Bellwethr Magazine

5 Ways to Boost Your Traffic

Daniel Schultz, a programmer-turned-journalist at MIT, and Stephen Masiclat, director of the New Media Management program at Syracuse University, offer suggestions on how you can optimize your website.

WORDS BY Mei Wang

1. Remember Google is God: Stay mindful of what Google is looking for: good content, organized code, and fast-loading web pages. “Google’s grading system is like when your professor gives you grades with different weights. It will label your site as ‘unfriendly’ if it takes forever to load,” Masiclat says.

2. Know Your Audience: Publish novel thoughts and creative ideas that audiences are willing to share and link to (e.g., Tumblr’s Most Popular Posts, The New Yorker’s 13 Most-Read Blog Posts in 2013, Lifehacker’s Bests Posts in 2013). “Good content also means it has consistent structure and clear hierarchy – headings, subheadings, brief bio, links to resume, etc.,” Masiclat says.

3. Be a Social-Media Machine: Share story links on high-traffic websites to let people see and comment on your content. Try online communities like Reddit and LinkedIn groups.

4. Lighten Your Load: “Minimize things like pictures, videos, and Google Maps plugins to make your web page load quickly,” Masiclat says. Find specific rules, and test your website performance with Google Analytics and Google Page Speed.

5. Get Coding: “Learn the basic knowledge of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to make sure the code behind your page is well-organized,” Schultz says. This will help you get higher grades from Google. Use free self-learning tools like codeacademy.com and webmaker.org.

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons.

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