Traffic

You Can Rapidly Increase Website Traffic With This Trick, But Should You?

I’ll follow this up once all of the statistics are in and I’ve looked over everything objectively, but here’s a quick teaser on how I’ve been getting 200-300 new visitors to this blog EVERY DAY for the last 10 days. And why I probably won’t be doing it again!

Essential wordPress Plugins

Shortly after I first started out in my own business (2003!) I discovered the “power” of popups and expired domain redirects (I’ll explain in a minute) to increase website traffic. At the time monitoring traffic was very basic, so I just took the traffic and accepted it.

It appeared good and for a short time I was a reseller of the expired domain traffic. I advertised it on a stand alone traffic website and bought it wholesale from another seller. Complications with payment, more to the point a quick succession of failed payments, tied with difficulties of advertising what I was reselling cheaply enough to make a profit meant that I eventually dropped the product.

But then a few weeks ago I stumbled across on offer of free traffic, which was in return for writing a quick post and mentioning the company I could get a free 10,000 visitor campaign.

What is Expired Domain Traffic?

Simple. If you own a website and then don’t renew the URL, what happens to the people trying to find the website? Although the search engines should drop the listing between you not renewing it and someone getting to buy the URL, there will be bookmarks, links in forums & blogs etc.

So people are trying to visit this website, but finding it no longer exists. What happens if then someone buys the URL and redirects the traffic to another, similar, website?

That’s the theory. It should be highly targeted traffic looking for specific information to read. What could be better?

In Practice

For the first week Google Analytics was reporting just over 200 sessions a day to my site and the last couple of days around 300 new sessions.

But, is that real traffic? Does it have a benefit to my website? How do I measure it?

Well, during the campaign I’ve not had any increase in Twitter followers nor new subscribers to the newsletter that I would attribute to this traffic. I have seen new followers (and I sincerely thank you guys and welcome you to my site!), but concentrated around the day when a guest post was published on Mostly Blogging.

How about actual page views? I’ve typically seen page views from this traffic running around 110%-115% of number of sessions. It would appear at first glance that 10-15% of visitors are viewing a second page, or various combinations of maths around that.

However, that’s just the headline rate. When I looked at what pages have been viewed and their hit count, every single page view is of the home page. Instead it looks like 10%-15% of sessions are refreshing the home screen, which looks strange.

Funny Statistics

As I’ve said the campaign is still running, but I’ve noticed that the number of visitors through this source that are using Internet Explorer is over 90%. This to me isn’t “normal”. It’s a long time since IE was that dominant. These days IE is lucky to be around 40% of users.

It could be that there’s a problem with their software that means there are a lot of redirects going on and it’s only possible to do this with IE. Maybe.

However, the campaign to date has been 100% desktop. I usually expect 70% desktop and the remainder (see my earlier post The Importance Of going Mobile for a breakdown).

So the supporting figures are very strange.

It’s Not Finished Yet

The campaign isn’t over yet. It’s still got a bit of time to go and once it does complete I’ll analyse it fully and see which sources seem to have done what. However, the biggest problem is that the traffic providers can never provide example links etc to look at, so you can’t test for yourself that it’s doing what it says.

I’ll come back once I have had chance to analyse it fully, but later this week I need to go back to my little experiment with Article Directories as the traffic from those articles has now dropped to a background level so I can say what’s happened there with confidence.

If you want to make sure that you don’t miss the follow up of the full traffic analysis or want to read about my traffic generation through article directories, follow me on Twitter or sign up to the newsletter.

Or why not really make my day and Stumble this page!

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I Increased My Traffic Drastically Last Week And You Can Too, But Do You Want To?

Last week, after weeks of trying, my blog’s traffic finally shot up. It was an easy trick to apply and anyone can do it. But, would you want to?

redirecttraffic

As the above screen print from Google Analytics shows last Friday this blog jumped from hardly any visitors per day (especially on days when I wasn’t trying hard!) to over 200 new visitors every day. I’m studying carefully how useful this traffic is and it will keep coming for a couple of weeks from this source.

But the big question is although it is easy to do (and in this case totally free), would you want to do the same?

Put it the other way around, why would you not want to see such a huge increase in traffic with no effort?

Well although it’s great to see the increase, it’s only really beneficial if it’s useful visitors. That is visitors that come back and read again, maybe sign up for updates and possibly even comment. So for now, until I’ve fully analysed the results, I don’t want to say too much about what the trick is.

