CATEGORY: Websites

So You Want To Be a Blogger: Notes from Borseth and Bukowski

If I had a nickel for every time I told myself I was going to start a blog I’d be living high on the hog right about now. Even better would be to have gotten a goat for every time I told myself the same thing, because then I’d have a whole herd of goats and could finally start that online goat cheese enterprise I’ve always dreamed about. But enough about me, this blog post is about you and how you are going to change the world through your deep thoughts and inspirational musing on your very own blog.

Having a successful blog ain’t no (oh yes I did, grammar nazis) easy thing to do though. You need to be dedicated to it and to be dedicated you also need to be excited about what you will be spending hours of your time writing. So find a passion and write about it. Or make a video about it. Or draw a picture about it. Or bake a themed cake about it. A blog doesn’t have to be all walls of text after all. Chances are that if you’re passionate about something there are others out there that are passionate about it as well. If the topic you decide to embrace isn’t something you have a burning desire to write about then it will show through in your content and, by extension, will be less compelling for the people you are trying to entertain. And don’t fool yourself, having a successful blog is almost entirely about entertainment.

Besides having a topic you have a passion for you also need the right tools for the task at hand. When it comes to blogging it’s hard to argue that the king of that particular niche is WordPress. You can download it and install it on your own hosting plan or you can use our super simple and easy to setup RapidPress service for less than seven cents a day. That’s right, less than $0.07 a DAY! You might think I’m yanking your chain on that one but I’m drop dead serious, seven-cents-a-day. Cross my heart and hope to die. Click that link up there and you will see for yourself just how easy it is to get started. Seriously, do it. I’ll wait.

And now, if you’re having a hard time coming up with a topic, I give you some inspiring words from one of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski (RIP):

So You Want To Be a Writer

charles-bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

There you have it, inspiration and the tools to get started all in one simple blog post. Until next time, thank you for your attention and have a mighty fine day.

Owen Borseth
VP of Awesome™

A WordPress website in minutes: RapidPress from name.com

You can have your very own WordPress website in minutes. Repeat: RapidPress is so easy you could start right now and have a website in about a minute. WE CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH HOW EASY THIS IS! Sorry for caps-lock yelling but RapidPress is every exciting, it’s a 1-click WordPress install on name.com hosting. Here’s how it works.

1. You get your domain name.

2. You click a button.

3. You have a website.

4. Go treat yourself to a smoothie because you just saved a bunch of money on a professional website.

RapidPress is cheaper than if you were to go directly through WordPress to get your website. And when we say “website” we don’t mean something like MySpace from 2005, but a WordPress website that’s sleek, functional and fantastic. With RapidPress you get all the flexibility, options and plugins for either a blog or a static page for your business.

Yes, there was a time when putting up a WordPress site meant finding the right hosting and then installing WordPress. NOW IT’S ALL DONE FOR YOU! With RapidPress you pick a domain, you click a button and VIOLA! you have a WordPress website.

Why do I need a website? OK, we’re just going to try and pretend you didn’t ask that. But not having a website is like not having a listing in your local phone book. And since phone books seem to stack up outside my front door, you need a website. It’s visibility, it’s credibility AND RIGHT NOW PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR THE VERY ITEMS YOU SELL. Again, apologies for shouting, but with RapidPress all of the news is good. With a RapidPress website you’ll be:

1. Finding new customers online.

2. Making an awesome first impression.

3. Driving business away from competitors.

4. Making money in your pajamas.

5. Giving all those Googlers some place to go, like your website.

Really, it’s 2013. Do we need to be arguing about if you need a website or not? No. It comes down to how easy and convenient it is. RapidPress is both. Conveasyent. RapidPress solves so many problems in one click. You’ll have your website and name.com will live forever with millions of happy customers. Oh, and so will you.

CLICK HERE to get started!

