Looking for ways to increase blog traffic?
Like everyone else, you probably know that visitors are the lifeblood of your blog.
But, it’s not always easy to get them.
What’s hard about getting blog traffic is that there are so many ways to do it.
But, not all traffic is equal.
Some are higher quality that others.
Similarly, some methods offer the potential of attracting more visitors..
Together, the can make it somewhat confusing especially for a new blogger.
Additionally, you may try to do all the tactics at once. Doing so, results in spreading yourself too thin.
So, if you’re struggling to grow your blog’s traffic, here are some simple strategies you an apply to starting gaining more readers.
But, keep in mind that you don’t have to do them all at the same time.
Free Ways to Increase Website Traffic
There are a lot of different ways to increase traffic. But, they vary in the way the produce results.
That’s what tips below are divided into sections.
Section 1, 2 and 6 are non-optional. That means as a blogger, you’ll want to do the almost all of them. Although, there will be a rare few items that you may choose not to do.
For example, in Section 2, you may or may not choose to create a podcast. It all depends on your content strategy.
But, for the most part, you’ll want to tick off almost all of the items in Sections 1, 2 and 6 because they’re related to optimizing your site to more traffic.
Sections 3, 4 and 5 are more promotional. Here, you’ll work to extending the reach of your blog and content.
In a perfect world, you’ll be able to do them all. But, in reality, you won’t have time to do them all on a regular basis.
As such, while it’s good to try all of them when you’re starting out, it’s not efficient to stick will all of them in the long run.
Instead, try as many as possible to figure out which ones produce the most results, or highest ROI for you.
Then, stick with those.
That way you’re optimizing your time. And, not spreading yourself too thin.
Let’s get started.
Strategy 1: Make Sure Your Website Runs Optimally
This section focuses on making sure your blog is set up right. Doing so improves your chances of keeping visitors engaged.
At the same time, it sets up your website to do well for SEO.
Speed Up Your Site
Speed refers to how fast your blog posts load. The faster they load, the less time your reader has to wait before your entire page shows up.
That’s a good thing.
Because, the longer the wait, the higher the likelihood that they’ll get impatient. And when that happens, they’ll leave your blog and look elsewhere for the information.
Research shows that most online users expect a page to load within 2-3 seconds. Any more than that, you’ll see some of your potential visitors go away.
Check If Your Website is Responsive
Responsive refers to your blog’s design to look good no matter what size the screen is. Since laptops has more screen area, you can show more things there.
But, your site should be able to adjust or “respond” when users view it on their tablets and smartphones.
This way, it appears as it should and not look like everything is squeeze in together.
To do that, you’ll want to make sure that you use a responsive WordPress Theme. If you do, the theme will take care of everything automatically.
Make Sure Your Site is Optimized for Mobile-First
If you look at your Google Analytics, you’ll notice that more than 50% of your readers read your blog on their mobile devices.
Odds are the order will be
- Smartphones as #1
- Laptops as #2
- Tablets at #3
As such, you want your site to be optimized for mobile devices. This ensures that it loads properly and quickly on cellphones.
Additionally, mobile-first is also one of Google’s ranking algorithm factors. So, doing it allows you to set up proper SEO.
Strategy 2: Optimize Your Blog Content
From your the technical side of your website, you’ll not move to your blog’s content.
The good thing about the items in the previous section is that you only need to set them up once.
So, once they’re done, you can leave them be until there are some changes that need to made. Often, that means Google making new rules or adding new factors to its algorithm.
With that done, it’s time to move on to your blog’s content.
Here you want to make sure you produce:
- High quality content
- Fresh content, ie. produce new articles on a regular basis
- Following good writing and formatting practices
- Set up on-page SEO
Here’s how to do it.
Make Sure People Are Searching for Keywords You’re Writing For
Doing keyword research before writing your content ensures that people are actually searching for the topic you’re writing about.
Otherwise, you may create the greatest content online and realize that no one’s interested in reading it.
Keyword research lets you know which terms people search for. Thus, they’re the terms and phrases you want to write about.
Ensure Your On-Page SEO is On Point
After writing each blog post, make sure to set up on-page SEO. This ensures that Google can easily tell what the article is about. In doing so, it is able to categorize it under the keyword you’re targeting for.
