9 Smart Ways to Increase Your Blog TrafficOctober 10, 2018
Looking for ways to increase your blog traffic? After all, how can you make money blogging when you don't get visitors to your blog?
When blogging, there are times when you'll see your blog traffic stagnating.
And this can be a sign that you either must tweak your strategies or you are missing on great traffic sources by not promoting your blog where you should.
In this post, I'll walk you through the best ways on how to drive more traffic to your blog.
If the question Why is my blog traffic not increasing is making you anxious, know that one of the most common reasons for the lack of traffic is your blog SEO game.
The best way to drive traffic to your blog is Google. In fact, according to statistics from HubSpot, Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic.
And to increase the traffic to your blog from Google, you must learn how to properly optimize your blog posts.
Google it's not only an opportunity to drive more traffic to your blog, but it's also the best way to bring in targeted traffic. You can focus on keywords specific to the user intent that aligns with your blogging goals.
For example, let's say you have an e-book on 23 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat after Pregnancy. You want new moms finding your mom blog, reading your posts, and deciding to buy your e-book. Google will get those moms to your blog if you target the right keywords in your blog posts. You could target a keyword like post-pregnancy belly exercises, introducing a couple of effective exercises and offer your e-book at the end of the post.
Now, for the blog keywords to work, you must be strategic about how you choose and use them.
There are some characteristics that make a keyword valuable and some guidelines you need to follow on how to use those keywords in your blog posts so you get to hit the no. 1 page in the results.
As I said, to increase your blog traffic from Google, you need to be strategic with the keywords you are targeting.
A good keyword, especially for a beginner blogger, is:
- Searched for – If no one is using that query when searching on Google, there'll be no traffic going on.
- It's not overly competitive – Broad keywords like health tips are hard to rank for because there's high competition on them and popular blogs are already ranking for them. It's hard to take over an established blog as a blogging beginner.
- Relevant to your blog goals – The ideal scenario is that the users coming to your blog will enjoy it, subscribe to your newsletter, and become regular readers. If you target a keyword like Greek salad recipe and the rest of your blog posts are covering topics about house cleaning, people might not stay on your blog because they were looking for more recipes. You must provide your blog visitors a base of blog posts that cover topics specific to their problems.
The ideal keywords have a high number of searches and low competitively. In reality, it's challenging to always find keywords with both of these traits. If you can't find keywords with very low competition, don't stay away from targeting more popular ones even though it'll be harder to rank on them.
A blog is a business you grow step by step and, in time, you'll want to rank for popular topics. There's nothing wrong with starting to throw in seeds from the beginning. You'll see them flourishing once your blog will establish itself.
The focus keyword
The focus keyword is the main keyword you're targeting in your post. All the other keywords will be related to it with the goal of targeting all the queries that might pop up when someone searches for something related to the post. The focus keyword must be used in a couple of places (more on this, later on).
Secondary keywords are various expressions and synonyms related to your main keyword. You'll notice when you'll be doing the keywords research that there are different variations of a keyword. For example, if your main keyword is post pregnancy exercise, some secondary keywords would be postpartum exercise, postpartum workout, postpartum weight loss, post pregnancy belly.
Instead of stuffing the text with your main keyword, use as many variations as you can. Google will get a better idea on what your content is about, and you'll get to rank on various keywords, hence getting more traffic to your blog.
Long tail keywords and LSIs
Long tail keywords are queries made of 3+ words. They are extremely valuable because of their lower competition. Especially if your blog is new, it's easier to target long tail keywords and bring more traffic on queries where it's easier to rank.
LSIs are semantically related keywords. They are also used to help Google understand your content better.
Keeping these guidelines in mind, let's move over to how to find those precious keywords.
The first thing you must do is put yourself in your targeted audience's shoes. What are the expressions people might use when searching on Google for solutions related to your blog? Think of a couple of expressions and type them in the Google search bar.
As you can see, when you type something in the search bar, Google autosuggests other queries people use. These are great long tail keywords you can target.
You should also check out the suggestions at the end of the page.
