“If you build it, they will come.”
How I wish this was true for creating a blog! Imagine just throwing some content into a layout and watching the hoards of readers rally to your content.
It, unfortunately, does not work this way and building site traffic does take a little legwork.
While there is no magical formula to boost traffic to your site, there are certainly many different tactics you can employ to grow those numbers.
Just remember that every blogger is unique, so what works for one may not necessarily work for the other.
That’s why I wanted to offer up 20 tips for boosting traffic, in hopes that you find a handful that work to your advantage and increase the amount of traffic you see coming to your site.
Check out what you can do right this minute to increase traffic to your blog:
1. Share on Social Media
Even if you don’t have an established social media presence for your brand, you can still share your valuable content with your personal profile’s followers list.
Ask friends and family on Facebook to like and share your posts – this will extend your content’s reach to their list of friends.
You can also upload pins from your site to your personal Pinterest account. It only takes a few people interested in your content to begin spreading it around the interwebs.
2. Pay for Advertising
If you have some extra change kicking around, you may want to invest it in paid advertising. Entities such as Google and Facebook offer low rates for short bursts of advertising.
Be choosey with what you spend your money on. Make sure you are promoting good quality content that is relevant to your niche and addresses your audience’s challenges.
Paid advertising may be ideal if you have a free lead magnet or are offering a product or service.
3. Optimize Your Headlines
Not only are optimized headlines great for on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but creating click-worthy titles is going to ensure that passersby stop to check out your content.
Here are some headline ideas that will bring more traffic to your site:
- “A Guide To…”
- “The # Best…”
- “What No One Will Tell You About…”
- “How To…”
- “# Mistakes You Are Making When it Comes to…”
- “Everything You Need to Know About…”
- Any title that asks a question.
You can see how these examples either directly address a reader’s issue or creates intrigue around the solution.
The key to a good title is to leave the guesswork out of what you are offering through your content. For example, even an intriguing title such as, “What No One Will Tell You About SEO” indicates that the solution is going to relate to search engine optimization.
4. Use Internal Links
Internally linking, in which you link to your own posts within an article, not only increasing your site’s SEO but also ensures that the people who visit your site stay there.
Internal links establish your site’s architecture and provide search engines with a crawlable link structure. This invites search engine “spiders” (because the internet is the “web”, amirite?) to browse the pathways of a website, thus increasing your chances of having your page show up on the first pages of a web search.
Plus, when you link to related content within your posts, readers are more likely to click the link to learn more information. This keeps them on your site longer and decreases your bounce rate (how long a reader stays on your site before they peace out).
5. Fill in the Meta Descriptions
If you have Yoast SEO installed on your WordPress, then there’s a little box below the post editor that is called, very fittingly, “Yoast SEO”. In that box there is a tab labeled “SEO” – it’s here that you’ll find your meta-description.
The meta-description is the piece of information that accompanies your link when it shows up in a search engine:
Even though putting in a meta-description won’t boost your ranking on Google, it will encourage searchers to click your link.
6. Include Target Keywords
When it comes to SEO and Google ranking, the name of the game is to appear on the first page of a search. I mean, honestly, how many times do you actually click to page two of a Google search?
There are many metrics that go into ranking, such as the relevancy of your content (which is primarily measured through backlinking), how fresh your content is and what kind of keywords you are using.
The key to keywords is not just throwing them into your content willy-nilly. Well-researched keywords are going to increase your chances of boosting traffic to your website.
Researching keywords can be as simple as using Google to look for related search terms since these suggestions are based on what users are searching for. You’ll find them at the bottom of the first page of results:
Or you can use a site such as Ubersuggest, which will take your keyword and analyze it to show you how popular the term is. It’ll even give you alternative suggestions to use in your content as well.
To keep track of your keyword use, because you don’t want to saturate your content with them, you can also use the Yoast SEO plugin below the content editor:
This list under “Analysis Results” will tell you if you’ve used your keyword enough.
Keep in mind that I took this screenshot before writing my post about boost traffic.
7. Write Guest Posts
Guesting blogging means that you write free content for other blogs. It’s posted under your name, which allows you to create a little author bio that links back to your blog.
Some sites will even let you include a couple of external links to your blog posts.
Not only does this create back-linking, but it also exposes a whole other audience to your content. If they like what you’ve written for another blog, they are likely to go check out the rest of your stuff.