The easiest way to do on-page SEO is to use Yoast SEO.
This allows you to set your main keyword, blog post title, URL and meta tags.
Write Headlines That Entice People to Click
When your blog post comes out in Google’s search results, all people see are 3 things:
- The title
- Blog post URL
- Meta decription
As such, it’s up to these 3 things to help searchers decide whether to click on your article of the 9 others that appear on the page.
Of the 3, the biggest and most prominent is your blog post’s title. It’s also the component that most likely describes your article best.
Thus, your blog’s SEO title bears the responsibility enticing searchers to click on your article (and best the competition to do so).
Target Long-Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords are the main keywords. Often they’re made up of 1-2 words.
- Paleo Diet
These keywords cover a very big, broad topic. As such, they often have hundreds of thousands of searcher per month.
That’s what’s great about them!
But, because they’re so popular, it also means everyone wants to rank for them. As such, they’re very competitive.
This is why targeting long-tail keywords is better.
Long tail keywords are those that are 3 or more words long. Thus, they cover smaller topics.
- Yoga for flexibility – only takes a small subgroup of all yoga poses or sequences
- Exercise for seniors – it only corners workouts for people over the age of 60
- Paleo Diet foods – you only talk about the foods, not everything else about the Paleo diet
Because they cover a smaller topic, there will be less competition to rank for that keyword. This gives you a better chance and getting to the first page of search.
Write Long-Form Content
Whether it’s writing for SEO or social media, studies have shown that writing long-form content trumps shorter content. At least that’s the current trend today.
But what does long-form content mean?
In most cases, it means blog posts that are 2,000 or more words long.
However, it’s more than just about the length. You want high-quality, relevant content. Not fluff.
Google as well as social media platforms today place a lot of emphasis on “freshness”.
Freshness simply means new.
So, in short, they like new content.
In most cases, that means a newly published article. But, that’s not always the case.
- In Pinterest, this could means a new image (pin)
- On Youtube, it will mean a new video
Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is, new content is what they’re looking.
Update Old Blog Posts
One “work around” having to write completely new articles from scratch is to update them.
Updating them is another way to make an old blog post “fresh”.
Think about it for a second…
When you modify or add information to an existing article, it becomes “new” because there’s information there that wasn’t available before.
So, if you don’t like writing a new article, you can update your older ones to make them relevant again.
Add LSI Keywords to Your Content
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing.
Okay, that didn’t help one bit.
In simple terms, LSI keyword are terms that are related to your main keyword.
As such, the include synonyms and things that may be directly or indirectly related to your main term.
For example, your main keyword is shoes. LSI keywords can include:
- Sneakers – a type of shoes
- Feet – where you wear shoes
- Nike – a brand of shoes
- FootLocker – a shoe store
- Shoe websites – for anyone who’s looking to buy shoes online
These are just a few examples of LSI keywords.
Sprinkling them into your article about shoes lets Google know that you’re talking about shoes. It also gives you a chance to rank for some of these keywords.
Start a Podcast
If you like to talk and you’re good at it, try a podcast.
Podcast are blog posts in audio form. As such, you can re-purpose your article into a podcast or vice versa.
That said, a podcast allows you to reach a new audience. It also lets you engage with people who’d rather listen to content than read it.
Podcasts work because they’re very convenient. It’s easier to listen or watch something than read it.
On your part, you talk much faster than you write. So, they’re faster the create.
Work on Lowering Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rate if the percentage of people who only view 1 page on your site before leaving it.
As such if you have a bounce rate of 80%, that means 80 of 100 people who visit your site leave after seeing 1 page.
In contrast, if your bounce rate is 63%, 63 out of 100 people leave after seeing just one page.
As such, the latter is easily better.
That’s because you want people to stay on your blog and keep reading.
Improve Your Visitors’ Time on Site
Like bounce rate, how long peopel stay on your blog matters a lot.
They’re 2 of the many factors that Google uses to measure user engagement.
Think about it…
Someone who stays on your site for 15 seconds likely wasn’t happy with that they saw. In contrast, someone who stays for 2 to 5 minutes probably read most if not the entire article.
