How To Increase Blog Traffic, Feed Google And Boost Conversions
Times have been tough lately, for everyone. Ever since Google rolled out its first Google panda update in April 2011, there have been several dramatic shifts in the online world of blogging, “webmastery” and search engine optimization.
To be quite frank with you… it sucks!
I’m not a huge fan of change, especially not in the online world. Whenever Google or Facebook makes a shift, it usually affects the little guys. Bloggers, webmasters and even medium-large companies. So I wanted to talk about how you can increase your blog traffic, feed Google and explode your online business. As I said things have changed. You need to do things differently now. Just follow these 5 steps and you’ll be way ahead of the game!
First: Clean Up Your Blog
Ever since Google rolled out its latest update, blogs have been getting penalized for stupid mistakes. The first mistake being crawl errors. Since this is going to be a broad post covering lots of different subjects, you’ll have to work some things out for yourself. To identify any errors Google is having when trying to crawl your site, use webmaster tools. The next thing you need to sort out immediately are empty pages.
It’s risky business having pages with nothing on them. I’m not talking about thin pages, just literally empty pages. You’ll be surprised when you check your site in Google’s index. You may well find a bunch of empty pages and secondly pages you don’t want indexed. After you’ve got rid your empty pages, delete or add to the thin ones. When I learnt this stuff and went through my blog I found at least a dozen pages with little content. Believe it or not: those thin pages can negatively impact your entire blog and all of its rankings! (That’s Google Panda for you)
Get rid of ads! Most bloggers/webmasters monetize their blogs with ads. Either paid advertising, programs like Google Adsense or even affiliate banners. Your content needs to be the prominent figure of your blog! Too many ads can get your blog whipped by Google, get rid of any ads blocking content.
Remove auto populated content. This one’s like a blogging sin! I know how attractive those tools out there sound. BUT, if Google sees that any content on your blog has been automatically created by a damn tool, it will greatly devalue your entire blog.
Improve load time: there are plenty of plugins and tricks out there you can use to speed up your blog. Having a fast blog will increase user experience, influence your search engine rankings and more!
…That just about wraps up cleaning your blog.
Second: Upgrade Design
Right now the design of your blog is more important than ever before. Having an attractive blog design has several benefits. First of all it directly impacts your search engine rankings! Basically, with all the latest updates Google has developed ultra sophisticated algorithms to work out whether or not users like your site. What the latest updates are doing is pushing the sites that users love to the top and putting the sites users don’t like to the bottom.
Even if your content is great and you have a load of backlinks, you can still end up in the bottom half if your design sucks. So it directly affects your search engine rankings which of course bring in traffic. Having a nice design increases user experience, will raise your sites average page views per visit and will also raise the time spent on your site.
Those two metrics are becoming greatly important. So invest in a professional design once you can afford one. Until then at least pay for a premium WordPress theme for under $100. Your blog design should focus on engaging readers with your content, raising your average page views per visitor and average time spent on site. It should also attract lots of natural links and social sharing. Your content has a huge part in this, but so does design.
…Third: Super High Quality Content
This is really obvious, but most people don’t think about it properly. Most people think some unique content, no errors and a few backlinks will get you to the top of Google. Well that used to happen, but now Google can identify unique content from high quality. As all the marketers out there creating little to no value blogs and websites do 3 things:
- Select Keywords
- Outsource Unique Content + Incorporate Keywords
- Build Backlinks
That works, but not as well as it used to. Google can see where webmasters have just added unique content for the sake of checking the box. It’s not good enough; you need super high quality content now. Content that’s so good visitors read it all, visit multiple pages, bookmark & share your posts + come back daily to check for more.
That’s what you need to focus on. In the very beginning, it’s ok to post lots of content that ticks the boxes and brings in traffic. They will bring in traffic, but won’t contribute to your sites overall well being. Meaning they won’t dazzle readers into sharing your content, bookmarking your site and reading lots of posts.
…Forth: Link Building & Social
I’m not going to cover link building as it’s a giant subject. I talk about it all the time and you’ll find plenty of great link building tips, tricks and strategies on here. As for social, you need to make your blog as social as possible. You need to participate in your blogging community. You can participate by commenting on other’s blog posts and guest posting on some of the high trafficked blogs.
Then setup a Facebook fan page, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social accounts. Once they’re up make sure you syndicate your blog posts onto all of them. Last, I touched on this before; you need to encourage your readers to share your content on social networks.
Fifth: Tweak, Test & Track Results
Once your design rocks, you’ve sorted your blog out and the superb content is flowing. Pay attention to the statistics and tweak for better results. You need to constantly work on improving your blog.
The above image isn’t from my blog, but a friend of mines. That’s showing around a month’s worth of traffic. The blog is brand new so the traffic is really low, but I wanted to show you an example. You see the average page views per visit; you need to pay close attention to that figure. Anything above 2 is good. If you’ve got something like 1.3, that means the majority of your visitors are only visiting 1 page. There can be several reasons for a low number of page views/visit.
It’s mainly about your design, ad placement and internal linking. Also look at your bounce rate; you need to constantly work on lowering it. The higher the bounce rate, the more people that are just closing the first page they visit. Next you need to work on the Avg. time on site figure. If people are only spending 60 or less seconds on your blog, it can’t be very good. I would aim to have 3 or more minutes, that generally means people are liking your stuff.
It’s amazing how all these on-page factors are becoming so important. Funny thing is that SEO’s have changed their title from SEO’s or link builders to Website Strategists. Why? Well because right now having a great design, great content and lots of social activity is where it’s at. Of course, link building is still the major factor; but I thought I’d take a break from all that SEO stuff.
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