Why too many little icons can easily distract your visitors

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Because of the popularity of Digg, Del.icio.us, Netscape and all the other social sites out there, social bookmarking buttons have been taken to a whole new level. Instead of bloggers placing a few buttons at the bottom of each blog post, it seems that many enjoy offering their visitors all possible options.

I guess the question is, why shouldn’t you be giving tons of options to your website visitors? It may seem like a good idea at first, but your ever so curious visitors will end up clicking on random buttons which will take them to sites that they are not familiar with and then they will not bookmark your content. Even your most tech savvy readers don’t have accounts at most of these social sites, so why drive them to sites where they will not bookmark your content.

The other thing about many of these bookmarking sites is that they have algorithms (basic to complex) where the more bookmarks your site gets the more visibility it will be given. In essence the goal is to get your story bookmarked multiple times on the popular social sites, which usually results in your story getting picked up by the smaller sites. By giving your visitors too many options you may end up getting 1 bookmark on 10 different social sites instead of 10 bookmarks on 1 social site, which can hurt the amount of traffic you get from these sites.

So if you want to leverage the popular social sites on the web, don’t add tons of social bookmarking buttons on the bottom of each of your blog posts. Instead select the popular ones such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Newvine and Netscape or select the ones that have audiences that are most likely to bookmark or submit stories related to the topic you usually write on.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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