After you found a couple of keywords, add them in Ubersuggest. This tool is a gem for finding keywords to use in your blog posts. It gives you hundreds of related keywords, along with their number of searches so you know which ones are most popular. Neil is continuously working on improving the features, so this is definitely one of the best blogging tools you should have bookmarked in your browser.
Another amazing tool for finding keywords to improve your blog traffic. Although the free account has limited options, you can still use it to your advantage. Type in a keyword and it will show you how difficult it would be for you to rank for that keywords. The lower the number, the greater the chances to rank.
You can also see the keywords your competitors are ranking for and steal them for yourself (with the free account you can only see a couple of the keywords).
You should check out the Ahrefs trial and consider to invest into a subscription. This tool will make a huge difference in your blog traffic if you learn how to make the best out of its features.
This keywords tool is dedicated to finding LSIs. Add your main keyword and the tool will generate a list with a bunch of related queries. Scroll through the results and pick up the most relevant ones.
Now that you have a list with a bunch of keywords, you need to make use of them. How you use keywords in your blog posts is crucial for ranking high and getting more traffic to your blog.
Use your focus keyword in:
- The blog title – The best practice is to use the keyword at the beginning of the title.
- In the text – Use the keyword in your post a couple of times, but don't start stuffing the text (Google frowns upon this behavior and it'll punish your blog for it). There are various opinions on the keyword density, and it's getting more and more irrelevant as Google is getting smarter and smarter. Don't obsess on having a certain density with the focus keyword because you'll also use other related keywords through the content.
- In one H2 – One of your subheadings should contain your main keyword.
- In one image alt text – When uploading your images, make sure one of them has alt text and description containing your focus keyword.
The secondary keywords and long tail keywords – Spread them across your blog posts. Pay great attention to them because they are usually great for subheadings. For example, benefits of yoga for women, benefits of yoga for men, does yoga burn fat, what does yoga do for your body could be great chapters in a blog post targeting yoga for beginners.
Don't make SEO your main concern when writing your blog posts.
Finding blog keywords and using them according to the guidelines is, indeed, a best practice. But a mistake lots of bloggers do is focusing solely on SEO. When you write your blog post thinking about Google rather than your audience, you'll come up with an article that's not engaging to a human being. And it's not enough for people to click on your post, you also want them to read and enjoy.
So, write for your readers first. Then, add keywords in the content when it's fit but avoid forcing in queries.
** Where to get blog traffic from**
We talked about pleasing Google so you increase your blog traffic from search engines. But it doesn't stop here. Growing a successful blog also means promoting it. And, of course, this gets us talking about social media platforms.
How to use social media
The key to getting more traffic to your blog is to promote your blog in the right places. For this, you must find the places where your audience hangs around.
It's great to expose your blog across multiple social platforms, but it's also time-consuming and you'll burn out quickly. In blogging, it's crucial to learn how to spend your time wisely. This means you need to find the platforms that will bring you the most valuable and targeted traffic.
Assuming you already started to promote your blog posts across social media channels, it's time to find out which platforms should get most of your attention.
You can find out where most of the traffic is coming from by using Google Analytics. All the traffic that comes from social platforms will be shown as referral traffic.
Once you established what are your top social media platforms, head all your attention to mastering those. And when I say those, I mean 1 or 2 social media platforms. This will give you time to learn everything you can about them. With time, you'll be able to add more platforms to your strategy.
To gain more authority on social media for your blog posts, make it easy for your readers to share your content by adding social media sharing buttons in your blog posts.
Now, you should only give your readers a couple of sharing options. 4-5 is enough.
Look how Neil Patel only uses 3 social media sharing options on his blog. This makes it easy for readers to immediately decide where to share the content.
Too many options and readers will be overwhelmed by the choices and end up by not sharing at all. Moreover, many buttons also lower the speed of your blog which will decrease the user experience and will affect Google rankings.
Asking is receiving.
A study made by Social Backers revealed that tweets with a RT call-to-action received an average of 73 retweets as opposed to 2 retweets for posts with no call-to-action.
Don't stay away from reminding your readers to share your content on their social media profiles. Most people won't share if they are not asked to do it.
If you're looking for a way to increase your blog traffic fast, then Pinterest might be your answer.
