Tag Archives: Traffic

7 alternatives to Google Analytics

We all use Google Analytics to track visitors to our WordPress sites.  Right?  Not necessarily.  There were several services before Analytics was the standard, and even more have popped up in recent years that compete with the big G!  Here are some of the best options out there, with a little analysis of our own.

But first, some critique of Google Analytics which has caused some webmasters to look elsewhere.

  • Delay.  Have you ever found yourself checking your stats at 12:01 AM?
  • Reliability. Analytics isn’t supposed to count bots and spiders, but have you ever found a massive spike in traffic with no real explanation?  Or perhaps you’ve wondered how a search term of “green chili recipes” brought someone to your blog about rugby?
  • Ease of use.  There are some very powerful features built into Analytics, but for 90% of webmasters, they’re overboard.  Sometimes I just want a simple, stylish graph of traffic.

Here are several alternatives to Analytics that address some of these issues.

Woopra

  • Real Time
  • Easily compare and manage multiple sites
  • Tons of trackable information
  • Promises additional features soon

Clicky

  • Real time statistics
  • Free and paid plans
  • Most of the popular features of Analytics
  • A graphically pleasing layout
  • Offers a WordPress Plugin to integrate with your site.
  • Has an impressive client list including Mashable, SmashingMagazine and BuySellAds.com

Piwik

  • Real Time
  • Simple
  • Open Source
  • Plugin powered so you can add/remove features
  • Installed on your server so you have complete control and ownership of the data

Sitemeter

  • One of the originals
  • Free and paid plans
  • Easy and fast to set up
  • Easily share your stats (or secure them from) visitors

Chartbeat

  • Real time
  • Simple interface
  • Traffic alerts
  • $9.95/month at press time

Reinvigorate

  • Real time
  • Event tracking
  • “Heat map” technology
  • Desktop integration

Mint

mint-analytics

  • Self-hosted for full control
  • Search support
  • Feed subscription patterns
  • $30 per domain – One off

Do you know of another alternative to Google Analytics?  Share it below with your comment.

20+ tips for promoting your blog

At Pingable we’re all about WordPress, which is all about blogging (and a few other things).  With an estimated 900,000 blogs created every day, many of them don’t last more than a few weeks.  Bloggers put tons of energy into their blogs, then get disappointed when nobody reads them.  Here are our favorite ways to promote blogs, both new and old:

For new blogs:

  1. Use RSS – make sure your syndication feed is available and prominent on your blog.
  2. Sign up for social bookmarking services like Technorati, Mixx, Reddit, Delicious, etc.  Don’t just submit your articles, become an active user by voting on other peoples submissions.  Become an active member of the blogosphere.
  3. Submit your blog to directories like Blogcatalog
  4. Join forums related to your niche and become active in them as well.  Use your forum signature to promote your blog (read the rules of the forum, some are really strict)
  5. Start building relationships with other bloggers.  Ideally, with bloggers who share your topic.  Building relationships could be exchanging links, just sending an email, commenting on their posts or sharing their posts with your favorites social bookmarking service (See #2).
  6. Similar to building relationship, you should look at guest-blogging.  This is a valuable tool for building your initial blog traffic and reputation.  Almost all big blogs have a policy for accepting guest blog submissions.  They get free content, you get exposure, everyone wins.
  7. Also along the same vein of building relationships is this little trick: write about someone else’s post, make sure to clearly credit them and provide a link.  Then reach out to the original author and let them know you’ve featured their post on your site.  This is both good blog karma and a good way to encourage backlinking.
  8. Set up social networking accounts at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.  These can be powerful tools for retaining new visitors and pulling them back again when you post new content.  Services like this only help if you cultivate a community around your blog.  They are not idle sources of traffic that require no work from you.
  9. Thoroughly plan your blog out.  Ask yourself important questions instead of just jumping into writing content which can be the most exciting part.  Ask yourself:-What is this blog going to be about?
    -Who are my readers going to be?
    -Why will they want to read this blog?
    -Do I have the time to commit to this?
  10. Decide what design will best fit your blog.  Consider the answers to the above questions, plus:
  11. -What format will my content be in?
    -How large will my images be?
    -Where can I place my social networking links?
    -Does the design help organize content effectively?
    -Is there room for expansion?
    -Is there room for advertising?

  12. Set up an analytics tool like Google Analytics or Web Clicky so you can target traffic sources and figure out what works.  A word to the wise: don’t stalk your analytics, checking them every few minutes – you’ll just go crazy.

