Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to get free traffic to your blog

Top ways to increase traffic to your blog or website for free.

Getting traffic to your page requires knowing the tools you have available and being familiar with some concepts of web traffic.

Also read my post on Also check out

How To Make Money With Blogs/Paypal



The Tools

There are lots of tools online to help you with traffic in many different ways.
It can be useful to have some of them bookmarked so you can easily open them in separate tabs to get into a workflow when you do keyword research etc.

Ping Your Blog

Pinging your website means telling different search engines and crawlers that your blog has been updated. There are lots of ping services and Ping-O-Matic automatically pings the best of them, except for the Google blog search, I think, which you have to do manually.
Use these tools every time you post something new to add blog to search engines you might not even have heard of.



This is how you add your url to Google.
Upload your page to the google index (using your google account) and add a sitemap
With this tool you can track how the spiders crawl your website and any errors they come across regarding your sitemap or links.
For more help on how to use this tool and adding sitemaps read This Post

Many popular blog posts start with Google trends.
Whenever you run into a writers block, google trends can give you some ideas on topics to write about. The front page will list the most popular searches for today that deviate from their history.
So that all the popular subjects for today, that haven't been very popular before, are listed.
Giving you some ideas on what the web "needs" you to write about right now.

Check how often your keywords appear in your text.
Its important to have a search engine friendly blog.
If your keywords appear throughout the page too much the crawlers will think you're trying to cheat the engines by link stacking (putting a bunch of words at the bottom of your page etc.) If they appear too little it looks like you're trying to get traffic with misleading titles and keywords.
A good rule of thumb is to have your keywords appear 3-7% throughout your post for the major keywords and 1-2% for the minor.

This is like an optimization search engine for search engine optimization.

Add a whole page (post the url) or add keywords to get a list of related words and phrases on a subject.
You can then sort them by popularity (how many searches in 12 months)
A great way to brainstorm if google trends can't give you any ideas. Keyword Tools searches words based on their general popularity, not by how much they fluctuate, so you can find some topics that will stay popular for a while and generate lower but steady traffic as opposed to looking for the jackpot with Google Trends that will be very poplar for a day or two.

Similar Page Checker
Your website listing will be penalized if you have duplicate content, that means content copied off other pages as well as duplicate phrases/paragraphs on your own site.
Use this tool to see if your website suffers this problem, which can often happen by accident if you use too many labels, or too many similar labels/keywords for one post.
Because sites like blogger makes pages out of labels (lists posts related to subject) using the same or too many labels in a post means Google will end up on the same page more than once when they "crawl" your page for indexing.
this could automatically put you on their "bad" list and decrease your traffic, so for only use a hand-full of keywords/labels each post, just use these tools to pick the ones that count.



Backlink Builder
This tool is to help you build backlinks the lazy way, sites that link to your blog.
It searches the web for pages that contain keyphrases like "Add link", "Add site", "Add URL", "Submit URL" etc.
All pertaining to a certain subject you pick.

Reciprocal Link Check
If you have linkback deals with people make sure they are keeping them.
This tool searches the pages you link to and reports which ones of them are linking back to you.

SEO For Firefox
When you do a google search, this firefox plugin gives you information on why the top results pages are ranked so high. It tells you things like what important pages are linking to them and when the site was added.
Check it out, its a great tool to get some quick information on your competition and how they got to the top.


Google Analytics
A great free website traffic tool.
You can track where visitors are coming from, what path they took from where they entered and how often they return. As well as many other features that makes this great for web site traffic building



THE CONCEPTS:

1.Do keyword research on more than just you keywords
Keep in mind that search engines pick up text from your whole site (ideally) so a good idea is to go through each paragraph of your article, do some keyword research (using the tools above) on the main subject of each article, and find out how you can phrase it better to get more views. Think about how you would phrase your search if you were looking for things on that subject. Search google for some "full phrases" on the subject that you think some people might use and that don't get any results where the "full phrase" is in bold. For example if you have a post or paragraph about Toyota cars see if there are any full phrase results for "best toyota prices". If there are no results where the whole phrase is in bold, then you will get top results when someone writes that exact search, if you have that phrase in your article somewhere. Also use more than one variation of some important words in a paragraph/text, for example look at the tips about pinging your blog in the tools section above, notice I used three versions of the word; ping, pinging and pings.

2.Create a niche
A specific role or a theme for your blog that makes it memorable and useful to others.
The niche is the one thing that makes your blog different from other blogs in the same category. It could be something off topic you do, like humorous quotes at the end of very serious posts, or it could be something about the page design thats different from everybody else.

3.Be active in the community
Use community sites like stumbleupon, technorati, digg and del.icio.us to "bookmark" your page for others to see/rate.
This could be listed under "tools" because it generates lots of free traffic, but the selling technique here is to be social and really participate in the bookmarking activity. By rating other pages and commenting you will be awarded by the system.
So don't look at this like just a tool for adding free traffic because it could screw you over as well if you add too many of your own pages without rating anyone else's.
Don't add every post in your blog, or page in your site to these bookmarking sites, add the most important ones, the ones you think will score high, the ones you spent the most time on. And add or rate someone else's page to, atleast as often as you're adding your own. Maybe go through your bookmarks to see if there are any new pages to add that nobody has added before. Adding lots of new pages (except your own) to the social bookmarking sites generate "fans" that are eager to view anything new you add.


4.Build REAL Linkbacks
In the tools section you learned how to search for "free linkbacks", now lets focus on really valuable linkbacks, links from big blogs of the same subject as yours that generate more traffic.
Google ranks your page by how many pages link to you as well as the popularity of those pages. So to tap into this traffic you need an overview over your competitors and sites with similar content.
Know how to contact them and maybe send a few links out to their pages as well to get noticed (remember they use tools to see who links to them).


5. Keep updating and adding more posts
Search engines like google also rate pages by how often they are updated. Newer pages are often more relevant and important so the more you update, the more often googles web crawlers will visit your page.