3 Steps to Increase your Blog Traffic in 2021
You are here because you love blogging, and you are not alone. Each month, 70 million posts are being published by WordPress users. More and more people want to have a piece of the pie, that's why the competition is getting higher and higher.
You devote a fair amount of time to your posts doing research and writing about a topic. And now comes the exciting part. You hit publish and wait.
Oops, no traffic for your site.
No worries, I've been there before, and I know the feeling of that empty comment section at the bottom as well as the zero count shares on social media.
It is time to change all these with this blog post, as we will explore useful resources to increase our blog traffic.
Here's what we will learn:
- Optimize our post for search engines
- Increase our chances of virality in our posts
- Create our community
A bonus tip is waiting for you at the end of the article to upgrade your game, so take your time and read religiously until the end.
Let's now see each of these steps in detail.
Step #1: Optimize our post for search engines
It may sound difficult for most people, but search engine optimization is one of the most crucial parts of the game.
Do you want to know the most exciting part?
It's not even that hard. Here are some search engine optimization (SEO) tips to help get your blog noticed.
- Keyword Research. One of the essential parts is to find the right keywords. By trying to elaborate on your topic, you already add many relevant keywords in your post. But there are more practical ways that you may not have considered.
The Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest are great options to help you have a deeper understanding of the keywords you use. They allow you to find keywords on your specific topic and look at your competition to see what words and phrases they target to bring traffic to their site.
- Place the keywords strategically. Now that you found the most relevant keywords, it is essential to place them throughout the post to impact human interaction and search engine crawlers. Title, headings, introductory sentences, and your concluding paragraph are some of the ideal places.
- Image optimization. Whenever you upload a photo to your blog, be sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword-rich description of the picture. Also, ensuring that your images are as small as possible may be a critical factor in reducing your site's loading time, which is another ranking factor, according to Google.
Fun fact: A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. (Some exciting bonus stats from Sean Work )
Step #2: Increase our chances of virality in our posts
Creating viral content is the easiest way to increase your reach for your blog. What if I tell you that there are some secrets behind viral posts and that your next post may be one? Would you be interested? I know you do, so let's explore them.
The title is what your audience sees in the first place. A great title is the best kickstart for your blog post. Research showed that 8 out of 10 people would read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
Therefore, to ensure that we are on the right track, these are some practical tips for you to follow. These are based on Iris Shoor and her company's research, which tried to figure out which headlines work the best, analyzing the top 100 blogs on the web.
This is what they found:
Give your audience numbers – Bigger numbers are better.
- Making lists: "9 habits of…", "16 ways to…" – it is more practical and will show diversity in the eyes of your readers.
- Using digits rather than words: "5 steps to…" is more efficient than "Five steps to…".
- Placing the number at the beginning: "8 effective tips to increase your newsletter signup rate in 2020."
Everyone wants to learn something new. Using terms like "Introduction," "The advanced guide," "In 8 minutes," and "DIY" will result in better conversions.
For example, instead of "How to start your first blog in 2020", try "The 10-minute guide on how to start a blog in 2020". Keep in mind that being specific while having an in-depth article is what will make you stand out at the end.
In February 2012, Google released Google Panda, a new algorithm update that affected nearly 12% of all results and negatively affected sites with "thin content." Later studies found the same results, longer content equals better ranking in search engines.
The explanation behind that is simple. When you produce an in-depth article about a topic, your readers perceive it as more authoritative. They find all the information they need about their "problem" in the same place thus, it is easier and more reliable for them as a resource.
By increasing the number of words, you create more shareable content. The content that readers share on social media is more than 1,000 words long. Long-from content between 2,500-3,000 words has even more potential. More words mean more opportunities for SEO, which translates to a higher conversion rate.
Tip: Although, in most cases, a high number of words is preferable as they attract more people, it is essential to remember that quality is vital. Focus on people and try to solve their problems. Make it practical without adding too much boring information. In the end, viral content tends to have a high utility, and if you can get your point across with 500 words, that is what you should do.
Have a strong idea.
As we mentioned earlier, your article should be useful. To achieve that, a strong idea about what to write is essential. Your most valuable resources are your comment section, forums, and keyword research tools.
- Having a comment section at the bottom of your articles can drastically improve your posts’ interaction and give you insights about subjects ideas that your readers are interested in.
Your audience should be your primary focus, so why don't you listen to them or, even better, ask them to tell you what they want to hear from you.
- Forums are also an excellent resource for useful information concerning blog post ideas. Reddit and Quora are the most popular of them, and therefore, hundreds of people visit them daily to post about their thoughts and questions.