Pinterest is more than a social media platform, it's a search engine. And it's not a platform to oversee when looking to grow a successful blog because it can be a great source of blog traffic.
One of the best characteristics of Pinterest is that the content is evergreen. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Twitter where the lifespan of a post is between 18 minutes and 5 hours, on Pinterest, you can still get traffic to a blog post one year after sharing.
One mistake beginner bloggers make is assuming that Pinterest is only used by female users. While females are, indeed, higher in number on the platform, male users are also spending their time searching for inspiration and solutions on Pinterest.
How much traffic you can drive to your blog from Pinterest depends on your blog niche. Visual niches, like design or cooking, perform best on Pinterest because, well, it's a visual platform. But it doesn't mean that other niches can't be successful too. People are using Pinterest as a bookmarking platform. Read a blog post you enjoyed? Pin it to one of your boards and save it for later.
In order to use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your blog, you must keep in mind a couple of best practices.
We covered that Pinterest is a search engine, like Google. So there's no wonder its algorithm works on a similar principle.
In order for Pinterest to know what pins to display for each search queries and to whom, it first has to know what those pins are about. And because Pinterest isn't able to read your images, you must use relevant keywords in the text surrounding your pins.
How to find keywords for Pinterest
Like with Google, type a keyword related to your blog post in the search bar and Pinterest will autosuggest similar searches.
Also, check the tags that appear under your search. Those are words used by users when searching on Pinterest.
How to use Pinterest keywords
There are a couple of places where you need to add the keywords for them to be effective.
- The pins title
- The pin description
- Use keywords related to your blog for boards titles
- Use keywords in board descriptions
What Pinterest wants most from its users is to see activity on the platform and constant fresh content.
To grow your Pinterest profile, you must keep on sharing pins on a regular basis. This can be a time-consuming task, but with tools like Tailwind, you can automate the sharing process, saving you lots of time.
There's a never-ending question about Pinterest examining if you have to be active (to actually log in and spend time on the platform) or you can only use an automation tool. To be real with you, there's no real answer to this question. Some state they've seen the same results even if they've been active or not. Some say they've seen better results when also spending time on the platform.
The only way to find out what's best for you is to try both of the strategies and analyze the results.
I know you expect me to tell you to pin 53 times a day and you'll be extremely successful. Unfortunately, there is no magical number.
The only way to find what the perfect number of daily pins is for you is to start pinning and experimenting.
Start by pinning as many times as your schedule allows and analyze the results you get. The key to mastering Pinterest is experimenting.
Yes and no.
Unlike other social platforms, on Pinterest, the number of followers doesn't hold as much power. Having more followers can help with having a higher reach for your pins. But the thing with Pinterest is it will also display your pins to people that are not following you if they follow a topic related to your pins.
When you first post a pin on Pinterest, it'll show it to a couple of your followers and see how they react to it. If people click an interact with the pin, Pinterest will spread it across to more people. If the pin isn't successful, it'll hold back from displaying it to more people.
The number of followers on Pinterest should not be one of your main concerns. The number of people you can reach should be. And there are some ways to boost your reach, which gets me to the next point.
Group Boards on Pinterest are special boards created on a specific topic where the collaborators can share their pins. There are lots of people following those boards. Meaning that, if you join a group board and share your pins there, you'll expose your content in front of a huge audience.
To find group boards to join, type in a keyword in the search bar and filter the results to only show boards. Group boards are the ones having more circles in the down left corner.
Most of the group boards have details about how to ask to join in the board description. If not, you can reach out to the board owner and ask if s/he accepts new contributors.
The group board owner is the first one listed.
Another great way to get traffic to your blog is by leveraging the power of Quora.
If you're not already familiar with Quora, it is a platform where people ask questions and other people give helpful answers. And it's a great source of traffic for bloggers when used right.
What's amazing about Quora is that the threads are quite evergreen. Meaning people will not only read the answers when the question was asked, but traffic will come even after months or years. And another great thing is that lots of Quora answers are ranking high on Google, meaning people can find your answers even though they are not Quora users.
The key to mastering Quora is creating insightful answers that will help people. Short answers like Check my blog post if you want to learn more won't work.
