November 15 2012 Editor Assistance Newsletter
The holidays are a time when oodles of people are active on the web. It's the perfect time to build traffic, to draw in all those eager web surfers to your site! At the gathering we had a seminar on building traffic. Here are some tips.
* UNIQUE CONTENT
BellaOnline's rules are that your articles are written by you personally, and unique to our site. This is of course for plagiarism issues - but it also is absolutely critical for gaining traffic. If Google sees that your content is found elsewhere, it will discount you as a thief or content farm. Your site's ranking will be dropped like a whale falling to ground from a great height :). [bonus points to those who know where that is from]. Make sure that everything on your site is written by you and can only be found on your site. This gets you high rankings and high traffic.
* EVERGREEN CONTENT
Readers who land on content that talk about "last week" or "tomorrow" often hit the BACK button fairly quickly, because the content seems dated. In many cases the content becomes outright wrong. For example, if they are reading something written in August and it says "last week", they will of course think it means "last week" from today and be completely baffled. Make sure everything you write is fully timeless. If you have to refer to a date, for example when a CD came out, always give the full date. Don't day "yesterday" :).
* WEEKLY (OR MORE) UPDATES
When the web was first becoming popular, few sites updated hourly. Even news sites would update once a day. Now we expect sites to have up-to-the-minute content. The web has competition in every topic area. If I only updated my low carb site monthly, for example, my visitors would flock to the many other sites that have daily updates. They would find those more useful and forget all about me. We can all find time to do a weekly article somewhere in our schedule. If you can, think about doing twice-a-week. The more frequently you write, the more traffic you draw in, and the more readers for *all* your articles. We cover time management later on, to help with that :).
* SOCIAL NETWORKING
We also cover this in more depth later on, but in our modern world social networking is absolutely key. There are people who "live" in Facebook. Others who "live" in Twitter. The only way they know to go read your new article is if you tell them, there, that the article is live to read. They aren't going to check your website daily just to see if you've updated it. Many people don't check email any more. For many people, if you aren't using the social networking feeds, your website becomes invisible to them. They expect you to tell them when you have new content for them to read.
* MEANINGFUL TITLE
Cute titles work well in magazines, but they aren't functional on the web. Search engines match your title against what a person has searched on. No match, no links. Make sure your title clearly describes what is in the article, and avoid "fluff" words.
* MEANINGFUL FIRST PARAGRAPH
People are very cynical now when they use search engines. They often land on a not-great-match page and hit the BACK button after reading a few words. Google tracks this and penalizes the sites that people go BACK from quickly. So you need to make sure the first paragraph of your article is a summary of the article, that clearly indicates what the content is about. Again, while cute intros might work well for magazines or physical newspapers, on the web they cause great harm. Make sure your intro lets your reader know that they are where they want to be.
I started a thread on the topic of building traffic in the Editor forum, here -
Chime in with your own ideas and suggestions!
Lisa Shea, owner
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