Still, these and other services like them can offer a number of benefits to your ecommerce site, and here’s why. In today’s web economy, content needs to be both “findable” via search engines and “shareable” via social media. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits, from both perspectives, of using social bookmarks and sharing.
Social bookmarking sites provide a way to organize, aggregate, and categorize the web using a classification structure called “tags.”
Tags are little more than labels applied to a given resource, bookmarked. Markup is a user-generated form of bottom-up categorization that allows people to use vocabulary that is useful to them. While it may seem a bit chaotic and messy, it has become a common method of annotating and categorizing content on the web.
While tags are useful as a means of classification, they also provide search engine optimization value as these tags are also keywords, indexable by engines.
According to Search Engine Journal, a popular SEO resource, social bookmarking services like Delicious and StumbleUpon can help search engines in a number of ways:
- Faster indexing of sites. Humans bookmark sites started by friends or colleagues before a search engine can find them.
- Further indexing of sites. Many bookmarked pages reside deep within the framework of a site and are sometimes not as easily linked by others, or as easily crawled by search engine bots.
- Increased quality. If more users bookmark a page, the more the site is perceived to have authority, quality and relevance.
- External metadata. Users who tag sites with keywords and descriptions, who add honest and unbiased definitions.
- Number of votes. Similar to the number of bookmarks, the more votes a page receives on Digg or Reddit, the more useful this information is generally. If the same page receives multiple votes on social news polling sites, search engines will perceive it to be of higher quality.
- Categorization. Using tags, categorization can help define a site’s topic, helping the engine respond to searcher’s intent and provide more relevant feedback.
Benefits of social media
Not only does bookmarking and sharing on social media offer SEO benefits, it’s also a quick method for social media to spread information about your products to their friends online. I like to think of social bookmarking and sharing as a fluke that encourages the viral spread of your site’s content.
For example, let’s say a consumer has landed on the product description page and wants to share information about the product with their friends. One option to do this is the “Email a Friend” feature. But now, social sharing is another option reaching out to the consumer’s friends, and more.
A consumer who lands on a product page that doesn’t offer social sharing is unlikely to copy and paste the URL of the page onto their Facebook wall or bother to recommend it to their friends. Providing an easy way for social sharing encourages activity. If it’s easy to do, consumers probably will.
“Share This” is an application that facilitates sharing to many social bookmarking sites. Note that we’re using it here (see above) on Practical eCommmerce, and we’ve reviewed it in “The PEC Review: Share This Makes Adding Social Media a Breeze. It was created as a plugin for WordPress, but has been redeveloped for use by virtually any site.
Share This not only includes links to all of the sites mentioned above, but also many more including Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, StumbleUpon, and over 50 more.
Share This also allows content to be posted to blogs and includes a forward to friend feature. You simply place the Share this button on any web page that you want to make shareable. Another similar service is add this.
Example of a basket using the Add this button:
Facebook Like button
A new form of sharing that has become increasingly popular is the Facebook “Like” button.
The Like button allows users to share content with their friends on Facebook. When the user clicks your site button, a story will appear in the user’s friends news feed with a link to your website. The user remains on your site throughout the process.
The Like button has become the new way to index the web entirely based on user choice. Considering the enormous popularity of Facebook around the world – 500 million users worldwide and 150 million in the US alone – having the Like button on your ecommerce site can be very helpful.
Facebook recommendations button
Another option provided by Facebook is the Recommendations plugin, which shows personalized recommendations to your users.
Since Facebook hosts the content, the plugin can show personalized recommendations regardless of whether the user is logged in to your site or not. For a connected Facebook user, the plugin will privilege and highlight the objects with which his friends have interacted.
Facebook provides resources to help understand and implement the Like and Recommendations buttons, as well as an overview of each of its social plugins, at its development center.
Examples of online stores
Here are some examples of stores using favorites and social media sharing:
Instead of visitors bookmarking your site through their browser’s bookmarking features, integrate social sharing. In most cases, it is easy to implement and costs nothing to use. This will benefit your business from both a search engine optimization and social media perspective resulting in better search returns, more traffic to your ecommerce site, and increased sales. .