Which person was more engaged?
The second one, right?
Create Content That Has Viral Potential
This one is a little trickier. That’s because getting something to go viral is both art and skill.
But, it’s doable. Just look at Buzzfeed.
They’re the best when it comes to creating viral content. If you don’t believe me, open about 10 articles on Buzzfeed.
Then, look at how many shares they have. Most of the time, you’ll see them in the thousands. In many cases over 10,000+.
That said, viral content brings in a lot of readers in a short amount of time.
But, it’s very temporary.
So, the skill is to be able to keep creating them.
Figure Out What Readers are Asking
What do your readers want to see more from you?
Writing about what they like will make them more likely to come back for more.
To do so, analyze your Google Analytics.
It will show you your most popular blog posts.
From there, you’ll be able to see a trend of which topics or sub-topics people like most.
Write List Posts
List posts are very popular because they’re easy to consume.
You can read through a list post much faster than you would a case study or a how-to tutorial.
This makes them more shareable as well.
But, don’t overdo it
You don’t want all of your article to just be list posts.
See Where Other Blogs in Your Niche are Getting Their Traffic
Look at the big blogs in your niche and use their success to learn.
Because they’ve been in the niche longer, they know it better than you do.
As such, they know which topics work and which sub-topics are less popular.
So, by analyzing their menu breakdowns and the articles they write about, you’ll see patterns.
This gives you a better idea of which topics readers in your niche are more interested in.
Create Content That Your Niche’s Influencers are Likely to Share (or are Interested In)
One unique way to get traffic is to find article topics that influencers in your niche are more likely to share.
Often, these influencers will have sub-topics within the niche they know their audience likes. As such, they’re likely to share high quality articles about these subject matters.
So, it’s your job to find these topics.
Strategy 3: Promote on Social Media
As a new blogger, social media is your best friend as far as getting visitors to your blog.
That’s because people can find your posts on social even if your blog doesn’t have any authority yet.
In contrast, a low authority blog has very little chance of ranking on Google.
Know When to Post on Social Media
According to research by CoSchedule, when you post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest matters. This is true for almost all social media platforms.
That’s because there are times when there are more peopel checking out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest accounts.
As such, choosing the right time allows you to get in front of them.
Add Social Share Buttons to Your Posts
Adding share buttons on your blog is one of the simplest things you can do. Yet, it’s very effective in helping boost traffic.
That’s because it makes it easy for someone who likes your article to share it with their followers.
Get on Pinterest
If you’re just starting a blog, Pinterest is the best way to drive visitors to you site.
That’s because you don’t need to build domain authority to rank on Pinterest.
Instead, it’s all about the quality of your pins and how you use Pinterest SEO.
This lets you get traffic to your website fast, while working on SEO for the long-term.
Hop on YouTube
If you focus more on video than written content, then YouTube is the way to go. Much like Pinterest, YouTube runs on a search engine.
As such, it gives you a better chance of getting found by viewers even if your blog hasn’t built up authority yet.
Join Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are an amazing place to get to know people.
Ideally, you’ll be joining groups with similar interests to your own or your blog. That’s makes what you contribute to it more relevant.
That said, not all Facebook Groups are designed to grow traffic. For that you may want to look into Promo Groups.
These are groups where the owner allows members to promote their blog posts.
Grow Your Facebook Followers
Like other social media platforms, growing your followers on Facebook allows more people to see your post each time you put a new one up.
If they happen to like what they see, they may click on the link to go to your site.
That said, growing your Facebook followers is a long-term game.
Do Facebook Lives
Facebook Lives is a great way to engage users. Because it’s in video format, you’re able to connect better with whoever is watching.
This goes a long way in getting to know your readers.
As such, the game here isn’t about quantity but quality. And that’s what really counts.
Because at the end of the day, it’s your engaged followers, not the rest of your blog’s visitors who end up buying things from you.
Share on Twitter
Like Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter as a personality of its own.
Having a lot of followers on Twitter goes a long way. But, you don’t necessarily need that many thanks to hashtags.
Hashtags allow people to find your tweets even if they don’t follow you. Thus, allowing you to get extra traffic from the platform.
