Blogging Questions & Answers 27

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answers

Happy Thanksgiving for you guys that celebrate it (I know it was yesterday…). Another set of questions and answers is live.

If you want to ask a question you just need to leave a comment below with it.

1. James asks:

I run a podcast via a blog. I just started moving into video and I am now concerned that I have to many images, too many icons, and too many videos on the blog. Is there a chance I’ve overcrowded my blog?

I took a brief look on your blog and it does not look overcrowded to me. I think expanding beyond articles is interesting, especially if you have the time and skills to make cool podcasts and video posts. Very few bloggers do that, so it can become a unique selling proposition too.

The only thing that I would make sure is that your navigation clearly separates the three things. For example, you could have 3 main navigation tabs, one for “Blog”, one for “Podcats” and one for “Videos.” That one a visitor could reach the part of your site that he likes quickly and effortlessly.

2. Satish asks:

Is there a way to build automated link exchange system?
Ex:- If A and B exchange link.
A’s link on B’s website will be there until B’s link remains on A’s website.

I would like to do link exchange with some people, but I can’t keep monitoring whether they remove my link at any time, it should be handled automatically. Th

First of all I recommend exchanging links only with relevant websites, and for the purpose of adding value to the user experience and not to manipulate Google’s rankings.

If you follow that route, therefore, you would find yourself partnering with a handful of websites at most. On that case it becomes easy to monitor them once a month (even if you have 10 sites to check it will take 5 minutes).

The only scenario where you would need an automatic system is where you trade links with dozens or hundreds of sites, but this is something that might get you in trouble in the end so I would avoid.

Finally, I am not aware of any automatic system, but it should be possible to build one with PHP.

3. Transcriptionist asks:

What should be the optimal bounce rate? What is the minimum bounce rate that you think can be achieved? What were the bounce rates at the beginning of your blogs and what are the numbers now? How much did you target for your blogs at their inception, and have you been able to achieve it and if yes, how?

Apart from your own experiments and results in this regard and compelling content, what are other tips and techniques that you would suggest to bring the bounce rate down? Elaborate every little aspect in detail by dedicating a separate post for this topic please, as we all know the significance of controlling bounce rates arises from user behavioral tracking by major search engines and its subsequent effects on SERPs.

An optimal bounce rate is below 15%, but keep it in mind it is very hard to achieve that. The minimum that you could have without needing to spend a huge amount of time and energy on the tweaking process is probably around 25% is 30%.

I am not sure what my bounce rates were on the beginning of my blogs were because I didn’t use to check on them. Even today I don’t check bounce rates that often or for the blog as whole. Usually I just work with bounce rates on commercial projects, sales and landing pages.

As for optimizing sites for low bounce rates, I am working on a long and structured article on the topic. It will be part of my next project, so stay tuned for that.

4. Rick asks:

What’s your take on having a companion newsletter for your blog? (You don’t seem to offer one so perhaps that speaks volumes.) People swear by it, but I’m trying to understand why you wouldn’t just put all your content on the blog and skip the newsletter.

If you have the time available I think that having a newsletter to complement your blog is a great idea. Internet marketers swear by email lists because they are the most responsive channel you have, and it has been proven time and time again.

Additionally, I find that a newsletter allow you to build a closer relationship with some of your readers, because an email is more personal than a blog post.

Why not just put all the content on the blog? Well, because some of the content that will be suitable for your newsletter will not be suitable for the blog and vice versa. Suppose you want to give people a sneak peek into your latest project. A blog post would broadcast it beyond your control, while with the newsletter you could be sure about how many people would get to known your news, how they could share or act upon it and so on.

5. Ad Pr New York asks:

What are the best traffic stats to use?

Looking for one that is full featured and accurate.

Detailed referrers and demographics are important

Google Analytics is definitely the most robust and feature rich web analytics program out there. It is also free, so you can’t go wrong by giving it a try.

Sometimes it will report underestimated traffic numbers, but the difference will be small, and much more realistic than the rest of the trackers out there that always over estimate numbers.

6. Simon asks:

1) How do I block an IP address that is spamming my blog frequently and consistently with useless comments and links to non-Google approved sites? It seems like there is some bot auto-posting spam comments.

2) Is there a way that in the page navigation of a blog we can make a link to an outside page? Would this be done through altering the header.php to include another link or through the manage pages section in admin?

