Want More Blog Traffic? Well Read On… Part One

by limebirdwriters

Hello lovely Limebird readers! 🙂

LimebirdSally recently did a post on being a newbie in the world of Social Media, and I mentioned in it that I have quite a bit of experience in the blogosphere especially getting traffic, SEO and networking. What I thought might be nice was if I shared some of my knowledge! Obviously, if you have set up your blog just for an outlet to write, then you probably won’t find most of this information useful, but if you are looking to increase those stats in your blog and get more readers, then read on…

Ok, so let’s say you’ve written an amazing blog post and included everything you think you should, but you get few hits to it and no responses. Or you write great quality blog posts everyday and still nothing. You think about throwing in the towel in the world of blogging, but STOP nooo don’t do it! What’s probably happening, is simple. You’re not being seen by your target audience.

I’m going to start firstly with the fancy technological stuff, then in the next part I will move on to the real humans who will be seeing your blogs. The stuff that I will be talking about is more specific to  WordPress blogs as it’s what I am using, but the general stuff can be applied to others. If you have other blogs, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comments below.

If you want more traffic, its simple, you’re going to have to do some schmoozing with Google. It’s safe to say they run the show. Obviously there are other search engines, but I’m going to focus on Google here as it’s the engine that most people use. The very first thing that you need to do in your WordPress blog is to make sure that your site is being indexed. This basically means that every now and again, Google will have a little look at your site and decide whether it should be higher up in the search results or lower.

On WordPress, there is an option to let Google see your site. If you don’t want your site to come up in Google, then ignore this, but if you do, go to Settings > Privacy Settings > Allow search engines to index this site. Bingo, now Google can see you!

privacy

Privacy Settings

Wahoo, Google can now see you. Now, one of the best things about WordPress is that they do all of the data grabbing for you. When you’re logged in to your website, you can see these stats by clicking on the wiggly lines at the top (in the black bar on the top on the left hand side.) Once you’ve clicked through, you should see something like this:

stats

These are great, because you can see exactly what people are clicking on in your site, where they came from, what they’re looking at etc. This way you can easily keep track of what’s going on behind the scenes of your blog. Don’t panic if you don’t see much for a while as it can take a little bit to get going. This way you can easily see what types of blogs people have read the most and which ones weren’t as popular. With this in mind, you can tailor your blog posts to what your target audience are most interested in.

Another thing which you will need to take a look at if you want your website to wiggle up the Google search is something called Page Rank. In your URL bar, you should be able to see your Page Rank. Google will rank the importance of the page out of 10 (so, Facebook is 9/10 for example, Limebird Writers has a Page Rank of 3, which is quite good for a small blog).

The way that they will calculate the page rank is by the amount of traffic coming to your site, how many people are linking to your site etc. However, Firefox doesn’t have this automatically built in so you may have to download a plugin, Internet Explorer should have it in the bar. IE is a type of progress bar. Message me if you want to know about the plugin, or where it is in IE. Pete from Evolution of Insanity pointed out that you can check your page rank through this website – Page Rank Check.

pagerank

Pagerank for Limebird Writers

So, how do you get a good Page Rank you ask? Well, this is a tricky one. There are lots of theories, because Google’s algorithms are kept under a tight lock and key. However, there are some things we can do that should help. This is done by something called SEO.

So, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which although may sound a bit scary at first, is really important if you want to broaden your audience and get people seeing your blog. So, let’s say your blog is all about making healthy cakes. What you want ideally is when people type ‘healthy cakes blog’ or ‘healthy cakes’ into Google, for your blog to be right at the top of the search. Obviously if you’ve got a keyword which is more popular (for example, writing blog etc) this will be harder, but not impossible. So, how do you get to the top of Google?

Well, there are many different ways, but there are ways to boost your profile with little effort.  These are the basics: Try to pick a theme and stick with it. So, for example Limebird is all about writing. The more you’re able to do this, the more likely  Google will see you as a kind of authority on whatever topic it may be. Make sure your site is clearly laid out and easy to understand. Don’t clutter and don’t use too many flashy things. (This may also put off readers who are going to your site)

Also, update your blog regularly, don’t write posts which are too long and don’t duplicate! Google does not like duplicate content.

