Monday, October 15, 2012

Time For Your Transformation from Blogger to Webmaster



Ready to transform from being a blogger into being a Webmaster? 

I bet you’re wondering how you’re going to do that. 
First, let's take a look at where we started. In the episode titled Start Your Blogging Journey Today, we talked about how to decide on a blog topic and how to pick a domain name for your blog. Next we focused on the importance making connections and collaborations with other bloggers.
In this next phase of your blogging journey you are going to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of the traffic that is coming to your blog.

Enter Google Webmaster Tools 

Learn Why To Use Webmaster Tools via @Ileane
If you haven’t submitted your blog to Google’s index yet, the best way to do that is by submitting a sitemap of your blog to Google Webmaster Tools. 
It might sound super geeky to do this but it’s really not all that technical. 
Most WordPress blog themes have this feature built in already or you can install a plugin like the XML Sitemap plugin.  

Once your site is included in Google’s index, you should also verify your site with Bing Webmaster Tools as well, so that your blog is included in their index also. 
Google Webmaster Tools for Basic Blog Tips
Search Queries in  Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools will "teach" you several lessons about the performance of your site and help you evaluate how effective you are at attracting website visitors. 

Go to the Traffic section of the report, click on Search Queries, and you'll find the following columns of data:

Queries: Number of search terms people are looking for
Impressions: Number of times your site shows up in Google's search results or SERP
Clicks: Number of times people saw your site in search and click through (also known as TRAFFIC!) 

Google Webmaster Tools versus Google Analytics 

There is a clear distinction between Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. 
Google Analytics - tells you about all the traffic you have coming to your blog. It tracks all of the traffic no matter what source it comes from. You can find out how many visitors come to your site from social media sites, links on other blogs, paid advertising promotions, other search engines, YouTube, etc. 

Analytics also tells you how long people stayed on the page, how many pages they visited and more. 

Webmaster Tools - provides details of your sites performance in Google’s index or in their search results pages. You can find the keywords or search terms that people are looking for that send traffic to your blog.  Connect Google Analytics to Webmaster tools

For more information about Google Analytics read Google Analytics Integrations: Centralizing Digital Marketing by Daniel Waisberg.

Monitoring Keywords That Send You Traffic

In the traffic report you can click on any column heading to sort by that item. For example, select the "Click" column and you'll see the top post on your blog that is getting "organic" traffic.  
Hopefully you will find that you are getting traffic based on something you want to get traffic for. Use this information to develop more content on the that topic. Go into more detail about the topic or approach it from a different point of view and be sure to interlink the new post with the old one to boost your rankings even higher. 

On the other hand, you might find that you're getting organic traffic for terms that is relevant to blog's topic but you don't have enough expertise to do a follow up post, see if you can get someone to do a guest post. 

CASE STUDY: In the podcast I joked about a post on my other blog Basic Blog Tips about The Benefit of Having an iPhone. That particular post ranked on page one of Google and sent tons of traffic to my blog. The problem was that I couldn't do a follow-up post myself because I don't have an iPhone. As fate would have it, turns out that one of my guest authors, Ahmed Raza has lots of expertise and knowledge in the area of mobile marketing. He wrote a follow up post called Ten Smartest iPhone Apps for Bloggers and now that post is getting all of the organic traffic from people searching for tips about using the iPhone. This is the ideal situation for me because Ahmed's post is much more relevant to my audience and the type of visitors that I want to attract - bloggers. These visitors will tend to stay on the blog and look at other articles versus traffic from the older post, who were people just looking for information about using iPhones. 

This is just one example of how you can use your new found "webmaster" skills to increase traffic and more importantly send the right signals to Google so they can send targeted traffic and potential clients and customers to your blog. 

I'd like to hear from you. Have you submitted your sitemap to Google? Did you connect your Analytics to your Google Webmaster account yet? 

Be sure to check out Google's Webmaster Academy.

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