web traffic

Your creative fandom pursuits are not a waste of time.

I hand-coded a fansite in 2001. The results would make your teeth hurt today but I learned about HTML and CSS.

A piece of meta went semi-viral in 2003. That taught me about traffic and analytics and what the Internet likes. Consulting to improve web site traffic was a tidy side income for me last year.

I never made the leap from fanfiction to original fiction, or writing for novelisations of Star Trek and Doctor Who - but I have fandom friends who did.

I got my last job because of Wordpress and Tumblr. I explained what tags were as part of an information architecture demonstration. Yes, I know. Still: hired!

I got my current job because of the online content skills gleaned over 15 years in fandom. “You’re a digital native.”

Creating art, stories, meta, videos, zines, shirts, RPing, managing a series of stories, tracking your traffic, responding to comments and debate, being part of a community - it’s all good.

Your creative fandom pursuits are not a waste of time.

Lol YouTube is about to fuck themselves. Hundreds of content creators are going to have to move to a new platform & they’ll lose huge chunks of the web traffic they would usually get thanks to the people they’re trying to stifle. We have the wall street journal and youtube’s blatant complete lack of integrity to thank for this, by the way. 

Website up but no sales?

Could be a traffic issue - make sure you have Google Analytics installed so you can monitor site traffic. If it’s not a traffic issue, it’s a conversion issue. That said, remember the #1 job of your website is to collect a subscriber list…so make sure your freebie ROCKS. An opt-in is far more valuable than a sale.

The Facebook Effect on the News

Around this time last year, I considered writing a story claiming that Facebook and Twitter were the new “homepages” for news on the Internet. It was going to be about how, if the Web had ripped out the article pages of newspapers and magazines and scattered them to the wind, Facebook and Twitter had pinched them from the air and stacked them in easy, vertical columns that were becoming our new first-look sources for the day’s events.

A year ago, social networks are the new homepage seemed like an (almost) original observation. Today, it’s just a boring fact.

In the last twelve months, traffic from home pages has dropped significantly across many websites while social media’s share of clicks has more than doubled, according to a 2013 review of the BuzzFeed Partner Network, a conglomeration of popular sites including BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and Thought Catalog.

Facebook, in particular, has opened the spigot, with its outbound links to publishers growing from 62 million to 161 million in 2013. Two years ago, Facebook and Google were equal powers in sending clicks to the BuzzFeed network’s sites. Today Facebook sends 3.5X more traffic.

Read more. [Image: Facebook]

I keep seeing all these posts on the Lilly page...

…of people saying stuff like “it’s a sale, we should be grateful!” “There are more important things in life!” NO.

This is a BUSINESS. Businesses are expected to be prepared for customer demand. And their social media response of “Please be patient!” in UNACCEPTABLE. They should be thanking us for the amount of patience we’ve already shown, not asking us to behave better as consumers. They’ve promoted the hell out of this sale, so the fact that they aren’t prepared for this amount of traffic shows unparalleled lack of preparation and unwillingness to cater to their customers.

End rant.

Google Analytics. Friend, now foe?

I’ve always had great experiences with Google’s Analytics, but since using the beta, I am now finding that when viewing tracking information that is marked as “Installed,” is now showing up “Not Installed” in Beta.

Has anyone else had this problem? Also.. stats are not being kept after several days of working with this.

Does My Business Really Need Social Media?

Late adopters are late for good reason: they have unanswered questions; lingering doubts. And the burning question regarding social media is: “Does my business really need it?”

The question is totally valid; the answer best lies in two more simple questions:

Are my competitors benefiting from social media?

If they aren’t, could they be?

The reality in today’s socially-connected world is that for every day your business is not connecting socially with consumers, a competitor is, or is about to, or will be very soon. And you need to ask yourself just how much social ground you’re prepared to concede.

Growing brand awareness, increasing traffic and generating positive word of mouth via social media is here to stay. And consumers are already used to visiting their favorite brand’s facebook page or twitter feed for updates, free offers and exclusive deals.

The cost then of not having a social media presence—of actually conceding social ground—may be one your business simply cannot afford. If not today, then certainly very soon.

Good Web Design leads to SEO Success

Your asking what is SEO?

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often considered the more technical part of Web marketing. This is true because SEO does help in the promotion of web sites and at the same time it requires some technical knowledge.  However there are many tools on the market now that provide you with the ability to optimise your web site with very little technical ability.

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Creating a well-designed website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy. Once the website has been created and optimized, there are further techniques to employ that will drive traffic to your website for successful, long-term results.

Think of it this way, if you opened a fast food store in a major shopping street without signage and with no advertising you wouldn’t get many people walking in to your store, in a similar way you shouldn’t consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence (marketing) in order to be found on the internet. But unless the website is designed correctly to begin with, follow-on SEO efforts will have limited results at best. The following five strategies briefly discussed are created to bring about productive SEO results:

(1) Design a website that has a call-to-action in the form of a purchase or providing you a contact, subscription or other commitment from your visitor.


