Blog Optimization: A Guide to Increasing Traffic
Blogging is an integral part of the content marketing strategy of almost any business. If you have not started your blog yet, we recommend that you do so as soon as possible because it will help increase your brand awareness, attract additional traffic to the site, get external links, and interact with the target audience.
When a blog already exists and is actively managed, other questions arise: how to withstand the growing competition on a daily basis and how to get more traffic to your blog.
Let’s start with the existing types of traffic.
1. Organic (search traffic)
Let’s suppose you make custom kitchens in Massachusetts. If a user, having made a Google search “kitchen order Massachusetts” came to your site, this type of traffic is considered an organic (search).
2. Direct traffic
If you handed a new acquaintance an interior design business card where your site was indicated, and he visited the site by entering the URL in the address bar of the browser, this is called direct traffic.
3. Referral traffic
When users get to the site by clicking on your link from other resources, this is referral traffic.
4. Social traffic
Visits of your site via a link from social networks are social traffic.
5. Paid traffic
Traffic received through any online advertising (for example, Google AdWords) is called paid.
Speaking about getting traffic to your blog, we are primarily interested in organic traffic, since it has great scalability potential.
How to get traffic to your blog: walkthrough
In this article, we will tell you what you can do to drive traffic to blog.
1. Work with the topic of blog posts
Analyze existing posts on your blog. What topic causes the most attraction and involvement? After analyzing, draw conclusions about topics that are catching your target audience.
Find out what interests your potential reader by using the following sources:
- Thematic Blog
- Thematic YouTube channels
- Q&A platforms (Quora, Reddit). Read more about how to use the Reddit platform to drive traffic in Reddit For SEO article.
- Google Keyword Planner and other keyword services.
Follow the trends in your industry and do not forget to monitor competitors’ blogs. You can get interesting ideas for your posts there. For more information on how to analyze competitors, see our SEO Competitive Analysis article. Customize the theme for high-frequency queries. Try to give preference to topics with great potential for your business, so that readers can be converted to buyers in the future.
Remember that the right choice of topics for the post increases its chances of success and coverage.
2. Work with content
An important component of a good blog is the ability to work with content and create quality material. To do this, you need to choose the right topic as we mentioned earlier. Think over a writing plan, correctly use keywords and phrases, and write with interest and accessibility. Try to add more specificity to the text, follow the sequence of presentations, and do not forget about the structure. Learn more in How to Write a Great Blog Post article.
We’ll give you some content tips to help to get blog traffic:
Update Your Content Periodically
Be sure to take the time to improve the performance of already written texts. The first thing you can do to update the content is to replace outdated or irrelevant information: check statistics, add infographics, and update links.
Create evergreen content
Evergreen content has long remained relevant, and also provides traffic, likes, and reposts.
Good examples of such content are lists and rankings: “Top 10 best desserts”, “12 films about love”, “7 ways to prepare for a public speech”.
This type also includes manuals, tables, drawings, reviews, tests, and educational videos.
There is nothing complicated in creating evergreen content. The main thing is to avoid fleeting trends and to refresh posts from time to time.
3. Work with visual content
The next step on how to get more blog views is to optimize videos and images.
Do not underestimate the visual content. If a person perceives certain information by ear, then after three days, they will be able to remember only 10% of what they heard. If the information was supported by the image, this indicator increases to 65%.
Choose image formats indexed by search engines: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG.
Make sure that the graphics of the images are of high quality, and the description matches the picture itself.
Use images wherever appropriate. Read more in SEO Images article.
If you use the video on your blog, this is great. This typically means that users stay with you longer and increase the depth of views. If you add subtitles to the video, it will make your visual content inclusive. Subtitles in different languages also open up additional opportunities for you to attract a wider audience, have a positive first impression on users, and add professionalism to your blog.
You can add subtitles using various audio-to-text converters, available and easy to use (Voicebase, Dragon Dictation, Sonix.ai, Inqscribe).
4. Guest blogging to drive traffic
Writing guest posts for other online blogs opens up great opportunities for you to attract readers. This may be a completely new audience that previously did not overlap with your blog and business. If the resource shares your guest post on their social networks, this will further increase the outreach. Follow these simple rules for guest blogging to drive traffic to your blog:
- Do not offer your texts to random blogs. Analyze potential resources for collaboration: track the volume and activity of their audience, credibility, the number of unique visitors, and interactions with posts.
- Choose sites with high rankings in search engines. To do this, create a search query for Google with long-tail keywords on your subject. On the first page of the search there will be sites in high demand among your target audience.
- Come up with a cool idea for a guest post that can hook the reader and convince the site which you planned to collaborate with to place it. The topic should be interesting and relevant to the resource.
Entrepreneur, marketer, developer, and blogger, Silvio Porcellana, CEO and Founder of The Maven System, conducted an interesting experiment. Over the course of 5 months, he wrote 44 guest posts for 41 sites. As a result, his blog traffic increased by 20%.
Read more about how to work with bloggers and choose the right sites for publications in the Blogger Outreach article.
5. Mandatory use of the Long-Tail Keyword
The development and use of the Long-Tail Keyword, not only in the title but also in the text itself, helps to attract traffic and facilitates the process of finding a blog in search engines.