These are the basics really of SEO, but there is more that you can do with Google Analytics and site maps and things like backlinks, but I don’t know if people would be as interested in this, so I’ll leave it for now, but if anyone wants to know more then please email me or leave any questions in the comments!

To be continued…

Part Two will be all about networking and getting people to come to your blog.

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41 Responses to “Want More Blog Traffic? Well Read On… Part One”

  1. Great post Beth, really useful! Looking forward to the next one! I’m really bad at networking so it will be great to see any tips you have!

  2. Thanks for this informative article on SEO and blogging traffic/ranking. Being aware of all these things is so important if you want to get ahead, not just on the blogosphere, but in anything to do with the WWW. Love the screen shots, too. Some websites (actually, like Google) will explain the steps but the buttons are hard to find if you’re new to it all.

    • Hello!

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, definitely, it’s relevant for any type of website you would like, not just blogs. Ah yes, I think that screen shots are definitely useful, I find them much easier to understand than lots of writing about it. Please let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂

  3. Very informative, Beth. I definitely want to increase traffic to my blog and I followed your steps accordingly. The one obstacle I ran into was figuring out my page rank. I guess I need to do that plug-in thing-a-ma-jig. I’ll play around with it and see what happens.

    One thing I always hear about is the importance of “tags.” Is this something you’ll be discussing in Part 2? Or, maybe they’re not as pivotal as they are rumored to be? Or, is that the same thing as “keywords”? What’s the difference? Ack!

    Anyway, I found this post quite helpful and am eager to see if I can put your tips to work for me!

    • Hi Kate,

      OK great, what browser do you use? I can email you some more information if you wanted any help. Ah yes, tags are very important and I’m going to talk about them more in Part Two! Haha, well the main difference between tags and keywords is that tags originated from blogs to find related topics, whereas keywords are generally used in websites to target content. So keywords are normally more targeted like ‘Writing’, ‘Writing Advice’, and keywords are the actual points in your text, like ‘seo optimisation’, ‘blog traffic’ etc.

      I don’t think I’ve explained it that well here, but I shall go in to more detail in the next bit! 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

      • I have Internet Explorer. I see you provided a screenshot below…hmm none of that looks familiar. Let me try again…

  4. Thanks! I tried to check out Page rank with Internet Explorer but I found some other functions — and not the 1/10 page rank thing. I use Google Chrome, which has zero plug-ins. Oh well.

    I’m hoping one day I’ll crack SEOs and Google. Muahaha.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for commenting. OK, in Internet Explorer it looks like this:

      Pagerank (The green progress bar inbetween ‘Autofill’ and the pop ups thing. You hover over it and it should show you the rank out of 10.

      Haha, well good luck and I’m happy to help if you have any questions! 🙂

      • Lol: I just discovered I’m 0/10. That’s the saddest news I’ve heard in a long time. Damn! 😦

        And just when I thought my site was becoming more popular! I guess Google doesn’t care for me after all.

      • If you haven’t been actively doing anything to raise your Page Rank or doing any SEO work, I honestly wouldn’t worry about it. Page Rank is one of those things that is a bit of a weird one as sometimes it doesn’t quite make sense. It could just be that Google hadn’t been indexing you properly. What I would recommend trying is choosing what type of keyword you’re going to aim for (like writing advice etc) and try to focus on that.

        I’ve been doing quite a bit of work to get a Page Rank of 2 and I also had 0 for a while, so don’t worry. 🙂 Also, Google will index quite randomly, so it could also be that they haven’t done your site recently. You might see a change soon! 🙂

  5. Didn’t know about the page rank thing. Haven’t found it on IE yet but I’ll keep looking. Great post and looking forward to more tips. 🙂

  6. Very informative! Thanks for this! 🙂 Most of your page views will come from doing SEO

  7. Very helpful! Thank you for sharing

  8. I’m not sure if my last post went through… So I’ll write it again, if it has and it’s just my computer being stupid then feel free to delete haha.

    Of course if you are going to active your site to be indexed by search engines then be very wary on what you write in your blog. Recently I was let go from my last job because they were looking for excuses to cut staff and then made it out to be my fault so I angrily wrote a bunch of blog posts where I blasted the company and mentioned the head of HR by name. Someone then googled her name and up came the post I’d written about her. Luckily I check my referrers and search engine terms constantly so I knew the company had found out about my blog and were searching for individual posts by name. I luckily managed to delete them in a timely manner and because they’re too stupid to know what cached pages are I got away with it.