I don’t want to give false hopes nor criticise a system if it works well.

If you want to know how I’ve received over 800 new visitors from the USA in the last 4 days then you will need to follow me. I’ll publish my review and exactly how you can try the traffic too in a few days.

You can either follow me on Twitter (@13weekchallenge) or subscribe to the newsletter below. Don’t worry, in either case your details remain safe and the only time that you’ll hear from me is when a new post is ready.

Until then, if you prefer you can read right now about why I think SEO is no good for a blog and how to increase traffic simply by studying your Google Analytics. There’s tricks there that everyone can learn from to make sure their blog is working for them.

Don’t forget to subscribe – otherwise you might miss out on how I’m suddenly generating thousands of new hits to this blog!

 

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Trying Old Style Traffic Generation

Whilst most of the ideas I’m experimenting with on this blog are “new”, there are a few traffic ideas from when I used to blog that I’ll be digging up and here’s one.

Expired domains
This is when a website owner for whatever reason does not renew their domain name. This can be because they simply forget and the domain name ‘elapses’, or because they have lost interest in the domain and decide to not bother with the renewal.

However, if that domain name has previously had a large volume of traffic that traffic might still be trying to find the site. Whether that’s search engine listings, links in forums and blog comments or whatever, people will still be accessing the domain.

And where traffic is arriving to an old site it can be redirected to a new site. I suppose it could be looked at as traffic recycling – where traffic is no longer needed moving it to where it can be reused!

The Skills Involved Can Be Beyond Most Of Us

However, buying expired domains requires skill and experience. It’s not something that everyone can easily try and if you buy an exceptional domain the traffic could be huge – not that many blogs would complain at that.

Instead, it is possible to go to websites such as GrowTraffic.com, who can buy these domain names and then direct the visitors that are still trying to find the websites at your site instead.

Genuine Traffic Or Not?

Does it work? Well it’s an idea that has been around for man years.I did resell such traffic myself many years ago (probably about 8 years ago), so it’s not a new idea and if it has kept going that long then there must be a demand for the service.

So I’m giving it a go with the GrowTraffic.com service. With a promise of thousands of visitors over the next month I’ll keep an eye on what happens with not just the hit count, but also looking at what happens with regards Adsense and newsletter subscribers. Either or both of these increasing with the traffic would indicate that the quality of traffic is good and the service is sending genuine visitors who might be interested in the site.

Call back in December to see more – follow on Twitter or the newsletter to remember. If you have experience with  GrowTraffic.com or any other similar service then please do drop me a comment below.

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Is StumbleUpon Traffic Work The Effort?

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about how using StumbleUpon can really help your blog traffic. But, is it worth it? Should you get excited when a post gets “Stumbled” a lot or just forget about it?

crowd

How StumbleUpon Works

It took me a while before I investigated StumbleUpon and then it was after reading various headlines about how it can really increase traffic. But there’s a big problem about using it for traffic – people aren’t sure that you can.

There’s a line of thought that says you can’t submit your own content, another that says you can, just not a lot and then another that doesn’t really care. And after a quick look through their Terms, I can’t see anything wrong in submitting your own content.

However, is there a point? StumbleUpon works by the more people that like a certain post the more people that it is shown to. That’s great once you start to “go viral” and get lots of views, but do many posts?

My Hours Of Stumbling…

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 00.12.26I’ve spent a lot of time recently browsing through other posts on their app. I sit there and quickly go through dozens of posts. A quick glance and I decide whether or not I want to read the page. Mostly it falls into the “not” category.

However, it’s a good way of passing a few minutes. And then one day I realised the problem as I sat there, swiping new posts across in time to the ticking of the clock behind me.

My average view time per page was 1 second. Exactly one second probably as I’d fallen into time with the clock. However every one of these views were counting towards my total “Stumbles”. I sat there for 5 minutes, spent up to 30 seconds on each of 2 sites and in the rest of the time I’d stumbled over 200 sites.

That means that 200 blog owners are seeing 1 more visitor to their site. But was it worth it?

What This Means To Your Website Stats

analyticsI started to look at my own website and cross check the stats. The number of times my previous post was “Stumbled” was about 50% higher than the figure I was seeing for visitors on Google Analytics. So I’m guessing that about a third of the people “Stumbling” the post didn’t wait longer than it took for the title to load.

