Step-by-Step Guide on How to Increase Blog Traffic
You have been working hard on your blog for a while. Everything looks great, and you’ve been getting some really constructive responses. You are off to a great start! But then, it got you thinking. How can you put your blog out there so more people can see it and visit your blog?
This is when the real work begins. Let’s optimize your blog for more quality traffic.
Don’t worry if you haven’t built your blog yet and need some help getting started. Refer to our guide on how to start a blog.
6 Digital Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Blog Traffic
When your blog ranks for keywords in search engines like Google, it is more likely to be seen by visitors because the visibility of your blog posts has increased. Here are ## ways to help your blog improve ranking factors and increase traffic.
#1. Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines (SEO)
Keyword research is the critical step to connect your content with user search queries. It is the process of identifying what words or phrases visitors are using to look up your blog topics. When you have optimized keywords within the blog content, you are improving the visibility of your blog on search engines like Google to target the right types of visitors – those who are interested in your blog topics.
How Search Engine Works
First, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way and understand how search engines can work to help your blog gain traffic.
As you may already know, some of the most popular and widely used commercial search engines are Google and Bing. You type in a few words in the search bar, and in matters of milliseconds, hundreds of thousands of web pages show up in search results. How do search engines know what to pull up? It all has to do with the way search engines function.
Three Major Functions of Search Engines
This is how search engines read and process information on your website. When you publish a new article on your blog, for example, search engines send “spiders” or “bots” to crawl your new webpage. This is a way for search engines to identify further information on the internet.
Once the crawl is completed, search engines then collect, categorize and decipher this information and store it away in massive data centers to be recalled later.
As one website creates hyperlinks to point to another website, this action creates a signal to Google indicating substantial referencing power that there are other relevant websites for the search engine to index. Receiving and earning organic backlinks to your blog is a positive sign to help your blog keywords rank.
When users conduct a search in a search engine, it retrieves information that is relevant to the user’s specific search query. Search engines recall this information according to the intricate search algorithms which evaluate and dictate the ranking of every webpage.
How Search Engines Rank Your Webpages
The criteria that search engines use to rank your web pages are referred to as ranking factors. They determine your webpage’s position in search results when a keyword related to your content is being searched by users. There are many ranking factors that can potentially affect how your web pages rank, and out of which, there are three most important ones.
Top 4 Ranking Factors Affecting Your Webpage’s Position in Search
Content are things on your blog. They can be text, images, videos or interactive elements. Great content is one of the most important components affecting your webpage’s ranking status. Learn how to make your content search optimized.
Backlinks are links from other websites pointing back to yours. Backlinks are essential to your webpage rankings because they tell search engines how much domain authority your blog has.
3. User Experience
User Experience is perhaps the most abstract and difficult ranking factor to measure. Search engines like Google are continuously developing and improving user experience by coming up with algorithms such as Google Pigeon, Hummingbird, and the latest Google RankBrain.
These algorithms are made up of hundreds of unique formulas that find the best-matched webpages to intuitively answer a specific user’s search query. When your webpage is determined to have the closest match to a user query, it will be shown at the highest position on that user’s search result page.
4. Google’s Core Web Vital
Page experience has become a vital factor for Google as they rank web pages based on user experience. Google’s Core Web Vital update covers 3 factors below. In general, every blog page must follow Google’s guidelines.
- Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster
- First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1
This data can be found in your blog’s Google Search Console account.
Here is Video Google’s take on how search works:
Do Keyword Research with Free SEO Research Tools
Free tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Bing Ads Keyword Research and Opportunities are great keyword research tools to help you get started. They both provide search volume for keywords you are trying to rank for and give you keyword ideas on finding valuable long-tail keywords (key phrases that are 3 words or more) that identify unique niche markets.
Advanced Keyword Research Tools
If you are a seasoned blogger or looking to aggressively scale your blog’s traffic, advanced keyword research tools such as SEMRush have features to precisely target and track the winning keywords to help your blog rise above the competition. In addition, its powerful backlink research, analysis, and advanced reporting functions provide you with the needed data to understand the strength and weaknesses of your own domain as well as your competitors’.
On the other han, do not overstuff keywords or use negative tactics and hope for a quick win. It can backfire and cause your blog to lose traffic altogether. Make sure your SEO strategies closely follow Google Webmaster Guidelines to avoid penalties. Refer to our complete guide on how to do keyword research the right way to improve audience reach.
#2. Optimize for Viral Content
In our how to make money blogging article, we’ve discussed the importance of how great content helps your blog to scale and profit. Here we are going to focus on what makes the content great and how to make it go viral.
This is where you will need content optimization strategies so you can structure the information on your blog in a search-engine friendly way. Remember, content is one of the top-ranking factors that determine how much exposure your blog can receive.
There are two main components to creating viral content:
A popular topic
No matter what you are blogging about, you can always find trending topics around your industry. Use Google Trends and Buzzsumo to help you research hot topics to blog about. Use these ideas to structure relatable content. Create a memorable story that is worthy of sharing on social media.
Search Engine Optimization
Once you have a topic, utilize Search Engine Optimization or SEO to make your content improve in search ranking. SEO is the natural way to rank in search engines like Google. Search optimized content means it has all the right components to match up with popular user queries. In turn, your blog can be found more easily, and it can continue to grow in visitor traffic. Learn more about SEO.
