View Full Version : Promoting a challenging niche site

05-11-2006, 06:56 PM
Okay here's the challenge, my content site EnvironmentalChemistry.com has pretty decent traffic levels overall. At this time of year it gets around 15,000 page views per day and up to 50,000 page views per day in the fall (detailed traffic patterns (http://environmentalchemistry.com/advertise.html)). The thing is I'm have problems building traffic to new articles I'm publishing on a monthly basis.

My goal is to shift this site from just a pure resource site to more of an online journal that digs beyond the headlines with indepth articles on various environmental issues. Currently I am investing heavily in well written articles by highly qualified professionals, but if I'm to make this sucessful I must significantly increase the page views these articles receive so that they can generate enough ad revenues to recoup my investment in a reasonable period of time.

I publish RSS feeds of my latest articles and my articles get indexed by Google News. I participate in environmental and science related forums where I promote my site in my sigs and I have a blog that I use to promote my articles (it gets almost no traffic). I have submitted my RSS feeds to many RSS feed collection sites. Basically, I'm doing everything I can reasonably think of to promote my new articles and I'm running out of good ideas.

Right now, the articles I have published in the last six months are attracting about 50 page views per day per article (excluding bot hits). I need to see these articles attracting at least 200 page views per day per article.

What I need are some ideas that would help attract more attention to my articles and maybe help increase my traffic levels overall.

I do attract a lot of good in bound links to my site, but I need more than links. I almost feel that I need a good grassroots buzz generated around my site. How does one go about creating this type of buzz?

05-13-2006, 12:08 AM
Using google sitemaps could help...

Or are you already?

05-13-2006, 06:29 AM
Google site maps are designed to create an easy to index map of a site that does not already have a good directory page. My site is very well structured for navigation purposes and Google routinely indexes all of my pages. In my case all pages crosslink to all primary pages like articles and the main page links to all primary pages including all articles.

My articles typically appear in Google News within 1/2 hour of being posted. I haven't been lucky enough yet to have my articles appear on the main Google News page, but they can be found if one is doing a Google News search for that specific topic. For instance right now "Dry cleaning" pulls up my article on alternatives to using percholorethylene in the dry cleaning process. A new article will also appear in Google's main index within a within a week or so of being posted. Basically new pages get indexed on Google Bot's next routine visit. Other search engines like MSN and Yahoo also do a decent job of indexing my articles in a reasonable fashion.

Even though they get indexed quickly, some articles take time to claw their way to the top of search results, and this is where some grassroots promoting would help. If I could figure out how to get people to blog about my articles reliably it might help them claw to the top of search results more effectively. I need to find ways to create buzz around my site.

If I could build effective buzz and thus get my main page to a PR7 it might help all of my pages achieve better search placement. Right now my main page is a PR6 and article pages are typically a PR5 unless they are new since the last PR update. My goal is to build up my main page to a PR7 and article pages up to a PR6. I think the page on my site that is closest to achieving a PR7 is my main periodic table page as it was flirting with PR7 a couple years ago and was actually at a PR7 through a couple of PR updates until it fell back to a PR6.

As far as the quality of my articles goes, for the most part my writers have Master's degrees and PhDs in related fields and are working professionals in related fields. All articles are heavily researched and well documented. It costs me a small fortune, but basically instead of getting cheap low quality articles, I'm trying to produce exceedingly high quality articles that really dig beyond the sensational headlines we are seeing in the news.

My goal is to build my site into a highly respected and popular site, and to attract top notch writers. To continue on this path I need to significantly increase the ad revenues articles generate, which means significantly increasing my reader base. I'm attracting good writers, the question becomes how to get grassroots buzz to work for me without breaking the bank on an advertising budget?

05-27-2006, 04:12 PM
Hi Ken,
I'm intrigued as to how you get your articles indexed on Google News so fast. In fact, I still do not see any of my articles from www.childrenwebmag.com on Google News. In a different thread, someone said - "submit it" - but to what? So I'd appreciate knowing just how you get articles into Google News.

My website is similar to your only on a totally different subject matter. I do many of the same things, except I am no child care expert and am trying to get the article authors to understand the importance of adding the url to their forum sigs. Does this drive a lot of traffic? I was wondering because it would give me a stick/carrot to use to persuade them to hurry up.

05-28-2006, 08:01 AM
I created an RSS feed that only promotes recent articles and then submitted my site to Google News. They decided that my site was worth including in Google News and then picked up my RSS feed.

05-28-2006, 12:33 PM
I am obviously missing something! How does one submit a site to "Google News". Do I add my rss feed to www.google.com/addurl ? Or is there another submission page that eludes me?

05-28-2006, 01:20 PM
Submitting to Google News is different than submitting to Google Search. On http://news.google.com there is link to "About Google News" link that provides a means to suggest news sources. It isn't a matter of simply submitting a link and getting listed. Someone at Google News reviews every site that gets added to their news source list.