About a year ago I did some work for an author (Robert Medley) to build a website and generate traffic to his site. Because I was an expensive option, he eventually decided to let me go.
He has since hired someone new to revamp his website at http://www.successforyourchildren.com. It’s not a bad looking redesign, except that the designer has hidden most of the great content in a submenu under parenting tips. That content, at the very least, should have its own main menu link.
Note to authors and self-publishers: Always make it easy for visitors to access your deep content.
Second, many of the parenting tips, which were designed to attract traffic to the website, now no longer have any illustration, photo, or image connected to them. Blog posts without images don’t get nearly as much attention as blog posts with images. First, no one can pin a blog post that has no image on it. Second, Facebook can’t pull in an image for a blog post link if no image exists. Indeed, most social networks now favor images and videos. And social networks are responsible for as many as half the visitors to author websites.
Note to authors and self-publishers: Feature an image on every blog post you write and every web page you create.
Third, the new redesign eliminated all the SEO links. Now, blog posts URLs read like the following: http://successforyourchildren.com/?p=276. As you can see, there is no SEO value in a page number. Blog post URLs should look like the link to this page: http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/website-essentials-for-books-and-authors. Now that is an easy thing to implement in WordPress websites simply by setting the Settings – Permalinks to Post Name. It’s really automatic when you create a new blog post. No thought has to go into it. And it’s much more informative that a post number.
Note to authors and self-publishers: Make sure your blog posts and web pages feature SEO informative URLs.
The home page on the new site design does feature a nice slider, but the images in the slider are not picked up by Facebook when you include a link to SuccessforYourChildren.com. Interestingly, when I edit the Facebook post, an image then shows up. But it didn’t show up in the original post I created on Facebook.
Note to authors and self-publishers: Make sure all your pages have images optimized for social networks.
The site redesign got rid of the WordPress plug-in called Click to Tweet that makes it easy for people to share the blog post on Twitter. The easier you make it for people to share your content, the most likely it is that they will actually share your content. Note that this blog post features a number of Click to Tweet sharing boxes.
Besides Click to Tweet, the website I designed featured sharing links for most of the other key social networks. The website no longer has social sharing links. It does have links to four of Robert’s social networks, but they are at the bottom of the page with no prominence at all.
Note to authors and self-publishers: Make it easy for visitors to share your blog posts via social networks.
When I first noted these changes, I wrote a short post on Facebook. I repeated more than once the word aacckk! because it seemed to be the only appropriate response to those inappropriate changes.
The sad thing is that with the website inattention and now the website redesign, the SuccessForYourChildren website as an Alexa rank of 6.6 million (like it’s nonexistent with little traffic). When I was working on it, the Alexa rank was 1.2 million—not great, but better than most author websites.
If Robert and his new designer read this blog post, it could make a real difference in that Alexa ranking (which is determined, for the most part, by the traffic that comes to the website). All of the above tips are designed to help you increase traffic to your website.
Copy the Successful
The logic is almost too simple.
It is so easy.
It is almost laughable.
Study the successful people and find out how they do it.
Do what they do.
Do not do what they do not do.
Why is it that very few people actually do this?
Why don’t people simply copy the very successful people?
This wisdom works on almost everything in life.