Over the weekend, I launched a new Top 100 Travel Blogs list that tracks and ranks travel blogs according to SEOmoz & Alexa indicators. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how it would be received but the response was overwhelmingly positive. I totally appreciate the support others have shown with the list and the amount of emails I’ve received thanking me for creating a new an up-to-date list with unique measurements. This was my goal in the beginning and I’m glad to see that my initial vision was manifested into reality.
Aside from those thanking me for the list, I’ve also received a number of submissions for the next update. A couple of travel blogs more than qualify as top travel blogs right now while a few others aren’t quite there yet. I realized with the first update there would be some errors and omissions and I apologize to those who I forgot to include.
I think since this list is new there is still a bit of confusion over what is being measured, how the scoring system works and what the process is for new blogs to potentially be included on the next update.
For information regarding scoring and requirements please click on the following links below:
In order to make the tracking process reasonable I’ve had to include some minimum standards across the 4 categories in order to keep things manageable. Since this list is based purely on numbers (and not my opinion) it only makes sense to be tracking blogs that potentially qualify for the list or are very close to being on it.
However, I’m thrilled that many top travel sites are already interested in making this list and I’ve decided to write this article as a bit of a guide for how one can potentially improve his/her rankings in all of the categories to eventually make it.
My goal is that for any travel blogger who really wants to be on the list is that they will someday make it
Without further adieu, let’s examine how one can potentially improve their Alexa and SEOmoz rankings:
Alexa is a bit of a cranky cantankerous beast. It can be your friend one day and your enemy the next. It’s frustrating to be working hard on your blog only to see your numbers flat-line or potentially even decline; however there are some practical ways you can actually improve your Alexa score.
1) Download the Toolbar:
Downloading the Alexa toolbar to your current browser. It will help improve your Alexa rank slightly when you visit your own site and it also helps out other sites you visit.
2) Ask others to write you an Alexa Review
Ask some blogging friends to visit your Alexa website site page and have them write a review. I personally haven’t done this but I know some other travel blogs that have over 30 reviews!
3) Post more frequently
Alexa values fresh content from your site. If you post more frequently it will most certainly help you improve your score. I know this personally because I had a very high ranking Alexa score in mid October and then I went on a nearly three week blogging hiatus because of a personal crisis in my life. I hardly posted at all during this time period. My traffic levels to my blog didn’t totally plummet (although they did obviously decrease) but my Alexa score absolutely took a beating during this time.
4) Write epic posts
This should be quite obvious. If you write some very popular posts you will get more eyeballs on your site. The more traffic you get to your site the more your Alexa score will improve. Point number three was a suggestion to focus on quantity but it’s even more important to publish posts that are high quality.
5) Drive Traffic To Your Site
This is by far the most important tip. Learning how to drive traffic to your site is extremely crucial to increasing not only your Alexa score but also your overall website traffic. In a nutshell, rocking social media platforms such as Twitter and Stumble Upon will help you out tremendously. The effort needs to be consistent and not sporadic. Commenting on other blogs is also a great way to increase traffic to your site. If you leave insightful comments readers of their posts may trickle over to check out your site. Other options to consider are guest posts, forums and facebook groups where you can connect and interact with a potential new audience for your blog.
SEOmoz rankings have a lot to do with your link profile. Your link profile increases and accumulates links over an extended period of time. It’s not done over days or weeks but instead over months and years. Links are the currency of trust that search engines place on your site. Increasing both the total amount of links and the quality of links to your site should be a priority. Links from a small site (most travel blogs) are like tiny little peas being added to your dinner plate. It may not seem like much in the beginning but as they build up they form a nice little pile. One link from a giant site like the New York Times is the link building equivalence of a generous helping of mashed potatoes. The idea here is to be greedy You want a plate stacked up high to the ceiling.
1) Link Exchanges
Link exchanges with other travel bloggers is an excellent way to help improve your link profile. Moreover, it encourages a social relationship with the other blogger. My suggestion is to develop some rapport before requesting a link exchange. One can do this by leaving comments on their blog, sending a friendly email or connecting with them on facebook or twitter. Although some travel blogs accept a request for a link exchange totally out of the blue, many curate their blogroll with higher standards. It never hurts to ask but you ought to be prepared for rejection or silence. I’m always willing to do link exchanges with other travel bloggers and my travel blogging directory links section is one of the largest out there. If we haven’t done a link exchanges before just send me an email and I’ll gladly put you up on mine. Take into consideration that if you’re going ask for your link to be put up on another blog that you ought to be willing to offer the same courtesy by returning the favour.
2) Guest Posts
If there is one thing that has helped my blog personally more than anything else, it is without a doubt guest posting. I’ve contributed photo essays, interviews and articles to many of the most popular travel blogs that can be found on my Top 100 Travel Blogs list. From a link building perspective this has been a golden opportunity. Mature travel blogs have an excellent link profile (SEOmoz score) and provide plenty of one way link juice back to your site. From a traffic perspective (which is more of an Alexa consideration) the exposure you get from having your materials viewed by new eyeballs is going to result in people visiting your site and potentially becoming new fans. Moreover, you develop a relationship with the blogger and they benefit from having free materials on their site. It’s a total win-win situation.
In fact, I’ve had some special things happen before because of guest posts I’ve done on other sites including being offered a press trip which I unfortunately had to turn down. It’s important if you’re going to submit a guest post to understand the nature of that particular blog and to bring your A game by submitting a quality finished product.
I’ve become such a fan of guest posting that I now offer travel bloggers the opportunity to do it on both of my sites. If you would like to guest post on Nomadic Samuel click here and if you would like to guest post on Smiling Faces Travel Photos click here.
3) Become An Authority or Do Something Unique
One of the most sure-fire ways of obtaining backlinks naturally is to become an authority in a certain area or niche. If you’re considered an expert or a trusted source in a given area the chances of others linking to your articles on that given subject are significantly increased. With specific regards to travel blogging this might include a particular style of photography, expertise on a certain region/culture or skill-set that you’ve recently developed. The possibilities are endless. Moreover, something else to consider is zigging when others are zagging. Try to cover something unique. An example that comes to mind might be destinations not typically covered or a topic that is ground-breaking or possibly even taboo.
4) Write Epic Posts
You may have noticed this was also point number 4 under the Alexa section. If you create a masterpiece the chances of others wanting to share it is undeniable. One of the best ways to get one-way backlinks is to create an article that is so appealing other sites will make reference to it often with a link. This is going to help improve your Domain Authority and Page Authority.
5) Get published outside of the travel blogging community
Finally, the last tip I have is to get yourself published on-line outside of the travel blogging community. This not only diversifies your link profile but it also will increase your traffic at the same time. It’s been mentioned by many reputable sources that a common mistake many travel bloggers make is to not cast the net wide enough or seek an audience outside of our travel blogging niche.
Hopefully some of these tips will help those who want to make the Top 100 Travel Sites list or provide a boost for those who are already on it to move up even further.