Don’t Get Hacked: Password Lessons from the Flame Broiler

It lasted for over an hour and was so ugly that even their competitors were sending out empathetic Tweets.

mcdonalds empathy burger king

Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked, and not only were the hackers sending their own racially-charged tweets about Burger King employees “crushing and sniffing Percocet in the bathroom,” but they also changed all the branding from BK to McDonalds. They even went so far as to promote McDonald’s new Fish McBites.

burger king twitter hacked

So with this kind of nightmare playing out in real life in front of the whole world, we thought it was time to contribute a quick, legitimate  piece to the “how to come up with a great password that’s memorable and fun and makes you feel safe” articles that will be swirling around the ‘net. From our staff we compiled dozens of tips all shrunk down to this one convenient list of tips and tricks for a better, safer, more memorable password.

Caroline Temple, our Affiliate Marketing Manager, knocked out 8 quick pointers for better Internet security:

1. Well – duh – we’ve got the free 2-step verification.

2. Don’t use words like “H3LL0!”  The programs designed to crack passwords have included subbing numbers for vowels now.

3. Consider the “pass phrase”.  Like “IReallyLikeCoffeFirstThingInTheMorning10:00am”

4. Change your password often.

5.. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.

6. WRITE  your passwords down somewhere safe.  Try your darndest to not store them within a document that can get hacked.

7. Review all those apps that you have given access to your Twitter account – maybe it’s time to revoke access of apps that don’t use SSL certificates or that you have not used in a while.

8. Always make sure the URL bar up top reads “https” before logging in to any account.  that means they have an SSL certificate installed that will encrypt your information when logging in.

Some of these steps can be completely alleviated with great tools like oplop (courtesy of Pat “P-Mo” Moroney) that let you simplify all your passwords to a nickname and one master password. And Fitz in support reminded us to plug one of our customers, Last Pass, a secure password manager that promises to make your life much easier.

Finally, it should be noted, that your password should NOT be any word or phrase associated with your personal information or business products. Those are very easy to hack. Like I should not use “Jared1” and you definitely should NOT use “whopper123”  as Burger King, the Home of the Whopper, used up until recently.

We’ll leave you with this helpful password hint from one of our favorite web comics, XKCD

cartoon password strength tips tricks

Is there an exact percentage of keywords you should use for SEO?

KEYWORD DENSITY – IS THERE A DEFINITIVE PERCENTAGE?

good-seo

Keywords have been the central facet of search engine optimization since Google first started delivering returns back in the late 1990s. In the beginning, the sheer number of times that a keyword appeared on a page determined where it showed up in the SERPs. As search engines evolved, the amount that keywords helped became a bit less important. Other factors were added into the search engines result equation. Today, there are over 200 individual metrics that are used by Google to determine a web page’s SERP ranking. And, even though Google’s representatives have tried to downplay the importance of keywords, it is still obvious that they are at the top of the metric list.

Google Weighs In

The real key is to understand how keywords are measured by Google. As Google’s search engine spiders were evolving, the programmers noted that some webmasters were finding new and innovative ways to incorporate keywords into their pages. Some of these methods included placing a huge list of keywords at the bottom of the page, putting “invisible text” (text that is the same color as the background) on the page, placing a list of keywords in the META description, stuffing keywords into picture descriptions and file names and various other ploys. The quality assurance team at Google felt that these tactics were nothing more than attempts to game the system without delivering high-quality content. This led to the decision to make keyword stuffing count against a site in the calculation of its rank. Thus, the new game became trying to figure out at exactly what percentage these penalties were going to be assessed. Google has stated that there is no one magic number, but rather that it depends on what the competition is doing. While this sounds good when it comes from the mouth of Matt Cuts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Rk4qgQdp2UA#!), it doesn’t really hold water under scrutiny.

Mr. Cutts asserts that there is no set keyword density number that will cause a penalty for a website even though the web spiders are computer programs that are unable to make arbitrary decisions. This means that they must have a set parameters to impose a penalty. Of course, if Mr. Cutts did give us a number, then every single website in the world would optimize every page to meet these new density numbers, and the purpose of the entire metric would be compromised. So we can’t blame Mr. Cutts for towing the company line and imploring us to create quality content and stop worrying about keyword density.