Take advantage of that and create a beautiful post full of information that covers these problems. Become a problem solver in your niche, and your traffic will increase significantly.
- Search engines can help you a lot with this challenging task. And we are talking about stats here. We can search for what keywords or topics are the most popular in our niche and go after them.
My favorite tool for this is "AnswerThePublic," where you can discover what people ask about, entering a topic, a brand, or even a product.
Add visuals to your post.
Apart from a strong idea, your article should be visually appealing. In other words, adding visuals to your storytelling can improve the experience of your readers.
To put that into perspective, articles with images get 94% more views than those with no visuals. Another exciting research found that 43% of consumers increasingly want video content from marketers.
As bloggers, these are the only numbers we need to start thinking about our approach to this topic.
There are three main reasons for that:
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Complex ideas can be conveyed by a single image more effectively than a mere verbal description. Photos and videos help explain difficult concepts easier, and as a result, the reader absorbs more information.
Tip: If you are not a designer or simply don't have the time to become one, there are many online photo and video editors that can make your life easier and save you time.
- The main picture of our post will be our billboard whenever our audience shares our post. If we don't have a powerful cover, it's less likely to generate traffic to our site.
- We can optimize images by adding keywords to a picture's alternative text, file name, and caption to help search engines understand what our post is about. This will create more traffic to our blog and will help Google understand more about our content.
Step #3: Create our community
Having a group of people that support your work is what every creator is looking for. You have to provide value and solve their problems in your area of expertise so that they are more than happy to follow you and read your articles throughout the process. There are some ways we can create that sense of community:
Improve your email marketing
Email is probably the most effective marketing tool at our disposal and the most cost-efficient. We are losing potential subscribers each day without an email list. Once we have that tool, we can send regular email newsletters to bring more visitors to our blog.
So, how do we do this?
When people visit our site to read our articles, they are there for a reason. If we have done most of the traffic generation steps above correctly, they must be interested in our topic.
If this is the case, we have the opportunity to create a bond with these people so that we can drive more traffic and shares in future posts. To do that, we have to know their email and the best way to do that is with email tools available in the market.
Create a simple and aesthetically pleasing landing page that showcases how your readers will find value from signing up for your newsletter. Remember, less is more in this kind of situation. Build a specialized list of subscribers so that they always open and act on your emails.
There are many email marketing services out there that can provide you with the best tools to start building your next list.
With a list of around 1,000 targeted emails, we can have a successful business ready to take it to the next level. We always have to clean up our list from people who don't need what we have to offer – we ONLY need the right people, not everyone.
Build backlinks to your posts
A backlink is an incoming link to our content from an external website and, according to research, one of the clearest signals in Google's rankings. Getting backlinks from high authority websites and blogs is very difficult, not only for beginners but also for experienced bloggers.
Here are some tips on how to make our life easier:
Backlinks through infographics
Infographics are an excellent method for bringing traffic to your website and gaining valuable backlinks. They are easy to understand and share, so more bloggers add them to their arsenal.
Guest blogging is a popular way to increase your audience and attract new readers. By publishing on popular websites, you will expand your reach and win more exposure for your website.
Using Google is an easy way to find where to post:
- your keyword + guest-posts
- your keyword + become an author
- your keyword + submit an article
Podcast and interviews
If you are an expert in your industry, a great strategy is to go after some podcasts and interviews. One or two each month will do the trick. Not only will you be in front of new audiences, but you will also increase your trustworthiness and your authority.
Leverage all Social Media Platforms - Make Online Groups
Facebook or LinkedIn are great places to create your first groups and share your valuable information with some blog posts' teasers. As your community grows, so will your influence.
Having a strong foundation supporting your content and sharing it on social media may be the best traffic source for your blog after some time.
THE BONUS TIP EVERYONE WAS WAITING FOR!
Spy on your competitors. If you are serious about getting more organic traffic, staying up to date with your main competitors' online marketing strategies is mandatory. You have to spy on your competitors' social media and look for their link-building or earning techniques, as well as their content marketing methods.
Analyze where your competitors get their backlinks from and which social media platform generates the most traffic for them. If it is youtube, for example, maybe there is some potential there for you too.
Knowledge is power, and when you have the tools to understand your competitors, you have an advantage over them.
Keep in mind that some of these tips are a long-term process.
That's why consistency is critical.
Add them to your toolbox and continue adding value to your community. After all, people will always have the last word. Focus on them, and you will see great results.
I hope you've enjoyed my tips on how to increase blog traffic! If so, do feel free to share it on social media.
Until the next one, keep blogging :)