It’s an interesting phenomenon: even successful bloggers are struggling with how to increase blog traffic. Even the professionals! No matter the cognitive dissonance, this is a topic that every blogger should know more about. There are likely over 250 million blogs on the web right now and you need to be on your A-game if you’re hoping to breakthrough.
This article may not help you become a world-famous star content producer, but these 5 strategies will absolutely help you gain a foothold in your niche. Here’s how to get started:
Get Strategic About Content
If you’re serious about wanting to increase blog traffic, the simplest thing you can do is work on creating better content. A lot of people will hear this and focus solely on content quality, but the reality is that being strategic with your content is far more important.
The most successful content are pieces that address specific needs. Get cozy with your audience and think about what they get excited about. Content that performs well almost always falls into two different silos: cool and funny or useful and educational. Picking from either of these will likely give you a good head start.
Become the Master of the Headline
As a blogger, one of your main jobs is to create incredibly headlines that drive people to click. This is the moment where you capture a user’s interest and drive them to your site- your efforts will not go to waste here.
There’s a school of thought in content marketing that says that your headline is more important to traffic acquisition than your actual post! Well-written content that’s hiding behind a poor headline will go nowhere fast. The digital world 100% judges a book by its cover and no self-respecting blogger should rely on lackluster headlines to promote their blog posts.
This is one area where you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different headlines. Share your post multiple times with different headlines to see which one gets the most traction.
Don’t Shy Away From Keyword Research
Serious bloggers know that in order to drive heavy traffic over the longterm to their blog, they have to include keywords and search engine optimization into their traffic acquisition strategy. Now, SEO has struck fear in the hearts of many men (and quite a few women too), but search engine optimization is just fine when it’s done correctly. Don’t shy away from the opportunity to get targeted traffic from Google and gaining visibility for your brand as users find the information they’ve been searching for.
But as with most things, too much of a good thing can kill any SEO strategy.
DO: Use keywords in contextual text settings.
DON’T: Stuff keywords to saturate content completely with search queries.
DO: Link to other blogs that you’ve written that are related to this subject.
DON’T: Turn every sentence into a blue hyperlink-fest.
Hang Out Where Your Audience Is
As far as promoting your blog goes, it’s incredibly important that you’re choosy with how and where you spend your time. Sure, it would be great to have a massive following on every social media channel possible, but the reality is that you’ll quickly burn out and end up getting nowhere on any of them.
Take a moment to really think about which social networks would work best for your brand. Is your blog a visual heavy-hitter that uses photography to paint vivid imagery? Instagram is your best friend. Are you catering more towards nerdy pop-culture istas? Spend your time promoting your content on the relevant subreddits.
To drive blog traffic, you have to go where your target audience hangs out. Know where your people are mingling. You should have a pretty good grasp on who your target audience is at this point- use that knowledge to understand how they truly consume your content from discovery to click-through.
You can use Google Analytics to determine which sites drive the most referral traffic for you. Find all the forums and sites that your target audience is coming from and use that information to proactively pursue them. Engage in discussion and post links or comments- but only when relevant and appropriate. This is a massive internet faux-pas: don’t be spammy. You’ll have to establish yourself as a valuable member of the community first.
Speed and Mobile Optimization Come First
The average web user will wait less than 3 seconds for a site to load. Your visitors aren’t going to wait around forever for your blog to load. You have very limited time to grab their attention before they click on that back button and hit the next listing- your competitor!
The best way to check site speed is to use GTmetrix.com. This will give you an in-depth analysis of the things that you need to work on to improve page load speed.
The modern web user spends roughly about 3 hours a day on their mobile devices. Optimizing for mobile is an easy win for bloggers (plus, it’s a factor that Google uses to determine site rank on search engine results).
The key to increasing blog traffic in today’s online ecosystem? Get comfortable with developing your own marketing mix.
SEO provides you with the consistently large long-term gains that you need while social media provides immediate traffic and an engaged audience from day one. Mastering these two critical strategies is key to move the needle in your business.
Kristen Bowie is a marketing obsessive & advocate for the knowledge economy. When she’s not writing for Qwilr, she’s hanging out with her two goats & painting.