Looking into it further, out of those that visited the site, how long were they there for? The first few seemed to be on the site for a few seconds, but by day 2 of people Stumbling the site (and this was when the figures really grew) the average time on site from Google Analytics was 0:01. Looking at the raw server logs I even found the same person (IP Address) had viewed the post twice in 2 seconds. Probably missed something that was interesting and swiped back through my post. Or maybe swiped back to my post!

The post didn’t go viral and so didn’t produce huge amounts of traffic, but how many posts do?

What else can we measure success by? Google Adsense actually reported even lower page views than Google Analytics with no clicks on an advert at all from that post. This post was unusual in that it has an affiliate link (only the second post to have such links in this blog) to a book about free stock image libraries. That link showed 3 clicks on  Friday, so when traffic went wild on the second Saturday I was hopeful.

So I eagerly checked the statistics on Sunday morning – zero clicks. Looking back through the raw logs again the clicks had come from direct and other visitors, not those arriving through StumbleUpon. Likewise, even though StumbleUpon created the blog’s 2 busiest traffic days ever (and 54% of the traffic for those 2 days), no new subscribers.

It Probably Works, But Not Every Time

Maybe it’s a tool that you can use to support a successful blog where there are loads of people already sharing on social media so a popular post might get liked by many readers and read by millions, but for a start up blog and one without that necessary core of sharing readers I think that the volumes of traffic that might be produced are so low that they really aren’t going to produce that many genuine readers.

Put a Stumble button on your blog to let people like your post, but I don’t think it’s anything that a site owner should be stressed over.

If you have any better experiences than mine or know of a trick or two I’m missing leave a comment. Or, read the previous post and Stumble it and see if it can be revived!

Over the next week I still have a few ideas that I’ve yet to try out on this blog for new traffic so do take the time to follow the blog – Twitter or the newsletter, whichever you find easiest. Hopefully we’ll be back soon with a method that generates huge volumes of traffic!

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Why SEO Is Not Going To Work For Your New Blog

Let’s face it. If you are starting a new blog then Search Engine Optimisation is never going to work for you. Never. If you try it you’re going to spend a lot of time getting frustrated and going nowhere and wrecking your blog. You are better off forgetting the search engines and just looking after your target audience. And here’s why!

problemswithseoHow can I say that? Well several years ago I had a site that was well positioned for some keywords and earned me over £2,000 / month in Google Adsense income, plus a lot in affiliate revenue. However, it was a static site. If I spent an hour per week working on that site to add a new affiliate link or two I’d done a lot of work on it. I spent longer browsing the Adsense reports than I spent developing the site.

I was lucky. I’d flucked two keywords – Compare Mortgage Rates (1st on Google) and Mortgage Rates (3rd on Google). It was a breeze. I had a good income whilst I built the rest of my business.

All Good Things Come To An End

adsensecrashThen one day I was hit by a Google penalty. I’ve no idea what, probably poor links or a manual penalty because the site was not full of relevant content, but the best I could then do was page 7. This meant no traffic and as you can see from the graph a complete crash in income.

And that’s a huge problem with SEO. It’s a risk. You put loads of effort into getting it “right” and are then at risk of being dropped.

But, how do you get it right?

Be honest. What keywords are you hoping to perform well with? You have a couple of choices.

shortvslongtail

You our could choose ‘long tail’ keywords that no-one else is optimising for. But there’s a reason that they aren’t competitive – there’s not that many people search for them.

So instead you could look at high volume keywords. The sort that everyone in your niche is hoping to be top for. Those that get thousands of daily hits. But these require loads of work to rank well now and as much work going forward to maintain the ranking.

If you do decide on some keywords then you are going to obsess. You are going to write posts about the keywords and maybe stuff them with too many repeats if the words. You aren’t writing for an audience, you are writing for a search engine’s robot.

SEO Causes You To Focus On Keywords, Not Quality

seoupqualitydown

Post quality can take a dive as you target what you think search engines want to see. Reader satisfaction goes out of the window. All you are interested in is where is that post ramked.

You start to write other posts that link to your ‘optimised’ post just to include the search terms in the link. You start blog commenting and article writing not for traffic, but just for links.

You reduce the quality of your blog just to do what you think the search engines want you to do. Yet they want you writing for your readers, not optimising your site.

Then there’s the act of optimising the core code of a website for search  engines  some will try to truck the robots by stuffing titles, headers, alt tags and more with keywords. Google is watching for this.

