Last week on a couple of blogs I suddenly noticed a huge traffic spike, much more traffic than expected on a couple of blogs. I had a quick look at analytics and discovered that it was all to do with the general stirke in Spain on Wednesday the 29th of September. Keyword ranking for that term had gone crazy as had searches as people due to be flying out or already here wanted to know what would be happening.
So I thought what can I do with the traffic? To that effect I phoned up Mike Cliffe Jones, who I consider to be an authority on using traffic very well. “Mike” I said, “I want you to do a guest post on this subject. Fancy it?” Well Mike not only fancied it but has really knocked one out of the park/hit a huge six with the following guest post. Enjoy Mike’s take on what to do with a traffic spike.
“Let’s start off with what’s meant by a spike. Essentially, it’s a sudden and serious influx of traffic to a part of your website. The famous “viral” effect.
To give you an example, in the early days of my own blog, I once had a post go viral. In those days, a new entry would get perhaps 40 or 50 reads in the first 24 hours on the site. When I posted one that was mentioned by Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, it had more than 2000 reads….in an hour!
Sadly, it’s almost impossible to predict which post will go viral. You might have just timed something well, and hit the Google number one spot for a hot search term, or your post may just have struck a chord with someone on the plethora of content sharing sites. Or, as in my case, a web celebrity might just give you a helping hand. However it comes about, what’s important is that you get the best from it!
Here’s a simple step by step checklist of what to do when your lucky day comes and traffic to a particular page has gone ballistic:
1/ Establish the source
Use your web analytics program to find out where the traffic is coming from.
If it’s general search traffic, then reinforce your ranking as much as you can by linking into that page from as many sources as you can manage. Get friends to link to you, and put links into your own site and any others you manage.
If the traffic’s coming from a single source, then it suggests your post has been linked-to from a big site. Go and find it and read it, then add a short paragraph welcoming the readers, something like this:
“If you’ve arrived here from the New York Times piece about this post, welcome! I hope you enjoy my work, and if you want to find out more about me, you’ll have a chance to at the bottom of the page.”
2/ Check the post and add some internal links
It may seem obvious, but do check the post for any typos, or better still, get someone else to do so for you. If you have made a mistake, you don’t want all your potential new readers to see it.
Check to see if you can add any internal links to relevant comments within the body of the post.
3/ Create a bespoke landing page
Now create a landing page which is designed to appeal to the readers who are arriving. It should give a brief overview of who you are, which links to your full about page and it should include a photo of you.
Next it should give them content choices relevant to them. So if they are arriving via a search on “Spanish Tortilla Recipes”, then give them links to another 7 or 8 Spanish recipes.
Finally, give them a call to action on the page. What would you like them to do? Buy your recipe book? Sign up to your newsletter or RSS feed?
Finish your page with a single call to action, and I stress the word single. The temptation is to put everything into the landing page, and if you do, you’ll find people will end up doing none of them. Choose one action, and simply ask them to do it.
4/ Add a new ending that links to your landing page
Add a final paragraph to your post which invites readers to find out more about you and your blog. Something like:
“I hope you enjoyed the post, if you’re new here, this will tell you about me and this website, and show you some other similar stuff you can read here: <Link to landing page>”
And that’s it!
My final words of advice are not to be disappointed. The vast majority of people will bounce in, read your post, and bounce back out. But if you carry out the steps above, you should be able to capture a few new readers, and get a smaller number to react to your call to action.”
This is a guest post from Mike CJ, who runs a network of blogs here in Spain. You can find out all about the island of Lanzarote on his Lanzarote Information blog, or learn more about blogging at Mike’s Life. And you can chat with him now on Twitter: @mikecj
The Original Blog Posts
Related articles by Zemanta
- Why Guest Blogging Enabled Blog Should Give Author Credit within The Post (shoutmeloud.com)
- 5 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make (searchenginewatch.com)