Instagram offers great traffic potential because of its sheer market size. But, unlike other platforms you can’t add links to your Instagram posts.
But, you can still do so via your bio. This allows people to find your blog after they’ve seen your Instgram photos.
Post Content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is geared more towards business-related blogs. So, it may or may not be a fit for your niche.
That said, if you’re in the right niche, you can post useful content on LinkedIn. This allows people to find your article and follow the links back to your blog.
Strategy 4: Use Other Sites to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
In addition to social media, you can likewise drive traffic to your blog from other blogs and websites around.
This gives you exposure to audiences that you may not normally attract.
Comment on Other Blogs
Commenting on other blogs isn’t going to get you a lot of traffic.
But, it will put in the radar of other bloggers in the niche. This opens up the doors for building relationships.
And that’s when the bigger traffic opportunities come in.
You’ll get a chance to do things like:
- Guest post
- Be interviewed
- Other bloggers sharing your content
- Collaborating on promotions and giveaways
- And more
Thus, comments, more than anything, open the doors for future opportunities
Participate on Forums
Forums are a great way to let people who are interested in your topic know about your blog.
Here you have a few goals:
- Choose forums that are related to your niche
- Pick forums that are fairly active. If there’s no activity, there won’t be anyone to see your forum contributions or click on your link
- Provide useful information that will entice them to read on (to your blog)
Use Q&A Websites to Drive Traffic to Your Site
Q&A sites are very similar to forums. But here, you look for queries related to your subject matter.
But in this case, your goal is to provide useful answers. Then, leaving a link inviting them to “read more” about the topic on your blog.
Sites like Reddit, Yaho Answers and Quora are all great places with categories that cover just about any topic out there.
Once again, avoid the temptation to spam or leave tons of low quality comments. Instead, focus on providing value.
Submit to Aggregators
Aggregators are websites that collect all sorts on information from the web. It them
categories them to make it easy for people to find similar content about a particular subject matter.
By leaving links to your post on aggregators, you improve your odds of more people seeing your articles.
Some popular aggregators include:
- Google news
Drive Traffic to Your Blog From Medium
Medium is a free web hosting site, of sorts.
Basically, it allows you to open an account and post articles.
What’s great about it is that Medium has high domain authority. That means articles you post on it have a better chance of ranking than those on your website.
But, the traffic isn’t yours. It’s Medium’s.
So, use it to promote your brand and blog posts. You can do this by leaving links pointing to relevant articles on your blog.
Similarly, make sure to complete the author box so readers know you wrote the article they liked.
Strategy 5: Network with Other Blogs
This section is all about building relationships with other bloggers. It’s one of the best ways to grow your brand. And, in the process increase traffic as well.
Do a Guest Post
Guest posting is when your write an article for other peoles’ blogs.
Essentially, you’re giving them free content.
So why bother?
Because in return, you get exposure to their audience. Additionally, guest posting often means including a backlink to your blog. This improve SEO.
Ask Other Bloggers to Guest Post on Your Site
Alternatively, you can likewise ask other bloggers to guest post on your blog.
Hosting a guest post lets you get free content.
Plus, it builds goodwill with the other blogger. Often, this helps you become better friends.
In doing so, you increase the likelihood of them linking to your blog or mentioning your blog on their posts.
When they do, you get exposure to their audience.
Interview Influencers in Your Niche
This is similar to hosting a guest post. But, there’s more engagement.
Plus, you feature big bloggers.
Interviewing can come in the form of audio, video or written content. That said, the last option offers the least engagement.
Meanwhile, the second option the most engagement.
In any case, interviewing influencers gives you a chance to access their audience. More importantly, it associates you with an influencer.
This builds up your blogging cred.
After all, big bloggers won’t associate themselves with nobodies. Or, people they don’t trust, right?
Get Interviewed by Other Bloggers in Your Niche
This is just like getting a blog post. But, it allows you to make a better connection with the other bloggers’ readers.
That’s because interviews, let you talk about yourself. It introduces you as a person to their audience. And, not just your writing.
Interviews also become more effective if they get to hear your voice and/or see you.
