Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?

Website Visitors Staying or Bailing?
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The average website visitor spends about 3 seconds on a web page before they decide whether or not they’re in the right place. Whether they’ve come to your website from a direct link, a search or maybe a pay-per-click ad (PPC), they’re looking for something. They have a need, whether it be something they want to buy, information or maybe they just need a good laugh but they came to your website to find something. Do you have what they’re looking for? Even if you do, will they stay on your website long enough to find out? Website visitors are a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”.

They’re searching, doing a quick scan and either they think they’re in the right place or as Shania Twain would say… (sing actually)… “I’m outta here!” So, what can you do to make a website visitor stay long enough to recognize that your website (amongst the hundreds of thousands of other websites with similar products or topics) has exactly what they’re looking for?

Well for starters, you’ll probably want a professionally designed website (or at least one that looks professionally designed). But ultimately, it’s the content that’s going to satisfy their needs – keyword rich content. So, for starters, let’s take a quick look at what a website visitor is going to see when they land on a page of your website.

Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content


Looking at the screenshot above, (taken of this blog post actually), you’ll notice 5 black arrows pointing to the 5 key areas of your website page: page-title, URL, your logo/business name (to me – this is your brand), post-title and your content area. Each of these areas are an opportunity to incorporate keywords (the search terms that someone would use to find your website). Even a graphic such as the banner that I use with my logo and name is an opportunity to use keywords through the use of alt-tags.

If you look at the URL (the web address at the top of this page), you’ll notice that the title of this article is part of the web address. There should be no doubt where you are. You clicked on an article called “Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around” and that’s where you are.

Changing your “Permalink Settings” in WordPress

Funny thing is though, if you have an out-of-the-box installation of WordPress, the title of your articles in your address bar won’t include the title of your post. By default, your URL would include something vague like “?p=567“. Most people prefer to show the title of the post to take advantage of keywords. If you want to do this, in your WP Admin panel, go to Settings | Permalinks and select “Post name”.

So, the moral of this story is that keyword-rich content will help:

  1. People find your website using search engines
  2. Your website appear higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
  3. Website visitors know that they’re in the “right place

Keyword Optimization and the Latest Google Algorithm Update

You’ve probably heard about the new changes that are coming to Google’s algorithm. The intent is to penalize over optimized websites while at the same time, rewarding quality content. (This topic deserves a post of its own.) So, while we need to optimize our sites, we also need to stay in Google’s good graces. If you’d like to learn more about how the algorithm changes will affect you, check out Catherine Lockey’s recent post: The New Google Smackdown: Bye Bye Over-Optimized Websites.

What do you think? Do you have other tips that you can share with us? Are you worried about how the new algorithm changes might affect you?

Article Originally Published on: July 15, 2010

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

108 thoughts on “Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?”

  1. Great Post. Having strong keywords in the right places is of upmost importance. Also being consistent in this strategy throughout every page on your website is key. If you just have the homepage optimized, which is good, but then the rest are poorly set up then it will only take you so far, I believe.

    1. That’s a great point. Every page of our website could potentially be a “landing” page and should be treated as if it is our home page. Every once in a while we should take a look at our Google Analytics to see which page the most people exit our site from. That page could be a good candidate for a makeover.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

  2. I’m new to blogging and I learn a lot everyday. I believe that content and being true to your readers is very important. As for some websites, I see too many ads and most of the time, visitors get turned off by them.

    1. Hi Helen,
      Nothing turns me off faster than trying to read an article that’s riddled with Google AdSense ads. For some reason, those irk me the most. It’s one thing to have advertising around the content area but when I can’t read a post because of all the distractions, I’m out of there.

      Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this. It’s an important topic.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

      1. I totally agree with you! I get annoyed of blogs and sites that blend ads with their content. I have even seen websites that interrupt the flow of their articles in order to present an ad. I use ads also, in my blogs BUT I don’t overdo it.
        As for the overly optimized websites, ok it is bad but google should at least give a guideline for the newcomers! Imagine a very talented kid that knows how to write and starts a blog. He will be penalized because he overdid some SEO? He probably followed an old guide. So what? Google starts to lose it in my opinion.

  3. I’m still in the learning process of optimization. Well, I think keywords is the heart of search engine as well as our website. It serve as the linkage between the two. With proper optimization, your site will be loved by SE but if not, then you know what to expect :D. I’m still afraid to put many keywords on my website.

