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Thursday, April 13, 2006

How to build traffic to your blog

You have shed blood, sweat and tears to put up your blog, you wouldn't want the blog to languish in a corner. You want people to read it. You want traffic. How does one increase traffic to one's blog?

There are a number of settings you can do in Blogger towards this end. Sign into Dashboard, select your blog, click SETTINGS tab, then BASIC. Set "Add your blog to our listings" and "Show Email Post links" to Yes. And still in the SETTINGS tab, click FORMATTING and set "Show Title Field" and "Show Link Field" to Yes. Then still in the SETTINGS tab, click PUBLISHING and set your blog to ping weblogs.com.

You should also ensure that Post Pages are enabled so that each individual post will have its own webpage and url. Go to SETTINGS > ARCHIVING and set ENABLE POST PAGE? to YES. Also modify the permalink to something more prominent. See Tip: How to make permalink more prominent (Close new window to get back to this page).

Also, you must have good, original, informational and interesting content that will bring repeat visitors. Good content also attract the search engines, which is important. Write often and regularly so that both readers and search engines will visit your blog regularly.

Get a keyword research tool and research for the right keywords to use for your blog. Optimize your posts for search engines. Keywords in url's are important for search engines. If possible, make sure the url of the blog and the post title contain the primary keyword. Separate the words by hyphen - as search engines cannot distinquish between separate words written as a single word. (Update: Please note that search engines CAN distinguish between words written as a single compound word. For example, google for blogger for dummies. You will find the link to http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com with the words "blogger", "for", "dummies" highlighted. Try it yourself! The url of this blog would have been better if it had been http://blogger-for-dummies.blogspot.com. (Important note: this advice is for people who are just starting new blogs or have just started a blog recently and have not been indexed by search engines nor have many inbound links, not for those whose blog have been on the web for a long time and whose blog have already been indexed by search engines and have many inbound links.)

UPDATE 8 November 2006: On a lighter (funny) note, another reason why you should separate words in the URL. See The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs (close new window to get back to this page).

As the post title is part of the url of the individual posts, use keywords for the post title.If you want to see how the URL of your individual post page (permalink) looks like, go to that page or right-click on the time stamp at the bottom of the post (which is a permalink) and select "Copy short cut". This is for IE. The wordings will depend on the browser you are using. You will notice that part of the title is in the URL. This is important for search engines as they give priority to words in the URL.

Sprinkle your post body with secondary keywords especially in the beginning and end of the post. You may also choose to optimize your blog for the search engine with the help of free, non-expiring software like WebCEO (close new window to get back to this page), which also contains other useful tools like automatic search engine submission and tools for researching keywords. It will be a good idea too to take the course to learn about search engine optimization, etc. at WebCEO. It is free.

Get statcounter (click "Back" button to get back to this page)or something similar to track your visitors. It will tell you where your visitors are coming from, which search engine they use and what search terms they used to find your site. Use these information for your keyphrases. Statcounter also gives system statistics which will tell you screen resolution your visitors are using, and to optimize your blog for the majority of your visitors. In my case, I found out that there are still 10 to 20% of my visitors using 800x600 and that discouraged me from continuing with the 3-column format for my blogs. See update in Blogger for Dummies is now 3-column (click "back" button to get back to this page).

When you have updated your blog, ping the blog services designed specially for tracking and connecting blogs. When you ping the services, you are letting the services know that your blog has been updated and they will crawl and index your site, publishing your blog contents and in this way increase your blog's popularity. A good pinging service to use is Pingoat (close new window to get back to this page). You should also ping Google Blog Search Pinging Service (close new window to get back to this page)

Update: Tried the Google Blog Search Pingging Services. When I tried it, it gave a message "Thanks for sharing your blog. We'll do our best to add it to our index as quickly as possible". I am thus not sure if I am really pinging them to tell them that my blog has been updated or just tried to add my blog to their index, which I believe have already been done.

Join blog and traffic exchanges. One of the best blog traffic exchange is BlogExplosion (close new window to get back to this page). Read How BlogExplosion can explode traffic to your blog (click "Back" button to get back to this page). If you want to join other blog and traffic exchanges, you can go to Support Enviroman (close new window to get back to this page) for a listing. (Note: If you have an AdSense account, it may be wise to not put your sites which have AdSense ads. See the update at this post: How BlogExplosion can "explode" traffic to your blog (click "Back" button to get back to this page).

