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.