Monday, November 29, 2010

Tips to Increase Blog Traffic

1. Write Well and Write Often

Frequently updating your blog with useful content is the first step to building your blog's audience. The content you write is what will keep readers coming back for more. Make sure you have something meaningful to say to them and say it often to maintain their interest and keep them loyal.

Furthermore, post frequently to increase the number of chances you have for your blog's content to be noticed by search engines such as Google or Technorati.

2. Submit Your Blog to Search Engines

Get on the radar screen for the popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo! by submitting your blog's URL to them. Most search engines provide a 'Submit' link (or something similar) to notify the search engine of your new blog, so those search engines will crawl it and include your pages in their results.

It's important to understand that simply submitting your blog to search engines doesn't mean your pages will appear at the top of a Google search results screen, but at least your blog will be included and will have the chance of being picked up by a search engine.

3. Use and Update Your Blogroll

By adding links to sites you like in your blogroll, the owners of those blogs will find your blog and will be likely to add a reciprocal link in their blogrolls. It's an easy way to get the link to your blog in front of many readers on other blogs. The hope is that some of those readers will click on the link to your blog on the other blogs' blogrolls and find your content interesting and enjoyable turning them into loyal readers.

4. Harness the Power of Comments

Commenting is a simple and essential tool to increase your blog's traffic. First, respond to comments left on your blog to show your readers that you value their opinions and draw them into a two-way conversation. This will increase reader loyalty.

Second, leave comments on other blogs to drive new traffic. Make sure you leave your blog's URL in your comment, so you create a link back to your own blog. Many people will read the comments left on a blog post. If they read a particularly interesting comment, they are highly likely to click on the link to visit the commentor's website. It's important to make sure you leave meaningful comments that are likely to invite people to click on your link to read more.

5. Syndicate Your Blog's Content with an RSS Feed

Setting up an RSS feed button on your blog makes it easy for your loyal readers to not just read your blog but also know when you publish new content.

6. Use Links and Trackbacks

Links are one of the most powerful parts of your blog. Not only are links noticed by search engines, but they also act as a tap on the shoulder to other bloggers who can easily identify who is linking to their sites. Linking helps to get you noticed by other bloggers who are likely to investigate the sites that are linking to them. This may lead them to become new readers of your blog or to add links to your blog from theirs.

You can take links to other blogs a step further by leaving a trackback on the other blog to let them know you've linked to them. Blogs that allow trackbacks will include a link back to your blog in the comments section of the post that you originally linked to. People do click on trackback links!

7. Tag Your Posts

It takes a few extra seconds to add tags to each of your blog posts, but it's worth the time in terms of the additional traffic tags can drive to your blog. Tags (like links) are easily noticed by search engines. They're also key to helping readers find your blog when they perform searches on popular blog search engines such as Technorati.

8. Submit Your Posts to Social Bookmarking Sites

Taking the time to submit your best posts to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and more can be a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your blog.

9. Remember Search Engine Optimization

When you write your blog posts and pages, remember to optimize your pages for search engines to find them. Include relevant keywords and links but don't overload your posts with too many relevant keywords or completely irrelevant keywords. Doing so can be considered spamming and could have negative results such as your blog being removed from Google's search entirely.

10. Don't Forget Images

Images don't just make your blog look pretty, they also help people find you in search engine listings. People often use the image search options offered by Google, Yahoo! and other search engines, and naming your images with search engine optimization in mind can easily boost your traffic.

11. Consider Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can be done when you write a guest post on another blogger's blog or when another blogger writes a guest post on your blog. Both methods are likely to increase traffic as your blog will be exposed to the other blogger's audience. Many of the other blogger's readers will visit your blog to see what you have to say.

12. Join Forums, Web Rings or Online Groups

Find online forums, web rings, groups or social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn where you can share ideas and ask questions of like-minded individuals. Add a link to your blog in your signature line or profile, so each time you post on a forum or participate in another online network, you're indirectly promoting your blog. Chances are many people will click on that link to learn more about you.

13. Promote Outside Your Blog

Promoting your blog shouldn't stop when you step outside the blogosphere. Add your blog's URL to your email signature and business cards. Talk about it in offline conversations. It's important to get your name and your blog's URL noticed offline, too.

14. Nominate Yourself and Other Blogs for Blog Awards

There are a number of blog awards given out throughout the year. Nominating yourself and other blogs and bloggers can draw attention to your blog and drive traffic to it.

15. Don't Be Shy

The most important part of the blogosphere is its community and much of your success as a blogger will be tied to your willingness to network with that community. Don't be afraid to ask questions, join conversations or just say hi and introduce yourself. Don't sit back and hope the online world will find you. Speak out and get yourself noticed. Let the blogosphere know you've arrived and have something to say!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

39 DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites

One way backlinks to the pages of a domain give it authority in Google over time. One strategy to gain these backlinks is to bookmark your content in social bookmarking sites that do not use the ‘nofollow’ tag. Generally speaking, the higher the PageRank (PR) of the site, the better.

The DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites List

  1. Digg [V] (8)
  2. Folkd [V] (7)
  3. Spurl (6)
  4. Kwoff (6)
  5. LinkaGoGo (5)
  6. SpotBack (5)
  7. MyLinkVault (5)
  8. A1 Webmarks (5)
  9. Tagza [V] (5)
  10. Plime [V] (5)
  11. Searchles [V] (5)
  12. DoFollowDigg [V] (4)
  13. Feedmarker (4)
  14. Memfrag (4)
  15. MySiteVote [V] (4)
  16. OldRec [V] (4)
  17. Wagg It [V] (4)
  18. Otherwhirled [V] (4)
  19. OYAX (4)
  20. TeDigo (3)
  21. MyPIP (3)
  22. Yattle (3)
  23. Kabulis (3)
  24. Bukmark [V] (3)
  25. Ciudadlaberinto [V] (3)
  26. Cool Search [V] (3)
  27. Gozoof [V] (3)
  28. Tamilers [V] (3)
  29. Ziki [V] (2)
  30. Agroots [V] (2)
  31. Best of India [V] (2)
  32. Promote Your Website Free [V] (2)
  33. Zobbed [V] (2)
  34. Dizzed [V] (2)
  35. Yomash News [V] (2)
  36. Bookmark 24 [V] (2)
  37. 180 Blog Network [V] (1)
  38. 180 Blog Network [V] (1)
  39. Yoo Submit [V] (1)
[V] - Voting

Why Use Social Bookmarking?

Every time you add a bookmark to one of your pages in one of these sites you create a backlink. If you bookmark every piece of content you create in all of these sites you can build a lot backlinks over time. For best results, you want to make sure that the bookmarking sites provide a real, do-follow link. There is much debate as to whether or not no-follow links are still useful so I won’t get into that here. However one thing you do want is a real link. Several sites don’t provide real backlinks – they use their own form of dynamic link which does not count as a backlink.

One other thing to be aware of is that even though these are your personal bookmarks, you need to ensure that they are public – that way other people (Google really) can find them. But be careful, some bookmarking sites such as Connotea have a specific niche and probably wont appreciate your toenail clipping bookmarks.

Some Notable Additions

There are some bookmarking sites that are either nofollow or they use a dynamic link structure. However, leaving aside the nofollow debate for a moment, there is also a matter of traffic. If the content you are bookmarking is high quality then it could get votes from other readers and in the case of some of the big sites, getting your bookmark on the front page can result in massive amounts of traffic! In the case of particularly big sites such as Delicious, those bookmarks often get copied to many other places so one nofollow link in delicious could actually result in about a dozen links elsewhere though this tends to happen only with popular links.

In this situation I’d recommend submitting to these sites also, and just forget about whether or not they follow!
  1. Delicious (8)
  2. Diigo (5)
  3. Mister-Wong (8)
  4. Blinklist (7)
  5. NetVous (6)
  6. Simpy (6)

How to Bookmark For SEO

The purpose of this exercise is to generate backlinks to our content pages that help them rank better in Google. I’ll assume that each piece of content is optimised for some keyword. There are usually three places where you can add information for SEO:
  • The title
  • Tags
  • Description
Make sure your keyword is in all three of them. Note that the title especially usually becomes the anchor text that is used in the resulting link so the title is arguably the most important element to get right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

5 SEO Tips Every Website Owner Should Know

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) there is no substitute for good content — interesting stuff people want to read and share via a link. To the search engines finding this content is their top priority and, for the most part, they do a decent job at it.

However, this doesn’t mean that webmasters can forget about SEO. It is critical to not just write good content, but to make sure that it is as easily found as possible by the search engines and that the correct keywords are given weight.

With that in mind, here are five SEO tips every webmaster needs to be aware of and using, otherwise they are putting themselves at a very severe disadvantage.

1. Use Bold and Header Text Wisely
Make sure to include your desired keywords in passages that are bold or within header tags. Though you shouldn’t do this for every instance of a keyword, putting the text in a stronger font once or twice is a direct indication to the search engines which phrases and keywords you find are the most important in the article. That, in turn, will cause the search engines to give them greater weight.
Though you have to be careful not to abuse this technique, careful use of bold and header text can help target your post and help your content rank higher for relevant keywords.

2. Link Often — Externally and Internally
Though the search engines do frown upon excessive linking within a single page, most sites make the mistake of not linking often enough.

Including a few outbound links per post is not just a good way to give and get link love, but also shows that that post is legitimate and is a good central source for information
At least as important, however, is to always include at least one or two links to other posts you’ve written. Not only does this help the search engines find, index and weigh those posts, but it also turns those links to inbound ones when and if the post is picked up by other sites.

3. Include Images and Tag Them Well
Images not only help a post stand out visually, making it much more compelling for visitors who primarily see the site in their RSS reader, but it’s also great for SEO as image searches are a compelling way for new visitors to find your site.
However, to help ensure that your images are indexed correctly, be sure to edit your ALT descriptions and captions to make it clear to the search engines what the photo is about.
Also, you may wish to include the word “image” or “picture” when building your tags as many image searches include those terms, making it something that you may wish to target.

4. Fix Canonical URL Issues
Search engines only want to link to each page once so when a page with the same content appears multiple times in the index they begin to downgrade all but one of the results and, sometimes, penalize entire sites.
One of the most common ways this can happen is through a canonical URL issue that causes and to both appear in the index, even though they are the same page.
You can easily fix this by editing your htaccess file to redirect one to the other or you can select your preference using Google Webmaster Tools.

5. Set Up a Sitemap
A sitemap is basically a roadmap of your site designed for the search engines to easily crawl and find all of the pages on the site. Search engines like these because it is much easier for them to find the relevant links (easier than crawling your HTML site) and it helps them find pages they might have missed during a regular crawl.
WordPress users will find a slew of plugins to add sitemaps to their site and there are applications and offline tools for other webmasters. Once you’ve created a sitemap and uploaded it, you can list it in your Google Webmaster Tools account and get verification when Google has parsed it and how many links they indexed from it.

Final Thoughts

To be clear, none of these tips will take a bad site and raise them to the top of the results. In the end, nothing beats quality content and inbound links.  However, these tips can help a quality site get noticed quicker and get ranked a bit higher for more relevant keywords, thus helping them attract more readers and, hopefully, earn more revenue.