First, search for questions you can answer by typing in a keyword related to your desired topic. It'll display all the questions containing that keyword. You can filter the results by making use of the options in the left sidebar.
What you should look for are questions with a lot of followers and views. As a rule of thumb, try picking up questions that have at least 1000 views.
Click on a question and scroll a bit until you see the question's stats in the right sidebar.
The next thing to consider is how many answers are already uploaded and their quality. The ideal scenario is you find questions with lots of views and few answers. But it's ok to target questions with many answers as long as you can provide a different perspective and more insights.
When you create your answer, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Don't be spammy – Avoid selling products or directly promoting yourself.
- Add links to your blog posts where relevant – Don't stuff the content with links as Quora will flag it as spam. Only use a couple of relevant links.
- Do something different – Look over the answers others already gave and see what they are missing. If they are not using images, bullet points, statistics, use them yourself. Try to fill in what others might've missed.
- Make it easy to read – Use bullet points, bold and italics so you make it easier for people to go over your content.
- Write an insightful answer – The main goal is to get people from Quora on your blog. To do so, your answer must first provide value to the readers and make them want more. If you don't hook them up with the answer, they won't come.
- Repurpose old blog posts – On Quora, not every answer needs to be original. You can take old blog posts and repurpose them. If you have lengthy posts, you can also take the key takeaways from them and encourage people to check the original post for more details.
Social bookmarking is a best practice in blogging for more reasons. And one of them is to increase blog traffic.
Social bookmarking sites are platforms people use to save pieces of content they find across the internet for future reads. Most bloggers and content marketers use these platforms to find curated content to share on their social media profiles.
Meaning it's a great way to increase the traffic to your blog and get more shares for your content.
Keep in mind that the magic won't happen by itself. You must be active on those platforms to grow your following and share other peoples content yourself.
Some of the best social bookmarking sites:
Blog commenting is a great way on how to get your blog noticed.
The process is easy. You find relevant blogs, which I believe you are already familiar with, and start leaving comments on their blog posts.
Only leave valuable comments and don't just drop in to say great post. Short and cold comments get no results, so don't waste your time on them. Instead, read the blog post and let the writer know what you enjoyed about it and how it helped you.
If you come with additional information that others will find valuable, they will be curious about seeing more content from you and will check out your blog.
This strategy not only gets more traffic to your blog but will also help you build connections with other bloggers. Which is a crucial thing to do in blogging.
Some blog posts go viral, while others are sinking in the unknown. I bet you want to be in the first category.
While there's no guarantee one blog post will become viral, there are some qualities that make a blog post shareable and linkable and your aim as a blogger should be to get familiar with them.
Headlines are crucial. Headlines are the key to blog traffic and shares.
They say 8 of 10 people will read the headline but only 2 of 10 will read the post. And while there's no public study to back up these numbers, the principle holds true. That's how we act. We first read the headline. If it makes us curious enough, we click to read the rest of the post. If not, we keep on scrolling. And…not all headlines are “click-worthy”.
I'll give you one more example to prove the importance of headlines. There are people sharing blog posts on social media only based on the headline, without clicking or reading the actual content. If you want proof of this behavior, go to a social profile like Buzzfeed's. If you look through the comments enough, you'll see how there are people commenting and sharing with no real idea on what the content is about.
The main traits of a great headline
- Triggers curiosity
- Highlights how it will solve readers' problems
While the headline must be catchy, you must avoid using deceitful titles.
After the headline did its job of making the user click on your post, you now must keep him on the blog, reading your content.
The challenge is that 43% of readers scan through the blog posts. So your blog post introduction must hook up the visitors to keep on reading further, one paragraph at a time.
There are more great ways to start a blog post:
- Ask a question. If you pay close attention to the best blog posts out there, you'll see most of them are starting with a question that goes into the reader's mind.
- Intrigue always hooks people. Start your blog post with an intriguing statistic or fact related to the topic you're about to cover in the article.
- Highlight the problem. Remember your readers must feel understood. To catch their attention, you must show them you know what their problem is, and to also hint to the solution you'll be giving them in the blog post.
Brian Dean came up with a recipe for a great introduction. It's made of:
Start by getting into your reader's mind to make him know you understand what the problem is and how overwhelming it feels.
