When I first started blogging I had to rely heavily on my blog buddies– reciprocal visitors whose blogs I visit regularly. As I got busier with my full time job, I couldn't keep up with the blog reading and commenting. That didn't stop my blog from getting an increased traffic. There are many ways to get visitors and one of them I found is getting listed near the top in Google search result pages.
There are no hard and fast rules and I've worked this out by watching Feedjit's traffic feed casually for less than six months.
If the blog is relatively new you will only have to check feedjit once a day or so. I check it two or three times day when I remember. See if any visitors have landed on your blog via Google through a search keyword. It's easy enough to spot that as the source (xx arrived from) will be Google or other search engines. Click the search engine link and see where it takes you. You will see what that visitor searched for and how high your blog gets listed in Google. It could well be at top of the page or near the bottom of the page. Sometimes it's not even in the first page.
By looking at the keywords and how relevant your blog is you can work out what's best for your blog and your locality.
For example, before I went off to take photos for WAIFT Fashion show I did a little googling to see how much coverage the event got in the previous year. I realised that there wasn't much info available so I did a post and titled it carefully (added WAIFT and full text in the post) to ensure that it could be easily searched. After the initial post I watched Feedjit to see if there was anyone searching for that. Voilà! I was getting quite a few visitors from Google. With that information I did a series of interviews on each designer from the show to beef up the content so when searched using WAIFT Graduate Show in Google my blog appears in the top half (3rd or 4th) the first search result page so click here to see if for yourself.
You could also find out what people are searching and landing in your blog by looking at keyword search traffics from analytics software. I use Google Analytics but I don't check it often enough. For me, using Feedjit is more spontaneous and instantaneous (no pun intended). This is obviously a reactive response to visiting patterns. If I could predict what people would search then I won't be doing what I'm doing!
Watching how people find your blog is good but what if your blog isn't getting any visitors from search engines? That's highly unlikely but if that is the case with your blog follow these rules and see if you get any increased traffic over time.
- Post often: Search engines love regularly updated content. I post daily and Google seems to like my blog for the kind of content I cover.
- Use meaningful post title: Don't get too poetic or cryptic with post titles. Post titles are important because they are usually styled as ‘headings' and ‘linked'. Heading and linking are important for search engines. If you're using Blogger, Blogger makes URL using titles for each post. URL containing matching search keywords gets better ranking.
- Be linky: create links to other more authoritative sources or original website. Linked texts are more visible to search engines.
- Alt text for images: Search for Ika Butoni in Google, at the time of writing my blog Style Discovery gets the third and my flickr album on the forth spots after Ika butoni's websites. If you're using Flickr (or other image hosting service) it helps to add meaningful titles for photos as well. In case of Flickr, the image title becomes Alt (text alternative for images for the visually impaired) text for images.
Here are some of the examples of search results showing Style Discovery ranking well. This is no luck. It's the result of carefully targeted writing of the blog content.
- writing for local people
- writing on a sepecific designer
Did you notice how the post title didn't match the URL here? The title has Ika Butoni in the front but the URL has Hong Kong Fashion Week Fall/Winter. That's beacause I checked the ranking after the post went out and I wanted to get ranked higher with the designer name rather than the Hong Kong fashion week thing alone. When you edit the title of a post the URL doesn't change. After that little change, my post gets higher than any other pages online after Ika's own pages. I can't ask for better result than that.