    1. Hi Christian,
      I understand your concern about using too many keywords but if you want your website to appear in the search engines, you really have to. Google gives the most weight to keywords used in the title, headings and the first paragraph of your articles. So, those are good places to focus on. It’s a good idea to incorporate your keywords into phrases that people are searching on and to not risk being accused of “keyword stuffing” by using related words throughout your content. I’ve been known to write entire posts without having any idea what the keywords were. I’m usually passionate about something and then just write. When I’m done, I’ll look at the article and I will have naturally used words that are keywords (or I could change into a term that I know people will be searching on). The key is to write interesting quality content and then tweak it a little so that Google will deliver it up.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

  4. Hi Sherryl!

    when I first started blogging 2 years ago, all this stuff really confused me and I didn’t know where to begin. Over time, my keywords have improved a lot and I am not really putting any effort in optimizing them because I am using the same and most important ones all the time automatically.
    But what I really think about is the title, I spend a little more time with this. But there’s always room for improvement with my keywords! Shall look into those again with my next blog post!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Franziska San Pedro
    Flavor Designs

  5. Lots of great information here. I admit that I’m not as good about this stuff as I should be. Sometimes I feel like I will never be able to keep up with this stuff.

    Kay in Hawaii

    1. All the tips can seem overwhelming in the beginning Kay but most of them just become habits as we go along. I just took a quick peek at your blog and you’re already implementing a lot of the tips that I’ve suggested here. The only suggestion I would have for you (and I didn’t include it here) is to use heading tags in your posts.

      In this post, “Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content” is tagged with the

      heading tag. (I’m not familiar with all of the limitations of Blogspot but you should be able to use a text editor to highlight text and tag it as a heading.) Search engines give more weight to text that is tagged as headings. Additionally, your WordPress theme should format headings differently which helps them stand out and draw your readers attention to them.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

  6. Keywords is a great topic for me because I’ve had my ups and downs trying to figure out the best ones for me. I believe I’ve made progress, but this is definitely a place for continued improvement. I love when you write on topics that are applicable both for beginners and more advanced, at helps us wherever we are in the process.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    1. Hi Judy,
      I think at the end of last year when I asked what people would like me to write more about, you suggested keywords as a topic. That is definitely something that we can all utilize to help us with SEO. What I find valuable here is the discussions that go on in the comment section. Regardless of our skill levels, we can all add value by asking and answering questions and sharing our personal experiences.

      Thanks for letting me know that you found my article valuable. We can always continually improve. You are definitely making progress! I think incorporating keywords can be especially challenging for authors. There’s a fine balance between writing for your readers while at the same time using terms that will help your readers find your content in the search engines.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

  7. Thankyou so much for sharing helpful tips, Sherryl. Website appearance is a paramount so we should work on it to catch reader’s attention. Readers stay more on professional looking websites. Using of keywords in title is a nice advice and it satisfies readers that he is reading the topic of his interest.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that you liked my tips Pete. I think keeping your site professional is so important when it comes to keeping your bounce rate low. Nothing turns me off quicker than to land on a site that is riddled with advertising. For some reason, I find Google AdSense ads to be particularly disturbing. They’re distracting and (to me) sends the message that the content is there to make money for the writer. That’s not a message that I want to send when someone comes to my site.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 8 White Hat SEO Tips for E-Commerce WebsitesMy Profile

  8. Really great tips, Sherryl. I’d already changed by permalinks to “post name” (great tip), but was interested to read about Google’s algorithm changes. As I think my site is pretty much content-driven I’m not overly concerned. Love all your advice on appropriate use of keywords – I think I am most of the way there, but there is always room for improvement. Thanks!
    Imogen Ragone recently posted..Alexander Technique Help for Computer Users – Part 8: Using a LaptopMy Profile

    1. Hi Imogen,
      It’s good to see you back here. Your content is really good and you should be able to rank well for some of your keywords. (You’re the only blogger I know who blogs about the Alexander Technique.) I’m attaching the link to the post that I wrote about the keywords marketer and marketing (just in case you haven’t seen it.) That post may give you an idea on how important it can be to choose one keyword over another. Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you’re enjoying my blog!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

  9. Hi, Sherryl. I appreciate the tips that you have shared here, especially the one about having a professionally designed website. We really have to invest in improving the look of our website because on-page SEO is also important, paired with well-planned off-page strategies.