Others trying to affect the structure of the site for artificial reasons. But search engines are looking for sites that work well on any browser, whether it be mibile or desktop, and no matter how you are accessing it. whether you are fully fit or disabled you should be able to enjoy the site

What search engines want is for us to pretend they are not there and to produce the best unique cintent we are able to produce and make it available to everyone. They want us looking after the real world, not optimising our sites.

Should by fluke you stumble upon the magic formula for the page then it’s a great feeling. But, for how long? Will it be a day, a week or a month before everything changes and you are left languishing on page 7, where there is absolutely no traffic?

I know the feeling all to well. Been there, done it and suffered. Concentrate on building long term traffic plans so that you don’t rely in a source that you have no control over.

If SEO does happen to work for you then feel proud that it’s happ by natural methods and the likely payback is longevity.

But don’t give into your doubts. SEO won’t work. Build a quality site and watch the traffic reward you.

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Using Google Bounce Rate To Improve Blog Traffic

There’s a lot that you can learn from Google Adsense to help you to improve your blog traffic. If you don’t already have it installed then read about installing Adsense else read on for some traffic building tips!

What Is ‘Bounce Rate’?

Google's definition of Bounce RateA page’s bounce rate is the measure of how many people arrived on that page and then left without visiting any other pages on your site. There can be good reasons for this, such as subscribers who have a link to a new post and know they have already read what they want to read from your blog.

But Bounce Rate can also be a warning sign that something is wrong with the page, website or even where your traffic is arriving from.

I suggest that a low bounce rate is around 20%. If you can achieve this regularly then you are onto a good thing! A high rate would be 50% and more, in which case you need to drill down and work out why you are losing people. But to do this you need to look at the different stats provided to see where you can be improving your site.

1) Where Are You Bouncing Visitors?

bouncerate2Have a look at the report under Behavior / Site Content / All Pages and sort the table by clicking on Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate is the percentage of people that have left your site from this page so it can be a good indicator of what pages people are not liking.

Ignore pages that have low traffic levels as the stats will be statistically unreliable, but take a look at the bounce rate. If you find a mixture of low / medium / high  rates then compare the pages carefully and see if there are any obvious reasons for visitors leaving. Are these lower quality writing? Do they have large images that are slow to load? Do they lack your normal levels of interest through formatting and supporting images?

If it’s fairly level but high (e.g. above 50%) then you need to see what’s wrong with the visitors in general.

2) Where Are Your Visitors Exiting?

exitsAlso in the Behavior / Site Content list is Exit Pages. This lists pages people most often leave the site from and the list can be different to the bounces because it’s not affected by the number of people arriving there. Have a look at these pages and decide if they are natural dead ends or whether a bit of clever linking could provide further reading.

Many of your posts could lead to further posts that are similar in nature or provide further detail. Other pages might be natural dead ends. For example a newsletter page is a natural dead end as people will finish reading, subscribe and move on. Likewise subscribers might view your home page or latest post and leave.

But where possible look at your exit pages and see if they are suffering any of the problems listed earlier or whether you can tempt readers to remain.

3) Which Visitor Sources Are You Bouncing Most?

bouncerate3Look at Acquisition / Overview and again compare the bounce rates. Here you can get a couple of useful pieces of information. If the bounce rate is steady across all sources then you are probably fine. If one source is particularly high then that is worth looking at.

We can see from the above chart that none of the bounce rates are particularly impressive, but Referral and Social are significantly higher than Organic Search and Direct. By clicking on Referral I was able to see that on the whole the bounce rate was similar, but one site (rankings-analytics.com) had a 100% bounce and almost 20% of Referrals. Clicking again on the website it was obvious that it was just some form of robot seeing if the site is still working. So that worry can be forgotten.

In this case, Social being high is also not an issue because it’s people coming across to see the latest additions to the catalogue, so single page visits are OK. It makes Social a bit like Direct visitors, which be slightly higher than the rest particularly if you have a successful list for reasons already explained. But if other sources are high then it’s a warning flag that visitors are possibly arriving expecting something other than what your blog provides. This is especially important to investigate if you are paying for advertising and these channels are high bounce rates.

A high bounce rate on organic search could mean that you have been trying to do some SEO work and got it wrong. Possibly you have worked on keywords that are suitable for your site but then your landing page doesn’t fulfil the promises made. It might not give sufficient detail and confidence if you have tried too hard to optimise it.

