Companies that blog receive 97 percent more inbound links than those that don’t. – Hubspot
Almost everyone knows how valuable blogging can be and it is quite possible that you maintain one as well. Blogging can help you achieve several goals, which include improving brand awareness, selling products/services, or becoming a thought leader. Regardless of what your goals are, you need to divert as much traffic towards your blog as you can to achieve them.
Small businesses that have just got into blogging publish their articles, and wait for comments and likes to pour in… but more often than not they get nothing. This happens because most of the time, they are competing with hundred other blogs that talk about the same topic — “target” the same keywords — and speak to the same audience.
No doubt, traffic is key to blogging success, but you can’t expect it to pour in overnight. In order to build blog traffic, you need to invest time and effort and make your blog popular among your target audience. You need to create high-quality content consistently and distribute it across various channels.
But is it worth investing your valuable time and money to build a successful blog?
The answer is a resounding “Yes”! Take a look at the following stats:
- Blogs result in 434 percent more indexed pages for websites on average. (Source)
- Brands get an average of 1,200 new leads per month by creating 15 blog posts per month. (Source)
So let’s see if there are any simple ways to improve blog traffic dramatically:
How to Get Better Blog Traffic
1. Create Content Strategically
One of the best ways to increase blog traffic is by creating high-quality and informative content for the target audience. But other bloggers (in your niche) will also give their best to come up with exceptional content. So, along with quality, you also need to have a solid content strategy.
Most people fail to attract the desired attention since they don’t focus enough to the headlines of their blog posts. If you get the headline right, about eight out of 10 people will click to read your content.
Secondly, you need to write posts that are descriptive. While there have been endless posts debating the right length of posts, and whether long posts outperform short ones or vice versa, a study from Buzzsumosettles it: posts that go viral range between 3,000 and 10,000 words.
Thirdly, you need to create content that serves a specific need, one that is evergreen. This means, you need to create content that will remain relevant for a long time on the World Wide Web.
Before you start writing, make sure you know what your audience loves and what they hate. If you fall short of ideas for your blog, you can get new ideas from a variety of tools, forums, QA sites, or social media.
2. Share Content More Than Once
According to a post on KISSmetrics by Garrett Moon, companies don’t share the content they produce quite often which is why they fail to attract attention of the prospects. Most bloggers create posts and share them only once on various social media channels. If you do so, there may be people (may be hundreds) who missed the content when you shared it the first time. In order to reach the maximum number of people, it is best to share posts multiple times in a timely manner.
Social media can help you generate a huge amount of blog traffic when utilized properly, and sharing content more than once can trigger strong reactions. But make sure you don’t become a spammer by sharing posts too many times. The below image shows how you can share posts multiple times without being accused of spamming:
Think of various tactics to grab the reader’s attention while re-sharing. Frame the message in different ways to attract attention without coming across as a spammer or a bore.
3. Involve Thought Leaders
If you really want to generate better blog traffic, then you must get some thought leaders to write for your blog, or at least endorse your content and brand. This means reaching out to the influencers in your niche who have a large social following and who have been writing excellent content consistently for a long time. Ask them to contribute to your blog.
Influencer marketing is not just for product firms; in fact, professional services firms are taking the lead in using this practice. Gerrid Smith, niche SEO expert and Founder of strategic service marketing firm Black Fin, leverages the power of influencers for his clients, which include attorneys and law firms all across the US. According to Gerrid:
“Getting content from any Tom, Jane or Harry just won’t do. To really reach their audience, you also need to get them to rave about you on web properties that they own. Also there is the added SEO benefit of getting a link from a well-known website.”
If you can get experts and influencers to write about you, you will not only get quality content, but you can also position yourself in front of the expert influencer’s massive social network. The recently released movie ‘The Abundance Factor’ used the same secret sauce. The movie was highly praised, but if you delve deeper, you will see that the director did nothing but reached out to thought leaders and experts and got quotes (valuable content) from them for free.
However, it is not all that simple as Smith warns that reaching out and asking nicely doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes you may have to “sweeten the deal.”
4. Go Where Your Audience Hangs Around
There are numerous channels through which you can promote your content, but not every social network will work for you. Try and identify where your target audience spends their time and focus on that particular platform.
Every social network caters to a specific set of audience, so you need to see which one works the best for you. If your posts are rich with visuals, you can try Instagram, Pinterest, or similar platforms. You can use analytics to determine the websites that drive the maximum referral traffic. Find out websites and forums where your audience engages and become an active contributor. Post links from your blog whenever appropriate.
5. Restructure Your Posts According to Readers’ Tastes
Sometimes, you need to restructure your blog posts based on your audience’s preferences, especially if they aren’t really captivated by your content. But, how will you understand if your readers are fascinated by your content or not? Simple, check the comments and the number of shares. If people aren’t commenting or hardly saying anything beyond “Great post!” chances are you need to restructure your posts immediately.
To improve your blog traffic, you need to say what your core audience wants to hear. Once you do it, they will not only interact with your posts, but also share and promote them on their social networks. But, to achieve this competitive edge, you need to first understand your readers and analyze their behavior. Basically, you need to focus on three metrics:
- Bounce rate
- Page views per visitor
- Time on site
There are certain simple tweaks that can help you improve these metrics. For example, if you have a higher bounce rate, start by making your blog responsive, improve the load time and include calls to action that prompt users to engage further with your site.
In order to increase your average number of page views, you can simply crosslink your posts or add a “Related Articles” section at the end of your blog posts. Finally, to increase your visitors’ time on your website, use more images, headings and sub-headings, lists, bullets and block quotes, etc. within your text to improve its readability.
There is no substitute for great content, but to become successful and drive maximum blog traffic, you need to have a strategy in place too. Know your audience, work with influencers and advocates, experiment with your posts, and keep measuring in order to drive the right traffic to your blog.
Feel free to share your success stories in the comments!
Traffic Photo via Shutterstock