Reach Out to Other Bloggers
At times, you’ll have to make the first move. This is especially true with big bloggers in your niche.
Here, you’ll be taking baby steps towards building a relationship with them.
This often startgs with just letting them know who you are and what you admire or like about their work.
From there, slowly build on things like you would when making a friend.
Get on Podcasts
Above, I mentioned about starting your podcast. This time, it’s your turn to be a guest on other peoples’ podcasts.
This works just like guest posting because you’re given a chance to present yourself and your blog in front of another bloggers’ audience.
If their readers like what they hear, they’ll come visit your site.
Backlinks by themselves don’t bring in a lot of traffic. In some cases they do. But in most cases, they don’t.
However, they play an important role in the bigger scheme of things, SEO.
Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO. It’s what builds authority.
The more links pointing to your site, the higher your blog’s authority becomes in the eyes of Google. As a result, Google will rank your blog posts higher in search results.
When that happens, you’ll get more traffic from search.
Take Advantage of In-Person Events
Conferences, talks, meetups and get togethers are among the best ways for getting to know other bloggers.
As far as results go, it’s likewise more effective. That’s because there’s person to person contact.
That’s something you can’t get with emails, Facebook lives or any other thing online.
As such, it builds stronger connections when you do meet in person.
Strategy 6: Boost the Traffic Already Have
Last, but not least is optimization.
Optimization is a crucial part of blogging because it allows you to increase your website’s visitors (and earnings) without actually driving more/new traffic to your blog.
That’s more results with not a lot of extra work.
Here’s how to do it.
Link Your Articles Together
Internal linking is adding hyperlinks to articles that point other pages in your blog. This allows readers to stick around and read more.
Often, its because a reader is interested in a particular subject matter.
So, if you can point them to related articles on that topic, you’ll likely increase the odds of them reading more of your content.
Additionally, internal linking allows SEO link juice from pass from one blog post to another. This helps with SEO.
Analyze Your Analytics
Google Analytics is one of your best friends.
It lets you know everything happening to your website as far as traffic or visitors go. This includes:
- How many people visit your site
- How long they stay for
- Which pages they visit the most
- Where they find your blog
- And many more
As such, you’ll be able to know:
- Which platforms to focus your promotion on. Often the one bringing you the most traffic.
- Whiat topics your readers enjoy more. So, you can write more of them.
- And many more
By analyzing your web analytics, you’ll know exactly how people behave when they get to your blog.
This lets you adjust your strategies accordingly.
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most important traffic sources you’ll have.
It allows you directly “talk” to your readers 1-on-1.
This gives you the chance to get to know them better. It also lets you pamper them.
Host a Giveaway
Everyone loves free stuff. As such, hosting a giveaway makes people curious. At the very least, they’re interested in getting something free.
This is why giveaways work.
But, you do need to spend for giveaways. After all, you’re giving something away.
Plus, it takes time to set up and get the word out as well.
So, unlike the other items in this section, you want your giveaway to get a good enough ROI. Otherwise, it won’t be worth your time.
Increase Your Click Through Rates
CTR or Click-Through Rates refer to the percentage of the time people click on your links.
Click throughs happen in all different aspects for blogging.
- In Pinterest, people who “click through” go to your website. In contrast, if they repin or just look at your pin, they don’t click through.
- On your blog, if you recommend an affiliate product. When people click to see the affiliate product, they’re “clicking through”.
So why does it matter?
Just think about for a second.
- If 10,000 people visit your site, and 20% click through to your product page. That means 2,000 people get to see and read about the course or ebook you’re selling.
- But, in the same scenario, only 5% of people click through. Then, only 500 people see your product.
In both scenarios, the same number of visitors come to your blog. But, in case 1, 2,000 see your product, while only 500 in case 2.
As such, case 1 gives you a higher chance of making more money, right?
That’s the difference between higher click through rates.
That’s quite a bit. But, it gives you a lot of idea to go on.
That said, keep in mind that you don’t have to do them all. Instead, it’s a matter of picking your spots.
You want to choose the methods that are most relevant to you and test them out.
Stick with those that give you the best results.
What are your favorite ways of increasing blog traffic? Let me know in the comments section below.