Tag Archives: WebSite Traffic

Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend

I’ve been reading the 6th edition of Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend and decided I had to write about it because it’s fabulous.

Much of the information in this book has been primarily valuable for me to reinforce and revisit many already well-known SEO and traffic directing practices. However, I was pleasantly surprised by some hot, relevant tips sprinkled throughout this book that I either never heard of or never thought of as a resource.

The book is literally sectioned off by what to do starting Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. I don’t want to give away too much information provided by this edition, but here’s a tiny preview of what I meant about some information reinforcing and making sense of what we already know.

    I came across a section about how search engines read your site information and why:

  • iframes
  • scripts thrown in with your HTML vs. residing in a separate file
  • tables
  • and graphics with obscure names like DSNC009.jpg
  • wreak havoc on your website’s indexing potential.

With iframes the search engine’s web spider sees virtually no information other than a reference to another page to index.

Scripts can simply limit your pages’ important data from being indexed since most search engines don’t crawl and cache the full length of all information on every page. So the book recommended simple alternatives to run your java scripts.

The info about how websites index tables also got my attention. It is very important that you know how search engines read them especially if you have tables of subjects with definitions or locations or other information that should be read from left to right.

Of course, the tip about renaming pictures with keywords or using alt tags was another good reminder.

It was published in February of 2011 which is important because I don’t read much of any ever-evolving material like social media or web development that hasn’t been published within the last 12 months. (This book covers both social media and best web development practices.)

I really liked this book. It offers helpful references to places to submit your website and dives head first into the newest rage that’s going to stick around for a while – SMO ( Social Media Optimization ).

Website New Layout: Step Two

The advice I am sharing here is geared toward personal and startup blogs. Anyone with a professional or ecommerce blog: Hire a professional developer or purchase a theme geared for professional use.

I had to get a new theme.

I started this website using the old “default” theme that was based on the Kubrick WordPress theme. It was about as basic as I could get it while I was working on my PHP and CSS development skills.

This is my screenshot for step 2:

This still needs QUITE a bit of work, but the menus, and some of the errors I left until “later” have been cleaned up a bit. The layout is improving from step 1.

Why it’s good to go with a theme that is close to what you want:

The trouble with basic though, is that I am constantly having to sort of “re-invent the wheel” just to add special features to my site. This definitely helped me learn a LOT, but because I ran out of time to do all of the coding, as you can see my site got neglected! :(

I went to the WordPress.org Free Themes Page and decided to go with a sort of veteran theme called: Mystique.

I really like Mystique because it has the menus with drop-downs and some really decent social media integration. (Some integration that you would have to massively dissect current widgets to reproduce. Believe me, I’ve had clients who have seen options like ones on other Mystique blogs that were only available because they were hardwired into this theme. – I had to reinvent the wheel again for those)

Why it’s bad for professional websites to go with a theme that is free and used on other websites:

As of this morning, Mystique has been downloaded more than 7,000 times! (That is from wordpress.org alone, it isn’t counting all of those that have been downloaded at Digital Nature’s Website – the author of Mystique!)

That means there are thousands of copycat websites out there that look exactly like this ->

Don’t let yours be one of them!

Now comes the fun part.

Customization

Remember this if this is the first time you’ve heard it:

Changing your WP site layout is NOT just as easy as changing your theme!

WordPress is tricky, something that sounds so easy can turn out to be untangling a web of code to find the code that you need to be moved with you when you move to a new theme! If you aren’t sure about what you are doing…

BACK UP EVERY SINGLE FILE IN YOUR ORIGINAL THEME FOLDER!!!

Do NOT attempt to change your website template unless you know how to make sure you will still have the custom code to watch your traffic, update your rss feed if you use a service like feedburner, or even just keep track of your branding items like: favicons and logos. Next week I plan to edit my layout colors and add my logo back in. :)

Fixes, Adds, and Re-Adds:

☑ My favicon

☑ Google Analytics code

☑ Nav menus: I love navigation menus… They aren’t the easiest thing to write from scratch, so that’s one of the main reasons I was pleased with Mystique for my personal blog.

☑ New (more generalized) categories: I added some better “parent categories” including: “Business, Entertainment, and Technology” I left “Life in General” as a main category for my nav menu.

There is still MUCH to do, but I am finished for tonight. See you next week!

