My blog has been in existence since 2004 and started off as an experiment into SEO, link-building and website promotion. It all started in the English Beergarden in Munich during one of my consulting projects in Europe where we started a “Who will rank on the first page on Google when searching for ‘cv jee web sphere‘”-competition.
My original website was a simple HTML based site just containing my CV and during those days, SEO was pretty much based on content and link-building. Within 5 weeks I managed to position myself as #1 with the above search-term and a number of others.
My blog has evolved over time – initially just additional HTML-content pages, then the usage of b2evolution for more than 6 years and now WordPress.
Reflecting on 2011, I have created a list of top content (based on page visits). My not so proud moment is the “jailbait” series which was part of a “sex-sells” experiment several years back which still brings in plenty of (questionable) organic searches.
My interest in gadgets, electronics, gaming and home-entertainment covering one of the first tutorials to perform an OS X TimeMachine backup through non-supported Apple devices is still a highly visited content page:
While in previous years, Internet Explorer dominated my traffic, this has changed over the last 12 months with both Chrome and Firefox starting to trend. I tend to see a pattern where returning visitors do come in with Internet Explorer (new PCs?) and eventually switch to Firefox or Chrome. Safari has also started to pick up thanks to Apple making MacBooks more accessible in South Africa:
A good mix of organic and direct traffic dominates my traffic sources which validates my sentiment in SEO that “content is king” and optimizing your Meta-descriptions and Meta-keywords according to your content adds a tremendous advantage when it comes to boosting traffic. An important aspect in referral traffic is content syndication on forums, blogs and news-sites and referral traffic should be organic rather than through link-farms or paid link inclusion.
Many bloggers and web masters are very protective over their content, but I found that sharing content and giving permission to repost content (obviously with a link-back to my original post) provides a good number of organic back links. Most of my Synology, Popcorn Hour and ADSL posts have received mentions on forums and still drive good traffic to my blog.
While the “jailbait“-posts are not among my proudest moments during my The Friday Picture-series, it did validate one important aspect that trending topics will remain popular over time. Perhaps not quite a good strategy for most websites but a consideration (provided that one keeps it clean) for bloggers wanting to boost traffic.
Since my blog “downed” for more than 6 months and only received a revival over December, I am currently experimenting with a number of new SEO strategies (related to good content and social media) and while I have noticed a dramatic improvement in back links and social mentions, it’s perhaps too early to disclose those strategies at this point in time.