We recently chatted with some of our blogger friends during a Google Hangout on Air about methods they use to increase their blog traffic. Julie Meyers Pron of Julieverse, Gigi Ross of KludgyMom, and Heather Solos of Home-Ec 101 joined us for the hour long chat and provided some great insights into how they have grown their blog traffic over the years.
Our main topics were: Site Design, Content, Vlogs, SEO, Social Media, Guest Posting, RSS, and Utilizing Your Stats. Here are some highlights from our conversation.
- Look at your site from a first time visitor’s perspective. Do that by looking at other sites and noting what you like and don’t like.
- Introduce yourself with an About Page, include a photo.
- Make it easy for people to follow you on social media.
- Write and design for Suzy Reader – the person who randomly finds your site and wants to read more. Not all your readers are fellow bloggers.
- Use “nrelate” plug-in (WordPress) for related content at the end of a post so that visitors can read more if they are interested in that topic.
- Consistency is key: frequency (whether is it’s once a week or everyday) and how you write (keep common thread – same tone, voice, vibe)
- Formatting – keep paragraphs short, use photos, post should be <750 words and easily skimmable
- In Google searches – related videos show up near top of search results!
- Product review videos do well – people can actually see how it works
- Use keywords- title, keyword tags, description
- In the description field the first thing should be a link back to your site.
- When you set-up your video on YouTube, enable the icon at top of screen that says “see more from ___” and use hyperlink that goes straight to your site
- During your video, call out the subscribe button in the video (point up and say, “Be sure to subscribe!”)
- Comment on other YouTube videos via video! It links back to your YouTube channel.
- Use the YouTube keyword tool (similar to Google keyword tool)
- Think about what people are searching for and title and keyword your post using those terms/questions
- Don’t label a post with a competing keyword just to attract viewers. For example: Don’t use the keyword “Express” in a Lily Pulitzer post just to attract people who are searching for Express.
- Your categories are important but don’t have a million of them. Pick the top ones that fit what you write about. Should only have a few.
- Your About Me page – change permalink to keyword you want to be searched on “i.e. /about/san-diego-mom-blogger”
- Set-up Google Author tag – your face will show up next to search results and will be more likely to get clicks
- Twitter: Use a “tweet old posts plug-in” because you’re always getting new followers. Spread out your promotion of a new blog post – catch people in different time zones. Custom write promotional tweets and make them different from each other.
- Facebook: Don’t abuse your personal page, keep promotions to your blog’s fan page. Short updates work best on FB & EdgeRank changes all the time so stay on top of that. Look at your Facebook page analytics to see what kinds of posts get the most traffic.
- Pinterest: Make sure images are Pinterest friendly (not more than 600 pixels wide). Think about your Pinterest stream and pick good proportions for photos. Use pinterest plug-ins to increase pinning and make your images sharable.
- When you offer to guest post, make sure you have a good understanding of what that blogger is looking for (stay on topic within their niche).
- If you write about something 5 times, in 5 different places, you’re considered an expert. <— Not the same article! Same topic but a different article.
- Ask to have bio included with link back to your site.
- Take advantage of networking in social media (LinkedIn) to find places to guest post.
- Etiquette – if you are guest posting on another person’s blog, you should promote it that day and hold off on promoting content on your own site.
- RSS is not dead! Lots of new companies ready to jump into this space. FeedBlitz is one of them and there are many others (Bloganizer, The Old Reader, etc.)
- Make sure your RSS feed sign-up is obvious and don’t get it rid of it just because Reader is going away! It’s still viable for other platforms.
- During the chat, Heather talks about using FeedBlitz as an alternate to Google Reader (since we all know the fate of that service). FeedBlitz has graciously offered O2O Blog readers 10% off the service for new publishers. Just use coupon code One2One when you sign-up. Thank you, FeedBlitz!
Utlizing Your Stats
- Google Analytics – Real Time Analytics – moment to moment what people are doing on your blog. Watch what people are doing and what posts they are visiting. Go back and add SEO and images (to make pinterest friendly) and then re-share it, pin it, stumble it.
- Commit to updating one post a day/week/month.
- Use Pinterest analytics tool to see what gets pinned the most and be sure to promote those kinds of posts.
- The Pretty Pinterest Plug-in – promote your Pinterest page or a board in your sidebar