Session: Traffic Building Bootcamp
Speaker: Heather Solos
Where: TypeAParent Conference, June 23-25, 2011, Asheville, NC
Ask yourself…Why do I want traffic on my blog?
- Building a community
- Making as much money as humanly possible
Build Your Own Body of Work
Content is king. Everything you own is your body of work.
Own your content. Don’t blog on Blogger or Facebook since those space aren’t yours.
WordPress.com — you don’t own this space, so switch to WordPress.org.
WordPress.org — get a hosting plan.
What do you blog about? Is the content you provide:
- high quality
- abundant (keep building it)
Back up your blog in a couple of different ways. Use an external hard drive. Have your host keep one backup copy. Keep one off site or in a cloud back up. There are plugins to WP so that you can store your backup in clouds.
Protect your own data.
Build your reputation as an authority. Be the person who is asked the questions. Become the expert in your field.
Invest in your design
Good designs don’t have to be complicated. Simplicity is good.
Google, yahoo, bing all want your site to succeed.
Google…share your place with us on the net.
Words To Know
Traffic — amount of people coming to your site
Hit — a call to your server for something
HTML — hyper text markup language
Unique visitors — people who arrive at site or leave or leave and return
Visitor loyalty — people who return to your site (go to Google Analytics to track down who these visitors are)
Bounce rate — people show up on site, get frustrated, leave site
High bounce rate + low traffic is a problem. Investigate.
For example, if you get 30 hits a day AND have a 98% bounce rate. This is bad.
If you have high traffic, and a high bounce rate. That’s OK.
Click through — someone comes to page, and clicks to another page on the site.
Call to Action — sign up for newsletter, follow me on twitter. But, beware of having too many calls to action on your site. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors.
Spiders — bots, crawls, slurps — If site slow, google could penalize you.
1. Content quality
HTML tag — use relevant tags to tell google what you are writing or posting about.
For a link to the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors, go here: Searchengineland.com/seotable.
Title tags are very useful for visually impaired people.
Google External key word tool — Ad Words
Do searches to see what terms are high ranking. Choose those terms for your Ad Words.
Page rank — founded by Larry page. How Larry Page ranks your site? Check Google Page Rank here.
Google juice is flowing through the web.
Add no follow to links.
Paid links could ruin your reputation with google. Don’t sell text link ads. If you do sell, use no follow. Brands don’t want to use no ref no follow. Text links are contrary to google TOS.
Don’t chase down a broad range of people. Target those who you know will want to read your site.
Gray or Black Hat SEO. Black hat SEO is bad. Gray is a so-so SEO company.
Don’t let your domain name get close to expired. Renew 1 to 2 years in advance. You don’t want to lose your domain name.
Google looks at when domain will expire when looking at page rank.
Think content. Even if you are adding video to a post you need to have surrounding text. Text around picture will help you rank. Use descriptive term in name of the picture.
Meme… You can use a single photo without text. Memes are Wordless Wednesday, etc.
Visitors and Your Blog
Visitors… You got them. Bring them back.
Looking at blog page. Upper left page = good. Upper right page = good.
Blog header in the top. Subscription goes on the right. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your blog.
“Rss” “email” “Facebook” “Twitter” social sharing buttons on top of blog page.
Heather Solos has another subscribe button on her blog tab header.
Don’t underestimate the power of social proof. If there are 2000 likes, I want to like the FB page. If numbers are low, don’t display a low number. Like feed readers.
Simple mom — has text at the end of her blogpost asking readers to subscribe again.
Google Plus One — when you are logged in to google account, you click Plus One that gives more weight to this site. It is traceable back to you.
Pinterest — does it have a plug in. Lisa Frame says Yes.
Angengland.com — Has a tutorial on her blog for Google Plus One.
It’s said that Plus One is google’s play towards social.
Copyblogger. Has the hard code under each post.
Add Facebook and Twitter re-tweet buttons.
Do not try to cram every single network in to your site.
Will your content go viral?
Designers/web site experts: Heather recommends Erica Mueller, Michael Carnell, and others. Cindy Watrous
Photos — use a caching program to use some of your server as a static page. A static database.
Beware of Google Violations — VT — Thin content, very little information (see periodic table).
If you get an email saying “you’re not ranking no. 1, and I can help you” ignore these emails as they are spammy.
Heather says don’t use All in One SEO as it will overload server.
Erica says don’t use “Yet another related post” as it takes up too much space on the host. She prefers Micropost related plug in.
Do a plugin with Facebook comments to bring posts over to your site.
3rd party comment system — WordPress comment system
Livefyre — new for Heather
Livefyre could crash when you are using Facebook.
Own your comments by hosting on your own database.
Disqus — 3rd party comment systems allow people to keep their identities. Some want to be known as twitter or Facebook.
WordPress — what is the best community for plugins? Heather likes OpenSource.