As part of my previous job, I used to manage development and operations for some pretty big entertainment and ecommerce sites. While my company didn’t explicitly offer SEO services, we implemented recommendations from third party SEO consultancies. Outside of work, I recently setup wordpress installations for my two friends (Ballgame’s points and Evan Cobb Jazz) as well as my own personal site. My buddies keep asking me how to improve traffic to their sites, and now that I have my own, I figured I should put it out there to help and get feedback from the community. My plan is to set reasonable goals, define tangible steps, and show (through Google Analytics/Webmaster screenshots), the results.
Goals (we’re talkin’ baby steps here)
Here’s my first two (modest) goals for the site:
- Unfortunately for me, there is another Amit Klein who is a well published expert in the field of Network Security. In a google search for “amit klein” my site isn’t even in the first 10 pages (I stopped checking after that). Goal #1: Get my site to show up within the first two pages when I search for my name.
- It’s great that some of my friends have seen the site, but I want to create a real online presence and attract some visitors who are interested in the topics I’m writing about. Let’s start small – Goal #2: Attract 50 visitors in one day without spamming everyone I know.
Let’s take a look at where I’m at right now…
Current State (miserable)
- I’ve had this domain name for about 2 years and have used on only as a test environment for some wordpress and drupal installations. On Sept 22, I setup this wordpress installation at the top level.
- I’ve removed any old installations and setup permanent redirects for any pages in Google’s current index.
- Copied over my old posts from my company blog
- Setup a Google Analytics Account and included the tracking code in the footer file of my site.
- Setup a Google Webmaster Tools account and validated my site.
- Setup a Feedburner Account and link to the RSS feed in the footer of the site.
- Installed two wordpress plugins: All In One SEO Pack and Google Sitemap Generator
- Using the All In One SEO Pack I’ve defined a home page title, description and keywords.
- Using the Google Sitemap Generator, I automatically genereated a sitemap then told Google Webmaster Tools about it:
- On the sitemap tab above, It says that 1/22 of the pages in my sitemap are currently in Google’s Index. The overview tab below says that Google’s spider last indexed my site on 9/18 (4 days before I setup this blog):
- On the first day of my blog’s launch I let some close friends know about the blog, since then I’ve also setup a twitter account where I’ve announced new blog posts.
- Looking at my Google Analytics traffic my numbers are pretty pathetic (some sites I’ve been managing for my site get multiple thousands unique visitors a day), my best day was the day I launched (with 30 visitors aka all my friends):
- Because I have such few visitors, I can identify exactly who they are (shout out to my readers: Kenny O in Germany, Evan in Nashville, Alyson and Steiner in Denver):
Since I’ve plateaued at about 4 visitors a day and my site isn’t even indexed by Google. I have my work cut out for me on achieving my goals of getting my name to show up in a Google search and attracting 50 visitors in one day. Here’s how I’m going to do it:
In the short term I plan on implementing as many as I can of the SEO Best Practices including:
- Adding specific tags, meta descriptions and keywords for all my posts
- Create a static HTML sitemap with descriptions of posts and link to it in my footer
- Rewrite titles and title tags to include keywords
- Provide alt tags for all images
- Redirect traffic from amitklein.com to www.amitklein.com
In the long term I plan to:
- Start posting comments to articles I read in the 20 blogs I go through daily. This is not a ploy to link to my site, I believe if I can make valid points about the post and join the community I can get people interested in me and what I have to say. Only if it’s appropriate link back to articles I’ve written.
- Be more active on Twitter, get more friends/followers and engage people through microblogging.
- Join open directories like Yahoo Directory, and The Open Directory Project.
- See if I can write guest posts for blogs I read.
- Find ways to distribute my content through existing syndication channels.
- Explore ways to increase RSS subscription through Feedburner.
I’ll write again once Google indexes my site and share my progress and any other ideas I have.