  10. I think the main reason why websites lose visitors is when their blog isn’t updated and if readers couldn’t comment on them. Interaction breeds loyalty and camaraderie. Thus, I think it’s essential for bloggers to allow moderated comments. Content also plays a huge role in the overall appeal and significance of the blog.

    1. Hi Jian,
      I think you bring up a very good point about commenting. There’s an active discussion going on in one of the LinkedIn blogger groups and one of the overriding issues is frustration when it comes to commenting on blogs. Lately, there seem to be a lot of blogs that require you to log into the WordPress site before you leave a comment. If it’s not easy to comment, people will get discouraged and leave. Not only is the blogger missing out on a comment they very well could be discouraging a potential reader from coming back.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Someone Tell What Your Website/Blog Is About In 3 Seconds?My Profile

      1. Hello Sherryl! Very well said. That’s exactly my point. I know that bloggers worry about spam comments and stuff but there are ways to moderate comments and not tolerate spammers. Interaction is still very important.

        1. Exactly Jian. After Google’s most recent algorithm changes, it’s more important than ever to be careful that we don’t associate our sites with sites that Google deems “spammy” but at the same time, it’s important to build a sense of community and encourage healthy discussion. Thanks so much for weighing in on this.

  11. I have heard about new Google page ranking. I am not really worried, we just need to wait and see how good this system will truly be.

    1. Hopefully the new algorithm changes will help those of us who write good content. I am following the discussion that’s going on now on how Google weighs keywords used as anchor text. More importantly, I need to address the rel=”author” tag. I have bookmarked a couple of articles on tips to make the most of this. Once I implement it, I may share what I’ve learned in another post.

      Have you made changes to your author tag Danijela?
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

  12. The new google algorithm has been on my mind so reading this post was timely for me, Sherryl. You always seem to catch me at the write time. I’m going to do a little more homework and refer back to this post. Thanks a bunch!

  13. An informative post Sherryl, you share some very good tips many that people over look.

  14. Thanks for drawing my attention to this post, Sherryl.

    I’ve now made the adjustment to the permalinks on my travel blog and hope that will eliminate those vague URL’s I’d been noticing on the posts. It’s amazing how much tweaking is req’d to get things running smoothly. Thanks again for your help and generosity.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently prepared for international travelMy Profile

    1. That’s great Doreen. I’m glad you picked up that tip from me. There is a lot of tweaking to keep track of. You know that I maintain worksheets to track the different steps that I take when I’m creating and maintaining websites. One of the reasons for doing this is to ensure that I don’t miss steps. What I usually do is copy and paste a series of steps (into a worksheet for my new site) and delete all of the dates. As I complete the steps, I enter the new date. I even do this for blog posts. There are certain sites that I need to manually submit my blog articles to. So, each week, I copy and paste the list of actions that I take and repeat the process. Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you learned something from me. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Website Hosting More than Just a Server?My Profile

  15. Don’t forget to add some interactive widgets if you can! Audience engagement is a great way to keep them onsite. Anything that moves them from reading => Play…

    I run a small word game solver site so it’s pretty simple for me – if you land on my site (outside a blog post), I want to show you a list of words as soon as you open your browser. Once you “touch” it – change a letter, page through results – you’re probably not going anywhere for a few minutes…. (according to Google Analytics)

  16. Yep, that’s right – people make their mind up in just 3 seconds!

    This is worth trying: I massively reduced the bounce rate of my blog by adding a personal picture above the fold. I think that helps to create a more authentic feel and my stats prove it 🙂

    1. Hi Raj,
      I’m glad to hear that adding your personal picture above the fold reduced your bounce rate. Did you test this on your “How to Raise” website? Since the ability to raise money depends upon having trust, I can understand how that would work well for you. The lesson here is to test the changes that we make to our websites. I don’t believe this tip would work well for everyone but you have the statistics to prove that it worked for you. Thanks for sharing this with us. Someone else reading this may want to test this on their site.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Someone Tell What Your Website/Blog Is About In 3 Seconds?My Profile

  17. Hey there Sheryl, great post.
    I agree with you about the 3 seconds that an average website visitor spends. It’s kind of difficult though to prove within just 3 seconds that your content is of good quality and your visitor will find what is looking for.
    Your suggestions are excellent and I’ll try some of them, especially the changes in my “Permalink Settings” for the url’s of the post.

