you will have to choose fewer sites. I will discuss this farther on in the post, but first I want to examine the third option, having all the sharing options on a separate page. This option lets you have all the options possible. Which brings me to my next point.

Then you have to ask yourself which sites to list first, and which to list at all. There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites on the Internet, so you have to choose the most relevant ones for your niche. Take into account that people like finding the site of their choice first, so a certain placement reveals your adherence to one site or the other. Small decisions, or decisions which are apparently small, can give you or take away links.

Sometimes, choosing a smaller site over a larger one is better, since the community of smaller sites is usually more loyal (and pickier), and will see your choice as a positive, making them more likely to link posts appearing on your site.

So what about that third option? Is it good?

Well, it is not great in my experience. Only very, very technologically minded people want to have that many options. Most visitors on your website will be happier if it’s easy to use instead of too complete. There is such a thing as over-optimizing. Another thing to take into account is that more pages means a higher click through rate and therefore more people dropping out of the process. And once they’ve shared your post, they might find it uncomfortable to go back to your site and you may be losing a visitor who might have otherwise continued browsing and ultimately, making a purchase.

Hope this how to of social bookmarking was useful.

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