As with most other blog owners, I have elected to include links to popular social networking sites at the end of each of my posts in efforts to help promote my articles and gain more traffic. Over the past two months, I’ve been on a mission to determine whether or not I should include these links on my blog.
First of all, the space taken by including these links on each of my blog posts is about the same as a 468×60 banner ad. These social networking links have appeared below the contents and above the comments of each post on this blog. So, what I have to do is figure what the most valuable use of this space would be. I could do a number of things such as:
- Keep the social networking links
- Insert a 468×60 affiliate ad
- Sell the ad space in-house
- Promote other aspects of my own blog
- Do not insert anything in the space
If I keep the links as-is, I have to prove to myself that it’s worthwhile. To be honest, over the past two months I’ve been tracking traffic referrers on this blog and the approximate two years I’ve tracked traffic referrers from multiple other blogs I’ve owned or currently own, I have seen virtually NO traffic from social networking sites to the articles that I did not submit myself. I’ve seen good traffic from some social networks such as Digg and StumbleUpon, but not unless I submitted the article myself to get the ball rolling- in other words, I can’t even track that any of my visitors are even using these links on my blog. Therefore, I’ve been thinking for quite a while that I may just go ahead and remove these links from each of my posts.
A slight benefit this would bring me is the opportunity to remove another WordPress plug-in from my long list of active plug-ins that I’m currently using and free up a small amount of server resources.
By removing these social networking links from my blog, the comments section would be moved up closer to the end of the post, hopefully improving the amount of comments left by my visitors, which is something I’ll be working on as a conversion goal.
Each and every inch of your blog is worth something. It’s up to you to determine the best way to use this space. Whether you choose to use space on your blog for posts, advertisements, social networking links or some other type of content, all the space on your blog should be of some value to you.
If linking to the popular social networking sites is something that has proved beneficial for you, then it may be worth your while to keep them there. If, however, you notice very little or even no benefit by having these links on your blog, maybe it’s time you remove them and replace it with something that will prove to be of more value to you. Don’t keep them there just because it’s what “everyone else” does.