There are a lot of tricks you can use to attract visitors to your blog or website. Many of these won’t work as search engines usually figure these tricks out long before you get around to trying them. The best way to attract visitors to your blog is to provide the information they are seeking and having the search engines be amply supplied with enough information to generate your blog in people’s search results.
While blatant and even subtle tricks won’t work, there is a legitimate method of attracting visitors to your blog. However, these techniques only work if the entire blog’s content follows through with related information and resources of interest to the visitor.
Just like fishing, you can toss out baited hooks that may catch potential readers. The bait consists of popular, commonly searched for post topics. A few years ago, viruses and email spammers were all the rage and top of search engine’s most popular search keywords. Today, hot topics are tags, feeds, social bookmarking, and blogs. Have a few articles on one or more of these topics on your website and it may turn up in the search results, leading people to your blog.
Unfortunately, if your hook is good but too small, you will lose many fish. You can lure visitors in with posts on hot topics but you need to keep them on the hook with solid food: good related content.
Let’s say one of your posts about WordPress Themes, a popular search term for WordPress fans, attracts a lot of visitor traffic. People may arrive on your blog to examine this information, but they may also want more. If this is the only post you have written about WordPress and WordPress Themes, people will usually not hang around or return to visit again, especially if most of your blog content is about bird watching. You need to give them more related content. Your bait should match your overall content, or at least represent a good portion of the related information on your blog.
You have to give people a reason to visit, and then a reason to return, in order to maintain a solid viewing audience.
Successful Bait and Hooks Keeps Consistent Traffic
Search engines, like Google, evaluates your posts and blog to determine its Page Rank on search result lists. The higher on the list, the more likely people are to find your blog from their search results. A good Page Rank is developed many ways, and one of those is through your site’s traffic reports, the number of visitors to your blog.
This number isn’t a popularity contest. Many people brag about X number of visitors in a week or a month. Or just on one day. Search engines don’t care about these selective statistics. Search engines are now smart enough to look at the overall statistics. For example, if one of your posts suddenly captures the attention of Digg or Slashdot and your site traffic spikes for a couple of days, your heart may swell with pride and bragging rights, but Google’s Page Rank program will say to itself, “Yeah, well, that’s nice but what does this really mean?” It looks at the statistics over the long term, not just for a day or two. If the next day your blog stats drops to 100 visitors and averages 100 visitors for the next several weeks, your median average is what matters, not the spikes of 10,000. Search engines like steady traffic over long periods of time.
Consistent traffic is developed in two ways: Providing consistent, regular, quality content to a dependable audience and/or having enough hooks to keep people coming to your blog and enough bait to keep them hanging around for more. Either way, the key is “consistency”. Consistent quality, consistent topics, consistent new information, and consistent content.
Consistent content creates a reputation. People come here because they’ve learned that I consistently write about tips and techniques about WordPress and helping bloggers to learn more about how to blog and improve their blogging skills. They don’t come here, unless by accident, to learn about what Britney Spears or Oprah Winfrey are doing. People come back to this site because they know what kind of information they will find, consistently.
Steady traffic is good, but the key is to keep it steadily rising upwards, too. Steady and non-changing indicates a plateau, but steady and slowly rising means you are doing something right. Something right means attracting new readers, and one method is to put fresh bait out on the hook and hope they find it, arrive on your blog, and then find a reason to hang around and return for more nibbles.
Our Bait and Hooks
We have a few posts that regularly attract a high number of visitors, our baited hooks, if you will. New readers arrive daily through these articles, pushing the blog traffic statistics slowly upward as more and more people discover my blog, and swelling the ranks between those suddenly popular high traffic posts that come and go in popularity.
- HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets
- Buttons, Bows and Badges for Your Blog
- Google Page Ranks, Google News, Google Gossip, and Google Blues
- Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites
- Choosing a WordPress Theme
- Blogging Tips – Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog
- Adding Technorati Tags to WordPressMU and WordPress.com Blogs
- Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a Sandbox
- DIYI Search Engine Optimization
- Designing a Rainbow – Sexy Hot Colors
- The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin
- A Tagging Bookmarklet for WordPress and WordPress.com Users
- More Must Have Bookmarklets Than You Can Swing a Browser At
Some of these I created out of the normal course of action on this blog, writing about WordPress and blogging, not realizing that they would become so popular. Others were created out of a selfish need to have a list of resources to reference for me in the future, and others found them to be really helpful, too. No surprise there. Others were created specifically as a method to attract visitors to this site. Part of my marketing campaign.