Your Direct users and Other have probably arrived from links on other sites. High levels here could mean that you are submitting articles or writing blog comments on sites that aren’t related enough or the content pages aren’t related enough. This tells you to target your articles and comments differently.

On the other hand, if any of these rates are very low then dig into them also. They could reveal sources that are providing very closely matched readers. In this case you can increase your efforts on these particular sites and drop your efforts on the sites that are producing too many bounces.

4) Are Your Readers Mobile?

bouncerate4Are your readers using computers or mobile devices? Audience / Mobile / Overview will soon tell you. Have a look at the percentage of desktop vs mobile and this will show you whether they are. Then look at the bounce rate of both. Are they even or is one particularly high?

A high bounce rate on mobile will probably indicate that you aren’t using a mobile friendly design (as per the site shown above). Changing your theme, or design, might be required. But it’s worth trying your site out on different devices.

windowsvsiphoneUnder the Mobile tab is Devices, which can indicate if a particular device isn’t loading properly. For example, I’ve seen mobile sites render beautifully in iOS and Android but not Windows.

If you don’t have access to any devices or one particular device seems to have a high bounce rate and you don’t own that particular device sites such as MobileTest run simulators in which you can test your website.

5) What Browsers Are People Using?

bouncerate5Audience / Technology / Browsers then OS will show you if your site is losing a lot of visitors to a certain browser. Some browsers aren’t as popular with developers as others and all do have their own little ‘quirks’. It will also point out (again) if some mobile users are less likely to stay on the site. The figures above show Internet Explorer having a lower bounce rate than Chrome, which could be explained by it being a very old site that was written for IE.

If there’s a stand out browser with a higher than average bounce rate download that browser (if you don’t already have it installed) and test the site yourself. For example, I’m recommending the site shown be tested on Chrome. You might need to make changes or even get a new theme. You can’t get your readers to change browser, so support the browsers they are using most.

Clicking on Operating System will break down the data for you by OS. This includes mobile operating systems so can back up the data uncovered in the Mobile information.

6) When Are People Leaving?

bouncerate6Look at Audience / Overview and change the graph to bounce rate. Is it fairly level or all over the place? Now, here’s the trick. Look at the peaks and troughs and the look at your list of published posts. Assuming your home page is one of the pages with the highest bounce rates, a lot of those bounces are coming from this page.

Study which of your posts have been followed by high and low bounce rates. Whilst these posts are the first thing that people see they will affect how long people are on the site for. If you are getting traffic from serious, well planned sites and suddenly you put up a jokey post  you might see that the bounce rate raises following this, dropping when a serious post is published.

This tells you not only what posts retain people but also what posts visitors are coming over and wanting to read about. Providing more of the posts that are followed by low bounce rates could do you a huge favour.

Does It Help?

It could just be fluke that a certain browser, device, page or whatever is losing more people, but it’s always worthwhile checking out for any inconsistencies that you can improve upon. A few minutes of digging can also point you in the direction of where you can best get new visitors from and sources that are maybe under performing.

Retaining visitors on your site might not seem as glamorous as increasing your SEO or notability through articles, guest posts and blog commenting, but it can lead to a better website that gains in reputation, builds followers and earns itself a good reputation and points you to which of these you are best employing.

This should result in longer term growth of the site.

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Write A Good Post, Rewrite It Then Write It A Few More Times

Sometimes you will sit down to write a post and a really cracking piece of writing unfolds before you. This is then a fantastic opportunity to write it again and again and again. Why???

startup-photos5What I don’t mean

It is always very good practice to review what you have written and check it, many times, before you publish it. But it’s not your editing skills at the keyboard which I am referring to here.

Repurposing the proper way.

What I am referring to here is ‘repurposing’ your articles. There are three ways of doing this:

  1. The ugly – put the article through a “spinner” which automatically changes various words for you, whilst producing a piece of writing that is totally incoherent and looks like a random algorithm generator has created it.
  2. The bad – just share the same article, thus creating a network of duplicate content over the internet. Search engines will then ignore all but one occurrence of your work and people you share it with may also choose to ignore you.
  3. The good – start again and write it from scratch. You’ve done it once before, you can do it again now. But this time, why not make it even better!

Why rewrite a perfectly good article?

If you are looking for more traffic to your website then there are various ways of increasing your traffic that involve sharing your writing on different sites. Whether that be guest blogging, paid blogging or article syndication.

