Traffic Getting SEO? Really?
There’s been a lot of hype about the new ‘Traffic Getting SEO blog software’, released (or marketed) by Jeff Johnson. As a result, I was asked by several clients for my opinion and whether it would help their blogs receive more traffic.
Admittedly, it has taken a bit of time for me to evaluate the software – but I have and I’m going to share my observations and thoughts here.
As an avid WordPress Blogger – I was fairly intrigued about anything that will help traffic to my site. However, I was wary – I’m really only interested in getting targeted traffic to my blog, not just ‘any old traffic’. After all, I would rather 100,000 visits and 1 sale than 1 million visits and nothing.
I installed this plug-in on one niche blogs that is doing fairly well and ran through the process. I really was less than impressed….
The plugin – Traffic Getting SEO reviews your blog settings and gives you a rating for the level of SEO you achieved. In the version I tested, it did not give any reasons for the level – it prompted me to allow the SEO changes to be made though….
Word of Warning: Back Your WordPress Installation up before running this process.
Not that the plug-in stopped my blog working – I just have no idea all the changes that are made.
One change that is made by the plug-in is the permalink structure. The permalink structure is modified to:
/%post-id%/%postname%/ - putting the numerical post id into the permalink (url) of the blog post.
This immediately rang alarm bells for – for two reasons:
1. It had modified my urls for ALL of my blog posts. As my site is existing, a number (all) of my posts are indexed by Google. Changing the permalink structure means that the links in the search engine results WILL NOT work…
There are plug-ins available that help you migrate your permalink structure – care needs to be taken.
2. This is not a recommended permalink structure, by many blogging and SEO gurus.
Let’s look at this… one of the key tips for SEO is to ensure that your keywords are included in the url for your stie / post. Therefore, including the postname as part of the link is wise. The inclusion of the post-id seems to extraneous and just adds to the length of the permalink.
Checking the SERPS myself – looking for the term – which permalink structure is best to use with WordPress? – I found several interesting posts.
AUBlog: from 2007 in a post titled Choosing the Best URL Permalink Structure for your WordPress Blog states:
5/29/08 update: After having used the above formatting (id added to end or beginning, I would not recommend it. Use just the post id OR post name, don’t combine them).
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers recommend using the “/category/postname” structure
but from experience, one potential issue to think about is if you ever want to reorganize or edit your categories, you’ll need to redirect your existing posts to the new category structure. I recommend avoiding this situation – redirecting tons of posts can be a pain.
Therefore this is the permalink structure I recommend 9 times out of 10
A small thing to note: you can use a trailing slash at the end or you can leave it off. Personally I think it looks nicer with it off, however, it does give a very tiny boost to your webserver’s performance and is technically the right way to specify URL’s.
At Wordcamp 2007, Matt Cutts shares that youshouldn’t include the post date in your URL.
The SEO Blogger also recommends only using /%postname%/ as the permalink
Sure, these pieces of advice are dated and we know that the search engine algorithms change from time to time – but if the impact of your Permalink was a factor, there would be more recent information available….
This factor alone caused me some concerns about the effectiveness of the plug-in.
The second ‘function’ of the plug-in is to find ‘SEO’ plugins to improve your blog. The report lists the fact that I wasn’t running specific plugins – Sociable, MaxPressBlog Pinger, Auto Tags, Backup and Captcha.
O.K – this was somewhat helpful, but I was running a Ping Updater and a Social bookmarking tool – I think that the Share This bookmarking plug-in coupled with an embedded ‘Bookmark With Onlywire‘ link is just as effective and a better use of space on my pages.
Overall, I didn’t consider the ‘Traffic Getting SEO Plugin’ to be all that helpful. You still have to manually configure the plug-ins it recommends you use and the modification of the permalink structure on a live blog is a major concern.
Optimizing your blog for SEO is important – and there are any number of great plug-ins available to help you out. I’ve listed my fave WordPress PlugIns here
If you really want to ‘pull traffic to your site’ – certainly optimize for SEO but also remember that you need to have content that is of interest to your Target market.