30 Ways to Boost Your Blog’s Traffic
If you’ve just started a blog, then you’ve probably been busy thinking about your niche, writing your initial posts and setting up your website layout. Once you have the basics taken care of, you might be wondering how to grow your blog traffic levels. The size of your audience will have a big impact on your blog’s future prospects, and if you get enough visitors, you may even be able to monetize your blogging efforts and derive a steady income. The process of getting new readers to your blog content is more of an art than a science, but there are nevertheless a number of tried-and-true strategies that you can employ.
- Keep Posting Regularly
It’s easy to fall into a rut where you start out by posting several times per week but then see the interval between blog entries grow longer and longer over time. It’s important that you resist the temptation to let things slide in this way.
According to information provided by the HubSpot blog, companies that publish blog posts 11 or more times per month get three times as much traffic as those that only blog once per month or less frequently.
- Embrace Long-Form Content
In the early days of the internet, there was a widespread belief that shorter articles were better because busy readers had neither the time nor the inclination to digest lengthy pieces of text. However, the latest research suggests otherwise. As online marketing guru Neil Patel explains, longer posts tend to perform better in search results pages, garner more backlinks and see a larger number of social media shares than short-form pieces. He recommends writing pages of at least 2,000 words.
Resist the urge to pad out shorter posts by adding a bunch of extraneous or irrelevant text. Rather, you’ll want to put together enough solid information to make your piece an authoritative resource about its subject. Then you’ll not only gain an immediate boost in search performance, but your page may even climb the SERP rankings over time and deliver a continuous stream of new visitors to your blog.
- Speed up Your Site
Annoying delays in serving up your pages to visitors can cause them to leave your site in a hurry. You can minify your code, enable browser caching and optimize your images if you want to make your site speedier. The steps you can take yourself are somewhat limited, however, and so it’s critical that your web host has the infrastructure to provide the kind of performance you and your readers deserve. Check out my list of the top WordPress web hosting companies for further info about the leading hosting organizations.
- Optimize for Mobile
The number of mobile internet users surpassed those on desktop machines several years ago, so it behooves you to keep your blog mobile-friendly. Google even includes mobile compatibility in its search algorithms, so a failure to pay attention to this trend could negatively impact your search traffic. Fortunately, there are any number of responsive themes and plug-ins that can make any website look good on mobile devices. BoldGrid is one such solution for WordPress blogs that includes a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor and incorporates mobile support by default.
- Investigate Guest Blogging
One way to branch out to new sections of the public is by guest blogging. Try to identify another blog that’s related to the topics you post about and is larger than your own blog. Most bloggers are constantly searching for new content, and so they will be happy to feature your post on their site. As long as you take care to do a good job and create a compelling post, you should see many readers follow your link back to your own blog.
- Don’t Ignore Google
As the largest search engine in the world, Google can make or break your blog. This is why it’s important to incorporate SEO into your everyday blogging habits. A healthy mixture of keywords (without stuffing them), outbound links, internal links, alt text on your images, headings and other SEO elements can really drive organic search traffic.
There are other search companies besides Google, but it’s the largest of them all by quite a margin. You’re probably best served optimizing your content specifically for Google through the use of its Analytics suite and third-party SEO applications. Think of any gains you make on other search platforms as just an additional bonus.
- Email Marketing
While it’s viewed by some as an old-school and perhaps obsolete means of getting in touch with users, email remains one of the most cost-efficient marketing channels available. Constant Contact has found that conversion rates for emails are higher than search and social media added together.
Start building an email list today by placing a link on your blog allowing visitors to sign up. As long as you don’t go overboard by spamming your database, a few timely email reminders will serve to let your fans know when you have new material that they might wish to check out.
- Create Resource Articles
There’s a lot of blogging success to be had from providing pages that give readers extensive collections of resources about a single subject. For instance, a post that describes the most popular mobile payment wallets in detail or the top universities in a certain geographic area will catch the eye of anyone trying to research these topics.
The idea is to make your article so indispensable to anyone who wants to know about the subject that they’ll bookmark it, share it with others and keep returning again and again. As word spreads about the usefulness of your page, it will become even more widely read going forward.
