Traffic as a Metric is less important than Comments

When I look at my stats, the most important one to me is my comment stats
Having a lot of comments means I have been successful in my goal. It’s not that I don’t care about traffic, it’s just as a metric it does not give me the vital information I need.

As a metric in social media optimisation, web traffic is the least important metric.

The main goal in an SMO campaign is building your network, I will talk about what building your network is all about in a future post.

A comment is an action performed by the user, responding directly or indirectly to your post. They may not even have read the original post, they may just be responding to another comment.

Comments are a lot more effective at building your network than traffic
. But without traffic you don’t have comments, that’s true, but what I am talking about here is getting 30,000 unique visitors and only getting 20 comments.

My comment to traffic ratio is huge, but why is that important?

A comment means:

  • Someone has taken time out of their lives to come to my blog and leave a comment.
  • Someone is involving themselves in the conversation
  • User generated content
  • The commenter is more likely to remember you
  • A return visit to see if the commenter has been commented on
  • You have been noticed.

Getting noticed is vital. You can’t build your brand unless you are noticed. You are your brand. You Website is your brand. Brands need to get noticed to be remembered.

The lure of a huge traffic burst from Digg is tempting indeed and if you are prepared by implementing a correct commenting strategy it can be quite useful to your long term strategy to build your network.

A headline alone will not inspire a comment. The body copy of your article must provoke reaction, even if it is negative.

You job with negative comments is to remove the sting and turn the commenter into a positive commenter. This is done by intelligent argument, not jumping up and down like a demented chimp in a balloon shop.

Most negative comments come from the fact that the writer is bothered by something which you may be able to clear up.

If you have what you think to be an interesting conversation within your comments, invite your contacts to participate. Having the right people involved can make a good post great.

When someone takes the time of leaving a comment on your blog have the courtesy to reply, not only that but when you reply you connect, connections build your brand. Replies encourage more comments.

The next time you craft a piece of content for Digg, not only try to make the front page but try to get comments, and when you get them make sure you don’t waste them.

A comment means you have been noticed. Your name, your website has entered the brain of the reader and started a chain reaction motivating the reader to leave a comment.

Comments help you build a network. I will explain why social media optimisation should all be about creating a network later.

Comments

  1. says

    I agree, having an active blog with lots of comments is very important and in some cases can provide content which users will revisit the site to read. For example the comments to SEOmoz posts normally contain valuable information and works in a similar way to a forum. Plus it helps to get some extra social media votes too.

    Have you turned into a blogging machine over the last 24 hours? :)

  2. says

    I only started to “get” the whole comment thing at the start of this year. I installed Akismet and removed my registration requirement and things have never been the same. The richness of interacting with others such as yourself has been invaluable to my personal web experience. Hopefully, I have been able to impart some of that too.

  3. says

    Good points. Interestingly, you linked to this post when you left a comment on my blog, but the comment was marked as SPAM, which is why I only discovered it just now, as I was going through Akismet.

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