Tip for web promoters

If you care about web promotion of your web site, if you post articles titled “10 steps to do XYZ” or “ABC in 3 minutes”, if you want your blog posts to be bookmarked across all social networks, if you follow your incoming links with more attention than your personal hygiene, then here is a tip for you.

Look at the limitations that social bookmarking services impose on their users.  Make sure that you provide a quick way to bookmark your site with sufficient information which is within those limitations.

Take del.icio.us for example. Which limitations does it impose on the users?  There are a few, but the main one is the length of the description.  Whenever I bookmark your web site, I can only post 255 characters of the description.  This is too much and this is too little.

This is too much if I will have to type my own description.  I don’t have the time to describe all the web sites that I bookmark.  For many of them, I don’t even have any idea of what to write, since I bookmark the web site to check it out later… So whenever I bookmark a web site, I look around for a quick way to generate that description.  And the easiest and fastest way is always a copy-paste.

That’s where that description length limitation becomes too small.  Most web sites have an “About” page these days.  But it’s too long for a description.  A couple of paragraphs could do, and I can almost always find those paragraphs to copy-paste, but they almost never fit into 255 characters.  That’s where you come in.

First of all, make sure that there is a piece of text, less than 255 characters long, that gives me an idea of what the article is or post or page or web site is about.  Secondly, make sure that I can find that piece of text easily.  Make it bold.  Put a border around it.   Slap a “Synopsis” or “About” or “In brief” label somewhere nearby.  You can even go as noisy as “del.icio.us users might want to use this as description: …”.

Why would you want to go into all that trouble?  Because this will help me, your visitor, to keep my bookmarks organized and annotated.  I will be able to find this bookmark much faster later on.  And that means that chances of me coming back, of me sending this link to someone else, or blogging about it are much higher.  And that is what you, as a web promoter, want.  Isn’t it?

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