1) You can block his name internally on WordPress. Just go to “Settings,” then “Discussion,” and you will find a blacklist box there. Alternatively you can also block his IP with a .htaccess file if your server runs on Apache. You just need to insert the following code on the .htaccess file (changing the IP address obviously):

order allow,deny
deny from 200.20.2.1
allow from all

2) Yes you can do this. Basically you would need to delete the code that calls the page links automatically from WordPress and add the links manually. Once you have that you can add a link to whatever site you wish.

7. Netpreneur asks:

I have a plan to make a blog with forum inside, what are characteristics of content for blog and forum?

The blog content will be generated by you (or by other authors that you will hire), while the forum content will be generated by the members. You might be present and active on the forum, but unless many other people are too, it will become a ghost forum.

What I recommend is to work first on the blog, make it popular and build a community around it. Once you have that accomplished, then you launch the forum to support the lateral discussions that might arise from the blog posts.

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25 Responses to “Blogging Questions & Answers 27”

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    About the last question, I know quite a few popular blogs that became popular after their forums turned famous.

    But I still agree on it being easier to first start a blog and gain publicity then start a forum, rather than starting a forum then a blog.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Rajaie, like which ones?

    What happens sometimes is that a popular forum decides to start a blog, but that is a whole difference concept, and it is pretty much about making a forum popular in the first place.

  • SEO Genius

    @ Transcriptionist

    I agree with Daniel that below 15% is a great bounce rate to achieve however I can say that you don’t always have to focus on achieving that bounce rate it should come with time. Why not focus on increasing traffic instead of decreasing your bounce rate. Achieve your optimal and realistic level of traffic per day then work on increasing page views which will in turn decrease your bounce rate.

    Before I changed designs I was lucky enough to have a bounce rate of 2.7% which was stable for 2 months until I changed my design. I wrote an article on this and hopefully Daniel won’t mind me linking to it here http://back-links.org/do-you-want-to-decrease-your-bounce-rate.

    I had not concentrated at all on achieving this bounce rate or even decreasing my bounce rate instead I concentrated on writing more articles and increasing traffic. The main reason I can suggest that this bounce rate came was because I had linked every single article on each page meaning you could not only see the catergories but EVERY article I had written.

    The downfall of this was that there were over 100 internal links on each page thus putting me at risk of Google penalizing me or at least not being able to cache each page correctly. This being why I redesigned.

    Thanks.

  • Rarst has cool feed

    WordPress blacklist matches IPs as well as names and other stuff.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Rarst, oh cool I always thought it was just names.

  • Rarst has cool feed

    @Daniel

    It matches every part of comment: name, URL, email, IP and content. In fact blacklist with self-made filter list is only anti-spam measure I use at my blog and it works flawlessly. 🙂

  • SATISH — Technotip.org

    Thanks for answering….

    Further question:-

    Most blogs use nofollow in the comment section, but I see Google showing even those comments made by me in their Result page!

    Then whats the meaning of nofollow ?

    I know that its good, if Google indexes my blog URL even from the comment section. But I am getting confused about the meaning of nofollow now.

  • Rarst has cool feed

    @Satish

    nofollow in human language “I want to link there but I don’t want for destination site to receive any value from that”.

    Regular link means (for search engine) that you find target site valuable in some way.

    Nofollow link means (again for search engine) that you want to link for some reason but don’t consider target site valuable.

    Nofollow was supposed to reduce spam. Currently it is mostly used by Google as threat against paid links. If you sell links that aren’t nofollowed then Google will reduce your PageRank and search rankings.

    PS it actually has nothing to do with indexing 🙂

  • Potato Chef

    Daniel…I have a 3 part question. Actually 3 questions:

    1. On WordPress there is a button for a “recipe box” to be included in your posts. Does this “recipe box” in any way stop google from reading what is inside that box?

    2. I have a second blog. I want to completly change what I write about on that blog. I want to keep the url and even where it is hosted. Question: If I were to delete all the catagories and posts that are now on that blog but kept the url, name, and host would I lose the page rank that it now has?

    3. The tags that are at the bottom of wordpress posts: Are they used by search engines or are they just internal tracking devices? If they are used by search engines to rank and index..should the main keywords, that are also in the title, be used as tags?

