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0 comments | Friday, February 01, 2013



No-brainer tools and tips to help boost your site's traffic

Whether you blog for fun, to expand your writing portfolio, or just to drive traffic to your site, bloggers and webmasters are always looking to expand their audiences. With an ever increasing number of personal blogs and small companies operating solely through the internet, however, getting noticed online takes a lot more skill and calculation than ever before. Sites like Etsy have upped the ante for small business owners looking to hock their wares online, spawning a new generation of internet companies. Bloggers, too, have found ways to monetize what may have started as simply a hobby, running ads on their sites to generate revenue. Even if making money is not a main objective for your website, in most cases gaining a broader audience is a welcome side effect. Though the scope of the internet and the idea of search engine optimization may be intimidating, there are quite a few ways for even novice bloggers to increase traffic to their sites.
This valuable tool provides an inside look at what keywords are the most popular among web users, tracking the search volume by years, months or days. With an interface that looks almost exactly like Google’s standard web search screen, this device is ultra accessible. Webmasters can type in keywords for their blogs’ areas of interest to see which words have driven more traffic in recent days. Google Trends also displays related search words, offering more options for bloggers to include on their sites and in tags. Searches can also be refined to specific countries and regions within those countries to target audiences by location.
Even if your blog is not hosted through platform giant WordPress, its support site offers valuable tips and resources for increasing views to web pages. Some advice, such as publicizing new posts through social media sites and using carefully selected tags and categories, is fairly common sense. WordPress also suggests following, commenting on and linking to other blogs to gain exposure. Consistently posting fresh content often is another way to make sure your site stays relevant and well-trafficked. In addition, WordPress recommends using paid discovery sites, like StumbleUpon, for those who want to up the ante on their viewership flow.
Social media management services like HootSuite allow bloggers and webmasters to simplify and streamline the process of marketing and publicizing their web content. HootSuite connects Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media accounts, as well as WordPress blogging. This service can be especially useful for small online businesses that want to reach out to and stay connected with their customers. By connecting all forms of Internet presence, shop owners and bloggers can not only save themselves time, but also engage a wider audience.
  • Humanize Your Online Presence
Though many aspects of networking have changed in the past 20 years, the one constant is the need for a personal touch. This means not only connecting to others in your community online, but actively maintaining relationships with that community. A forum of top social media entrepreneurs on Social Times suggests responding to posts and tweets with personalized responses rather than automated responses, showing that those who follow you will get one-on-one engagement. Comment on blogs, reach out to collaborate with others in your field and relate on a level that is more human than just sharing links to other websites. Creating long-term connections expands your viewership circle and can often lead to more productivity. Because the world of social media and SEO is always changing, one of the most important things bloggers can do is to keep up with what is current in their worlds. Simply staying connected may be the tip of the iceberg, but it will always be necessary to gain a following.

John Gower is an analyst at NerdWallet, a personal finance website connecting consumers with the best CD rates, fee-free checking, rewards credit cards, and more.

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