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Social Bookmarking - Alternatives to Search Engine Traffic
By Heather Snead

Fighting to maintain your position on the SERPs can feel like an uphill battle, but fortunately, there's a new way people are making themselves known. It's termed "social bookmarking" and it involves a new spin on a very old tactic: Provide valuable resources to others as a means of building credibility and authority in your niche.

The difference between regular browser-based bookmarks and social bookmarking is that social bookmarking sites are web-based -- meaning that you can both access your bookmarks from any location and share those resources with your network in real time. This way, everyone in your network gets the benefit of everyone else's resources, creating a steady stream of useful and relevant information that everyone can enjoy.

Thus, enlisting on social bookmarking sites can provide an influx of traffic to your main domain; IF you properly channel the traffic, that is.

You see, the fundamental objective behind all online marketing campaigns is not only to generate traffic, but to keep people returning to your site wanting more. In an open search through a search engine, users are usually directed to your main page, where, if you're smart, you'll have an opt-in area in a visual hotspot where people can give you their contact information, usually in exchange for valuable information of some sort.

Social bookmarking sites have search engine authority because the content is ranked according to user popularity. When you provide valuable information, people want to pass it on naturally; hence, your site's popularity grows of its own accord based on the merit of its usefulness.

However, when people find you through your social bookmarking site, they are most generally taken to a specific post. If you don't have your opt-in box and/or links for further information listed here also, you'll likely lose the opportunity to add those people to your network.

Thus, harnessing the power of social networking for your business comes down to two things: Your ability to provide useful, relevant and unique information (as opposed to sounding like you're just trying to sell something) and your ability to streamline the focus of the content on any given page so that users are clearly directed to take action in a manner that will allow you to further your relationship with them.

Keeping these two key points in mind, you are strongly encouraged to utilize the plethora of social bookmarking engines available to you as an alternative to boosting traffic flow through the search engines alone. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. You might be surprised by what you'll get in return!

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