Sorry, Mr. Cutts, we just can’t do that. We’ll take your advice and load our pages with well written content that works keywords naturally into the flow, but we’ll still be trying to figure out the golden keyword ratio that is hidden in the bowels of the GoogleBot.

Experimentation is the Key

If we listen closely to what Matt Cutts says, he says there is “no one magic number.” Reading into this, it could mean that there are multiple magic numbers. These numbers could be different for different niches or different spider configurations. Maybe the keyword density percentage is compiled from different areas of the page. Perhaps, there is one penalty for a certain percentage of keywords in the Meta description and another totally different number for the percentage in the main text and then still another for the density in picture and alt tags.

The only honest way to determine how this system works is to experiment with a huge number of pages using multiple different keyword strategies. For most of us, this is simply impractical. A more plausible, and far more effective solution is to do this research for the keywords that you are trying to rank for. Look at the top ten page returns for your keyword in a Google search and then compare the keyword densities in each one. The results will give you a good idea of the density that will be required to reach page 1. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, check the next few pages and see if the densities change. This could give you a good idea of what is working and what isn’t.

What the Pros Are Saying

If you ask 100 different SEO experts what keyword density is working right now, you’ll get as many different answers, but they will be in the general range of 1% to 10%. The real telling thing is that most SEO professionals are steering away from keyword density in favor of creating more engaging, higher-quality content and using other Google “best practices” as the way to bring up SERPs.

We are still of the belief that you need to have the keyword in your text at least 2%-4% of the time or the search engine will never find you. You also need to have a much higher keyword density in your inbound links. This is really where keyword density is important. Google uses backlinks as an “objective” way of telling what a webpage is about. So if your inbound link keyword density is 20%, it’s going to get you ranked much higher than an inbound link percentage of 5%. It is unknown if there are penalties for an inbound link density that is too high, but Google has so many metrics that there is a good chance that there may be. It would be a good practice to shy away from an inbound link keyword density of above 35%. Again, check the sites that are ranking high in a Google SERP for your keyword and see what the link keyword percentage is on them. Here’s a tool that can be used to do just that. (http://www.webconfs.com/domain-stats.php)

After you have fully researched the competition, try to make some tweaks to your current pages and see what results you get. If your web rank doesn’t seem to be changing, reassess the conclusions you came to when analyzing your competitor’s sites. Keyword density may not be the part of your SEO that is the problem. You may have a quality issue, a problem with or lack of backlinks or perhaps your social media engagement simply isn’t nearly as complete as theirs. Just remember that keyword density, although it isn’t as strong as it used to be, is still a major factor in determining page rank and keeping the Google machine happy will help your rise above the competition.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal: How to Protect your Websites!

Chris Gaston, our systems administrator, says, “Hey all, FYI theres a lot of hacks for WP, Joomla, and Drupal floating
around lately.”

It’s time to update those themes! Here’s more from the National Cyber Awareness System.
US-CERT Current Activity
Increased Exploitation in Web Content Management Systems

Original release date: September 21, 2012
Last revised: January 4, 2013

US-CERT is aware of recent increases in the exploitation of known
vulnerabilities in web content management systems (CMSs) such as
Wordpress and Joomla. Compromised CMS installations can be used to host
malicious content.

US-CERT recommends that users and administrators ensure that their CMS
installations are patched or upgraded to remove known vulnerabilities.
This may require contacting the hosting provider. Also, users and
administrators can check for known vulnerabilities in the National
Vulnerability Database by searching their CMS by name.

UPDATE: This is an update to emphasize post-exploitation clean-up.

Basic post-exploitation clean-up can be summarized by this: “Clean,
Patch, and Monitor.”