However, some of these insist on and all work best with brand new material. You can share images, link back to more detailed posts and data, but there’s nothing better as far as the search engines are concerned as when you write the posts from scratch every time and share them from new.

It’s not easy!

But then in no way is getting a lot of new visitors to your website. But if you have come up with an idea for a post and suddenly it has run away with you and become a really great piece of writing, that could just be the starting point that you need for spreading the word of your efforts.

The best goes to…

So where does the best piece of writing go to? Of course, it’s tempting to write that article 4 times and then share it, publishing the best to your own blog. But remember that other people are going to be reviewing your work and they might not think that the one that’s not the best is fit for them.

Tackle it in an ordered manner

Save all of the revisions of your masterpiece – don’t publish any. Then review the order of them and where to send them to.

If you are thinking of trying for a paid post then the best one just has to go to there. After that guests blogging then high traffic article sites. Why not submit them all, in that order, and wait to see what happens? If they are all accepted then bingo, else if one is rejected and you don’t want to rework it that’s the one for your site.

Think clever with your writing, don’t keep the best to yourself as you want to showcase it. And you might just be seeing even more visitors to your site next week!

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Is Article Writing For Traffic Worth The Effort?

ezineviewsIs writing articles and sharing them on suitable websites worth the effort? There are are plenty of article websites out there offering you different “benefits”, but do they really give you anything back for the efforts that you put into them?

What do you hope to get out of writing articles?

There are 2 possible reasons for writing articles:

  1. The articles will link back to you and give you some form or SEO advantage
  2. Readers will visit the sites, read your articles and then visit your site.

My article writing experience

My experience goes back quite a few years, as you will see from the chart! It lasted a couple of years when I was a prolific writer (almost 700 articles published!) and then I stopped.

I wrote in many niches – sport, internet, finance, travel and home working plus a few for customers that I was doing a favour for.

But I felt I was seeing less and less return from these articles. The site that I chose to use decided to apply the rel=”nofollow” tag to all links and there were few visitors heading my way from the published articles.

It seemed that only new articles, being top of the listings, were being read and sending a few readers over and for the effort to write these articles that wasn’t worth it. On top of that I was finding less and less time to support these sites, so I quietly dropped out.

What’s involved in article writing?

This very much depends on the quality of the site you are working for. Some will insist on quite high minimum word counts and will carefully read every letter that you write and complain at the slightest grammatical error. I did, once or twice, have a “battle” with my preferred site as being an English writer and writing articles aimed at English readers, they were trying to “correct” my writings using “Americanisms“. I eventually won that battle when I pointed out that in English English I was correct.

However, you can spend a long time researching and writing a good article, so you want something back in return.

What am I seeing now?

So with almost 700 articles live, many with researched titles, I was expecting loads of article views per month and a good number of click throughs. I will be honest at this point and say that the click throughs are lower than they could be as a lot of the articles are pointing at now dead sites, so the site has removed the links.

But this is why I was looking at the counts. I wanted to see which articles are getting traffic. I wrote last week about how I was auditing some of my articles to make sure that suitable posts are pointing any clicks through to this site, but when I checked today I’ve received no visitors from that source.

So I pulled out the attached report of article views over the last 90 days. One has done very well – 73 clicks. However that’s a sporting article that really doesn’t fit any sites that I currently own. Yet it’s recorded 3 clicks out – the new owner of the URL must be happy!

In 3 months my total article views is 726 – that’s only just 1 view per article per month. With 10% of that going to 1 article, that means that a lot of articles haven’t been read at all. In fact, only 426 articles of the near 700 do actually record at least 1 view.

Even stranger…

Even stranger is this chart:

ezine2

91 of those 726 views (1 in 8) occurred on a single day in August. Why? I’ve really no idea. Maybe someone was bored, discovered a batch of my articles and started to read them. More likely they found a few and started copying them – either plain and simple to their website or at least with a bit of work and rewrote them.

Is it always that bad?

It’s a few years since I wrote prolifically. So, going back to then (around the time that I published these articles) what were the view like? Well I picked a high traffic 6 month period when most of these articles were live and looking at that I can see that there was a staggering 36,000 article views with almost 2,000 click throughs to my sites – that’s a much healthier 30 clicks per article – over 1 per week per article.

ezine3

In conclusion

So maybe article writing just isn’t about long term advantage. Maybe we should write an article to a high traffic site, let it sit there for a while doing it’s job and then pull it and repurpose it elsewhere.

