For the last month or so I’ve been promoting this blog pretty hard, actually spending more time on carlgalloway.com than most of my other sites in an effort to increase traffic and boost revenue. All of my activities have begun to pay off now and I’ve managed to increase monthly revenue from this site to over $500, from only $300 a month ago.
In a previous entry I talked about blog promotion for beginners and offered some basic tips for increasing traffic. I’ve also talked about some basic SEO that you can do that will improve your ranking in the major search engines.
So, cutting to the chase, what’s involved in taking these steps further, your site should be indexed and getting steady traffic now, and it’s time to ramp this up. This is where we both get to learn together, you see this blog has always just been my personal templating site, a site where I talk about things of interest to me, a place to call my own and not worry about making money from it. Not anymore.Check Your Stats
My advice to you right now is to start analysing your traffic using some sort of stats package. There are a number available, Google Analytics, Sitemeter, AddFreeStats, all offer the same sort of information, and are much better than Webalizer or AwStats which often come free with hosting. I have used Google analytics, but my brain finds the AddFreeStats package easier to read.
In fact, I recommend staying well clear of Webalizer since your stats are publicly available to anyone who wants to see them, and worse yet, are open to abuse by spammers who get backlinks from your URL by simply visiting your site from their own. And it’s a good idea if you use AddFreeStats to password protect your stats for the same reason.
The things to keep an eye on as you grow your site are;
1. Top entry pages
2. Most requested pages
3. Top search engine referrals
4. Top keywords used to find your site
5. Top exit links
6. How many pages each visitor reads
7. Number of unique visitors vs returning visitors
8. Country of origin
9. Browser used
As an example, I can tell you from my stats that 30% of all my traffic is referred from sites with lists of Blogger templates, 70% of my visitors are using a mozilla (Firefox/Netscape) browser yet 80% are using Windows XP, and the top search engine keyword is Solar Power. Surprised?
This is precisely why it is so important to be aware of your stats, and it allows you to make decisions about how best to promote your site, whether you need to be overly worried about browser compatibility, and which keywords to write more topics around.
Improving Traffic by Using Your Site Stats
Logic would say that if a huge percentage of my traffic is looking for Blogger templates that I should produce more Blogger templates as if you couldn’t have guessed.
Similarly, it would make sense for me to write more topics around the top search engine keywords, which on this site might indicate writing more about solar power. In my case however, this keyword is often linked with the phrase South Africa. But what I’m most excited about is the steady increase in people visiting my site for marketing information. If only I could write a definitive entry about all of these.
What do your stats look like? Let’s start with your major referral sites, where does most of your organic traffic come from. Organic traffic is non-search engine traffic where other sites and bloggers have linked to you. They may have done so on their own sites or through social bookmarking sites, either way this is great traffic to have. What I want you to do is visit each of these sites and see how your site is described, why are people linking to you?
Now find half a dozen sites that are on the same topic and aren’t linking to you. First off, can you make comments on their blog? Second, can you email the owner to request a link? Third, do they have a discussion forum where you can sign up and post replies and just as importantly, where you can have a forum signature with a link to your site?
Now check out your keywords. Are there any in the list that really excite you? You could write about every keyword, but if you own a general blog like this one, you’ll probably find many of your keywords are incompatible, so pick the keywords that excite you the most and write entries around these. Two things will come of this, your search engine positioning will continue to improve in this area, and the visitors who find you from these keywords will have more to read.
I hope these short tips help you out, best of luck growing your traffic, comment below if you would like to share your experiences.