- Engage With Social Media
Social marketing is a hot buzzword right now and for good reason. A blog post that goes viral as it spreads through social media stands a good chance of drawing in considerably more readers than you are accustomed to.
Gone are the days when just posting links to your new content once a week on Facebook and Twitter would suffice. Today, you must identify which social networks are most important to you because they all have different demographics and purposes. Interact with groups so that you get people interested in what you have to say. You don’t need to share exclusively your new content; feel free to point back to your old posts if they seem relevant to a particular discussion.
Arrange your content in such a way that it contains short snippets of text that encapsulate a main point or the conclusion of your piece. These dense sentences and phrases are perfect for social sharing, and you’ll make it easy for your fans to spread the word by giving them the perfect excerpt to quote.
- Create an Ultimate Guide
As a kind of extension of the long-form content and resource article tactics we’ve discussed above, you may wish to create an ultimate guide. This is intended to be a thorough, soup-to-nuts treatment of a given subject. You ought to describe the matter thoroughly and answer any questions the reader might have. This isn’t a task to embark on without preparing yourself adequately because creating an ultimate guide is a ton of work. However, the rewards can be immense as your blog becomes the go-to destination for anyone who wishes to learn all about that topic.
- Leverage SlideShare
SlideShare is a service run by LinkedIn that lets you upload your slideshows and share them. Create a presentation that illustrates some of the key points you talk about in your blog, and watch your inbound traffic increase. There are more than 70 million users of SlideShare, and many of them are powerful influencers in their fields, so the time you spend developing slides ought to be worthwhile if you can expand your name recognition among these professionals.
- Inclusion in Link Roundups
Many websites provide weekly or monthly overviews of the most compelling content related to their areas of focus. If you think one of your blog posts is worthy of inclusion in one of these lists, then it can’t hurt to email whoever is compiling the roundup and politely ask that your blog post be featured.
- Podcast Interviews
According to Edison Research, nearly a quarter of all Americans have listened to a podcast within the past month. That’s a huge potential market for you to tap into. Starting your own podcast is an arduous tasks, and it’s probably not worth it if you’re new to blogging and still concerned about growing your blog traffic. However, you can take advantage of preexisting podcasts by arranging to be interviewed on them. There are podcasts about virtually everything under the sun, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that matches the theme of your blog.
- Tie Into Major News Events
Whenever anything newsworthy happens, try to see if you can relate your blog to it somehow. For instance, if you write about wedding dresses, you might want to release a post just before a famous celebrity wedding takes place. By including content related to trending search queries, you can garner for yourself a fair share of this search traffic.
- Share Button Abstention
It’s important to include share buttons so that readers can spread your content on social media, but it’s critical to not have too many of them. Research has revealed that placing button for myriad SM platforms has the curious effect of confusing people and leading them to not share on any of them. Restrict yourself to a few social services that you think are the most worthwhile ones.
- Sponsor a Contest
Free giveaways, writing competitions and other contests can be fine ways of increasing the buzz surrounding your blog. Although you will have to fork something over to the winners, this investment should more than pay for itself if word of your contest spreads to new users who hadn’t heard of your site before. There are websites that are devoted to sweepstakes, contests and other promotions, and so you’ll get some free links from them too.
- Write a Free eBook
If you produce a book full of useful information and release it for free, you should be able to attract many pleased readers to your blog. Think of the book as a complimentary sample of what you have to offer. Make it enticing enough, and people will eagerly head to your blog looking for more.
- Compile a List
List articles are highly fashionable because they’re easy to scan, let readers know exactly what they’re about and appeal to the human desire for organization. What’s more, they’re pretty straightforward to write too because every entry on the list is a self-contained, short text relating to a single item. Making a list of 25 or 50 entries is a fine way to gain the benefits of long-form content without the arduous research and challenging writing typically associated with pieces containing thousands of words.
- Repurpose Your Old Posts
You can concatenate several posts together to make a book, use some of your old content as a script for a video or podcast, or update out-of-date articles to make them fresher and more accurate. Whatever specific tactics you decide upon, it’s more efficient to reuse what you already have when trying to improve your blog traffic rather than devoting scare resources to reinventing the wheel.
- Get Mileage Out of Your Images
You can upload graphics for which you own the copyrights to image sharing sites like Flickr. Set the licensing terms so that anyone can download them and use them but must link back to your site. Other bloggers searching for quality graphics will showcase your image in their posts and send their readers over to your blog.
- Email Signatures and Forum Profiles
Put a blog link in your email signature and any forum profiles that you have. Most forums have strict rules against spam, but the user profile is typically an exception to these stringent requirements. If you’re not currently doing anything productive with your signature lines and profiles, this is a great way to turn them to your advantage.
- Allow Users to Leave Comments
By opening up the comments section of your blog, you encourage your readership to interact with you and each other. The comments will actually count as part of your blog post for the purposes of search engine evaluation, so they might help you rank for certain keywords particularly long-tail phrases that your commenters happen to use.
There is a downside to allowing random members of the public to comment on your blog. You might see flame wars as aggressive individuals argue with each other, and some may view your comments section as the perfect avenue for spam links. It’s essential that you moderate your comments so that they don’t hurt you.
- Update Your Old Posts
Google includes the newness of a given page as one of its ranking criteria. As new information becomes available and the market changes, it might be prudent to update your aging posts. This way, you’ll keep your content fresh without having to rewrite your pieces from scratch.
- Manage Your URLs
This is something that’s often overlooked, but the exact URL you use for your blog posts can make a difference. There is a small search ranking boost if your URL contains relevant keywords, but perhaps the best advantage to sensible URLs lies in the user experience. We’ve all seen unwieldy links that contain a bunch of numbers and special characters while being excessively long. Make it easy for readers to copy-paste your link, and make it something that they can remember without taxing their brains.
- Title Best Practices
Studies show that people often scan the title of an article and then decide whether or not to continue reading within a matter of seconds. Thus, the titles you put on your pieces are often the only opportunity you get to make a good first impression. Keep your titles below about 55 characters; otherwise, they may be truncated by search engines. Put your most important keyword in the title so that people who are looking for that phrase will see right away that your post deals with it.
- Solicit Outside Content Creators
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself at a loss when it comes to ideas for new articles. This is where third-party writing services can really help you out. Companies like CrowdContent allow you to pay authors to create blog posts for you. It can be pretty pricey to rely exclusively on such paid content, but as an occasional way to bring a new perspective to your blog, there’s a lot to recommend it.
- Look at Your Traffic Patterns
All the theoretical concepts in the world can’t overshadow what your guests actually reveal themselves. Evaluate your most widely read blog posts to see what they have in common, and then attempt to replicate this success in your new pieces. It might be that specific topics are more popular than others or that your readers are concentrated in certain geographic areas. Perhaps your reporting on industry news is viewed as superior to your opinion pieces or vice versa. Only by staying in touch with what your audience demands can you effectively boost your blog traffic.
- Post at the Right Times
If you have a killer post that’s written well and seems likely to appeal to the masses, don’t hit the “Publish” button just yet. You can get better results by timing the release of your articles. CoSchedule found that blogs published on Monday mornings ET get the most views while those that appear on Tuesdays attract the greatest number of social shares.
- Get Featured on Google News
Google News is an excellent way to put your content in front of thousands of eyeballs. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all blogs because only those that respond quickly to real-time events have a realistic shot of being included in Google News. Still, if your blog meets the criteria outlined by Google, this might be a viable means of boosting your blog traffic.
English is the most widely used language on the internet, and if you’re reading this page, it’s probably the one you’re most familiar with. Yet, you can expose your blog to different users than you had previously catered to by translating it into another language. Even just choosing your top few pages to translate can have a wonderful effect. Many foreign web users are bilingual in their native tongues and English, so you may be able to initially entice them with a post in their own language and then convert them into regular readers of your English-language content.
These 30 tips and tricks may prove invaluable to you as you strive to take your website to the next level by improving your blog traffic numbers. It’s not really practical to use all of them at the same time on every single blog post, so you’ll have to think hard about which ones are appropriate for your content. If you haven’t yet launched a blog but are seriously considering doing so, then you may find my step-by-step guide to starting a blog helpful.