UPDATE 9-18: Since writing this article the site has gone through another metamorphosis. So don’t be surprised if you visit it and find it somewhat different, as the new focus for the homepage is on a series of books we’re releasing this fall.
THE FIRST LESSON I LEARNED about SEO was words attracted more visitors than photos. I do a lot of photography in historic sites and I’ve noticed if I got a photo of a house or location reported to be haunted, it gets about five times more traffic than the house next door. So I started collecting these stories. I’ve always been a fan of gothic horror stories from the past, so those went on the site as well. Since there was that much more traffic to this site than my others, I moved my historical articles here too. And finally, my own experiments with gardening which used to reside on a separate site, which focuses on poisons and plants associated with witchcraft and folklore found a new home here.
Short articles versus long?
The conventional wisdom is that short articles attract more readers, but is that really what you want as an author? Obviously if you’re wanting to grow your audience you have to appeal to a common denominator. But does it have to be the lowest?
What I’ve found is long articles get read too. Some of what I write is quite long, and I find through Google Analytics that the average time spent on these articles can be upwards of ten minutes. That tells me yes, people will read longer pieces.
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