    Even if you don’t mention your company or anyone by name companies do frequently google their employees and they will find your blog. It’s probably why it’s a good idea to use a pseudo name. But Google not only indexes your posts names, they index EVERYTHING on your blog. Every word, every sentence. That’s how they found out about the post I’d written about the head of HR. So yeah, just be careful.

    I think tags are more used for people to find your site on the WordPress search, people with similar interests will search for various things and that’s how they WordPress indexes your blog. Using around 5-10 tags per post is usually a good idea, too many tags and WordPress will just assume it’s tag spamming and not index it.

    A good way to find out your blogs page rank is by visiting this site: http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php
    I currently have a page rank of 3/10 and I’m told considering its age and traffic it’s a very good rank to have and as Limebirds is newer than my blog there’s nothing wrong with having a 2/10. A very senior WP blogger; TimeThief has had her blog for 6 years and she has a page rank of 4/10. Not really sure how it works and what the point in it is though.

    I would say most of my views are from Search Engines but some of the search engine terms baffle me: “how to turn a cat into a dog” O_O

    Anyway, brilliant post Beth, can’t wait for part 2!

    • Hi Pete,

      I have deleted the first one! Haha.

      Ah yes, this is a very very good point. That sounds horrendous, but yes there are risks with this, that google will index EVERYTHING, so you have to be careful.

      Yeah true point about the tags, I’ve written a bit more about them in Part Two and thanks for the website, I’ve added that in to the post (with your name of course!) Ohh 3/10 is pretty good. If I’m honest, I don’t do too much overkill with SEO as I’m not actively trying to rank for ‘writing blog’ etc, maybe at some point. I’m happy enough with being there for ‘limebird’ or ‘limebird writers’, as people can find us.
      I’m not really entirely sure of the point of Page Rank, just that it’s useful if you’re trying to rank in Google, it’s obviously better if you’re higher, to get to the top. Ah yes, I’ve had some weird ones like that. Where do they come from?!

      Thank you and thanks for your comment!

      • No clue where the search engine terms come from, I’ve never even talked about turning a cat into a dog in the history of my blog so no idea how it leads to my blog haha!

  9. Thank you so much for this, Beth. It’s really useful stuff provided in a much less condescending manner than my do-you-really-not-know-this? husband (it’s not his fault – it’s so rare that he gets to know about more about something than me 😉 )
    And thank you Pete for highlighting the risks as well – really important thing to be conscious of!

    • Hi Sally,

      No problem, you’re welcome. 🙂 Haha, I’m glad I wasn’t condescending! Honestly, there is so much more to it that I don’t know about, but this is the small scraps of information that I do know.

      Yes, these are very important, you need to make sure these are taken into account, especially with a personal blog.

    • No probs! Last thing I want is for someone to make the same mistakes I have!

  10. I don’t see the page rank thing either. I’ve tried IE and Mozilla. Hmmm. Thank heavens, someone has finally explained the SEO so that I can understand it! 🙂 thanks!

  11. Thanks for the info, Beth! I’ve only just started taking my blog seriously . . . this is all great advice!

    Cheers,

    Simon

  12. Fantastic post, thanks for sharing all of this — I had no idea about the Page Rank thing!

    Off to read part two…

  13. Thanks for posting. I saw the picture of the page rank thing in IE, but I don’t have that on mine. Really glad you put the link for finding it for pages, but I’m going to try to figure out how to get it working in Firefox (WordPress and IE are no longer on speaking terms on my PC for some reason).

    Also, I have to share that the thing about turning a cat into a dog is hysterical. More so because yesterday I wrote a post about my experience with the the searches that will cause a site to be listed in the results (some of them are just weird), and I just published it before reading this.

    I’m looking forward to part 2.

  14. WOW this is SOOOO helpful! Thank you so much for posting this. I’m still new to blogging and Twitter (only a few months here) and I find myself to be a bit overwhelmed at times…if not completely enamored. I’d spend all day on Twitter and FB if I could (and sometimes realize I have) but it’s distracting to getting any real writing done. I have a difficult time balancing it out.

  15. Many thanks – struggling to hit the right tone as a newbie – this was helpful – and also very considerate of you.

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