  18. Totally agree you have to keep the people that come to your site on your site for more than three seconds. I think at this point if they are on your site they notice how professional it looks and if it looks like the content they are looking for. So the keyword optimization sounds like it already got them there.

    1. Thanks Elena. I think one of the reasons that it’s important to use keywords in your titles and headings is that if those are the terms that someone found you on (by searching), they’ll immediately get that “I’m in the right place” feeling. It’s so easy to hit that back button when we don’t think that the site we landed on meets our needs.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Makes Good Website Design? – (Part 3 of 3)My Profile

  19. It’s crazy how today’s society gives so little time to trying something new. These were great suggestions to try and capture the audience for more than 3 seconds! Thanks for the post.

  20. Slowly the message about key words has been getting through to me! I hadn’t thought about them in the way you are showing, however, in terms of all the places on the website page. That 3-second window is a bit scary–definitely fast decision making. Thanks for your clear, practical blogs that help even the less tech savvie. (The comments you have are instructional in themselves, and also prove how well you do getting readers to engage.)

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    1. You’re welcome Judy. I really am pleased when I hear from people who find my explanations helpful. As for the comments, I’m thrilled that so many readers take the time to interact. I am always saying that we can all learn from each other and I strongly believe that sharing our experiences (both good and bad) can help others learn and possibly avoid some of the mistakes we all make when we’re first learning (or as things change which they almost inevitably will).
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Treat Your Blog Posts Like Website Home PagesMy Profile

  21. Great read. I hope you do a separate post on ‘rewarding quality content’. As for over optimization I think if you are just doing the on page optimization honestly and not stuffing keywords and links I don’t think you will have a problem with being penalized by google. Do you agree?



    1. I do agree Sean that we should be okay but I think there is a risk to people who might fall into the “more is better” trap. Earlier in the comments, someone pointed out to not overuse keywords in our headings. That’s a good point. If someone wanted an example, they could look at the headings that I’ve used here. I’ve optimized each heading for a different set of keywords that someone could be searching on.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Ping Your Website Blog and When Not ToMy Profile

  22. Hey Sheryl,
    I completely agree with the fact that over optimization is a recipe for disaster. Actually it is totally opposite to what all SEO experts keep talking about. I have recently discovered a link where Matt Cutts says Google Bot is now looking for lesser SEO tricks and more of content and it is getting smarter than ever.
    Here is the link for you , if you like
    I think in the end content is really going to be the king. I have always said that 80-20 rule works well for all business enterprises. In this case 80% of effort goes to create content 20% on marketing. One may change these figures slightly but not completely.
    One more thing i want to talk about the permalink structure is that once we set the permalink structure for blog practically we are set. If we change the permalink after it has been indexed, it can cause huge trouble in rankings. However there is a plugin that redirects our old links to new links. I think wordpress does not completely automate this process( which they need to do).
    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions 🙂
    Ashvini recently posted..Eight things entrepreneurs can learn from large organizationsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the link Ashvini and the reminder that once we set the permalink structure, it’s best to not change it. If you had a strong reason for changing your structure, couldn’t you resubmit your site to Google using Webmaster tools?

      I’ve used a WordPress plugin that redirects old links to new links before but I can’t think of the name of it right now. As for content becoming “king” again. I certainly hope so!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Have to Be Starbucks to Need a Logo?My Profile

  23. Hi Sherryl, Great post! Your suggestions are excellent. I recently started paying attention to the URL’s of my articles and my traffic has increased. Another thing that helped my traffic was using a paid WordPress theme. I’m using my first paid theme and traffic soared from search traffic after I installed it.

    As for keeping readers around. I ask questions at the end of my posts. Readers rarely answer the questions I ask, but they seem to want an invitation to comment and engage. I don’t sell on my blog so I guess that’s my Call to Action.

    So happy to have discovered your blog through LinkedIn!
    Carolyn | Wonder of Tech recently posted..On Alert with Google Alerts!My Profile

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      Thanks so much for dropping by and joining the conversation. I use a premium theme too but I started with it. So, it’s great to hear from someone who can attest that it does make a difference. (For those bloggers who simply can’t justify investing in a premium theme, check out Yoast’s SEO plugin.)