However, many sites that seek guest writers get flooded with pitches. Instead of looking for sites with a “write for us” page, just send some cold pitches to similar blogs in your niche. Most blog owners are more than happy to bulk up their content calendar with free pieces!
8. Invite Others to Guest Post on Your Blog
You can also free up some of your own time writing by inviting others to post on your blog. Not only will this diversify your content, but for every guest writer, you are looking at having their content (and your blog) promoted to their audience.
This greatly expands your reach, even if visitors are only reading the content of one particular writer. With the right use of internal linking, you can turn these visitors into loyal readers for all of your content.
Just make sure you are accepting guest posts that align with your niche. Otherwise, your content will become confusing and turn people off from visiting your site.
9. Post on LinkedIn
While other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, can easily get overcrowded with information, LinkedIn is a social network for B2B marketers who are seeking information specific to their industry.
This is more so helpful if you are a B2B (business-to-business) writer but posting on LinkedIn can help drive traffic to any niche – you just have to connect with like-minded people.
Use LinkedIn groups to hook up with others in your niche. There’s a bit of give-and-take here, and you’ll have to focus on creating conversations with people, but it’s a great way to give your site exposure and invite others to check out your content.
10. Post on Medium
Medium is a popular blogging platform, similar to an online magazine, that includes a variety of articles on a variety of topics. Guaranteed your audience is reading posts on Medium.
You can use Medium to leverage your traffic in one of two ways: Either by republishing your content on Medium or writing fresh and new content.
Medium allows you to import stories from your site. Don’t worry about Google and duplicate content – Medium automatically adds a canonical tag to your republished content.
This means that Medium tells Google, “Hey, it’s okay, the original version is posted on the author’s site”. Because of this, your Google ranking avoids getting penalized.
Otherwise, feel free to publish new content to your Medium account.
You can also boost your traffic through Medium by commenting on other relevant articles. Leave insightful and thoughtful comments in order to build a relationship with other writers as well as encourage those reading the comments to check out your site.
11. Answer Questions on Quora
This is actually a strategy I’ve been playing around with for a bit. Basically, Quora is a question and answer site that allows users to post questions and others to provide useful and informative answers.
When you post an answer on Quora, you are allowed to include organic links in your response. They will pull answers with blatant promotional language such as: “Come check out my site for more information!”
The more questions you answer, and the more upvotes you get on your responses, the more you will come across as an expert in your niche.
You can include a link to your site in your profile as well as create “spaces” where you can create posts and allow others to ask questions related to your niche.
12. Tighten Up Your Permalink
The permalink is the actual URL WordPress assigns to your post. Typically, it will include the entire post title with each word separated by a dash.
Your permalink is a great source of keywords when it comes to ranking in Google. So the messier the permalink is, the less Google will pay attention to it.
The first step in tightening up your permalink is to change the permalink settings to reflect the post title. You can do this by hovering over the “Settings” link in your WP dashboard and clicking on “Permalinks”. From there, choose “Post name”:
In order to shorten your permalink, look for the permalink link under your post title. Click “edit” and shorten it to a few keywords:
I’ll change that to 20…I just don’t feel like screenshotting it again. 😛
Click “OK” to save your permalink.
13. Create Landing Pages for Products and Services
When you are trying to sell a product or service, you need a one-stop-shop where potential customers can learn about the benefits of your product.
This is where a landing page comes in – a page specifically designed to market your product and convert visitors into paying customers.
This will help drive traffic to your site by offering a specific and clear solution to a problem instead of multiple articles suggesting various solutions.
While creating fresh and relevant content is important in ranking on Google, having a landing page is just as valuable in getting people to visit your site. On one page, you’ll present a challenge faced by your audience and offer a clear-cut solution.
Plus, it’s a great way to convert sales and make some money!
14. Take Advantage of Your Subscriber List
Hitting up your email list is a great way to direct your subscribers back to your site. On a weekly or monthly basis, you can easily send out newsletters highlighting the content on your blog.
Start with a compelling subject line that defines a problem your subscribers may be facing. In the body of your email, offer a vague solution followed by links to relevant articles on your site.
For example, I may send out an email with the subject: “Are you struggling to get traffic to your site? I can help!” In the email, I’ll emphasize that struggle and create a sense of empathy with my readers.
I’ll then link to relevant articles, such as this one, as solutions to the problem.
This is far more effective than simply sending out an email that says: “Hey! I’ve just published a new article. Go check it out!”
