Can You Find Me?

Can You Find Me?

CleaningIf you want people to read your blog, not only do you have to write well but they also need to be able to easily and quickly locate the information they want!

During the 31 Day Blog Project I realised that I couldn’t even locate information I wanted on my own blog! ‘Twas time for serious heavy duty blog cleaning!

Change Template

Initial task was to change the blog template (again)!

No way would a new reader to my blog know what “Mobile Technology in TAFE” was about! So changed to a template that includes the tagline “Educational uses of web 2.0, e-learning, mobile technology and m-learning.” Immediately all readers now know exactly what my blog is about, because it is in their face!

Improve Use of Categories

Many blogs have a categories list in their sidebar. In simple terms categories are subject areas the blogger writes about.

Categories are set by the blogger and allows the blogger to group content under a specific umbrella category. Categories aids readers to locate posts as a reader can access information on a specific subject by clicking on the category that interests them. This will display the collection of the posts written relating to that category (e.g. click on mobile learning and all my posts that have been allocated to the category mobile learning will be displayed).

You need to create and use categories that your readers can relate to! When you first start out blogging you are focusing on so much that categories are not a top priority, so often your use of categories is not great which makes it hard for you or your readers to locate information as the number of posts on your blog increases.

So my next task was to clean up my use of categories by:

1. Creating new or amending categories based on popular categories used:

“Hot Topics category cloud at Edublogs”the larger the category word the more popular the term is for categorizing posts. Also important to realise that people clicking on these Hot Topic categories to locate posts worth reading!

Edublogcategory

Technorati Tags by popularity and popular tags on del.icio.us – keeping it simple the term tag is used interchangeably with categories. These two sites give a good indication of the most popular terms people are using to categorize content

Note: Deleting a category does not delete a post!

2. Allocating appropriate categories to every post (i.e. work through all 143 posts, and made the changes!)

Easily Locate Information By Category and Titles Only

As I have said before most blog readers have limited attention span, while readers can search through categories to locate information, this usually means they have search through full posts to locate what they are really after.

So instead I have set up a “Want a Specific Article” Page (Darren’s so-called Squeeze page) which makes it easier for you to locate information because I have sorted the titles of my article into different subject areas.

SpecificArticle

Not sure that I like the name “Want a Specific Article” – suggestions for a better name welcomed!

So I leave you with this final thought

How easy is it for your readers to locate information on your blog?

3 thoughts on “Can You Find Me?

  1. Great article, Sue and good advice on looking at Technorati tags as a source for your tags. Makes me realize that I should change my “blog” tag to “blogging.” 🙂

    Have you considered also adding Google Customized search? I added it to my site and it makes it very easy to find content as it runs a google search of only my site–very accurate and I use it frequently to find info on my own site.

    When I did my reader analysis, one of the things that I found was that people weren’t using tags frequently and some didn’t know how to actually use tags, so I actually got rid of tags in my sidebar and started using search. According to my Crazy Egg heatmap, the search gets used frequently.

    I have info on customized search here.

  2. I strongly believe Darrens Squeeze Page is a waste of time. Consider this, if people can’t find the information in a well formed index (navigational) list then how are they going to find it if its a click away on another page. Its just against all the Information Architecture techniques.

    Have you consider sub categories etc. It all comes down to the categories and the label you use.

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