      Asking questions at the end of my posts really helped build engagement as well as installing CommentLuv and using the ReplyMe plugin. Thanks again. I’m really glad that you liked it.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Website Hosting More than Just a Server?My Profile

  24. I am also looking for that certain thing which will make people come to my website and make it a household name. If they have a purpose like looking for real estate-related, they will find something which will make them curious about and will not let them leave the site in a bit second.

    1. Recently, I was chatting with a Realtor about building a website with a blog and some of the ideas that I shared with him revolved around writing about things of interest in the communities where his featured houses were. For example, you could set up blogging categories for specific towns and then write articles about the schools, events etc. The key is to become a resource with the goal of being the go-to Realtor that pops into your mind when you’re looking to buy or sell property. Combine that with a strategy to drive traffic to your site with a presence on Facebook and Twitter and you should be good to go.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Someone Tell What Your Website/Blog Is About In 3 Seconds?My Profile

  25. With the Over Optmization Penalty with Google coming out soon I am not sure if you want to optimize your pages and posts with the keywords in the title, meta description, meta keywords, 3% keyword density, in the H1, H2, and H3 tags, because it looks like they are going to possibly penalize pages that do that especially if they optimize the whole page perfectly for one word.

  26. I have been reading a lot of posts about the whole over-optimizing thing this past week or so. I’m not certain if Google has rolled it out or not already or just partially. There have been a few sites mentioned and/or complaining about getting smacked by it. I optimize to some extent, but I try not do dwell on it. I know some people do quite a bit more than I do. I am just trying to get a grasp on what is too much both on site and off site. It’s definitely a topic I will watch for a while.
    Ray recently posted..Who Wins Quality or QuantityMy Profile

    1. Ray, When I first started blogging, I did not pay much attention at all to optimizing my posts. Once I started being conscious of it, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the percentage of my traffic from searches. If I had to pick one thing that I started doing that I believe helped a lot, it’s using keyword rich heading tags. For example, when I first published this post, I didn’t have and H2 headings. This time, I added three. (“Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content” is one of them.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Thanks to SEO a Newspaper Reporter in Pennsylvania Found my BlogMy Profile

      1. Sheryl, i started blogging few months back and i was sure that if is write content that is unique and original i was sure that i dont need to run after apotimization, jut let the users know about it and i will have the traffic. but i was proved wrong, after 25 posts I started optimizing them, and the traffic increased that too more than 700%!!!

        1. That’s great James! It’s important to have a mix of search, referral and direct traffic. Isn’t it amazing how much we learn through trial and error? The key is that you tracked what you were doing and have the statistics to guide you. It’s so important to have a system in place to measure results. That way, we can make informed decisions. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  27. This post is as relevant today as it was when you originally wrote it. You talk about web design but all of your examples have to do with blogs. Was that on purpose?

    I know how frustrated I get when I go to a business website and am forced to hunt for what I need. I want to be able to find the information quickly.

    A pet peeve of mine is when you go on a business website and look EVERYWHERE but they won’t give you an address or a phone number. The only way to contact them is via e-mail. That burns my shorts! I can hardly imagine a legitimate business that doesn’t want you to know where they are. Are they in the Witness Protection Program? Is it a state secret? Do they NEVER want customers to phone them?

    I suspect that it is mostly the result of sloppy web design. But if I have a question that I want answered immediately (and doesn’t every question want immediate gratification?), I want to see a list of company employees with their job titles and a phone extension so that I can reach the right person immediately without wasting my time or the time of an “operator” (which is invariably a voice message box).

    I’m probably guilty of being one of those 3-second people. Bummer!

    Kay in Hawaii

    1. Hi Kay,
      Well, actually, blogs are websites. So, to me they are one and the same. The same things that are important when designing a traditional website apply to building a blog. Many websites today are built using blogging software like WordPress and they may or may not have a blog. I have several clients including a driveway paving company who has a WordPress website without a blog. When he’s ready to blog, we’ll just add another page.

      Not being able to contact someone is aggravating. I feel the same way about not being able to easily share a blog post or follow someone on a social media site like Twitter. When someone only wants you to email them, they’re accommodating themselves and not thinking of their customers.