15 Easy Free DoFollow Backlinks to Your Website

Remember from the “Website Backlink Popularity Tools” post: “Backlinks are incoming links to a website, web page, or blog post.” And just so you know, I use the words linkback and backlink interchangeably. :) Also please note that these links will help websites or businesses that are still in the startup phase. I don’t think any of these links have a higher Google Pagerank than 2 or 3. ** This means that creating backlinks from these resources are worthless to a site that already has a pagerank of 4 or higher. **

General Places to Get a Listing for Good (Meaning Not the “NoFollow” Kind) Backlinks / Linkbacks:

1. Merchant Circle is a definite must have business listing. Here’s mine: http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Virtual.IT.Assistants.317-670-9977

2. http://www.haiku.com/VirtualAssistants This one isn’t one of my favorites, but it works.

Helpful Internet Business Tools:

3. Outright is a cool accounting service that Jen uses for her business. I’ll bet that when she first setup an account with them she didn’t realize they’d give her a free good backlink! See her profile: http://entrepreneurs.outright.com/virtual-assistance-by-jen

Social Network Profiles:

4. Fast Pitch Networking is an internet business social network site. A profile here is worth setting up for the good linkback to your business site: http://www.fastpitchnetworking.com/profile.cfm?ContactID=52366547

5. YouTube Got videos? Get them on YouTube and be sure to fill in your business site into your profile for yet another good linkback. See my profile: http://www.youtube.com/user/virtualitassistants (Scroll down to my avatar and see my link under there. If you are curious about where it shows up.)

6. Inbound Marketing University If you are into internet marketing of any kind, you should already have heard of this place . Even if you are already an experienced inbound marketer, you should at least have a profile here. See mine: http://inboundmarketing.com/user/3906. It also gives you a good link.

Twitter: (Of course, the master tool for getting backlinks and traffic. )

7. Mashable Twitterlists See Kena’s Lists: http://mashable.com/twitterlists/user/KenaRoth/ She may not have realized this when she shared her lists here, but it gave her a free link back to her site from mashable.com. Bonus!

Add Yourself to Local Twitter Lists:

8. Twitter States

9. Local Tweeps

(P.S. Find twitterers near you and follow them. It’s great to have friends all over the world, but you be surprised at how practical it is to get tweets regarding events closer to home)

Website and Blog Site Tools with Profiles That LinkBack:

10. Sitemeter Do you like sharing your site analytics? Create a profile at sitemeter.com for your domain.

11. MyBlogLog If you have a blog, then you need to signup for a free account at mybloglog anyway. – Never mind the free backlinks! See some of my blogs: http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/darkbluesun/

These next profiles may be a little less practical for brand new businesses, but you should still know that they are available to anyone.

12. Act.ly Twitter petitions at act.ly include your web address that you use in your twitter profile. I created one about cybercrime awareness a long time ago: http://act.ly/uo. When you stop by, you should sign it! It’s been awhile, but all the info is still very relevant.

13. Quibblo is a  free online quiz creator. It links back to your site when you set up a profile. See mine: http://www.quibblo.com/user/virtualitassistant

14. Google Knowledge Profiles (called Knols): If you have a knol, or have some good content to start a knoll, you should definitely link back to your business site where appropriate. (Only create one or two links. That should be sufficient.) See mine? http://knol.google.com/k/darkbluesun/the-abc-s-for-work-at-home-parents/1jq3j1sfpra4f/1# I just happened to link to myself within this old business starter e-book.

15. Squidoo lens Do you have one? Do you know someone who does? If you create a linkback to your site from it, then it does give you a good link as well. http://www.squidoo.com/darkbluesun#module29853702

Who is linking back to you right now? Check it out at Link Diagnosis. Look for the ones where the link type equals good. And let me know if I missed any other easy linkbacks.

Another great way to get linkbacks is to guest post for a great blog like this one! ;) We had to take a break from that little opportunity for a little bit due to the volume of responses and the lack of extra time to find the best ones. There are still so many great guests we will have before the end of this year I promise. However, we still want to fit you into the rotation as well to get your turn in the spotlight! So signup to be a guest blogger today. If you haven’t heard from us and it has been more than 2 business days since you sent your response then please let us know.

Social Media Should Be Part Of Your Marketing Campaign

Social Media Marketing should be a part of your Internet Marketing Campaign.  But it’s not all about link baiting or viral marketing, which is where a lot of people are confusing Social Media.  Link baiting and viral marketing are “big events” in Internet Marketing and not ongoing activities.  Your business’ focus should be on the ongoing activities… those “big events” are bonuses.

The most common question businesses have is: “Why should I focus on social media when all the content I need is on my website?” which is a valid question to ask.  Working with Social Media involves a shift in thinking that your online strategy needs to be focused in more than one place, not just your website.  The traditional thought is that your website is dependent on generating traffic from one source: search engines.  Through PPC and SEO, you use the “super highway” of Google, Yahoo and MSN to drive people to your site.  But, there is a whole “neighborhood” around you that you need to focus on as well.