    Thanks…

  • Transcriptionist

    Thanks for that answer and the upcoming article on bounce rate, Daniel.

    You skipped my following question in Blogging Questions Answers Session 20. I am putting it for you again. Hope it catches your eyes this time:

    I couldn’t find an XML sitemap in your blog. Do you have one? If no, why are you reluctant to include an XML sitemap?

  • Transcriptionist

    @SEO Genius:

    Thank you for your article. Bookmarked it.

    I couldn’t find an “About” page on your blog, can you make one? Really curious to see the SEO Genius hiding behind that blog! Lol.

  • blpgirl

    Hi Daniel 😀

    I have been writing a blog in Spanish for a while now, and since i decide to start doing things to increase the traffic i´m wondering if i´m leaving a big audience out for not blogging in English. So, i guess my question is: would you recommend to a blogger that blogs in a foreign language to translate the same content to English just to capture greater audience? if so, would you say an automatic widget is enough or better to do it manually?

  • Farrhad

    When and how did you get into the world of webmasters/websites?

  • Vijay

    Tip on blocking the comments from a particular IP Address is very useful.

    Thanks

  • JHS

    To eliminate habitual spammers, it is much easier to simply use the WP-Ban plugin.

  • Andre Thomas

    @ Transcriptionist

    Bounce rate is a very subjective matter. Some people do well even at 80% while some require closer to 15%. My personal recommendation to my clients is to compare bounce rate only to yourself.

    If you’ve improved over time, that’s great. Even if you do reach 15%, you should still continually try to improve it.

    And like Daniel, I’m also not too concerned about bounce rate in my blog (I check it once in a while), unless I’m working on a specific landing page (like a squeeze page) that I want to improve.

  • Saurabh

    I’d like to add social bookmarking icons at the bottom of every post on my blog. How can I do that? Please give the HTML code and also tell me where to place that code. Thanks.

  • Sherry

    I have got new domain but I don’t know how to do the askimet. How to set it up?

  • mother in israel

    I subscribed recently and followed the Blog Idol contest with interest. But despite two years of blogging experience, I find I don’t have the technical skills or knowledge to implement many of the ideas mentioned. This happens again and again. For instance, I have no idea what a “bounce rate” is. I will try to ask next time.

  • Elaine Elrod

    Regarding the first question about the podcast blog from James, I thought that if you are using a blog as a way of presenting a podcast, that the navigation should be integrated. My assumption would be that you want people to come to the site to get your podcast content and that the blog entries are just there to provide additional information and links related to that content (audio and video). I think it would be confusing in that case to have separate tabs for the blog, the audio and video, and the podcast. Please let me know what you think.

    Of course, that wouldn’t keep you from having other pages on related topics that might also help draw people to the site.

    I learn so much from your blog and was really happy to discover it. Thank you for your contribution.

  • Andre Thomas

    @ mother in israel

    Bounce rate is the percentage of people who did not click on to a second page and did not stay long enough when they land on your website.

    That means if 100 arrived and 20 left within 30 seconds, your bounce rate is 20%. You can find out your numbers by installing Google Analytics.

    Hope that helps.

  • mother in israel

    Yes, thanks Andre.

  • Mr. I

    Is using Autmated Responder plugins a good idea? For example, I got an e-mail from a blog when I left a comment saying “Thanks for Commenting……”

    Is their any method to do it with Blogger?

  • Transcriptionist

    Since you came up with the answer for my question on XML sitemap in Q&A 28, here is my regular question to you for this session, Q&A 27. (I’m joining with potato chef for this question):

    How effective is the WordPress tags in SEO? If it is very important, give some tips and techniques on writing those tags.

  • medyum

    Daniel…I have a 3 part question. Actually 3 questions:

    1. On WordPress there is a button for a “recipe box” to be included in your posts. Does this “recipe box” in any way stop google from reading what is inside that box?

    2. I have a second blog. I want to completly change what I write about on that blog. I want to keep the url and even where it is hosted. Question: If I were to delete all the catagories and posts that are now on that blog but kept the url, name, and host would I lose the page rank that it now has?

    3. The tags that are at the bottom of wordpress posts: Are they used by search engines or are they just internal tracking devices? If they are used by search engines to rank and index..should the main keywords, that are also in the title, be used as tags?

    Thanks…

Comments are closed.