3 simple ways to improve your site traffic by working offpage.

July 11, 200910 Comments
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Sometimes, you’ll spending time away from your website content is a good thing. Whilst I’ve still an advocate for the content is king mantra, sometimes concentrating on the things you can do that aren’t content related is important. lIt allows you to come back with fresh ideas, and lets you concentrate on building up resources to help you promote your existing site. So in the time that you have spent away from posting new content what things can you do to help build traffic offpage?

Build a seed list

seed

Knowing where to promote your existing and new material is important. You can’t simply publish material online and expect instant results, especially if you are starting a new website. For one, you’ll be locked in the Google Sandbox and as a result, you’ll be unlikely to hit any major traffic from the search engines (initially anyway – as you won’t rank that highly for any term).

A seed list is simply a list of websites that allow you to submit new and fresh content to them, and they will take snippets of it, and display it as community news or user links.  I try to concentrate on the ones with the most traffic when I’m collating them – initially doing some traffic research so I hit the major sites within a niche. You should be a magpie for this sort of stuff – keeping an eye out for other potential resources as you browse around the web.

One other way to find candidates for content seeding is Delicious search. I tag the stuff I’ve found so its easy to find when I’ve created a large piece of linkbait, and I’ve found that the tags I use are pretty similar to other webmasters with the same idea as me. Within Delicious I can easily add them to my network, and keep an eye out for the stuff they are saving with that tag, if they consistently provide great sites that are tagged, I’ll add them to a folder within my Google reader – you can subscribe to an RSS search for a particular tag within Delicious pretty easily.

Improve your site speed

speed

It might seem obvious, but Google loves speed, and so will your users. In this age of widespread broadband usage, we’ve all started to forget about optimising our JPEG’s and compressing our HTML. Don’t abuse the priviledge of faster connections. Whilst everyone else is busying themselves with creating graphically richer and richer sites; strip back and be ruthless with what you display.

I’ve recently began the process of doing just that. I’ve removed some plugins that were installed, but not used. I’ve ripped out Google Analytics in my header, and moved it to the bottom of the page. And I’m in the process of optimising graphics to make for a nippier experience site wide.  If you haven’t already done so, you can download the fantastic Firebug and Yslow from Yahoo, to get a feel for bottlenecks on your site. I guarantee your traffic and pageviews will thank you for it. I’ve another blog post in the works on other ways you can improve your speed as it deserves a post on its own.

Improve your Authority

authority

Authority is extremely important online. A perception of your value influences how visitors react to your content. This is why guest posts are important, because you are not only piggy backing of the recipients traffic; but you are piggy back off their authority. It’s almost like speaking through their lips, gets your message listened to easier. So how do you become an authority online? There are a number of ways to do this:

1) Get your name out into traditional media as often as you can.
Trade publications within a niche are often looking for content writers. Their may be an opportunity to rehash something that you’ve already put on your blog and use it within a magazine.

2) Start giving the Answers.
Sites such as Yahoo Answers and Linked In Answers are easy pickings. I could easily answer twenty questions within about 15 minutes, which both gets me noticed for providing great answers, and gets me backlinks from my profile. Be warned though – spam in any way shape or form, and your authority goes down the drain. A good rule of thumb is that if you can deep link to a blog post on your site, and it supports the answer further its probably ok. Posting “visit my site to find out more” and then just your domain – not so cool.

If nothing else these sorts of sites provide the perfect water cooler for you to try out new ideas on people, and further improve your networking connections. I’ve also had many a lightbulb turned on from reading the sorts of questions other people ask, which has directly resulted in a blog post.

3) Improve your comment quality and quantity

I’ve posted before about comments, and the right and wrong way to do it. So I won’t go into too much indepth on the matter. Bottom line, improve the quality and quantity of the things you say on other peoples blogs, and the quality and quantity of your traffic will improve. Simple.

4) Guest post

Identify good blogs by using tools such as Technorati, and the traffic tools I’ve mentioned earlier. Offering them guest posts has the benefit of reaching an audience which may cross over to your own site, and also gets your name out further online.

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About the Author ()

Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.

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  1. heather says:

    We have a really niche site. Artists who work with kids. The arts is already a tiny slice. And artists who are online in Ireland? A smaller slice again. And then… artists who work with kids? Even smaller! It’s a useful site, no doubt; we’re growing slowly, but the feedback is good. Content is good.

    However, getting traffic is a challenge. There really aren’t alot of arts ‘Content Hubs’ to promote Practice.ie. Also, not alot of blogs (that I can see so far) on artists who work with kids. We’re trying to change that by offering training, and getting more artists online.

    But have you any advice for people in really tiny niche areas?

    Thanks for all your articles, having a good read of them. (Glad to see I’m doing somethings right, and keen to try some other stuff out!)

  2. Paul Anthony says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for stopping by. I think firstly I’d try and get out of the mindset of being in that niche of artists who work with kids. Bring it up a level and target artists solely – where there is a chance that some of them may either tell other artists about your organisation or be inspired to do so off the back of your content.

    The sort of things I would probably do RE: linkbait for your site would be to provide for instance, a search facility where artists could find supplies / good art shops anywhere in ireland with say a rating for customer service / scope of products on offer. This would both bring in the people you need, and get your site “out-there”

    As for the blogs on a quick Google I found some candidates – http://irishartblog.com/ for example would be a great place to get a backlink. Voluntary Arts project would be another – http://www.voluntaryarts.org/

    I think ultimately for tiny niche’s perhaps try and attract other people who can spread your message for you. The long tail will also be important for you within your content.

  3. Phil says:

    Hi Paul,
    Great post, as always!
    One other comment on page speed checkers. You mentioned Yslow and Firebug, but Google also offer an extension to Firefox/Firebug called ‘Page Speed’ (ingenious name don’t you think?!) Check it out here http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/
    Cheers,
    Phil

  4. Paul Anthony says:

    Thanks Phil,

    I have been toying with doing post dedicated to increasing page speed, along with a few tools / plugins to supplement – that will be a useful one to add to the collection.

    Paul.

  5. Rob says:

    The speed list is a great way to go. I have one, but usually only use it for the better posts.

  6. Dawn Baird says:

    The Seed List is a great idea, Paul. Thanks for explaining it so clearly. Another top blog post, yet again!

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