If we use a brick and mortar analogy, consider for a moment that your website is your “storefront.”  Your storefront gets a lot of walk-in traffic from one road (which would be your SEO and PPC strategy to your website).  But, you’re starting to notice that some new neighborhoods have sprung up in the area and contain a demographic that matches your target audience.

What do you do?  You wouldn’t sit there hoping your target audiences in these new neighborhoods somehow find out about your store through some random search – you’d look at expanding your business and building more stores in these new locations to meet your audience where they are.  The concept of Social Media Optimization is similar.  You want your website and message to appear where your audience is congregating online.

Just as in any city, there are good and bad locations for your “storefront” or website.  Sometimes, it’s very obvious from your research whether one neighborhood or social media site is better than another. Research is essential!  Just like in the brick and mortar world, finding the best social media site for your company depends on your target audience.  You don’t want to put yourself into a neighborhood that turns out differently than the way you thought it would.

Using Social Media to Grow

One thing I’m always asked from potential clients is, “How can using Social Media help grow my business?”  Social media networks are a fantastic way to promote your business, connect with customers and drive traffic to your website.  Just like anything else, if you want results, you’re going to have to make an effort and it will require a bit of your time.

Many business owners just start using the networking sites without a strategy.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating a strategy when starting out with Social Media.  Not only can a strategy keep your marketing efforts on track, it can keep you from wasting your precious hours.  When setting up a strategy there are some things to remember –

  • The whole team must work together (web guy or gal, graphic designer, writer, IT department, management, Virtual Assistant) as keeping everyone in the “loop” is the only way to go.
  • Don’t expect results overnight. A successful Social Media campaign takes time.
  • Know who you are.  Get them interested in your story and use the tools available to you through social media to pique your customer’s interest and make them invested in who you are.  This makes them want to share you/your business with others.

Figure out your expectations – know what you want out of using Social Media.  Knowing who you’re going after and where to market them, is key.  Is it to drive traffic to your website?  Or is it simply to get your company’s name out there?  Understand your audience and build goals that are realistic and possible.  All of this is fundamental in reaching your goals.

 The use of social media nowadays is very crucial to promote your business. So, determine where to build your communities- as in, find your customers and go wherever they are.

How is Your Business Measuring Up?

As a small business owner, you must measure your successes, failures, and most importantly your progress. Even if you are getting reports from your web developer or social media consultant, it’s smart to know how to get some numbers of your own. Consultants and virtual assistants can bring so much value to your business! Make sure you can measure that value.

How much $$$ is your web presence and SEO worth?


  1. This WMtools link tells you what your website is worth based on Google page rank, backlinks, etc.
  2. Try SERP Analytics to see what keywords your website has and how much their worth! See this analysis of a website I was searching for when I first found this tool: http://www.serpanalytics.com/sites/www.softalize.com. You can simply delete the “www.softalize.com” and type in your own web address. (This really only works well for people who own their own domain.)

How much traffic is your message getting?

  1. Alexa Web InfoAlexa tells you where your website ranks on the traffic level. Many sites aren’t large enough to be given a graph, but the historical data will tell you if your business website is becoming more popular.
    *It also shows you some of your inbound links.
  2. For more on website traffic analytics, see this article: Histats, Google Analytics, and my favorite URL shortener- bit.ly. If you shorten all of your links with bit.ly, you will be able to keep track of how many hits your links are getting.

  3. Klout.com will measure your influence on twitter.

What is your grade? Graders by


  1. Measures a website’s marketing effectiveness and search engine optimization (SEO).

  2. Get the most out of your press releases.

  3. Measure your twitter network reach.

  4. I love this tool! It measures your personal reach with your Facebook profile and your professional reach with your Facebook fan page.

  5. Does your content have “goggledygook words?” Better check it out!

Numbers are so important. We number almost everything in our lives; just look at our clocks, calendars, price tags, and bathroom scales. Some numbers are easier to remember than others, like our favorite television channel, our favorite football players or our best friends’ phone numbers. Others are a little more forgettable, like the number of Hershey’s Kisses you’ve already indulged in (what’s one more?) or how many boxes you were actually carrying up the stairs when you tripped and twisted that ankle. Some can be scary like our credit score or the percentage of our population that’s unemployed. Regardless of what numbers you’re dealing with, it’s so important to make sure you are dealing with them.

Know your numbers and keep tabs on them constantly. You have to know what you need to work on and what actions you need to take to keep it up.

Next week I’ll bring together an article on backlinks. They are also so important and I’ll explain why. Don’t miss it!