If you’re a WordPress user and you want to elevate your site’s visibility in search engines you should start with Permalinks. Changing the default setting for Permalinks for your hosted blog is probably the quickest and easiest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trick on the planet!
Continue reading Increase Traffic with Permalinks
If all goes as planned this blog will be coming to you directly from WordPress.com.
Big whoop, right?
Continue reading Moved
A couple of years ago I started a photo album on Facebook called I Saw Art Today.
It started out as a repository for unusual paintings I discovered in thrift stores and resale shops. Eventually it grew to contain dozens of snapshots of strange and unusual works- sculptures, prints, etc. It seemed perfectly suited for a Tumblr project.
Tumblr is essentially a photo-blogging platform. Not to say you can’t post words- you can. But the main attraction is image sharing.
Unlike typical blogs Tumblr does not support comments. Instead users are urged to Like or Reblog a post to show their approval. By reblogging one user’s post it spreads it around the Interwebulars. Plus it’s very easy to post photos from your smartphone!
To see what I have managed to cobble together take a look at…
or Why the <More> Tag is Important
Bloggers have it easy these days. Those dark and lonely nights spent learning HTML or wading through Cascading Style Sheets are long behind us. Well, most of us.
Tools like Google’s Blogger, Type Pad and WordPress have made world-class tools available to the masses for little or no cost. Today it’s perfectly sensible to launch off into the blogosphere with nothing more than an email address. Of course it helps if you have something to write about.
It also helps to have some grasp of the blogging tools that make your blog user-friendly. So instead of learning HTML try learning the ins and outs of your chosen blogging platform. Where to start? Why yes, I do happen to have a suggestion… Continue reading When Less is More
Just a quick note to let everyone know: all Maduko stockholders can now receive updates via email!
Simply sign up by adding your email address, then jumping through the requisite hoops to confirm and validate. Then you will magically be informed when new and critical information is added to this wonderful blog.
Note for Geeks and the Paranoid:
The email updates and RSS feeds for this blog are delivered via Feedburner. They are a reputable company (so don’t be paranoid) owned by Google (okay, be a little paranoid) and promise not to sell your email, steal your secret identity or hide your shoes. If you have a blog you might be interested to know Feedburner is totally free, offers several nifty tools and takes about 48 seconds to set up. But enough about that…
How Your Images Can Attract a Crowd
Getting more people to visit your website or blog is a universal goal for most anyone. I mean, anyone that has a website or blog. Once you scrape the surface of that topic you will immediately run into the phrase Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
SEO is simply making your pages and content as friendly as possible to search engines like Bling and Google. The ins and outs of SEO are complicated. There are tons of books written on the subject and I have no intention of delving into the complexities of all that. But one little snippet I recently discovered is worth sharing.
If you’re working on increasing traffic to your site you’re probably familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If you aren’t you probably should be. Google’s toolbox allows you to see how the search engine is indexing your site (or not) and report on how your site fares in particular search results. The main page (right) display the performance of your site based on how many searches your site showed up on. The values are given as Impressions (showed up on the search results) and Clicks (someone actually clicked to visit your site).
A couple of weeks ago I happened to notice that little button on the left of the graph that says Filters.
Filters allow you to zero in on certain types of searches- mobile, image, web, etc. I was amazed to learn that the majority of search traffic being reported was from image searches. When I filtered the graph to display web searches the numbers plummeted. I was reduced from thousands of search hits to a handful.
Obviously your mileage will vary. If your site has more images you will probably see more search traffic from images searches. This can also increase by optimizing your images. Many bloggers overlook this simple but effective step- here’s how to do it…
- Name Your Image
Don’t use the lame file name your camera coughs up. Nobody will be excited by DSC00913.jpg (well, not many people anyway). But if you named it las-vegas-casino.jpg it will have much more relevance.Try to use simple words and avoid using slashes, dots or spaces.
- Keep It Relevant
Speaking of relevance- make sure the image name matches the content where it appears. Consider our above example: If your blog is about a cool casino you discovered in Las Vegas, you’re done.However, let’s say you’re writing about data backup and using a casino image to illustrate gambling with your precious data (okay, you pick the examples next time). In this case a better file name would be best-bet-backup.jpg or backup-gambler.jpg.
- The ALT & Title Tags
The HTML lingo that runs the web has a couple of image-specific tags to help with this endeavor. Most people will be familiar with these tags as “hover text.” If you hold your cursor over my screenshot above you should see “Webmaster Tools by Google” pop up. That happens because I defined the ALT tag for the image and the TITLE tag for the hyperlink.The instructions for adding these vary wildly depending on your blogging platform or content management system. WordPress makes it very easy, but Blogger makes you dip into the HTML view.
Any or all of these suggestions will make your images more friendly to the robots that constantly troll the Web on behalf of search engines. Once they find and index them you should see an increase in visits to your site from image searches. Then all we have to do is entice those visitors to stay for a while.
But that’s a story for another day.
Blogger vs. Word Press: Take 3
In my quest to compare free blogging platforms I turned my attention to the Blogger navbar.
Word Press doesn’t force you to view a navigation bar above your free blog. Although you will see a bar up there if you’re logged into Word Press, this is tied to your user account- not the blog.
Blogger, on the other hand, displays a bar across all blogs.
While this bar may have a link or two we could consider useful, it seems to be more suited to Google’s purposes than ours. Report abuse? Next blog? No thanks. Plus, this casts the stink of cheap on your otherwise professional-looking blog. It’s really pretty useless to your visitors.
But when I decided to try removing it I found it difficult. Blogger offers you various color options- but “none” was not listed. When I hunted for a way to nix it I found tons of references for the ealier Blogger Templates interface and nothing for the newer style known as Layouts. But I kept searching!
I finally found an excellent tutorial with screenshots from the Webaholic…
Remove Blogger Navbar
This applies to the current Blogger interface and provides step-by-step instructions with pictures. A few clicks and a control+V later I was living life navbar-free. Ahhhh.