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 800×600 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.

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