#4. Make User-Friendly Web Designs
Believe it or not, UX or User Experience is on top of the essential checklist for successful blogging. It is an unwritten rule of good online marketing practice to place user experience before strategies. Why? Because you are blogging for people to read, not for search engines.
How User Experience Affects Traffic?
User Experience focused websites help visitors to better navigate. These websites provide visitors with a clear path to easily get around and find the information they need. There are two things you can do right now to help improve the user experience.
4 Web Design Changes to Improve User Experience
Use Responsive Web Design
Google recommends responsive web design. It is a design that automatically and intuitively adjusts to look and function well on any screen-sized device. For instance, a responsive design looks good and works well on a regular laptop monitor, tablet, or mobile phone. Learn more about how to make your web design responsive.
Make Your Blog Mobile-friendly
A mobile-friendly website starts with making the web design responsive. Since 2015, Google has officially made mobile-friendliness a ranking signal. This means, if your blog looks like a shrunken-down version of your desktop website with illegible text, it will not show up in mobile search results. Learn how to make your web design mobile-friendly.
Add Graphics, Videos, Charts, or Infographics
As you publish blog posts, think outside of just the standard content that you would normally create in a word document. To improve the user experience from a blog perspective, weave in graphical elements that best describe the content. Use image formats like charts or infographics to promote data or numbers-related content.
By adding short videos to explain a few concepts of the blog article increases the time a visitor will stay on your blog. Videos provide a different format for blog visitors to consume your blog content rather than just reading text.
Create Q&A’s or Polls to Engage Your Visitors
Create Q&A’s and polls on the blog to collect detailed information that can help you draft the next blog post. On top of engaging your visitors, you can collect data and create additional charts or infographics.
Turn Visitors into Followers
Your blog traffic has picked up significantly. The work is not done yet. Now you have to figure out how to make these visitors come back again when you have new content. Learn more about how to get more followers to your blog.
#6. Collect Emails and Increase Email Marketing Efforts
Email marketing could be a gold mine to increase traffic to your blog as you start to collect emails from existing visitors and market your blog. Provide a reason why your blog visitors should submit their email to you and how you can earn their trust that your marketing emails will not be spam. For example, you can offer the latest tips, resources, tools, or techniques to earn your visitors email. Have the form easily accessible for visitors to sign up on the blog.
Tip: Add a pop-up with a promotion to ask for visitors to sign up for your email subscription after a visitor has been on your blog for more than 1 minute or has viewed two plus pages.
Email Marketing Platforms
Before we start collecting emails and email marketing your subscribers, your blog will need an email marketing platform to collect, segment, and schedule email marketing campaigns. Segment the email users that are collected. We recommend using Hubost as the email marketing platform so you ave able to:
- Ask additional qualifying questions over time, such as their product or service interest, where they are in the buying cycle if your blog is related to consumer products. Ask questions that will help improve their experience with your blog.
- Create simple marketing automation to email prospects, leads, and nurture your audience
- Start with free options in an email marketing platform. You do not need fancy automation rules as you begin. Collect, send, and optimize your emails
Set Up Email Marketing Cadence
As you collect email addresses, set up a cadence of emailing your database of subscribers. This could weekly or bi-weekly to let your followers know of the latest blog post update or any new content that would be of interest. Set up automation to nurture your subscribers. For example, a new email subscriber should right away receive a welcome email from you automatically. Over time, we can add sophistication to your email subscribers, like polling for content or categories your subscribers are interested in to help create your marketing segments. Utilize these segments to send much more targeted emails to your subscribers.
Earn the Trust of Subscribers
The sophistication of email automation does not have to be complicated. Start small with collecting emails and build new segments over time. Remember, you never want to spam the email inbox of your subscribers. They can easily unsubscribe or report you as spam.
Improve Email Open and Click-Through Rates
We all receive marketing emails from different vendors or companies we have signed up for in the past. How do you get your email to stand out from all the emails everyone receives on a daily basis. Start with writing the subject lines that resonate with your users by writing thought-provoking topics. Remember to optimize subject lines for a mobile experience.
Have clear call-to-action on your email campaign to increase click-through rates on the email, ultimately driving back returning traffic to your blog.
Increasing blog traffic is a long-term endeavor and in the beginning stages of marketing your blog you may face zero traffic or small organic traffic growth. Do not be discouraged. Start with the short-term goals followed by the long-term goals highlighted below. Use social media and email marketing strategies to kick start getting traffic to your blog. Consistently publish blog posts and optimize each piece of content for SEO and over time you will start to see your traffic grow.
- The quickest point of entry to start increasing blog traffic is to begin with social media marketing and email marketing. Both of these marketing strategies are free and you can go as far as your creativity
- Social media. First, make sure your blog has an account with every applicable social media website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Tik Tok. Go beyond just the standard posting of your latest blog posts on social media. Join social groups and make sure to your appropriate hashtags relevant to your viewers.
- Email marketing. Have call-to-action on every blog and almost every page of your blog to collect emails. Over time, your blog can grow the emailable database from a few dozen emails to thousands. This will become your go-to-gold mine to constantly market your followers and bring them back to your blog
- Search Engine Optimization to grow your blog traffic through organic visits is a long-term game. Get your blog to be indexed first by Google, start to consistently publish blog articles, and optimize the blog website for key factors such as creating backlinks and improving the page speed load time.
- Start with the long hanging fruit by producing content related to the less search volume keywords related to your blog. Use SEMRush to start your keyword research and start consistently publishing quality blog posts.