The best way to get indexed quickly is to get an inbound link from a site that is already indexed by the search engines. If you have such a site, or if a friend has such a site, you should put a link to your site there, even if only temporary. Submit your blog to search engines and blog directories, especially major ones like Google add URL, Yahoo and DMOZ (close new windows to get back to this page). You may find other directories to submit your blog at this list: Best Blog Directory and RSS Submission Sites (close new window to get back to this page). If your blog is new and you want your blog to be indexed quickly by Google, a good idea is to add Google sitemap to your blog (some think that this only get your site spidered better). You can learn how to do that at "Adding Google sitemap to your blog" (close new window to get back to this page).

You may also add your blog to My Blog Directory. Click on My Blog Directory and at the bottom of the page, you will find a button Add Your Blog. Read more about how My Blog Directory can build traffic for your blog here: How to make a Blog Directory for your blog.

Add Google Sitemap to your blog. To see how, surf over to "Adding Google Sitemap to your blog". And each time you update your blog, ping Google Sitemap. Towards the bottom of the page there, there is a form for you to ping Google Sitemap. Bookmark that page so that you can return to it to ping Google Sitemap whenever you update your blog.

If your blog is not being found by the Google blogsearch, you can submit your blog here: Add your blog to Blog Search

Participate actively and meaningfully in relevant online forums, and leave a signature with a link to your blog. Comment (not spam) on other blogs. When visitors comment on your blog, return the visit and leave a comment on their blog, thanking them for commenting on your blog.

Build links to your blog. Offer to exchange links with blogs of similar content. Search engines will rank your sites according to the number of incoming links. Note: You have to be careful of who you link to. Do not ever link to a site which have been blacklisted by a search engine, or you think may get blacklisted by search engine. Also, it will be advantageous to you to exchange links with sites that have PageRank higher than yours. An easy way to find the PageRank of your blogs and other sites is to use FireFox with Google toolbar. See post How to get the PageRank of yours and other sites (close new window to come back to this page). You can get FireFox with the Google toolbar from that site or even this site itself. If you see no value for the PageRank, then it means the site has been blacklisted by Google.

Books from Amazon

101 ways to Boost Your Web Traffic: Internet Marketing Made Easier

Blogging: Genius Stragies for Instant Web Content by Biz Stone, former Senior Specialist on the Google Blogger team

38 comments:

  1. I need help on creating a link to HTML code for readers to access, copy, and paste to their site. I'd like to create something that works like Google Adsense or Amazon Associates html does, where they can highlight the HTML, copy, paste, and add the code to their blog/website.

    Can you help? Thanks. assata

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I have a different question irrelevant to the present post.

    how can i make my pictures look bigger? My photoblog

    I see some have been able to do it...dunno how.
    example: sample blog with bigger pictures

    Appreciate your help...

    P

    ReplyDelete
  3. You will have to add attributes, say, width="500 height="250" to the html for img src="http://photourl.com". Or host your picture on an external host like photobucket and then use img src="http://photourl.com" in the post. BTW if your photo is supersize, you may have to change template to the one where the sidebar is to the left instead of to the right.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much Peter. All the help advice and health advice to the communities should bouy you to heaven now and when you leave this earth!

    Thanks for help to my query on Blogger Group Help. I am learning. Am adding more posts and testing your tips and tricks. Very grateful.

    Cheers
    read it at VenusOnRealLove

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is an awesome resource. Better than the help on blogspot. Thank you! I used it for subscribe info and counter info.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This post realy makes things clearer. I did some of the things you suggested. I hope it will work. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I took your advice and added the hypen to my blogger url. As soon as I did this, my traffic went down drastically. Do you know why? Thanks! and again, very nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am sorry if my post had cause you to change your old url to include hyphen. It was intended for people who are just creating their blogs, not for people who already have the blog for a long time and have been indexed and have many inbound links.

    When you change your url, the existing links in the search engines and the existing inbound links become dead links. As far as search engines are concerned, I am afraid you will be starting from the bottom again. Regarding inbound links, perhaps you can write an email to those sites you know have put links to your site and request them to change it. I have received such a request from someone whose site I link to, and I have changed the link according.

    I am very sorry, but I thought it was understood. Looks like I will have to edit the post to make it clear.

    ReplyDelete
  9. To tip

    I reread the post and noted that I have wrote "The url of this blog would have been better if it had been http://blogger-for-dummies.blogspot.com".
    and I expect readers to notice that the url for the blog is still http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com
    That was because I started the blog before I knew about the hyphen business. But since the blog is already indexed, and I already have inbound links, I didn't change the url.

    I am really sorry the post have caused you to change the url. However, it is not all bad news as maybe in the long term, your traffic may be better.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the tips for this greenhorn. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous7:22 AM

    Love this site and your help is so appreciated since I am a new blogger and no clue about html etc.

