Greekgeek's Online Odyssey - Hubpages and Online Article Writing Tips

“My Lensrank or Traffic Is Dropping– Help!”

Hey, it happens to all of us. You wake up, check the dashboard, and– eek! Traffic on lens X is going down, and lens Y is now in a lower lensrank tier than it was yesterday. I want to throw a question out to my readers: what steps do YOU take, reflexively, to combat lensrank and traffic bleed?

I’m not talking about the best steps, in theory. I’m talking about what you do, for good or ill. And consider why you do them, and whether you know they work, or you’re just hopin’ or have “heard it works”, which a lot of us SEO journeymen do too often.

Confesssion time: here’s my “flail at traffic and lensrank” list. Some of these are good ideas, some of them “here’s hopin’.”

This is a tweaked version of a post I made at SquidU today answering the question.

Even the expert lensmasters are struggling to maintain their highest-ranked lenses in the top tier.
Two of mine have just barely dropped below 2000– they were bumped by two of my other lenses which have moved up! They may cancel out each other’s top tier lensrank at the end of the month unless I can fix this.
I can’t seem to get the ones that dropped to come back; they’re both sitting in the 2000-2200 range.

Steps I’m taking:

  • Rereading my lens to see if there are other unobtrusive places where I can weave in the keywords and optimize further.
  • Checking alt-tags to make sure they match my keywords or the titles/topics of each module. Here’s how images can bring web traffic. [No, that’s not a link to one of my ailing lenses; I wrote the first sentence to be helpful, then saw I could fold in a keyword-rich link to one of my related lenses instead of writing a longwinded explanation].
  • Tightening module titles. It’s all well and good to have a funny catch-line in a title, but you’re wasting valuable keywords real estate. Save the funny catch-line for the subtitle. Put a really crunchy keyword phrase in the module like “how to tie a fly fishing lure” not “Something is fishy!”
  • Tightening the prose. Make it crisp and readable. You may not have this problem, but I tend to make long lenses.
  • Rereading my Top Ten Squidoo Tips and applying them to my lens.
  • Participating in forums and being helpful. (Yes, I do it partly for myself, not just for others.)
  • Engaging in some social bookmarking. Have I submitted it to Tagfoot, which is perfectly happy with me promoting my sites? Del.ici.ous, ditto? Twittered it? Is it GOOD enough to Twitter? If not, why not, and what can I do to make it so? (Rule of thumb: if you’re not proud enough to share it with friends…really…why are you sharing it with strangers?!)
  • Updated it with new, useful information that I know people have asked for, and SquidCasted this fact. [Alert! I have added rounded corners code to my CSS quick reference guide, color codes for a few more colors I’ve noticed Squidoo using, and links to free tools that let you test how your lens looks on different browsers! Alll this and more on CSS-Codes: Making Your Webpages Look Great! ;) ]
  • Linked to the lens from other lenses on similar topics.
  • Made a new lens on a similar topic that links to the old one.
  • Written a blog post on a similar topic that’s useful on its own, but references the lens that’s suffering from a traffic and/or lensrank drop.
    What I haven’t done — which could help, but one only has so much time to invest on each lens — write some associated content articles on other sites that let you put a link back to your lens.

    Stupid thing I did which both helps and harms traffic:

    • Told fellow lensmasters my secrets for getting traffic, so now they get more traffic, so now I have to work harder to get traffic. big_smile

    (A few weeks ago I read an article by a seasoned SEO expert — unfortunately didn’t save the link, since I disregard the advice on a regular basis —  on why you shouldn’t give away your SEO secrets. It makes sense… but I’m not doing this professionally, so I’m not that cutthroat. But SEO is all about “Can you do it better than the other guy?”)

    Seriously, there are a ton of lensmasters like me who take steps like this to get traffic. Some know more than I do, use more techniques (i.e. a lot more linkbuilding), or are writing lenses on more popular topics like Twilight or Twitter app guides which get a greater benefit from “current buzz.” You’re not just trying to improve your lens — an admirable goal. You’re also competing with hundreds of other lensmasters who know what they’re doing and are trying to improve their traffic, too.

    Trying to get  a lens into a better payout tier is important, but at the end of the day, affiliate marketing is really where people make the most money, so don’t kill yourself scrapping for tiers… look for better ways to earn money, if that’s your primary goal. (And work on affiliate marketing techniques, which is a whole other huge skill toolbox that I know little about).
    At the end of the day, do what you can to maintain traffic, but one BIG way is to keep making good lenses and chaining them together, so that you continue to attract visitors, prove that you’ve got information they actually WANT, enjoy and/or can use — then send them to another lens that they may like. That slowly builds your searh engine juice and following.

    Plus, hopefully, you’ve actually contributed something of substance to the online world. Good SEO really is a two-way street: you’re helping yourself by helping others. :)

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