Long-Tail Keywords are in-depth versions of the usual keywords and phrases. Using one keyword often does not bring the expected result, since it is generalized and is used by many other sites. Therefore, only top sites can rely solely on regular keywords and phrases and use them to drive traffic to their blog. In other cases, long-tail keywords focus on specific search queries and give good performance really help. For example, using the long-tail keyword “Massachusetts quality kitchens” will work more effectively than a simple “custom kitchen” key. The presence of specific keywords leads the site to the appropriate audience. Find out more in our Long-tail Keyword article.
How to bring traffic to your blog using keywords?
According to the Search Engine Journal, a blog can get up to 78% of organic traffic by correctly selecting and optimizing long-tail keywords. Here are three practical tips for optimizing your content for long-tail keywords:
Use Google Autosuggest
When the user begins to enter their first word in the search bar, Google displays a list of frequently requested sentences associated with this word. You can take note of this.
Use the Google Keyword Planner
With its help, you can choose the most suitable keywords, phrases, long-tail keywords, and build your content around them.
Of course, not every one of your long-tail keywords will be able to provide traffic for your blog. Try to publish and track statistics in Google Analytics to determine what works best for you.
6. Work with headlines and optimize posts
At first glance, there are several important components that cannot increase the reach of your blog several times, but their non-compliance can significantly prevent you from getting the expected traffic.
First of all, this is heading optimization.
According to Hubspot (2017), the optimal heading length is between 8 and 12 words. When publishing a post on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, the title should consist of 12-14 words. An ideal headline includes one or two long-tail keywords and encourages the audience to think (“Did you know that …”, “Top 5 conclusions from critical situations”, etc.).
The second, just as important factor when writing blog posts is the length. Users may not read a text too long because they do not want to spend too much time on it. Short texts also raise questions because they may appear incomplete and do not provide the reader with the expected detailed answers.
According to BuzzSumo and OkDork researches, posts shorter than 1000 words are the least successful. The number of words on the most successful Facebook blogs varies between 2,000 to 10,000 words. On Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn, it varies between 3,000 to 10,000. Today, users selectively relate to their time on the Internet and focus less, so they are unlikely to read content that is difficult for perception and not representative of special value for them.
You can get additional information about in our Meta Tags for SEO article.
7. Promotion of the blog on social networks
The success of a blog is dependent on the efforts made to promote it. Composing a good text, choosing the right keys, and coming up with a catchy heading is only half of the job. Next, the logical question arises, ‘how to get people to read your blog.’
This matter simply cannot be ignored in the world of social media. You will face an accessible and open audience that you can win if you try.
To get started, conduct an analysis in your niche. What social networks does your target audience use? You can see statistics on the gender and age of different social networks. Of course, you can represent your business on all social networks. Even though it will be accurate, it is better to focus on one for the time being.
Do not be afraid to try something new: if you are a confident user of Facebook but have never used Tik-Tok and Pinterest, it’s time to try. Learn more in our Pinterest SEO in 2020 article. Surprise your readers: tell us about what is happening behind the scenes of your company and what idea you want to convey. For example, on NASA’s Instagram blog, astronauts go live from time to time.
The quantity and quality of subscribers also matters. Sometimes a relatively small but active audience can bring the same amount of interaction as a bigger but passive one. Explore the activity of your subscribers.
Content on social networks does not always have to be directly related to the activities of your business. Perhaps you can link the advertising of your product/service to a post that is relevant in today’s reality. If you sell blenders, you can mention this in the text on Healthy Eating.
From time to time, pay attention to the analytics of your pages to understand what works best for your audience.
8. Adding social network buttons
If you create good content, users will want to share it. If they do not have the opportunity to do this, they will abandon their idea. If you add social media buttons to your blog, it will make it easier for users to share your posts. Place the icons with the working links of the main social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any others, at your discretion. Ask relatives and acquaintances to actively use these buttons at first.
An example of placing social media buttons in THE NEW YORK TIMES.
9. Paid promotion
To get blog traffic and make it profitable over time, it’s advisable to invest some money into advertising and promotion at the initial stages. For example, paid advertising for your posts on social networks (Facebook, Instagram) or a subscription to a promotion tool like Pinterest or Tailwind may help. Thanks to such tools, you can save time on promotion and devote it to the further development of your blog and to improve content.
How to generate traffic to my blog: additional tips
What else can be done to drive traffic?
- If you have your own e-book, make it available to readers by posting on services like Amazon, Google or Apple.
How can this improve traffic?
If you believe Chris Guthrie, who has made money on Amazon, an e-book that gets into the top 100 in your industry can generate from 300 to 3700 new users per month. Simply place a link to the blog in the section “About the Author” or in any other section containing additional materials in ‘support the book.’
You can also provide a free download as a promo.
The graph below shows how blog traffic has changed before and after the publication of the e-book.
- Link blog posts
In old posts that somehow overlap with new ones and vice versa, you can post links similar to them so that a casual reader can also familiarize oneself with your other works.
There are many ways and options for business owners, bloggers, or web administrators on how to get visitors to your blog. By completing the 9 basic tips that we’ve reviewed today, you’ll certainly be able to significantly increase your blog’s traffic. Spend some time working on the blog daily, and the results will not be far into the future.