I am a couple weeks behind due to being on vacation, so I am playing catch up!
What pages are important on your blog?
Spend a few minutes identifying about 10 pages or posts on your blog that are the most important or most powerful in helping you achieve your goals as a genealogy blogger. Some of these will be unique to your blog, but there are likely some commonalities for all of us.
Your Front Page
This one is pretty obvious. Most traffic is going to come through your home page. It’s probably the page you promote on social media profile sites or the page that others link to when they mention your blog. It’s also a page that visitors are likely to click on if they land on one of your older posts. We’re not talking about a complete design overhaul today; rather we are looking for smaller things that may need to be tweaked.
- First impressions – what first impression does a new reader make when coming to your front page? Do they know what your blog is about right away? Do your header and tag line communicate your intent? What element is the eye drawn to?
- Sidebar – while your sidebar(s) may be visible from all pages, it is probably looked at more from your front page than any other. Sidebars tend to become cluttered over time with buttons, links, awards, etc. You may want to move some of these items to another area of the blog, with the objective of only having useful and important information in the sidebar.
- Objectives and Calls to Action – what do you want people to do when they arrive on your blog for the first time? Subscribe, click on an ad, be driven to your best content, connect with you via social media, leave a comment? Everyone’s objective will be different. Make sure yours is supported on your front page.
Your “About” page is one of the more important pages on your blog. New readers, especially, tend to click on “About” pages to determine if this is a blog they want to read on a regular basis.
Does your blog provide an easy way for readers to contact you? Just last week, I was contacted by a distant cousin who found my blog and he has pictures to share. Make sure you don’t miss those opportunities.
High Traffic Posts
Most blogs that have been around for a while have some posts that consistently generate a higher number of page views than others. This could be the result of search engine traffic, links from other sites, etc. These pages are important because they serve as gateways to your blog. You can make readers want to stick around by making sure these posts are up-to-date and by adding:
- Suggested “further reading” links to other posts on your blog.
- An invitation to subscribe at the beginning or end of the post.
Other Key Pages
Your blog may have other key pages, such as “Recommended Reading,” Subscribe,” “Surnames,” “Research Toolbox,” etc. Any page that is specifically linked to from your navigation menu is a key page. When was the last time you updated them?
- Pick one or two important pages (or posts) that haven’t been updated recently and give them some attention.
I have been working on my blog quite a bit this year, having begun with purchasing my own URL. I then made a tiny change to the name of my blog, by adding "my" before Heritage Happens, to go along with the new URL. I proceeded to make my own personal masthead, for the first time I might add, and cleaned up my sidebar. I am not happy with the results of the sidebar yet, so plan on making a few more changes there. I also am working on updating my "Tab" pages. I think having a blog is almost a constant job of upkeep, very similar to a house. You paint the rooms, clean and redecorate every now and then. So my blog is a constant area of upkeep in my mind.
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved