Archive for 'PR'

Best Posts Summary WordPress Plugin

Long time reader Aseem Kishore has recently released his first WordPress plugin, and it is an interesting one. As you probably know I recommend people to write monthly roundups on their blogs, including the most popular posts of the previous month. This technique is useful for several things, including:

  • To give some link love to your popular posts
  • To let your readers check the posts that they might have missed
  • To highlight your best content
  • To have something to write about on a slow day

The only problem with it is that it requires some time. In fact I used to post roundups every month, but lately I am busy with a lot of projects and ended up forgetting them.

The solution? WP Best Posts Summary plugin. The plugin will basically generate a list of popular posts for you automatically, based on the number of comments of page views that they received over a specified time frame.

It comes with many customization options too: you can decide how many popular posts you want to have, from what categories they should come, how many words the excerpt should have, and template to use and so on. Worth a look.


Copyright by Daily Blog Tips.

Best Posts Summary WordPress Plugin

Link Tips: 16 November 2008

I haven’t done a Link Tips in a while, but since I collected some links over the last couple of weeks I decided to pull one today. First of all there was an interesting guest post on John Chow titled How Planning Can Make You Broke. It is the story of how Alex Shalman managed to create a full eBook in two and half days, and how he used it on a interview to promote his content and boost the number of subscribers on his list. The moral of the story is: action rather than planning! Worth a read.

The second link I want to share with you is titled Web Publishing: Strategies To Help You Stand Out From The Crowd. A guest blogger on SEO Book is offering some nice ideas that you can use to add some flavor to your content or website as a whole.

I am sure that most of you guys use Gmail. The best thing about Google’s email service is the customization options and the advanced features that it packs. Sometimes we don’t even know what is possible to do with that neat piece of script. Thinking about that the Quick Online Tips blog wrote an article titled 5 Little Known Gmail Tips. If you use Gmail check it out.

Now many of you have heard about the benefits of submitting your site or blog to web directories right? The problem is that the worth ones are either too expensive (e.g., Yahoo! Directory) or take too long to get accepted (e.g., Dmoz). The guys from Search Engine People knew about this problem, so they compiled a list with 25 powerful web directories where it is much easier to get listed. I will be trying some of them myself.

Finally, Kevin Muldoon from Blogging Tips wrote an insightful article about the evolution of blogs. Some mainstream publications have started to suggest lately that blogging might be dying. I disagree completely with that view, and I think Kevin is right when he suggests that what we are experiencing is rather an evolution of the blogosphere.


Copyright by Daily Blog Tips.

Link Tips: 16 November 2008

The internet is a fast-paced environment. People can come to your website at any hour from a wide range of locations, each of them with different intentions or needs. Unlike physical retail stores, you can’t see who is coming in and browsing around. You don’t know much about the people reading you. How can we develop a rough profile of all these individuals?

You already get a glimpse of them everyday when they interact with your website. Some may register for an account, leave a comment or send you an email. But many are ‘invisible’. They get to your site, see what you put out, click on a outbound link and disappear.

What you currently know about these individuals comes from a combination of visible user actions (e.g comments/emails) and statistics (e.g visit frequency/visit length). Is this knowledge sufficient for most businesses or bloggers? Yes. But I think it would be tremendously helpful to learn even more about your audience.

In marketing and advertising, we proactively define our target audience. We start with our end goals and then structure our website/ads with the right buzz phrases, pitch, style, keywords and angle to appeal to people we want to attract as a consumer/user/reader. Gathering information on visitors to our website makes us more effective marketers.

It is helpful to analyze and construct a general profile of your audience, however shifting it may be, because it provides you with information that will allow you to better improve your content scope, site usability, conversation rate or marketing campaign. Let’s split this process up into two sections: statistical analysis and data collection.

Statistical Analysis: Start Working With What You Already Have


Image Credit: Mint

Depending on the stats tool you’re currently using, you can get a lot of information on how visitors are using your website, where they come from and what they are looking at. There are obviously a lot of different metrics to look at but I’m listing what I think is more relevant to understanding visitors in general:

  1. Visitor loyalty, bounce rate, recency, time on site. These sites measure one critical thing: the level of engagement. They reveal how often people visit your site, the last time they used it and the depth of their visit. While these numbers aren’t a definitive interpretation of on-site user actions, they are a gauge of their enthusiasm.

  2. Visitor Location. This allows you to make cultural and linguistic assumptions of your visitors. If you know you receive the most visitors from a few specific countries, you might want to create landing pages/offers or content with a geographic focus.

  3. Visitor search terms/keywords. This includes both search engines and on-site search boxes. The clearest indicator of visitor interest, search terms tell you what they want to get from your site and it reveals information gaps you can fill up. This is where data collection gets specific. If you consistently get a lot of queries for a specific phrase, you can safely assume that there will be visitor interest in content or offers related to it.

  4. Traffic source. This includes search engines, referrer sites, type-in/bookmark traffic and ad campaigns. Pay attention to referrer sites: it reveals what visitors are reading or using. Traffic sources also tell you where to improve for greater visibility.

Take some time to look at these statistics. Instead of only looking at them at each single point in time, it makes more sense to regularly study them to see how they trend over the lifespan of your site or the course of a marketing/ad campaign. On the whole, they will give you a good idea of what users want and what draws their attention.