Then let him know there is a solution for the specified problem.
Wrap it up by letting the reader know what s/he will learn from your blog post.
The solution is basically the body of your post. Here, you should cover all the aspects of the topic until your readers have no questions left about it and everything is clear for them to move on with applying what they've learned.
People are not reading blog posts how they do with books, word by word. They scan through the content and stop on the words that get their attention. So if your blog post is full of huge chunks of text, nobody will spend time reading them no matter how helpful they are.
- Section the content in chapters and subchapters
- Use short paragraph and sentences
- Bullet points make the text easier to go through
In the conclusion, remind your readers what the key takeaways of the post are.
Also, always end your post with a call-to-action. It can be an encouragement to check another related blog post, an ask for social media shares or a question to make readers leave you comments.
The length of the post holds high power over the Google rankings.
Actually, the average length of a Google first page result is 1,890, according to a research conducted by Backlinko.
Even with these statistics, there are lots of bloggers out there still writing 200-500 words posts. And while shorter posts are easier to read, Google prefers longer content.
Why Google loves lengthier posts is because it means you are covering the topics in-depth, adding more value to the readers. Usually, you can't cover everything about a topic in only 500 words.
While you should aim to come up with long posts, don't start adding words just for the sake of it. Make sure what you write adds value to your readers. If you covered everything about a topic and you're under 2000 words, leave it like that, don't supplement with fluff.
I stated earlier that you need to be strategic with the blog posts you write and the keywords you target. The posts you publish need to align with your blogging goals so they get targeted traffic to your blog.
So you know what topics you should cover on your blog, you must know what are the problems your audience is struggling with.
The best to-go places to better understand your audience are Quora questions and the subreddits on Reddit.
You can also look for forums in your blog niche. To find forums use inurl:forum + “keyword”, where keyword is a query related to your blog niche.
These are the places where people are asking questions they need help with. If people are asking those questions on forums, it means they also search for answers on Google.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel for your content to generate more traffic to your blog. The information about what content is getting popular across the internet is already there.
One of the places where you can see what contents performs best on social media is Buzzsumo. Type your keyword in the search bar and hit enter. It will display the best performing blog posts based on their social media shares.
See what types of content generate the best results in your niche and start crafting those kinds of blog posts yourself.
Blog comments are the gold mine of blog topics ideas.
With your blog posts, you're trying to solve your audience's problems about a certain topic. And through blog comments, your readers give you specific problems you should cover on your blog.
If your blog is brand new and you don't get any comments yet, you can check out the comments on similar blogs.
List posts are extremely efficient when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. And if the lists are covering an evergreen topic, then your blog will get a huge win.
Evergreen content, unlike news like content, holds its power with the passage of time. It doesn't lose its value or accuracy in time because it covers basic principles. For example, a blog post related to Halloween is not evergreen, but it's only relevant in a specific time of the year. With evergreen content, it doesn't matter what time of year it is, it's still relevant.
Most of the evergreen content is targeted at beginners in a certain field.
One crucial aspect of evergreen content is for it to be in a format that will be of interest for the majority of people. And lists posts are the best at it. For example, essays won't be really successful for online reads. Other types of engaging content formats are:
- How-to posts
- Tips that will be relatable in time
- Informative articles (take Wikipedia as an example)
- Reviews on products that hold their popularity
One way to find out if a topic is evergreen or not is to make a quick search on Google Trends. It'll show you how popular the topic is over time. If things are constant across the months and years, it means the topic is good to go.
In this post, you learned what are the best ways to attract more people to your blog. We covered:
- How to find blog keywords and optimize your blog posts to get more traffic from Google
- How to properly use social media to promote your blog
- What Pinterest can do for your blog traffic and how to make it happen
- Boosting your blog traffic with Quora
- Using social bookmarking as a way of getting more visitors to your blog
- How can blog commenting increase your traffic
- Learning the traits of viral content
- Mastering blog post topics
- Using evergreen list posts to get organic traffic to your blog all year round
Start implementing each one of these on your blog and you'll start seeing your blog traffic increasing.
Bookmark this post so you have it handy next time you're wondering how to improve your blog traffic.