The vast majority of people discover a new social network on Ning via invitations from their friends. This is the “viral distribution” mumbo jumbo you’ve been hearing about. Only it’s not actually mumbo jumbo. Rather, it is an incredibly powerful way for people to spread the word about a new social network they’ve created. If your social network is valuable to your members, they will spread the word too. But I digress…
Choosing a good network name may be one of the best things you can do to help your search engine rankings and increase visits (and hopefully new members) to your network.
A few weeks ago when we dealt with Search Engine Optimization, one of our tips was using relevant keywords in the titles of your posts, photos and other content items. This tip also applies to the selection of a name for your network.
One of the great things about having a network on Ning is that it’s fully self-contained. You have a place to host discussions or share videos and photos, all in one place.
That said, many people have external blogs and have set up a network as a way for readers to get to know each other and interact with the blogger. Here are some tips you can use to integrate your blog — or external Web site — even more smoothly with your network.
Update (7/12/09): We’ve now built a way to verify your Ning Network with Google Webmaster Tools right into your Ning Network. Check out this Help Center FAQ for instructions.
Want to take control of traffic coming from Google searches to your network on Ning? Read on to learn how to harness the power of Google Webmaster Tools to help boost your network’s rank in Google searches.
If you’ve set up Google Analytics or any other kind of traffic analysis tool for your network, chances are you’ve noticed that search engines typically send a lot of visitors your way.
Just like with any website, search engines send out crawlers to your network to discover and analyze it. Once this is done, your network starts appearing on the search results for certain phrases or keywords that visitors type in. Since most people aren’t willing to look beyond the top 10-20 search results, high rankings are extremely important.
Detailed statistics can be one of the most useful tools in a Network Creator’s arsenal. On the “Manage” tab of your network, we offer some very basic network statistics, which include:
- Unique Visitors (Users)
- Pageviews (Views)
- Sites Linking to Your Network
- Page Popularity
These are a good start, but we wanted to take it to the next level. Thanks to great feedback on the Network Creators Forum, we realized that instead of re-inventing the wheel, it’d be a win-win for everyone if we made it dead simple to add Google Analytics code to your network. So we did.