Can you tell which articles are which on the list?
Do you think that Google Page Ranks, Google News, Google Gossip, and Google Blues and Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites were written because of the popularity of Google? Actually, I wrote these because I was puzzled over the popularity of Google and all their myriad new features and functions. I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about and what people were fussing about. I didn’t think that these would rise to the top of the list of my most visited posts. I thought everyone was writing about Google.
Buttons, Bows and Badges for Your Blog and Designing a Rainbow – Sexy Hot Colors came out of research I was doing for myself to create resources for Theme designers for the articles I write in the WordPress Codex and the classes I teach on website design and development.
The truth about DYI Search Engine Optimization is that I was sick and tired of finding tons of get-rich-quick schemes for people on web page design and development, hawking SEO services for money. While rich people may have no problem handing over their websites and blogs to someone who will overcharge them for what they could do themselves, most of us don’t have that kind of money and need help understanding that it isn’t that complicated, nor costly, to do it yourself. Sure, there are tons of valid and qualified web page designers and developers out there, and take advantage of them for sure, but I was also really ticked off at web design and hosting services spewing forth pay-for-seo services while their own sites aren’t SEO nor web standard compliant. It’s amazing how brilliant you can write when you are really pissed off.
Blogging Tips – Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog could qualify as one of my “hooks”, but it actually started out as a project for myself to increase the number of resources from which I find creative inspiration and motivation to blog about. I kept adding to the list for over a year. Once I categorized my list, I realized that I had quite a treasure and that it was selfish to keep it to myself. I decided to share the list with others, which made me do more research to broaden the scope of resources, turning it into an even bigger list. Wow! It continues to attract new visitors every day, so it has become a great hook, though it wasn’t intended to be one.
Choosing a WordPress Theme, Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a Sandbox, and Adding Technorati Tags to WordPressMU and WordPress.com Blogs are some of the most popular posts written as self-discoveries that I wanted to share as lessons learned about WordPress, WordPress.com, and blogging. I’ve learned that if I’m struggling with something then others are struggling with the same thing, so I try to share my discoveries and solutions with others to help them, like I wish I’d had someone to help me. My blog traffic stats tell me that I’m succeeding.
HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets and More Must Have Bookmarklets Than You Can Swing a Browser At were written as part of my marketing plan to offer resources that that would attract new visitors to my blog. These are the blatant hook articles.
Did you guess right?
Not All Bait and Hooks Work for Luring Visitors
Not everything I’ve written with the intention to be hooks for this blog made it into the top posts that consistently bring in traffic. Conquering Site Validation Errors, Code Snippets – Help, Cheating, and Goodness, Whose Blogging – Celebrity Blogs on the Rise, and CSS and Web Page Design List of Resources were all written with the intension of being good hooks, but they fizzled. Sure, they bring in some traffic, but 10 visitors a day per post isn’t as good as 100 or more. Google’s stock has been dropping this week, so if something happens and the Google bubble bursts, you can bet that my articles about Google will drop from a hundred or more visitors a day to 10. Such is the risk when you play bait and hook games. Still, consistency wins.
Many who find their way to this blog will find that these posts aren’t out of line with the overall theme and content of the site, so many hang around waiting for more. And I deliver, which keeps them coming back for more.
There is nothing wrong with providing content that matches the rest of your blog’s content in an effort to attract readers. In fact, if you aren’t thinking this way, start now. Attracting and maintaining readers is critical to your blog’s overall success. People stop hanging around and blog traffic levels drop if there isn’t something there to hold their attention. Page rank drops. In turn, your enthusiasm drops. Your blog will slowly die.
So start writing some attention getting hooks.
- See What Search Engines See When They Visit Your Website
- Writing Effective, Attention-Getting Headlines and Titles on Your Blog
- Creating Effective, Attention-Getting Headlines and Titles
- One Year Anniversary Review: Searching and Search Engines
- SEO Secret: Exploring How Search Engines Explore
- One Year Anniversary Review: Most Popular Articles on Lorelle on WordPress
- Creating Attention Getting Linkable Content
- Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization
- Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites
- Top Posts from Lorelle on WordPress
- Posts and Articles I’m Proud of Writing
- Horse Sex and What is Dictating Your Blog’s Content?
- How People Search the Web and How They Can Find Your Blog
- When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog?
- Are You Missing Out By Not Practicing SEO Techniques?
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