For established blogs (promoting your content)

  1. Ping like your life depends on it.  WordPress is set to automatically ping a service called “Ping-o-Matic” which will then notify the most popular blog tracking services.  If you want to take it to the next level, check out this resource.
  2. Make sure users can easily share your content.  WordPress has many plugins for this, one of our favorites is Sexy Bookmarks which puts sharing links below each post.
  3. Submit each post (or just the good ones) to social voting sites.  We like Dzone and a few others.
  4. Submit your blog to Dmoz.  We didn’t put this one under the new blog list above because it won’t get accepted if it’s brand new.  Getting accepted depends on you having quality content and a legitimate reputation.
  5. Use Google’s Keyword tool to target traffic and determine post titles.
  6. Establish your blogroll.
  7. Set up Wibiya – a very cool new toolbar for your blog.
  8. Stumble every post.  Don’t spam it, just submit it once so others may stumble upon it.
  9. Submit every post to Digg, Technorati, Mixx, Reddit, and all the other social bookmarking tools you can find.
  10. Give something away.  Commission some free icons, a free WordPress theme or something related to your niche.  This will both attract new readers and encourage sharing.
  11. Continue to build relationships with other bloggers.  Write guest posts, share links, comment on other blog posts, participate in forums, etc.

Sources:

The Great List Of Ways To Get Traffic To Your Blog

I have scanned the Internet for ideas and ways to drive traffic to blogs. This list is what I have come up with so far. As time goes on I will update, edit, add to the entries, as I think of/ find more ideas. I would love others to contact me with or leave a note in the comments with other ideas. You will get a link back for your efforts.

Social media

  1. Submit a design related article to Design Float.
  2. Submit a developer / programming related article to DZone.
  3. Submit a blogging related article to Blogging Zoom.
  4. Use StumbleUpon, and make friends…maybe submit an article or two of your own, but submit great articles whenever you find them.
  5. Write about Apple products, linux, or flame Geroge Bush and submit your content to Digg.


    Give Something away for free

  6. Create some icons and give them away.
  7. Create some vector graphics and give them away.
  8. Take quality photos with an SLR digital camera, and give them away.
  9. Create a WordPress theme and give it away.
  10. Create a WordPress plugin or widget and give it away.
  11. Create a free directory and give link love away for free.


    Directories

  12. List your site on Blog Catalog and get involved, leave comments, join communities.
  13. Submit your blog to directories in your niche. Daily SEO Tips has a new directory.
  14. Submit your blog to all of the directories on Robin Good’s list of RSS directories.
  15. submit your site to DMOZ and other directories that allow free submissions.


    Other Blogs

  16. Comment on other blogs.
  17. Links to other blogs.
  18. Make friends with other bloggers and suggest a blogroll link exchange, but not with too many.
  19. Guest post for other blogs.
  20. Give credit to those that inspire your posts.
  21. Participate in group writing posts.
  22. Participate in blog carnivals.
  23. Contact popular blogs in your niche to exchange links.
  24. Write an amazing article then send it to some blogs in your niche as a guest post proposal.
  25. Hold a contest with great prizes.
  26. Leave the first comment, particularly on larger blogs.


    Content

  27. Write posts that people will want to read.
  28. Break news.
  29. Share your expertise.
  30. Tag your posts.
  31. Create controversy.
  32. Post pictures of celebrities.
  33. Create podcasts.
  34. Wrote a post about how rubbish a current fade is.
  35. Use images in your posts and add alt descriptions with keywords.
  36. Write for beginners.
  37. Highlight your most popular posts.
  38. Try to ensure that you don’t have too many grammatical or spelling errors. .
  39. Write top 10 lists.
  40. Write link bait.
  41. Write timeless content as often as possible.
  42. Share with others what has worked for you.


    Search Engine Optimisation

  43. Use keywords in your headings that relate to your main topic, but make sure your headings are attractive to humans too.
  44. Use a memorable domain name.
  45. Use keyword research to find good keywords to use in your posts.


    Community Interaction

  46. Post in forums that relate to your niche and help people out often, be a nice person, and don’t flame.
  47. Great a video, host it on Youtube, and watermark your blogs name into the video.
  48. Join a relevant blog network, I get link juice and visitors from Tech Dispenser.
  49. Answer a question on yahoo answers that links to a blog post you wrote.
  50. Put your blog URL in forum profile footers.
  51. Squidoo lens with a link to your blog .


    Buy it

  52. Buy it through networks like Adsense.
  53. Buy a review from another blog.
  54. Buy text link ads… carefully.


    Your Own blog

  55. Reply to comments.Use a well designed theme.
  56. Use WordPress.
  57. Encourage readers to become RSS subscribers.
  58. Ping blog services like Pingomatic and Pingoat.


