We all want more blog traffic. Way back, when Tyrannosaurs roamed the earth, blogs were personal journals for reflection and maybe for close friends to enjoy. Not anymore. Many blogs are for building your brand, attracting business, building your list, and hopefully even growing sales. But the question is, how to get traffic to your blog in the first place? In this post, we’re looking at super simple tune-ups to make your blog work better and, maybe, even a bit sexier. Sound good? Let’s go.
1. Use keywordsKeywords are how organic searches (when someone searches the Internet for a solution, like “gardening supplies”) find you. You can use keywords in your headline, subheadings and text copy. But stuffing keywords in just for the sake of SEO is bad form and makes your post less attractive and less likely to get shared. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a great place to start to find long-tail (low competition, higher conversion) keywords. After that, include those phrases as a natural part of your writing.
2. Powerful headlinesThe LAST thing I work on when writing a blog is the headline. Your headline is the first thing people see in social media posts (after the image), Internet searches, and links from other sites—it’s worth getting it right. It can make a world of difference when it comes to getting traffic to your blog. While a headline like, “10 Ways to Deliver Better Customer Service” may be accurate, it’s as boring as ordering a cup of coffee. So, what’s a better option? Something like this: “10 Ways to Knock the Socks Off Even the Most Reluctant Customer”. Great headlines include words like this: lists, “you”, “your”, “free”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, and “new”
3. Good imagesA quick fix for ANY blog is better images. Try to avoid “stock images” of multi-ethnic teams smiling into the camera-instead look for natural images of real people doing real things. A quick fix for any blog is better images. Click To Tweet For posts longer than 400-500 words, insert a second image to break up the text and keep the reader moving. If you’re serious about your blog, it’s worth getting familiar with basic editing tools like Canva or picmonkey. If you are looking for an easy new way to find or create images and audio, we recommend Adobe products. You can find all of their creative software packages here.
4. Cross linkHere’s a simple strategy for how to get traffic to your blog and keep readers on your site longer (which is measured as lower Bounce rate in Google Analytics)… Cross link from one blog post to another. Why? The idea is to invite the reader to learn more about your topic by reading a related post. Like this one, where we offer up 21 blog traffic building tips you can’t miss. See what we did there? A simple strategy can keep readers on your site longer Click To Tweet Start with a short list of 4-5 posts you ideally want every reader to see. Then, link to them whenever it seems like a natural opportunity.
5. Current datesConsistent publishing dates is a good thing. Just like a magazine, it’s going to be easier to attract followers if they know they can count on the regular issues. Or course, life happens and you might have a gaps between posts. The good news is, WordPress makes it easy to smooth out your publishing dates and even republish old posts. Simply open individual posts, change the “Published on:” date and click “Update”. Presto – your posts are re-dated or older posts are re-published.
6. Opt-in is workingWhen was the last time you opted in to your your own opt-in? You might be surprised to learn that your invitation isn’t, well, very inviting. Here are some quick tune-ups for your opt-in sequence: When was the last time you opted in to your your own opt-in? Click To Tweet
- An inviting offer – Most people aren’t interested in getting “newsletters” anymore. Try offering “weekly tools and tips”, or “free helpful advice”, or “regular updates”, or simply offer your opt-in gift and let them decide if they want to join your list.
- Double opt-in instructions – Remember the opt-in isn’t complete until they click on the confirmation email. On your “success” page (that pops up once they enter name and email) instruct them to check their inbox but also to “white list” your emails.
- Send follow-up emails – Once a person becomes a follower, it’s time to nurture them and invite them to stick around. An email sequence (ideally, you remove them from regular emails while in this “quarantine” period) of 3-5 emails to welcome them and introduce them to your services is a smart way to build loyalty and even move a follower to a buyer.
7. Use the “Featured Image” for your main imageIf you’ve ever noticed that the wrong image gets pulled from your blog on Facebook or Twitter, it could be you aren’t using the Featured Image option in WordPress. “Featured Image” is a selection on the right-hand side of your WordPress editor that allows you to choose one image from your media library for the top of your post, but also to be the thumbnail pulled anytime the link to your post is used (like in Facebook). The right image could be what makes someone choose your post over someone else’s. Not sure if you’re using Featured Image? Head over to your latest blog post, scroll down, and on the right-hand side you should see a thumbnail of your main image labeled “Featured Image”. Click there, select the image you want from your media file, and you’re set.
8. Social share buttonsWhen a reader shares your post on Twitter, Facebook, or any social media, they’re exposing your content to their followers. That’s a good thing. For many bloggers, this is the primary way they get traffic to their blog. The easier you make it for readers to share your content the better. But tiny icons from now-obscure social media channels, like Yelp and Foursquare, won’t help you get traffic to your blog. To see what posts are getting the most shares, head over to buzzsumo, drop in your site URL, and you’ll get a list of your top five. We use SumoMe by Noel Kagan – the Social Share menu floats alongside your blog as the reader scrolls down the screen and works perfectly on mobile. Readers can click on these social share options, spreading the word, and getting more blog traffic.
9. Measure resultsGoogle Analytics is your dashboard—it’s the only way to accurately know what’s really going on with your blog traffic, visitor behaviour, history trends, and sources of visitors. As for opt-ins? Your CRM (Customer Relations Management software, like Mail Chimp or Aweber) is the only place to accurately measure opt-ins. If you haven’t been checking Google Analytics, first make sure it’s installed by following these instructions. Next, get familiar with basics, like:
- User volume (number of unique visitors),
- Page views (total pages visited),
- Bounce rate (percent that leave after one page),
- Average session duration (time on site),
- Behaviour (scroll down main menu, on left, and look for box icon > Overview – most viewed pages on site. This is where you can discover which blog posts are most popular.