      A really great book on website design is “Don’t Make Me Think!” by Steve Krug. It’s not technical at all, it’s a quick read and I think the author is very funny. You might enjoy reading it. I think you’d enjoy it.

      Thanks for letting me know that you think this is still relevant. Sometimes, old posts are worth brushing off, updating and posting again. Readers who missed it the first time may find it valuable. “Witness Protection Program” . . . you always make me laugh!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Treat Your Blog Like a NewspaperMy Profile

  28. Thanks so much for the post. Really helpful. I find it hard sometimes to make sure I have the keywords lined up in a row as it were but I think that’s where my blogs could benefit with more of a focus on that. Good point on permalinks too – had to recently go back in & check all mine as I’d changed the title of my novel – tedious task I have to say. But now at least I know more about them.
    I appreciated the way you explained the process simply. Thanks. A.K.

    1. Thanks A.K. for letting me know that you enjoyed my post and found my explanations easy to understand. That’s my goal. I always tell people “Geek is not spoken here.” 🙂

      One thing that I did not mention but I should have is the importance of using “heading tags” too. That’s an easy and effective way of adding keywords while at the same time, making your articles easier to read by adding white space. (For example, “Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content” is tagged as a “heading”.) If you want to learn more about headings, you can check out this post:

  29. Other than the header branding and persuasive use of keywords, I’d say having a tailored Call-to-action in a prominent, unobstructed way. Too many landing pages (PPC included) are simply too busy and there are too many choices.

    You can have the best content , good keyword usage and spectacular graphics, but without a great CTA it doesn’t matter!

  30. Completely agree with Julie. CommentLuv is amazing. I use it on all of my blogs and it really does increase the amount of REAL comments from readers, as there is an incentive for them to post. I like how you can post your name for a link. Thanks for keeping your blog do-follow.

    1. Thanks Cressanta. I have discovered some great blogs simply by clicking on the CommentLuv link. I know I would never have found them otherwise. I’m a big believer on learning from others.

  31. Not sure why “Julie Weishaar recently posted…If you register your site for free at…” is showing up under my comment with a dead link. Any idea Sherryl? I must be doing something wrong with KeywordLuv – help! 🙂

    1. Julie, Has CommentLuv worked correctly for you before? This “If you register your site” message should show up when you’re commenting under your most recent article. Any chance that you accidently clicked on it? Are you certain that you have your website associated with your account on CommentLuv?

  32. Sherryl — thanks for the excellent tips. It reminded me to check my settings which I hadn’t done for a while. Can you explain in plainer English what the KeywordLuv plug-in does? I just clicked on the link below and I’m not sure what it is? I tweeted your blog — great title and definitely a grabber.

  33. To have a website constantly visited and by new and regular surfers is a full time job, but there are many variables and the first one is if you are being straight to the point.

  34. Hi sherryl

    I know how important it is to put a keyword on the blog title. But we can’t have a keyword in all our posts right? Or can we? I thought it won’t look good if all my posts has a word “directory” in it. Anyway, great post, very well-explained.

    1. When I clicked on your name, I went directly to your directory. (I do think you could spice up your title page with keywords there. “Central, MN” doesn’t say a whole lot.) Do you have a blog?

  35. One other place to have your keywords located, that may webmaster’s neglect, it the image tag. Instead of having an image on you page that is called something like “pic.jpg,” why not call it “post title.jpg”?

    Every little bit helps, just don’t go overboard and put in every possible related keyword you can think of.

    1. Excellent point! New web designers often forget that search engines can’t read images. The only opportunity to bring SEO value to your pictures is by using alt-tags. As you say, you can’t go overboard with keywords – otherwise you’ll be penalized for “keyword-stuffing” but adding a meaningful tag to your images is a great opportunity.

  36. Interesting conversation! I have word-linky things. (I’m so bad at computer-eze) The only problem is sometimes they’re too long to tweet! I know there’s a way around that, but I’m too lazy currently to figure it out. sigh.

    1. Too long to tweet! Check out There are a lot of link-shorteners out there but if you create an account and shorten your links through here, you can search your link history and track things like clicks and referrers. Just be sure to link your account to your Twitter account. (And of course, it’s free.)

