Beep Beep: Signs You’re Slowing Down Your Own Traffic
By: Taylor Davies

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Are you unknowingly driving yourself into to a blogging traffic jam?

Without even thinking about it, you could be self-sabotaging your content by not considering some critical elements that can make all the difference. Let’s cover a few of the basics that will help take you from bumper-to-bumper on the 405 to flying to your destination in a private helicopter – above it all. (Sorry about the extended metaphor, but you know what I mean!)

To optimize your site’s traffic potential, ask yourself these 4 questions:

 

How’s your load time?

Listen, the Internet is impatient. If your site takes too long to load, you’re going to lose readers and potential new followers. Your load time has a lot to do with your server, and here are some quick fixes to consider:

  • Image size: Instead of adjusting (scaling) the size of an image in your post, use a photo-editing tool to actually change the size. Larger files, even if they appear smaller, take longer to load.
  • Posts-per-page: How many posts show up on your homepage, and each subsequent page? If you have too many, that may up your site’s load time.

 

Do you use page breaks?

This has to do with load time as well as upping your pageview potential. If you’re a personal style, lifestyle or DIY blogger, you probably use a lot of images, and you may use a lot per post. If you do, consider using page breaks (your readers who land on your homepage will have to click-through to access the full post). This will cut down on load time for your whole site, and encourage your pageview growth.

*Proceed with caution on this one. Not all readers are game for the click-through, so you’ll want to have a trial period to see if this tactic suits.

 

When are your posts going live?

Timing is everything, as they say. Posting at the wrong time can be almost as detrimental to your blog as not posting at all. You want to be contributing when your audience is ready to listen. At IFB we have a pretty formulaic approach, but yours doesn’t have to be so rigid.

A good place to start – is you. Think about your reading behavior – when do you take time to browse the Internet? On your morning commute? During your lunch break? When you get home from a long day? Generally, posting content in the morning (9 a.m. and 12 p.m. are key times) and supporting with social media promotion into the afternoon and evening is important. (Think about what you’re doing in the office at 5:30 pm or at home at 8 p.m.)

 

What kind of headlines are you using?

Traffic and SEO are blogging bed mates, we know this. In this very saturated market of fashion blogging, everything from your blog name to your headlines, alt tags and headings matter when it comes to getting noticed. Search engines crawl and rank your content for relevant search terms and keywords – so take advantage.

What headlines will work? There’s no magic right answer here. However, Google has so many clues for content that people are looking for right now. Look at your analytics and see what search terms are leading people to your site – and draw content ideas from there. Use those words in your post titles.

 

Blog traffic (and how to get it) is obviously not as simple as checking off a few boxes when it comes to load time and SEO. We know that along with being optimized, your content also has to be good! These are like “icing on the cake” tips to help your amazing content get the best possible exposure and reach with the right audience.

For more: I Can’t Get No Satisfaction… With My Blog Traffic; 20 Essential Traffic-Driving Tips; 10 Ways to Tank Your Traffic; 5 Tips On How To Set Traffic Goals

How do you optimize your blog traffic? Share your best tips in the comments!

Comments

  1. rae says:

    thanks for this helpful post. i have trouble deciding when to post since i live in berlin but most of my readership is from the US but the idea of following up with other social media sources makes a lot of sense :)

    rae

  2. Avatar of Kholá
    Kholá says:

    Great tips! I’ve learned over time what tags to add. Its very helpful to check analytics.

    http://www.kholaskloset.blogspot.com

  3. Avatar of Clara
    Clara says:

    I think I remember reading somewhere that there’s a site that actually measures your blog’s load time… but I forget the name. Can anybody help me out?

    xx Clara
    http://www.thatgirlmag.com

  4. Donna says:

    Great tips! If a site doesn’t load for me in less than a minute I’m gone. And I tend not to click through if there’s a page break. It has to be very interesting in order for me to want to click, especially when I’m not sure what clicking will get me. I’ve read a lot that just write “more after the jump”. That may sound technical and impressive, but the majority of people (especially people over a certain age, like 30) don’t know what “the jump” is. If they’re just browsing, they probably won’t search for “the jump” to even click on it.
    I use Photoshop to make my image smaller, AND use their “save to the web” feature to make it even smaller. I sometimes increase the size once I get it on the post, but the file itself will still be small. Also a good idea to test the load time yourself occasionally. I know from working in the tech field that servers can bog down on any given day, especially if the server belongs to a smaller company.
    Donna
    http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

  5. Avatar of Lydia
    Lydia says:

    This was really interesting, especially the part about posting at the right timing…thanks for the post!

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  6. Karina says:

    I wish I could share some brilliant idea on optimising traffic, but the sad truth is, I haven’t really put much thought into it, and what is even sadder – that does show in my traffic. Time for a change!!! Thanks for the tips, Taylor! And anyone that is new to blogging – pay attention to hear tips because if not , you might be spending a lot of time producing quality content and wondering why not so many people have read it.

  7. Avatar of Filipa
    Filipa says:

    Amazing post! Thanks for sharing this!
    As for me, I usually post two to three photos in a blog post. Sometimes it happens that I post more, but I don’t use any page breaks, because I don’t like them that much and I don’t like seeing them on other blogs either. That’s why I only have two posts per page.
    And I agree with Donna, a post has to be really interesting for me to click on the click-through link.

    xx
    http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com/

  8. KatWalkSF says:

    Thanks for the tips! I was totally posting at 12am thinking that would give me the best chance to go the most hits per day! Gonna flex to 9-10.

  9. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    All great tips. I’m going to do a little research into pagebreaks and posting times now.

    lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  10. Avatar of Vail Fucci
    Vail Fucci says:

    if you want to learn how to take better shots at fashion week and how to get great SEO out of those images you should check out my class in NYC on February 2nd at Calumet Photographic: http://www.cvent.com/events/fashion-week-photography-for-fashion-and-beauty-bloggers/event-summary-d740a7862f93410abf1785f559246c9a.aspx

  11. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya Helena says:

    For the load time, I can recommend you to use CloudFlare. It’s a third party service that optimizes your site with a few setups and clicks. Very easy to use.

    Nadya
    http://thedillychic.com

  12. Chelsey says:

    I’m experimenting with page breaks right now. I generally don’t prefer them, but I like having those over scrolling through a 5+ pic post just to get to the bottom of the page. My blog is picture heavy, so right now I’m choosing what I consider to be the lesser of two evils and using a page break. It helps my site load faster and allows a glance at surrounding posts without having to scroll very long. Unfortunately, page breaks have very mixed reviews with blog readers, so I’m not sure which option is the clear winner.

  13. Maggie A says:

    I use to use very personalized topic for my blog posts and I noticed a drop in traffic. Now I make them a bit more general and to the point (Things I would look for on the internet).

    Thanks for posting this. It was quite helpful.

    xo
    Maggie A
    LOVEMAVIN/YOUTUBE || LOVE MAVIN/BLOG

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