Google, heatmaps, comments and spiders, oh my! There’s so much to know when you’re a blogger, so I keep putting together some of the little tips I am picking up to share with you. Blogger users take note, I have a couple of great ones for you here.
Have You Googled Your Blog Lately?
In order to get specific results for your blog put the following into the search box – site:www.snoskred.org – just replace the www.snoskred.org with your site URL.
If you want to search your own site only, you can also use Advanced Search and put your site in where it says Domain – Only return results from the site or domain. I use this all the time when looking for past things I wrote here.
For those of us getting frustrated with Technorati, it may be time to consider a Google search widget instead. I’m going to be checking further into this later today and may put a how to together for ya’all for future blogging tip goodness posts..
Find Out What Your Readers Click On
I read Create a Heatmap of Where Readers Click on Your Blog at Problogger and thought it might be something interesting to try. I put it on less than 24 hours ago and it is already showing me interesting information.
If you want to know more about your blog readers, this is an absolute must do. It is also really simple to do – and completely free!
I added a new section to my sidebar called Bloggers Are Helpful. It contains some of the best articles I have found about blogging. It is also constantly updated and in the weekly wrap up I will let you know what new articles have been added to it over the week.
If you have a helpful article which should appear in Bloggers Are Helpful, please email me or leave a comment linking to your article.
Did you know you can add your comments policy to Blogger? It will show up just above the box where people enter their comments. Here’s a quick screenshot guide on how to do it.
From your Blogger Dashboard – click on settings.
Click on Comments.
Find the box that looks like this.
Type your comments policy into the box – and don’t forget to click save when you’re done!
Now when your blog readers want to comment, they will see what you typed into the box directly above the comments box. It will look like this –
Or perhaps like this if you have your comments appear in a pop up box.
With Blogger you have a choice between a pop up comments box and a comments page – I prefer the comments page myself, which do you prefer as a commenter? and if you want your comments to be do follow I believe you can’t use the popup box. I’m not 100% sure on that one – anyone?
Where’s That Spider?
You may have read this post by Sephy where he talks about Blogger messing with the search engines. If you did not and you are using blogger, you need to know that Blogger has added a robots.txt file to your blog – without asking you, and without giving you any options of changing it.
What is a robots.txt? It simply tells the search spiders what to look at and what to ignore.
Blogger users are not able to submit a sitemap to Google – something ALL other bloggers can do, because it has to be on your site itself in .xml format and blogger does not allow you to upload .xml files to your blog. Blogger is telling the search spiders to read my feed as my sitemap. That means my feed read becomes my site map. Not an ideal situation at all. :(
Bloggers on WordPress and some of the other blogging platforms have a huge advantage over us – they can tell Google what pages to look at, what pages to ignore, and also get their labels listed.
Therefore we Blogger users will need to become smarter about how we do things. That is what the Snoskred Is section is about.
I only had 297 of my 500 posts on google for some strange reason. Some of my much older posts which I used to get hits for on certain search terms seemed to stop getting those hits.
What I chose to do was take the time to go back through my posts and make a links list with keywords appropriate to the post. I put it in my sidebar. It is long and nobody may ever actually look at it other than the spiders. However I do hope that my readers find it useful as well, if they want to know more about me it’s pretty much all there.
You may want to consider doing something similar yourself. It’s your blog. :) At the very least my thought is that you should have your favourite 10 posts available in your sidebar for your readers to check out and get to know more about you.
I am working on learning a bit about WordPress. I have it installed on another domain I own, and Sephy and I are just messing about with it, learning how it works.
I had been getting mixed messages on WordPress. Some people told me WordPress was difficult to use and for more technical type people. Some people told me it was the best thing since sliced bread. Having now messed about with it I can say both are true. It does require some technical knowledge, but it is also is the best thing since sliced bread.
Blogger is great for most bloggers, I completely agree with that. It is easy, simple to use and you can now get templates for Blogger that look fantastic.
For those of us who want a little more control – who want to be in charge – who don’t want Blogger making decisions on their behalf without asking them – WordPress may be the better option. Will I be moving this blog to WordPress? Probably not at the moment, but maybe in the future. I am going to use WordPress for the business blog, though.