    Design

  59. Make sure your content is readable and accessible.
  60. Don’t overfill key content areas with advertising.
  61. Don’t use too many plug-ins.
  62. Simplicity is great


    Other Methods

  63. Participate in a traffic exchange using banners or widgets.
  64. Openly encourage people to repost your content in a different language, as long as they create a link to your original post.

    Readers Ideas:

  65. Nicole Simon: Work with your analytics to see where you do the best, and enhance.
  66. Blogging Mix: Request other bloggers review one of your articles.
  67. Fred – Newest on the Net: Submit a mass appeal article to Mixx
  68. Xight: Use Trackbacks to attract the attention of other bloggers.
  69. Dane Morgan: Write a free report and give it away.

Inspiration: 101 Free Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic, SEO Book – 101 Linkbuilding, 101 Blog tips from Daily Blog Tips, 101 Ways to Make Your Blog More Popular and Successful.

www.pingable.org

Blogrush – Get Free Traffic For Your Blog

Blogrush is a new service by John Reese to generate targeted traffic for blogs. The service is free and many A-list bloggers (Andy Beard, DoshDosh ) have jumped onboard early to benefit from the tier referral system that will reward early adopters. 

Viral Effect

The tier system which is detailed below means that early adopters of the service are likely to be rewarded with a serious return of traffic for their involvement.

Your Traffic = 1:1 1st Generation Of Referrals = 1:1 2nd Generation Of Referrals = 1:1 3rd – 6th Generation Of Referrals = 1:4 7th – 10th Generation Of Referrals = 1:8

A baisc way of looking at the 1:1 ratio is that for every page hit you get for a page that has the widget on it, an article of yours will be displayed in someone elses widget once.

Widget

The widget (see footer) is nothing special, it is rather chunky and not customizable. But it serves it purpose. The articles which the widget displays are meant to have contextual relevance to the content of the blog which is is displayed on, which means the traffic will be targeted and relevant. It will also serve as service to your readers providing them with related content, similar to the sphere related content plug-in used on this blog.

How much traffic will it bring?

The traffic that the service refers is based (to my understanding) on page hits. So users of your site don’t even have to use the widget for it to bring you rewards. If you are an early adopter, SIGNUP NOW, you will likely receive a fair bit of traffic. If indeed the traffic you receive is based on page hits, think of extra visitors you will get from being dugg of stumbled.

Service

 The service claims that it will be providing stats with-in 48 hours of me writing this, so here’s hoping very soon there will be some useful stats available via the dashboard. The dashboard currently offers you options to filter out content and URL based keywords, however unless you start seeing dodgy spam sites appearing I wouldn’t bother playing with this.

Concerns

The nature of the referral system means that Blogrush is going to reward those who jump on early, but those who don’t will be getting the short end of the stick. So my concern is that it will be very popular early, but then growth may be limited after a certain point, as newer sign ups will not receive such significant traffic to justify using the service. It will be interesting to see how John and his team deal with this issue.

www.pingable.org

Blog Traffic Quality

I have been thinking about blog traffic quality a bit lately. There is definitely good quality traffic to a blog, and then there’s traffic which isn’t so good. What I mean by good traffic quality, is traffic that comes to the site and does more than just leave straight away. An example of typically poor quality traffic, is traffic from social bookmaking sites. Now don’t get me wrong, social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit are great, and they can bring in some serious traffic if you get dugg. However, if you analyze the traffic that typically comes in during a traffic burst from digg, most readers load the page that they came see, then they leave. If your blog is in the beginning stages like this one, you really need to look for high quality traffic, where users want to read more, and will ultimately contribute something to your blog.

An example of some high quality traffic is the recent traffic I got by submitting an article to Probloggers 31 days to building a better blog group writing project. The users that came from this link browsed through my site, many linked to the article and some left comments. Overall, it proved to be very high quality traffic, and worthwhile for this blog.

What makes traffic to your blog good traffic?

In the case above the reason why I feel a lot of the readers from Problogger stayed and read more was that the subject of this blog is very similar to Problogger. Traffic from sites from with in your niche, with readers that will be interested in your content is good traffic to get. That’s is also why it is so important to leave comments on other blogs from with in your niche.

So what was the point again?

