How to improve blog?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Emma, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Emma

    Emma
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    How can we improve this blog? The issue we are facing is that 80% - 905 of our traffic is people visiting the blog but we have a high visitor bounce rate (around 65%). We want to get people to come back and we would love it if more people clicked through to the forum and registered.

    What can we do to improve this? I know the theme isn't very "pretty" so would anyone have any suggestions to improve it? Could we do something in the sidebar to get more people to subscribe to the RSS feed or click to the forum?

    Thanks for all suggestions.
     
  2. GekiDan

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    I think what's needed is a new theme. The current one, to be honest, is so bland.
    It's full of white which I don't think is good for a tech site.
    It's because the design is what people/visitors first look at the site. If they don't like the design, most of them leave the site and look for other alternatives.

    I suggests you to get a template/theme that is tech related.
    Of course, your articles needs to have some graphics for it to be entertaining.
     
  3. Emma

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    The reason we use this is because it's one of the free themes with a great SEO framework behind it. I think it would be nice to use Thesis but it costs $75. The theme we use now is called Hybrid and it has lots of child themes that we could use :). I like Leviathan but it still looks kind of plain.
     
  4. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Emma, thanks for joining and posting. I fully agree with GekiDan, your theme needs to be improved if you want to keep visitors on your blog. Would you consider improving the theme you already have on the blog? If you don't have the skills to do it yourself, you could hire someone. The main thing it needs is some colour, this could easily be achieved by adding a header image and changing the colour of the blog post titles.
     
  5. Emma

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    Thanks Fergal :)

    Right now we use IP board for the forum so we could buy IP Content and put the blog on it. Maybe that would be best since the blog and the forum would look like they are running on one software.

    Or we could start using IP Blog as the blog software and leave WordPress. I'm just not very sure about doing that because I've always heard that WordPress is the best.
     
  6. rdcclu

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    Here's what I would do...

    1. Spend the money and buy a premium theme. Go look at StudioPress. I personally use StudioPress. You can see one of my sites here: http://www.thesmartgiver.com/blog/ Compare that to your blog. Nuff said. First impressions are important.

    2. To improve your bounce rate:
    a. Put images on the blog.
    b. Do a short YouTube video and embed the video within the article it pertains to.

    3. To build a list:
    a. Personally, I use AWeber. You can easily create an opt-in (offer a free report or some incentive for them to subscribe) and put it on the top right of each page. Alternatively, or in addition to, use PopUp Domination for an effective and easy opt-in (not an affiliate link-- that would probably be pushing my luck-- although I do use this on all my sites).

    There are more things you can do, but I would do these first.
     
  7. PaulPinnacle

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    Hybrid is a very good free theme. If you can't justify the cost of upgrading to something like Thesis (as an FYI there are a few free versions/clones of Thesis that come relatively close to the professional feel and high standards [they're not 'as good', but they ain't bad] and due to the popularity have a variety of skins available) then it's a very good starting point (better than a huge number of the paid themes you'll come across). Using something like Leviathan, or even the current Hybrid version, and some clever customisation you can easily remove the 'plain' look and give it a nice sharp finish.

    I wouldn't worry about this. Users don't care if it's 'on the same software', as long as it has a consistent 'feel' and 'appearance'. Using a standard colour scheme, standard graphics, similar 'styles', you can achieve the consistency without requiring the one platform for both. Users would probably enjoy having a familiar platform (wordpress) far more than having a consistent platform for both.

    1. Unless you come across a theme there that blows you away, I'd personally hold any money to either upgrade to a recognised market leader like Thesis in the future or else invest in customizing a solid base to a striking finish customized specifically for you.

    2. Agreed

    3.
    AWeber - agreed
    use PopUp Domination - given your target market, PLEASE don't use this. A large number of your users, given the technical content, won't be put off by this given their use of popup blockers/noscript/etc., but in that case you get no benefit anyway. For those that don't block it, it'll cause a major increase in the bounce rate you're hoping to reduce. The days of intrusive marketing like this being successful among a technical target market are well and truly gone.
     
  8. Emma

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    I'm going to buy the Genesis Framework :) It looks great for what I want.

    I wonder if I could buy it used. I'll do some research about it.
     
  9. PaulPinnacle

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    Another good choice. I'm a big fan of the Executive child, although it is starting to appear a little too often so difficult to customise it to look unique. Hopefully a few new attractive child options will start popping up.

    If for any reason Genesis or Thesis doesn't appeal to someone, the other competitive option at the upper end of the market is Headway (but it is lacking in comparison to both the others). If Genesis matches your needs and you like the style, then great. If your main aim was the SEO framework/site speed/etc., Thesis still pips it in the majority of tests but the two are both very efficient and effective so it's not a major issue. In either case, it's far more about what you do with the theme than which theme you choose. Having it tweaked and pinched to match your needs is where the 'make or break' will happen.
     
  10. GekiDan

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    May I just ask what is pop-up denomination? Is it similar to pop-ups showing on many sites?
     
  11. PaulPinnacle

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    It's a wordpress plugin to create a pop up subscribe form on a site, one you've probably stumbled across many times on your travels. It can 'work' and lead to a huge increase in sign ups, but when you're targeting a more technical market (as the OP is) it's something I believe would do more harm than good (e.g. both you and I would be part of the OP's target market, yet both would get irritated enough with a pop up to ensure we wouldn't return to the site).
     
  12. aprces

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    the first impression your blog give is no highlight, in front of my eyes, i see there are some plain text, that'all
    AND
    i can't see any typesetting from your blog, too many words but no image, that's the weakness will cause visual fatigue

    moreover, maybe you can pick another domain with out "-" symbol, it's not easy to identify
     
  13. daytrader

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    blog is too simple. for people to register,i guess you really need something especial beside giving away freebies. :lol:
     
  14. navast2010

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    New topics and popularity are necessary.try your bset to update your blog and keep it hot.
     
  15. GekiDan

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    I don't see an issue using the "-" on the domain... More on the visual aspects of the site.
     
  16. William King

    William King
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    You need to add some things on the site which keep user busy their is just a reading material on the site which contains the general knowledge increase the interesting and unique content on your site and their should be some activity for the user on your blog
     
  17. rdcclu

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    If you haven't bought the StudioPress theme yet, here's a 25% off coupon good until the end of Nov: code WPSV25
     
  18. Choice Checks

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    Do a blog every day and make sure its relevant to your product(s). You can get alot of good hits from forums as it will show your URL with each add that you post. Static pages once to twice a mth helps, as it will give you more links per page you post. Make sure your website is clean, clear, precise, and easy to navigate for your customers.
     
  19. jdsky

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    improve blog

    10 Ways to Improve Blog Traffic in 30 Minutes or Less
    1. Create link clusters within your blog
    2. Rework HTML title tags of trafficked posts
    3. Invite your readers to connect with you on StumbleUpon and Facebook
    4. Save your best posts for the best times of the week
    5. Edit your post one more time...

    Read the full article here.
     
    #19 jdsky, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010
  20. Transcribe

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    unique content in a regular basis with some kind od pictures/videos will help you definitely.
     

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