Clean – Remove the malicious content AND validate all accounts, removing
unauthorized accounts and paying particular attention to accounts with
administrative or elevated privileges.

Patch – Keep systems patched and upgrade system software to the most
current supported releases (predominantly Joomla in this ongoing
campaign of exploitations).

Monitor – Stay abreast of new patches and version releases of your
content management software, and patch when new versions are released.
Also perform continuous baseline review of your site’s usage to detect
abuse before your site is used to attack others.

A number of support sites and other open source forums have had recent
discussions involving the exploitation of Joomla installs up to versions
2.5.2 and earlier. Additional vulnerabilities have been identified and
patched relating to versions 2.5.4 and earlier. In many instances Joomla
installs have been found to be very out of date. The attacker would
self-register an account and then proceed to escalate the account to
have administrative privilege using vulnerabilities in the outdated
software. Once privileges have been escalated, the attacker is able to
modify the website to include the upload of malicious content. The
uploaded content may be malware to infect your website visitors, or
tools to enable the attacker to leverage your website to launch denial-
of-service attacks against others.

If your site has been compromised, remember to “Clean, Patch, and
Monitor.”

Relevant URL(s):
<http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search>

Our VP of Awesome Explains NameSafe, the Free and Easy Way to Protect your Domains

You don’t have to look too far or for too long to find someone who has had their domains hijacked. User names and passwords can be hacked, but when you add two-factor authentication–AND IT’S FREE–you can rest easy. Get your NameSafe today. And, yes, while we say free, we mean when you use your smart phone to get the Namesafe App. Here, Owen has all the details in Technicolor.

Geo Domains, SEO, and You

Geo domains are awesome. They are domain names that cater to a specific geographic location, most commonly cities. They are great for SEO because users quite often search for things like “denver ethiopian restaurants” or “denver audi mechanics” on Google and other search engines. Search engines love exact match keywords in the domain name and geo domains offer a fairly easy way to have them. Now, if you know the exact city you want to target things are easy. You can simply register the domain DenverEthiopianRestaurants.com (available by the way), create some sweet content about the topic, and be done. But let’s say you want to target all major cities in a particular state, that’s where the Name.com Geo Domain Search Tool comes in. I’ll now show you how, with pictures.

Step 1: type your keywords into the search field

Step 2: choose your geo domain options

Here you can choose whether to append or prepend your keywords to the place name. Different keywords might look better one way or the other. Denver Roofing Companies, for instance, sounds better than Roofing Companies Denver. Likewise, Fishing In Denver might sound better than Denver Fishing. Those might not be the best examples but I think you get the idea. You can choose prepend or append based on how users most commonly search for the phrase you are targeting. You also need to select the TLD you want to search, the country, and state you want to pull cities from. You will notice other options in the Countries and States drop downs, feel free to play around with those. You can optionally enter a population range of cities you want us to pull. If you leave those blank we will simply pull the top 300 locations by population.

Step 3: click search and scroll down to the “Geo Domain Results” section

The first set of results you will see are the exact match keyword search results in our famous “Power Bar”. The next set will be the geo domain results themselves. Unfortunately, due to the way we perform domain checks the top 300 results by population will be in no particular order but they will be there. With each geo domain result we give you a link to perform a search on that term for all of the TLDs we offer, the population based on the most recent data we have (we admittedly need to update our database with new data), and of course the ability to add the domain to your cart. You should probably add them all, just sayin’. Based on the results for Colorado, one could completely corner the market for Ethiopian restaurant geo domain search results in the state 🙂

 

Step 4: go forth and be awesome

Now just buy the domains for the keywords you want to market in the cities you want to market to, create compelling and awesome content with some sweet SEO, and start getting some very specific location based traffic rolling into your site.

As always, let us know what you think and feel free to send us suggestions for how we could possibly improve the service.

Thanks!