(2) Create an attractive website that is complementary to your company image or online money making strategy and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services.

(3) Create a successful marketing plan for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services with the many follow-on strategies that drive traffic to your website.

(4) Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services based on a strong reputation.

(5) Generate and maintain and grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services by evolving as your market demands.

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages: 1) Good web design, 2) Attracting attention from search engines and directories, and 3) Creating long-term popularity on the internet. However, it all starts with good web design. Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that there are websites on the internet that are unattractive but somehow seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer.

These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

- Good web design will complement and enhance the company image and offline marketing campaign products creating a corporate branding if done well.

- Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website will keep the visitor on your site longer and give you more time to sell your products or services.

- Attractive but quick-loading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website will guide the viewer along the route you decide is important for explaining what you offer.

- Keyword usage that is search engine-friendly depends on how the keywords are utilized, the placement of the keywords, the frequency of the most important keywords and their relevance to the website.

- Website coding that is lean, clean and without errors will keep the search engines happy and your viewer seeing exactly what you intended to offer.

- Relevance of content to the theme of the site is essential. Be concise, to the point and focus on your goals. If you have multiple themes and offerings, consider multiple websites to address the different markets, then tie each website back to the others by linking.

- Changing content that changes frequently and stays fresh keeps your viewer returning and prevents the search engines from treating your website as if it were stale news. A stale site will be ranked lower by the search engines.

Remember:

Content is king - it’s all about content, content, content. But how that content is presented is what makes the difference.

This Little House in Wyoming Didn’t Just Get Flooded With Web Traffic from China

2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a house like many other houses in America. It’s a split-level; it has a pleasant brick facade; it boasts, if the season is right, a nicely maintained lawn.

2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is also the physical address for a whole collection of shell companies. The spunky little split-level, Reuters put it in a 2011 investigation, "serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains.“

And here’s where things get interesting: Yesterday, the Cayman Island of the Great Plains collided—with China. Starting at 3:15pm local time, The Wall Street Journal reports, Chinese web users were redirected in their web searches—away from popular sites like Baidu and Weibo, and toward sites that they most decidedly had not sought out. The address for one of these was registered to a company called Dynamic Internet Technology, which helps users view sites, like Facebook and Twitter, that are blocked by the Great Firewall. (As Bill Xia, Dynamic Internet Technology’s founder, told the Journal: "It was hundreds of thousands of users per second. They were sending [all of] China to us, so it’s hundreds of millions of users.”) And even more traffic was rerouted to a block of IP addresses that are registered to a company called Sophidea Incorporated.

And what is Sophidea’s listed mailing address? Yep: 2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The New York Times, in a widely circulated story headlined “Chinese Internet Traffic Redirected to Small Wyoming House," calls the apparent censorship snafu ”one of the more bizarre twists in recent Internet memory.“ 

It is. It’s like that time, in 2002, that web searches for the social news portal Sina.com were briefly redirected to a site for … Falun Gong. The irony of the whole thing—epic #censorfail!—is, for those of us with First Amendment protections we can comfortably take for granted, irresistibly delicious.

Read more. [Image: Reuters/The Atlantic]

The Most Profitable New Reader Demographic: Robots

Here is the weirdest thing about the modern web: humans are only one constituency, and maybe not the most profitable one.

Consider the case of an anonymous publishing executive who spoke with the media trade magazine, Digiday, about purchasing bulk robot traffic to his former company’s website

By robot, I mean software that is designed to simulate a human being browsing the web. Bots, as they are known, are relatively easy to create, and now you can easily purchase their services to build a nice business, if you are willing to bend the rules of digital publishing.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

FREE Ways to Help Your Favorite Artists/Writers

> Word of mouth: tell people to check out this person’s work. Send a friend pieces you think they might like. Recommend the person’s products to the coworker who asked for advice gift-shopping.

> Use your social media to share their work– reblogs, quotes, etc. ALWAYS make sure you have permission and ALWAYS credit the artist/writer, preferably with a link to their site included. Direct your followers to their social media; do a blog feature or a list of recommended Instagram accounts.

> Write reviews. Even (respectful) critical reviews can bring attention to the person’s work and increase web traffic.

> If you work for a publishing company, lit mag, zine, art gallery, etc, mention the person to people you work with. If you’re in a position to do so, offer to publish/display/promote the person’s work. Even school newspapers count.

> Do you love an illustration or quote by this creator so much that you want it tattooed on your body? Awesome! Ask permission first, send a picture of the finished tattoo to the artist/writer so they can melt with joy, and make sure to mention the source of inspiration when people see it and ask you about it.

> Reach out to the artist/writer directly and tell them what you like most about their work. Is there something you would actually buy from them that they’re not creating yet? Suggest it.