How to Get More Audience Data: Using Polls, Surveys and Features

Now for the fun part: the active solicitation of user information. Instead of simply monitoring web statistics, you create opportunities for visitors to voluntarily reveal personal data and opinions. These can be achieved in several ways:

  1. Polls. An excellent and informal way to get information on user preferences, they are very easy to set up and maintain on any website. The questions asked can be diverse and they are a good way to gradually accumulate a lot of information without being too invasive. Run a poll for two weeks and change the questions to pull in more information. They can be integrated on a regular basis alongside articles or they can be left alone on a visible corner of the website.

  2. Surveys. Depending on their length and how they are created, surveys may be more labor intensive. Some visitors will avoid them if they are too long. They are ideal when bundled with competitions or special offers which provide incentives for completion. Short surveys can be used for exiting visitors or as a follow-up after a user completes a specific purchase or opts-out of your payment plan/subscription.

  3. On-Site User Features. If you’re running a community, social media service or even a blog, you can get more information by simply offering more user features (ways users can interact with each other and your site). For example, allow users to input more biographical info in profiles or give them the option to favorite/rate your blog posts and the contributions of other users. Features also add value to users and increase their engagement with your site. Think strategically about what data you want and create a feature that allows users to indirectly reveal it. Facebook is a good example of a site with features that generate a lot of mineable data. Of course, it is always good to have an appropriate privacy policy and allow users to opt out easily from their side.

  4. Audience Feedback. To understand your visitors, its useful to ensure that you monitor your feedback channels. Comments, emails, incoming blog links, mentions on online communities and even tweets allow you to get an intuitive feel of what people think about your website. Subscribe to the right feedback channels (Google alerts, blogsearch etc.) and track them daily. Either do it yourself or get someone to be the official feedback/community coordinator. Audience feedback is often unsolicited, although you can easily get more comments/emails by specifically asking for them. This provides you with clues on how to better cater to your target market.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, some of these methods can be applied online and offline simultaneously. For polls and surveys, you should be able to find some plugins or software available for your site platform. Alternatively, you can always use external online services like SurveyMonkey, PollDaddy, 4Q and Wufoo.

After obtaining this data, setup a system which allows you to segment and compare your findings over a period of time. This can be a simple spreadsheet or something more sophisticated. When combined with the visitor statistics you already have, it’s easy to understand your audience, allowing you to to better accommodate their needs or interest.

Can you think of any other ways to get more audience data?

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How to Understand Your Audience: Data Collection & Analysis

Social Bookmark

Digg PicsNow that the election and post-election elation is over, it’s time for Digg to go back to basics.

Very basic.

Yes, now that McCain/Palin bashing is over and the Obama love-fest is waning, Digg will rapidly return to its primary reason for existence: funny pictures.  As can be seen at any given moment on the “Top in All Topics” widget on their right toolbar, it’s time for lolcats, funny signs, photoshop ingenuity, and paint by numbers to make its triumphant return atop the most Dugg “media”.

I’m so excited.  Can you tell?

* * *

Read more Digg analysis on Social News Watch.

The following was inspired by an email thread that went back and forth
between myself and the President of a Web Design House. the project
mentioned is  in the very beginning stages of an SEO project that we
are fulfilling for one of their clients.I thought you might find this
of interest…..

At the start of a project brand increases because of linking. Often times a client thinks that this was built in, when in fact some of it may have been but Google does not necessarily care about your brand. They care about mentions and citations of your brand. Google cares only what
links to the references of your brand across the web on your site or
not. As your links increase to your pages of your site, your brand
references (keywords) within your analytics should go up.

So what you get last month in your original, pre-seo campaign "brand traffic" spreads out to larger
derivatives of that word and more searches as it gets links to the
pages with brand words. And links that carry those
branded words in the anchor text increase. In the case of brand it
usually is not very competitive if at all, so a few links can really
get the brand out there.


Reputation Management

This by the way is what reputation management is about. One can easily
steal your brand by creating pages about your company on many web pages. It can even be done anonymously on free sites. Its easy to do because
there is 0 competition for it until someone actually does it.

The idea being that you can get crowded out totally or partially from the SERPS (search positions) for your own name!Thats why it is important for companies to do more socially and thru
syndicates to populate the web with references to their brand.

By the way we often will get an agent site to come up higher in the
SERPS than a broker site online (if the broker is not our client). Its
very easy if the broker isn’t working for in bound links.

This reputation thing is not as bad as it is hyped up to be yet. I have seen few attempts by malcontents but not done very well. But I do
think it will be a major problem down the road not just in the real
estate business. But I see this playing out in how news and politics
can be perceived.

For a glimpse of the future and managing reputation and perceptions,
study how the Obama and McCain campaigns have run their online
marketing for the past election.
Election Special: Whatever You Do, Do Not Vote For This Candidate
Even McCain used online Video masterfully. Obama used the web better than any one politician or business yet.

Confessing Your Sins Will Get You Traffic!


A site can be SEOd all day long, but if it does not have links it does
not fully or even in some cases partially exist to Google. On many
templated real estate sites there is not much one can do as far as
onpage optimization.

So how does one get high rankings?

Links. Links make up for the sins of the site. They are the absolution from the priest called Google.

So right now a month into the project what we see is a start of a wider
span of brand words. And even a small start at seeing real estate
search words giving traffic.

We can do that by comparing the search strings from last month before
the SEO launch to now. This month is almost double brand based visits.
(names changed to keep the client private)
The list is longer (width) and many words are getting more visits compared to last month.
ie. TOTAL BRAND visits  are double last month
27         century 21 franchise name
26         url.com
19         century 21 franchise name realty
14         franchise name
6           century franchise name
6           www.franchise name.com
4           city century 21
4           century 21 in state
etc…..

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