    My question is, thanks to you I joined Blog Explosion, but I am unsure if where you are supposed to post your RSS URL if that is the same as the blog url? If not, how do I find out what it is?

    thanks,
    paula

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry, I am a non-native English speaker and do not fully understand your question, but will try to answer it anyway.

    If you are using Blogger classic, it uses Atom feed, not RSS feed, and I don't think either have to do with what I describe in my post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awesome Post!! This really makes things clearer and better. The best part of this are the links--they direct you straight to the required web page. I just tried a good number of things you siggested in this post. Awaiting for the results---will let you know how successful i am!! :)

    http://crickex.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:14 PM

    Hi Peter. I downloaded this 15MB free version of Web CEO 6 because I read about it in this post. I was curious to see what it does. There were multiple corrupt file errors and I couldn't install the program. Is this the same version you're using?

    Just thought I'd post this to warn others...

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I downloaded it (I didn't notice what version, and even if I did, I may not have remembered it), and I didn't get any errors. I think you should contact the authors of WebCEO

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous11:56 AM

    You have some useful information on optimizing your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the compliment. Greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  18. thank you for these great information about optimizing blogs .
    I am going to do some of these tips on my own blog .
    dog obedience mentor

    ReplyDelete
  19. hi how I creat PREVIOUS POST like u have instead of BLOG ARCHIEVE sir and secondly how i put page couter(no if time page viewed) like u have at the bottom.

    My blog is
    http://vista-tip.blogspot.com

    please help

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi,

    thank you so much for sharing this great information with us!!

    Highly appreciated!

    Sandy

    http://euroafrica.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi ujval,

    This blog is still using the old classic Blogger template, so it has previous posts rather than the Archive list.

    To get the visitor counter, see post How to track visitors to the blog. It describe how to get statcounter and then how to paste the script into the old classic Blogger template. Read this, then when you have the script, read this post to see how to add it to the blog for the New Blogger template: Adding advertisement, search box, hit counter, etc. to your blog.

    Peter a.k.a. enviroman
    Enviroman Says

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for taking the trouble to comment and to express your appreciation. Just one thing. It would be good to make your link active by makeing it into a hyperlink, like this:
    <a href="http://vista-tip.blogspot.com">Vista Tip</a>

    Peter a.k.a. enviroman
    Enviroman Says

    ReplyDelete
  23. good to my blog also.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your posting giving me another "how to" with my blogs. Thanks for sharing .

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very well written, one of the best articles I have read to date. I am a new blogger and looking for easy to follow but informative and well written info. You have provided all!

    cheers
    Arron

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Arron and all the others,

    Thanks for the compliments.

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Blogger Tips and Tricks

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Peter,
    Good information. I do have a quick question.I am having a tough time getting a list of books I downloaded from Amazon to actually show up on my Blog. It all looked straight forward, but when I entered the Amazon code into the Html/JavaScript and saved I found it did not go live to my blog.
    I have tried numerous times to get it to work, but to no avail.Any ideas?

    Thanks again for the good info.
    Eric J.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Eric J.

    Amazon script for a book? I have never seen a digital Amazon book before so would not know what you are talking about. What kind of scripts. There are lots of different scripts, HTML, XHTML, XML, Javascript, etc.

    Blogger post editor only accept HTML scripts.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Dream Driven Life(TM)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Peter,
    I guess I didn't explain myself well enough.I saw your book recommendations and was wondering how you successfully downloaded them from Amazon.

    I have a list of books I want to display on my Blog, and became an Amazon associate. The download from Amazon to my site went well, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get them posted to my Blog.

    How did you get your books posted on your Blog?

    Thanks for your help.

    Eric J.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Then still in the SETTINGS tab, click PUBLISHING and set your blog to ping weblogs.com. "

    So do I have to open an account on weblogs.com and link it through my premade blog at weblogs.com. Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Mayotruck,

    No you need not do anything.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you peter.This is very helpful blog.

    Visit http://bdtechnews.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Then still in the SETTINGS tab, click PUBLISHING and set your blog to ping weblogs.com.

    When I clicked PUBLISHING BUTTON, I can't find any button to set my blog to ping weblogs.com.

    I can see My Blog Address and Word Verification.

    Can you tell me where to find set button?

    Thanks.

    Wee

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is an old post published in 2006. Blogger has changed since. I suspect Blogger has set all blogs to ping weblog.com so there probably isn't much for you to do. Alternatively you can ping yourself at Pingoat,

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wow, tons of great information for those of us new to blogging. Thanks for the detailed and easy to understand advice.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thansk this is good. I will use it in my site http://101blogs.com

    ReplyDelete

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