Although social networking sites are a good source of traffic, the readers that come from those sites may not be the types that will contribute to your blog or become regular readers. However, readers that come from referrals of sites from with-in your niche are likely to be very good contributors.

www.pingable.org

20 Tricks To Drive Traffic Away From Your Blog

  1. Use 5 Adsense blocks on every page, especially when you’re blog is new.
  2. Get music to play automatically when people visit…doesn’t everybody love “Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me”?
  3. Have so much blogger bling (plug-ins, badges, etc) that readers can’t tell the difference between content and bling.
  4. Use fonts that are too large, too small or too difficult to read. 
  5. Use a color scheme with poor contrast…light colors on light background.
  6. Don’t optimize images for the web – making your page loading time 7 weeks long.
  7. Use a rainbow colour scheme with rainbow gradients everywhere
  8. Don’t offer RSS feeds.
  9. Use a visible feed counter when you only have 2 subscribers.
  10. Don’t use points or subheadings and write posts that span 10 pages with no paragraph breaks.
  11. Design a site that is only usable in one web browser.
  12. Never trackback to other blogs – who needs links anyway?
  13. Never leave comments on other blogs, never reply to comments left on your blog or emails relating to your blog.
  14. Turn comments off. (is it really a blog if you don’t have comments?)
  15. Delete comments just because they disagree with you.
  16. Use popups…or pop unders for that matter.
  17. Require registration in order to leave comments.
  18. Use flashing GIF’s especially nice big ones that will give some of your readers a fit.
  19. Have a misleading title 🙂

www.pingable.org

Generating traffic from sources other than search engines

1) Submit your unique articles to social bookmark sites

This is huge. As a unknown blogger, I submitted an article to Reddit. The article made it as high as 47, which is the 2nd page, and my blog got over 1000 unique visitors in the day that followed. Digg and Del-ici-ous, are other examples of popular social bookmarking sites that will help generate traffic for your blog. I don’t think it is a good idea to submit every article. However, it will certainly help if you submit the articles that you are proud of, think are good, or if the post is breaking some form of news.

2) Submit your blog to blog directories

Search Google for blog directories, and sign up to some of the directories. This may get some visitors to your site.

3) Post Popular blogs

Post on popular blogs, particularly on blogs with a high ranking on sites like Technorati. It is helpful if your comment is near the top. On uber popular blogs like pro blogger there are often 100’s of comments left. So as I am sure you can imagine most readers don’t bother to read through them all. So getting in early and leaving a comment near the top of a blog will probably get you a few visitors.

Leveraging social bookmarking sites, and becoming a regular on popular blogs should help gain your blog some traffic, and also in the long term gain you as a blogger a higher profile… now for something cheeky…

A cheeky (or silly) idea that will work, but you probably shouldn’t do:

Pretend you are selling your site and list it on web sites that have listings for web site sales. It will defiantly get your site some hits, however it will probably have an adverse affect on your readership as they may find out and think you are abandoning them. You may also run into a small problem if someone wants to buy – so set the selling price as something ridiculously high…I mean don’t be silly, don’t do this at all!!

www.pingable.org

5 Tips to improve the SEO of your blog

Getting traffic from popular search engines like Google can really help increase your readership as a blogger. The following are some tips to help improve the SEO of your blog.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

1) Have a site map

A site map makes it easier for search engines to index your content and find the relevant goodies that they’re looking for.If you are using WordPress use Google sitemap.

2) Write unique or pillar articles

You may have seen the term “Pillar Article” used a bit around blogging. Essentially a pillar article is an article that is good enough or significant enough to encourage other blogger’s to link to it. Write something that is that great enough that your readers will want to link to it on their own blog. An article with a lot of external links aiming at it is search engine gold.

3) Links to others

Linking is a key part to gaining a good rank from search engines. People like John Chow take advantage of this by encouraging readers to write reviews of his blog and link to it using specific anchor text (for example: “Make Money Online”) to improve their ranking. So if getting links from others is your goal, linking to other is essential. Some people will offer link exchanges, typically offering a link in an article or on their blog roll in exchange for the same from you.

4) Comment on blogs with “Do follow”

Comment on blogs with “Do follow” like this blog. Most blogging software by default will set a do not follow tag to comments left on the blog. This means that the link to your blog that is left when you post a comment will not be followed by the search engines like Google. Some blogger’s like myself remove this tag to encourage readers to post comments, as commenting has the added reward of getting the commenter a link back. Feel free to leave a relevant comment on this blog.

5) Direct link to your articles

Google likes to link directly to relevant content rather than to home pages or index pages of your blog. So a link directly to a relevant article will get more love than a generic link to your homepage. A strategy to take advantage of this knowledge is to leave comments on blogs using as the address of your web site an article link rather than a homepage link. This will be particularly useful if you are posting on Do follow blogs.

Following these tips is a good start to increasing the SEO of your blog, and they are also very good rules to follow as a blogger. Good luck with your site.

www.pingable.org