March 4, 2014 at 2:10 pm #24763
My sites have generally ranked very well in Google over the years, usually on the first page for even major keyword phrases in my niches.
Then I merged three of my sites and moved to this domain. After a domain change you always run the risk of losing rankings for a while until things sort themselves out. It happened, as I expected. But I was prepared.
My traffic hasn’t changed much since those major rankings drops. Longtail search has picked up some of the slack (ranking for longer and more specific search phrases). But I also put a lot of effort into diversifying my traffic sources.
While I won’t go into all of the details, I do want to share a few tips on diversifying your blog traffic sources just in case you find your own blog caught in ranking fluctuations:
- Get social — Social media platforms can be amazing sources of traffic. You might need to play around with them for a while to find the best networks, posting schedules, etc. for your own blog and readership. I’ve so far had the best luck with Twitter, followed by Google+ (which I’m still figuring out as I go along). I’ve just started using Pinterest, although I’m not really active there yet. I’ll be interested in seeing how that one plays out.
- Give people something to share — I’ve always been a fan of using free resources to encourage people to share a site with others in their network. It’s a great way to keep your referral traffic up. Here, the markets and online calculators I had developed for the site bring in the most direct referrals. Those natural links also help those pages bring in more search traffic, which is a nice added bonus.
- Keep readers coming back — Perhaps the best traffic source you can build is direct traffic — people who come to your site on their own on a regular basis. You don’t have to rely on someone else sending them to your blog. You can increase repeat visits by posting high quality content on a regular basis. I’ve found that the more I post, and the more consistently I post, the higher my direct traffic levels are.
What else do you do to make sure your blog doesn’t rely too heavily on Google or any other third party traffic source?March 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm #24766
I send out a newsletter that gives people incentive to visit the blog. It’s small, but it’s something.
Also, I have things that are unique to me — Writers Worth Week, Free Advice Friday, and This Job Not That Job. Each of those came from what readers either asked for or responded strongly to. I consider it my responsibility to give readers quality content, not just regurgitated advice that’s been done to death.
And I try to engage them in conversation. No one likes to think of the blogger as this unreachable entity. Last I looked, very few of us are celebrities. 🙂March 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm #24769
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