The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Get Traffic to your site with these SEO Tips

Every search engine has a basic set of rules they use in determining how to rank your blog or website.  Learn these rules and help the search engines find your content faster as well rank you higher because you are seen as valuable in terms of content for given keywords.  This is all SEO.  Wanna get started on learning these rules?

Actually, if you have been following this “get traffic” series, you already have a head start. We’ve been giving you social media tips, tips on engaging your audience, google service tips, and even a quick rundown of 20 methods to try for traffic.  Use these methods combined and your already doing SEO, and naturally at that!  However, let us give you a clearer perspective on those tips that actually yield SEO and how you can help those little search engine bots find your blog or website.

4 Basics of SEO to get right for traffic:

1. Keywords

We introduced you to the methods on keyword research earlier.  Google defines a keyword as: “An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document”.  Well if they define it that way – then it’s pretty darn important!  Make use of these magical keywords in your post or website title, a few times throughout your content, and even in your images. Keep your images original (psssst – have you noticed I resorted to hand drawing mine?) and then title it including your keyword.  You’ll be excited when searching the keyword later and see your website’s image in the image search results.

2. Linking

Remember, my goal is to give you easy tips to immediately try, ones that are FREE.  Linking is basically having other blogs or sites link to you and, if you play fair, you’ll thank them by including a link back to them.  Don’t forget these other ways of creating links back to your site: Social Media, Social Bookmarking Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg), and blog directories (Technorati, for example)

Remember, we’re talking FREE methods here, so buying links is not an option in this post.  Besides, don’t you think the search engines are aware of this tactic?  Be careful not to get ignored! Oh, and for those rogue sites that are linking to you – get help with the new Google Disavow Tool.  You can submit to Google the links that you do not intend  and it’s not guaranteed, but they are likely to listen and ignore them to improve your rank.

3. Sitemap

Create and submit a sitemap of your blog or website to tell search engines that you have a new link each time you post.  If blogging, check for a plugin on the platform from which you blog on.  The easiest example is for WordPress using their Google XML Sitemap.  Or, if you run a website, make sure to submit your sitemap to Google WebMaster Tools.  If you’re feeling adventurous, then do this for as many search engines as possible.  Start by creating an account with each.  This process will certainly speed up the time it takes the search engines to find your new content. Meaning earlier than expected traffic.  Well, that’s the goal.

4. Content

All search engines want to provide value to those who search and original content ensures you have value. Google, and similar search engines will index you much lower, if at all, if your content is extremely similar to other web sites.  Don’t even think of creating new pages that just link to other pages either. Always give your unique spin on the keyword topic you are discussing.  More originality=greater chance of traffic.

In the same vein, be careful of too many affiliate ads on your site.  Of course, we hope we are one of them, but ads are considered links away from your site that are not original content.  Search engines understand you will have ads – just balance it out with your content.

That wraps up our SEO tips!  Our goal was to get you familiar with the basics of SEO.  You must practice these tips to become comfortable and watch the changes in your blog or website ranking. Nail them and maybe we can help in the future with a more advanced series!

Anyone tried the new Google Disavow Tool?  Let us know how it may have worked for ya in the comments below.  Actually, tell us anything you like in the comments below, I’d love to hear from ya’ll!

————————————————————————

Whew, that is the last tip we have in this “Get Traffic” series! Check out all your FREE goodies you can immediately try for traffic to your blog or website:

Part 1: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 2: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 3: Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 4: Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 5: The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series (that’s what you just finished reading)

 

Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Find FREE Traffic for your Blog/Website with Google

There are many ways to use Google to help you with finding (and quite possibly) driving traffic to your blog or website.  This post deserves to be so much longer, but today we’ll touch on 4 simple ways to inspire you in your traffic search.  Our bet is you’ve heard of at least two of these tips and we hope to teach you something new with the other two.

All week we have been tackling part fo a larger post on FREE ways to open the way for traffic to your site.  Our goal has been to introduce you to simple methods you can immediately try.  By using these methods consistently you should see an increase in traffic to your site or blog. We’ve covered Social Media strategy and Engagement Tactics.  It’s now Google’s turn to take the spotlight.

