Add Social Networking to Your Website - Part I

Written By: Stephen Scott
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Is your web site taking advantage of social networking sites? If not, then you are simply missing out one of the least expensive and most effective means to enhance ranking opportunities, attract the attention of their target audience, and build brand recognition globally. Here are the few ideas for incorporating social networking into your search engine marketing mix:

Creation of social networking profiles
Register yourself and create profile with the heavyweights like MySpace, Facebook, and the other usual suspects, but also create profiles with business-oriented networking sites such as LinkedIn and industry-specific sites. Please don't forget to look for local and regional social networking sites, too!

Participate in these communities
The best way to get most out of social networking is to become an active participant in these communities. Ensure that your posts add something of value to the communities so that other members are inclined to take you seriously. Most of all, observe the written (and unwritten) protocols of these sites, and don't feed trolls by rising to their bait.

Include your URL in your signature
After you've established credibility with the other members of the community, include the URL of your site in your signature. It's a great way to increase traffic, especially professional traffic, to your site.

Start your own community on your site
Start writing blog and update it often to give your readers a reason to check your site regularly. Add a forum where customers can ask questions and get feedback from you. Your blog posts can range from informative to promotional to humorous and you can stimulate your audience's appetite to check back often by introducing exclusive coupons and sales.

Optimize your blog posts
This is a main aspect of search engine marketing. Optimize each blog post to make it as easy to find in a search engine as possible, but remember not to overdo it. Obvious and repetitive keyword padding will reduce linking opportunities and turn off your regular visitors.

Include social bookmarking tools
When reader likes your content so much that they want to share it with other communities, make sharing as easy as possible by putting social bookmarking tools at the end of each post.

Here are the top ten social bookmarking tools for 2009 and the percent usage:

  1. Facebook : 29.4%
  2. Email : 13.8%
  3. Twitter : 11.1%
  4. Yahoo Bookmarks : 4.4%
  5. MySpace : 4.3%
  6. Windows Live : 3.9%
  7. Digg : 3.8%
  8. Delicious : 3.8%
  9. Google Bookmarks : 3.5%
  10. Stumbleupon : 3.0%

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