We’ve had a SquidU discussion about the recent SquidCademy quest, whose prize was getting your lens featured as one of the rotating selections on the front page of Squidoo.
I’ve been pondering how to squeeze the most traffic out of the two to four week window when your lens is part of the rotation.
Here’s some things to remember.
- If Squidoo HQ issues a challenge or quest with a Squidoo front page feature, go for it. It’ll mean extra traffic for two to four weeks if you get accepted.
- They favor lenses with strong, visually appealing graphics. Once I entered one of these challenges and got the points and purple star, but did not get a front-page feature, probably because the graphic wasn’t as good.
- The number one way to maximize traffic from the front page of Squidoo is through the lens graphic. People arriving on the front page of Squidoo didn’t arrive via a search of a topic, so they’re not targeted traffic. Instead, they’re liable to click the picture that stands out from the rest with its visual appear.
- So use a crisp, clear, compelling graphic with a strong silhouette, possibly a white background (See my “Hook Visitors with Key Art Designs” tutorial for tips).
- Check to see how it looks on Squidoo’s front page (especially if your graphic’s not square; Squidoo will crop it to a square). You can safely tweak, adjust, upload the graphic, and republish until it looks good (thanks to KathyMcGraw for asking if changing the graphic would cause any problems — it doesn’t. The graphic changed on the front page immediately after republishing).
- While a front page feature will bring visitors because of all the people landing on the Squidoo.com gateway, it’s useless for SEO purposes. I Googled cache:http://www.squidoo.com/ and double-checked with Webconf’s Search Engine Spider Simulator, and both of them show that the current featured lenses are not crawled or indexed. The lens gallery is generated only when you’re viewing Squidoo.com live, so Google doesn’t see those links.
- Oddly, the testimonials are stored, so a random few lucky lensmasters get extra backlink juice if their testamonial is showing when Google’s spider comes by (which happens often). If Squidoo ever solicits us to write more blurbs, do it.
- Also, of course, Squidoo Categories are featured in the sidebar, and those links are hard-coded, so getting your lens on any of the category or subcategory pages will get some trickle-down pagerank from the top level of Squidoo.com.
On the occasions when I have had lenses on the front page of Squidoo, I have noticed that even if I didn’t get thousands of visitors like some others have (it seems to me that some lenses get featured more frequently than others for some reason), the extra traffic to the featured lens was enough to bump it from Tier 3 to 2, or from Tier 2 to 1 (even better).
In addition, the traffic to many other lenses increased as visitors looked to see what else I had to offer, and this helped to move some of my lower ranking lenses up higher, some getting quite a few visitors.
It’s definitely worthwhile going for the quests and gearing up for the front page. Finding an eye catching icon is not always so easy though, at least not for me.