4 Google Resources to help find where the traffic is

1. Use the Google AdWords Keyword tool for developing content and post titles

Need help in developing a blog post idea?  One that, hopefully, is of interest to the reader, thus driving traffic to your site? Give the free Google AdWords Keyword tool a whirl.  If you have seen low traffic to your blog posts or website pages, you may be titling them wrong or not speaking to the keywords that people are searching for.  Before writing your next post – search your chosen keywords for the topic in the nifty keyword tool.  Google will return how many people are searching for that keyword (or phrase) as well as show suggestions of other, similar phrases.  The results can get pretty granular but my point is to just get you to give the tool a shot.  Choose a blog post title from the terms that people are naturally searching for so they can find you. Consider giving those keywords a whirl or two in the content of your post.  Don’t forget to entertain your audience with a unique perspective and content on the topic they searched for.

2. Google Analytics helps you identify opportunities and the things you are doing right

The free Google Analytics tool takes a little effort to initially set up – but its effort well worth it. This google service will give you transparency into where your traffic is coming from, how long they are engaging with your site, where they like to click, and other pages they are interested in.  Obviously, you’re doing something right on the pages with higher traffic.  Keep it up champ! Instead, we want to encourage new traffic so let’s look at how to find the opportunities.

Navigate to find your traffic sources.  Pay attention to the following:

-Are you receiving lots of google traffic that bounces?  Look at it as an opportunity to find out why they searched your keywords and change your message to speak to them. Keep them on your site.

-Do you notice that another site is sending you traffic?  That means they have linked to you and this is great news!  Keep this opportunity going by returning the favor or reaching out to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

-Do you see social media resources sending traffic?  Are you using that social media platform?  If not, join now – there’s a natural buzz for you to develop and turn it into more traffic!  Need help on how to use certain social media platforms?  The answer may be here: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog

The main lesson for traffic is view where you current traffic is coming from – then get to engaging and encouraging those sources for more.

3. Scope your competitors angle or new perspectives with Google BlogSearch

I fell in love with Google BlogSearch! This google search only returns results of blogs.  Try searching those keywords you identified with the Google AdWords Keyword tool (or wing it with your own phrase) and view exactly what other bloggers are writing about the topic.  You’ll be able to sort the results by time frame to see what’s most relevant for right now.  Use this information to adjust your content to captivate your audience so the traffic returns or chooses your title to read over another similar blog topic.  Added bonus if you view the competing blogs.  See where people are commenting.  Blogs that have lots of comments are definitely hot topics that can deliver traffic.   Go get it!

4. Google Reader will show you more than just your favorite sites you like to keep up with

It will also show you the subscriber count and how often blogs post per week.  If you’re smart with this data you can use it for traffic.  Consider reaching out to blogs with high subscriber counts and number of posts per week.  Engage  them by offering to guest post.  Or look at some of the medium size blogs (who may be looking for additional subscribers) and offer to share traffic between the two of you with a link exchange or cross promotion. TRAFFIC!

Of course these are not the only Google options for traffic, but as you develop your traffic we figured these were quick and free methods you could employ today.  Earlier we bet that you may have at least heard of two and may hear about two new ones.  Our guesses were that you’ve at least heard of Google AdWords and Google Analytics.  Google BlogSearch and Google Reader are two cool tools that we think don’t get much attention. (but they should!) Give ’em a shot and let us know in the comments below your favorite Google Tips.

————————————————————————–

We hope you’re enjoying this “Get Traffic” Series.  Next up (and completions of the series) are basic SEO tactics for traffic.

Wanna view what you may have missed?