Maybe, instead of me spending time going through changing the articles to point to the new websites it would be thousands of times more efficient to spend that time writing a couple of new articles and publishing them to a high traffic website?

Certainly, I’ve changed the links to 50 publications on that article website and in a week not seen a single reader arriving here from that source. What harm could there be in “refreshing” a few of those posts that worked well previously and bringing them up to date and seeing if that can send traffic in this direction?

Time will tell and no doubt I’ll report back when I try it out!

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Learn How To Improve My Blog Traffic

Learn about how to improve your blog traffic, for free!A blog with no traffic is not really a blog, it is just a collection of your thoughts. So, if you re struggling with a new blog that has few or even no visitors, what steps can you take?

Write, write and write some more!

The best way to improve traffic to any website is to provide tons of interesting quality content. By providing lots of content on your blog or website you will be providing plenty of information for potential visitors to read and because of this search engines will reward you by ranking you higher.

Once visitors arrive on your website they will find much more to read about and a slow trickle of visitors can turn into a heavy stream of traffic very quickly. They then talk about your site and share it with other people.

Also, by writing plenty of content there is a much higher chance of you stumbling across a “long tail keyword” that you can rank well on.

Don’t over optimise

But make sure that your writing is natural. Don’t try to pack in the keywords as often a you can. Write instead for your readers so that when they read your musings it makes sense. This will encourage them to stay on your blog for longer, but also prevent you over doing the optimisation and being punished.

Don’t re-purpose

A few years ago “re-purposing” was a big thing to help raise traffic. However, it didn’t work that well then and it works every less now. The “trick” was to reuse your posts by posting to different article directories, maybe putting them through a “spinner” tool first.

But these techniques don’t work. Even with a spinner trying to fool search engines they will still detect the duplicate content and just list 1 page. And that page might not be yours!

Try some guest posting

If you can write a good post, then how about instead of publishing it to your blog you publish it elsewhere? It sounds mad, but it can work.

When you guest post your writing is then viewed by a whole new audience. And if some of these new readers are interested in what you have to say, or interested in links you can place in the text for further detailed reading, then they might just follow the links over to your blog and become regular readers.

You can share your writings in many ways:

  • article directories – but make sure that they are high traffic, respectable directories before you spend loads of time submitting a lot of work. Many just exist as link farms, but the better ones can and will send new readers your way. Read more about article writing.
  • guest blogging – some blogs allow you to submit either posts or proposals for posts that they will then publish
  • paid blogging – a step up from guest blogging – very high traffic websites that want new views on their subject can sometimes pay very handsomely for your writing

Go mobile

Is your website design / theme mobile friendly? If not then it should be. Google is now penalising sites that are not mobile friendly especially on searches that are performed on mobile devices.

Install Google Analytics

It’s not as good as it once once because a few years ago the search terms were removed from the data, but you can still see traffic peaks and so on. It’s easy to install onto WordPress – read more here.

Go social

Do you Tweet your new posts? Start a Twitter account and actively follow other suitable accounts. Retweet interesting tweets and when you write a new post that is top quality post a link to it in your Twitter account. Facebook can be used the same way.

Create infographics

If your blog post compares a few things then why not create some infographics? Then, upload then to Pinterest and wait. If the infographics grab people’s attention they will share them.

Even if you can’t create infographics how about just creating nice, catchy graphics for some of your posts? Anything that will grab a reader’s attention and get them to pop over to your blog.

Link internally

Once a reader has read your post what are they going to do next? Simple, where there’s a relevant post to the one you are writing link to it. If it’s part way through your post it doesn’t matter, they can scroll back, open in a new window or whatever. Just make sure that you are creating that spider’s web of links within your website.

Review your site

You can hit Publish on a post and then forget it, hoping that traffic will arrive and read it. But every so often return to old posts and see if you can improve them. Are there any updates required? Are there new posts that they could link into? Keep even the old pages fresh.

Write an Ebook

Do a load of your posts fit together into one big story? Why not create an ebook from them? Or even write a pile of posts that intentionally fit together as such. You can then distribute the ebook for free on various channels, such as Amazon Kindle. Just remember to include in that ebook links to your site for more details, updates, sample code etc and you will draw people in. For example, this book.

Keep at it

It takes time to drive traffic to a blog. It doesn’t happen overnight. Time and a lot of posts. But if you keep at it, find different ways to promote your site and don’t lose hope it can happen.

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