You need to give the reader a reason to click the link you are providing.
15. Choose Your Topics Wisely
We’re going to come back to keywords for a moment and talk about how you can use them to fill up your content calendar with topic ideas.
If you’re not writing stuff that people are searching for, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of traffic. When your goal is to offer solutions to your readers’ problems, you need to know what those problems are.
One way to do this is to go back to Google and search your keyword. Instead of going to the bottom of the page, look for the section called “People also ask”:
This will give you an idea of the types of questions people are asking in relation to that keyword. From here, I can come up with a couple of blog post ideas:
- How to Increase Your Blog Traffic Fast
- Why You Should Be Checking Your Blog Traffic
- Why You Should Care About Traffic if You’re a Blogger
You can also look at current posts you have that are doing well and expand on a key concept from that post.
16. Update Old Content
Because Google loves fresh content, you can take advantage of this metric by updating old content on your blog.
Look through low-performing posts and see if there’s any way you can rewrite it so that it is more optimized. This can include adding more relevant keywords, throwing in a meta-description or simply updating outdated information.
Check out any external links as well and make sure they still work.
Also, consider adding in a fresh header image as well some brand-spanking-new Pinterest images.
Be sure to save your post under the current date, or it will simply update under the original published date.
17. Merge Low-Performing Posts into a Mega-Post
If you have a few low-performing posts kicking around that address the same topic, you could always merge them into a super awesome mega-post instead of simply updating each one.
This helps with site traffic by offering a better piece of content that is likely to catch the attention of readers.
Even though people don’t spend a lot of time reading blogs, audiences do prefer long-form content – think 1500-2000 words.
That’s because they are skimming and they want to be sure that the precious time they are spending clicking on an article is well-spent by receiving valuable information they can peruse.
For example, this post offers 20 tips for boosting traffic. I’m not expecting everyone who lands here to read every single word – it’s more likely that they will skim the list to see if any tactics are relevant to them.
Or they may simply read the headlines and absorb the information that way.
So if you have some outdated posts focused on the same topic, it may be worth your while to combine them into an information-rich post.
18. Promote Your Content in Online Communities
This tactic is a little different than simply sharing your content on social media. Instead of throwing a link onto your wall and calling it a day, promoting in online communities means seeking out groups that target your audience.
For instance, I’m part of a group that supports mompreneurs. This is great for me, since most moms are interested in building a website but need support. I can then help them by referring them to relevant posts on this blog.
Look through Facebook, Reddit, Slack and other online forums for groups related to your niche. As long as you follow their guidelines when it comes to self-promoting, you can use your content as advice to help others solve their problems.
To avoid being labeled a “spammer”, make sure your responses and comments are informative and insightful and not simply a link to your posts.
19. Create Infographics
Omg, who doesn’t love a good infographic?
I certainly do and nine times out of ten it’s the reason I hop on Pinterest to do a search. People love visual information – it’s fun to look at and easy to absorb.
Look at your posts and see if there any you can summarize in point-form. You don’t want to give up all your secrets in an infographic, but you want to provide enough basic information to educate the reader and have them wanting to learn more.
The best place to promote these images is on Pinterest, but infographics do well on other forms of social media. Just don’t be surprised if you get a low click-through rate – most people look at the infographic but don’t follow through on the link.
You can up your chances of having people follow the link associated with the infographic by including a “call-to-action” at the bottom of the image. You can say something as simple as: “Click here for more great tips and tricks!”
20. Start a YouTube Channel or Podcast
Not all content has to be written and more and more individuals are turning to videos and audio when it comes to gathering relevant information.
You can easily create YouTube videos or podcasts based on posts you have already written. Just like an infographic, take the key points of your article and discuss them using one of these mediums.
During the video or podcast, mention the article and encourage listeners/watchers to check out the post – make sure to put a link in the description.
Non-written mediums, especially videos, have a higher chance of going viral.
Vroom! Vroom! Here Comes the Traffic!
The key to building traffic to your site is to not get hung up on “SEO” and Google search analytics. Yes, getting on that first page of a Google search is effective in gaining traffic, but it’s not the only method that will yield results.
Your best bet, especially if you’re new to all of this, is to diversify your traffic strategy and choose around three tactics to focus on. Give it some time and, if you don’t see noticeable results, switch it up and try something different.
Now I wanna know – what works for you when it comes to getting traffic to your site? Let me know in the comments below!