      “Word-linky” things? That made me giggle. 🙂

  37. Laura, why not just include a “My services” menu to make your services easily available?

    Big fan of photoshop also Sherryl. It’s saved many an otherwise poor photo. Being able to adjust levels and colors really helps to salvage poor shots of great subjects. I even designed every single graphic on a site once from scratch with it, which I hope to never do again;)
    Paul Novak recently posted..I Write Like – A Guy Who Killed HimselfMy Profile

    1. Paul, Do you shoot your photography in Raw? It’s amazing what you can do in PS with a raw file.

      I’ve built sites where I’ve created all my graphics too. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of It’s just not worth my time to try to create graphics when I can license one for such a nominal fee.

  38. I believe that people come to my blog and stick around, but I haven’t set it up to sell anything yet. I need to find a way to hook into a static page that sells my freelance writing skills. Still I figure if people come and read my blog that’s a start! I do get clients, but they just come from different avenues.

    Great article. I love the graphic with the arrows.

    1. I have to remind myself to incorporate keywords in my titles but I try not to get hung up on them. It’s more important that someone clicks on them and reads it. One of my favorite (free) eBooks is “Why Do Some Headlines Fail?”. The author talks about things like psychological triggers. Just sign up at

  39. Agree with you Sherryl.

    Tried to change my permalinks in the past on my WordPress (individually hosted) blog and it didn’t work at all. Did exactly I quote ““Custom Structure” and keyed /%postname%/.” and it created complete havoc. So I had to go back to ““?p=567“. Would be great if you could explain more in detail how to do it since it’s obviously possible.
    Catarina Alexon recently posted..Eurozone break up – or – Estonia joining in 2011My Profile

    1. It would be great if I could explain how to fix that Catarina but honestly, I can’t. I ran into a similar issue with a Joomla site and (I hate to admit it but..) it’s still that way. Someone else here may be able to shed a light on this. Otherwise, if I run into this on WP and I hunt down that elusive answer, I promise to share it with you!

      1. Sherryl, it was quite a while I did it. So pls let me make sure I do the right thing:

        1) You have to do it post by post
        2) Go into “change permalinks” just above the post
        3) click “custom structure”
        4) write (if the title is James Bond to the rescue?)

        Hopefully I’m doing something wrong at the forth step?
        Catarina Alexon recently posted..Eurozone break up – or – Estonia joining in 2011My Profile

        1. You can set it for the entire site:

          1) Settings
          2) Permalinks
          3) Custom Structure

          Good luck. I hope that works for you. Let me know. If this doesn’t work, I wonder if clearing out your cache would help.

    1. Please keep us posted on your experiment! For now, I’ve been keeping the title as the title tag. Often, I find myself not incorporating keywords that I’d like to use because I’m trying to create (a somewhat) clever headline. Are you testing title tags with more keywords?

  40. Yep. It’s all about using the right keywords to attract the right traffic as well as rank well. When folks show up, you want them to arrive with what they were looking for right under their noses. Keep with it. There’s a lot more to using keywords these days, and all the rumors about LSI promise to keep it at the forefront of SEO practices for some time to come.
    Well said.
    Paul Novak recently posted..Critical Writing- Don’t Believe Everything You ReadMy Profile

  41. My blog is currently on Google’s blogger but I am working on making the switch over to WP. Thanks so much for sharing the tip about the url. I will definitely keep that in mind when I switch and make sure I have the correct setting. See, you learn something new wvery day!!

    1. Glad I could help Stacey. I think you’re going to be very happy once you’re up and running. Are you making the move on your own? I hope you were able to obtain your domain name.

  42. I’d bet there are some get-rich-quick schemers with professional looking websites! I discovered this just being curious one day about changing that silly page number. My webmaster didn’t tell me about it and for about a year I blog with the page number scheme. When I discovered the feature of using the title, hence keywords, it was a Eureka moment!

    I’d love for you to blog about what kind of FREE these days keeps people hanging around? Thanks Sherryl.

    1. Good point about the get-rich-quick schemers! They’re probably the scariest of all. Don’t you just love Eureka moments?

      Hmmm….. FREE to keep people hanging around. Something to think about! I love getting inspiration for my posts from the people who read my blog. The inspiration for this post came to me 2-days ago when I was visiting a new blog and saw the “?p=” in the URL. Don’t be surprised if you see that topic covered here! Thanks Patricia.

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