Part 1: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 2: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 3: Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

 

Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your site with these Engaging Tips

Engagement.  It’s just a little buzzword for describing how you interact with your online audience, both online and even offline.  It’s also measurable with the ultimate goal of bringing traffic back to you.  It’s funny how the Internet has taken a normal human ability for socialization and has us quantifying our interactions with others, then measuring the outcome of those interactions all in hopes that we can maximize our impact with future interactions.  But that is a philosophical debate for another time. Simply, engagement is no different from brick and mortar stores where they talk to their customers, call up their mentors, visit surrounding businesses, and participate in various business associations.  All in hopes that the more you put yourself out there, the more business will come your way.  Let’s talk about just how to do that on the Wild Wild Webs with our new buzzword – Engagement.  (pssst – all methods are FREE)

But before we jump in, I wanted to remind ya this is part of a series for driving traffic to your blog or website – all for FREE.  First, we gave an overview of 4 basic tactics for driving traffic.  Then we continued the series, by delving into the specifics of our first topic: Social Media.  Next up is today’s topic: Engagement.  A lot will refer to social media as engagement, which it certainly is part of it, but I’ll provide other, more creative ways of engagement.  That discussion begins now…..

5 tips to try today to engage your audience and bring traffic to your site:

1. Blog and Forum Commenting

I’m pretty sure you already are reading blogs that are similar to your niche as well as reviewing specific topics in helpful forums.  Get to commenting!  Every time.  By commenting on other’s blogs and participating in niche specific forums you are interacting with an audience that is targeted to your niche.  While commenting use these tips:

-Hopefully you’ve already created a Social Media presence.  Most blogs will allow you to comment as your Twitter self – for example. This way, if people are interested in you, they click your avatar and find out information about you -maybe even leading back to your site!

-Leave a thoughtful comment.  Avoid: “great post” or “good job”.  State specifically what interested you or how the blog enlightened you. These details get attention and give someone a reason to reach out to you.

-Avoid placing a link back to your website in your comment.  Most blog commentators or forums will delete your comment if you appear ‘spammy’.  Your avatar for commenting should have details on how one can find you online.

If you don’t already have a blog roll you follow, try social sharing forums such as Reddit or Stumbleupon.  You’ll quickly come across some you’d like to follow.  Bonus: don’t forget to register your blog to these forums to get found.

2. Link back to other sites from your blog or website

If they are checking their analytics, they’ll take notice and most likely visit you.  This may lead to a link exchange if they find you relevant. Linking back to you is the ultimate goal here.  In this way they share their audience with you, meaning eyeballs to your site.

3. Attend your industry events

Remember our analogy of how brick and mortar stores attend their area business meetings and industry events?  Well this is one offline form of engagement that still matters.  Begin interacting in person with those who are similar to your niche.  With everything so automated lately, a little emotional human interaction will help you to stick out in their minds.  People are more likely to work with those they know.  Maybe a joint development will come about that shares the audience between you and your new business partner.  More visits to your site! Added bonus is the energy you pick up on from the events.  You’ll return to your site motivated to make it the best.

4. Install a RSS feed/email subscription on your website or blog

Use the feed and email subscription to remind your traffic that you’re still there.  Send them website updates or an email newsletter. Keep in touch with those who are already your visitors in hopes that they will return and just maybe, bring more people to your website.  Need help in developing an email newsletter?  I got the details for you here:  Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter

5. Guest Post

Guest posting is where you write a blog post for another blog.  This is in hopes that others will take notice, become interested in what you have to say, and then visit your website or blog.  Be careful not to be sales-y in your guest post.  It should remain objective and helpful to the audience of the blog you are writing for.  Instead, make sure your avatar and ‘about me’ section of the post contain your expertise and the link back to your site or social media channels.

Again, all methods above are the online and offline replacement of the socializing that brick and mortar stores do for bringing in business.  Take advantage of these engagement tactics for visits back to your site.

Want more free ways of getting traffic back to your blog or website?  Check out the previous two articles in this series.

Part 1 of 5: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 2 of 5: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Next up: We’ll detail some ways of using the various services Google offers for getting your traffic.

Let us know in the comments below if you have anything to add to these tips or ways I did not mention.