A goal for just about any blog that wants to succeed is to get enough views. Without traffic, your blog is as good as dead just sitting on the 645th page of Google with no engagement or shares whatsoever.
If your blog is going to be successful, you need to think of ways to drive traffic to your website. You could create the best, most valuable content in the world for your target audience, but if it doesn’t show up in SERPs, it’s as good as nonexistent. Building a successful, profitable blog takes time, patience, and a proper strategy, but if you stick to it, you’ll see the benefits that having a blog can bring.
Here are 10 proven tips you can use to increase your blog traffic and rank higher in search.
1. Research your target market
It’s impossible to know what kind of content to deliver to your audience when you aren’t sure who that audience is. Create detailed buyer personas that list important information about your readers such as interests, age, location, buying behaviors, pain points, and more. The goal is to figure out how your blog can solve your audience’s problem or bring them value.
Creating valuable content will prove difficult if you don’t know what to produce in the first place due to not knowing your audience’s needs. Reach out to existing readers for feedback in the form of a survey or questionnaire. Research the target market of your competitors and similar blogs to get an idea of who you’re marketing to.
2. Create evergreen content
You want your blog to rank on the high end of Google SERPs so you can get the views and shares you deserve. That’s difficult to do if your content isn’t high-quality and relevant to your audience, which is exactly what evergreen content is about. Creating evergreen content for your blog will ensure that it holds value no matter how much time passes. This will lead to increased organic traffic which is favored by Google as well as better social engagement.
Focus on the needs of your readers and any specific questions you can answer. Scour social media to find these questions or send out an email asking users directly how you can be their solution. Use Answer The Public and Quora to find topics relevant to your audience that will spark their interest and catch their attention.
3. Conduct keyword research
If you’re going to rank in search or create content that’s valuable to your readers, you can’t skip conducting keyword research. It’s a crucial step of any SEO strategy and will ensure that your blog’s traffic increases drastically. The better your keyword research is, the better your chances are of ranking high in SERPs if you can create optimized content that’s better than your competition.
Use keyword research tools like Buzzsumo or Google Keyword Planner to come up with a solid list of keywords. Long-tail keywords perform better in search because customers usually search long-tail keywords when they’re further down the conversion funnel.
4. Increase site speed
Google announced in 2018 that it’s now using site speed as a determining factor of how high or low websites will rank in SERPs. A slow website means a compromised UX. This leads to frustrated users who exit out of your blog and continue their hunt for another one. You don’t want to lose potential loyal viewers because your website speed lags.
Use PageSpeed Insights by Google to test the speed of your website. It’ll tell you if it’s too low for Google’s standards so that you can optimize your website to perform and load faster.
5. Leverage your email list
It’s a no-brainer to use your email list to expand your blog’s reach. Email is a direct line of communication between you and your audience, and if you can leverage it to your advantage, you’ll see a huge spike in your blog’s traffic.
First, make it easy for your audience to join your email list. Keep your forms short, simple, and easy to use by using a helpful tool like WPForms.
Give your readers incentive to sign up whether that’s promising quality content or sending them a freebie. Send out a new email to subscribers every time you publish a new blog post so they stay up-to-date on your content. Add a link to your landing page in your email signature so readers have easy access to the content you want their eyes on.
6. Reach out on social media
A great way to bring positive attention to your brand is by interacting with people in your audience on social media. Statista reports that there are almost three billion daily social media users around the globe, and your target audience is in that huge pool. Finding their content through hashtags is the best, most direct way to get ahold of trending topics in your industry and questions your viewers have.
Don’t be afraid to answer their questions by linking back to your blog. It might be wise to start up a conversation first and build a trustworthy foundation. Otherwise, they might get frustrated because they aren’t familiar with you yet. Once they do, it’s safe to help them out and present your brand as a solution.
7. Add visual content
Readers want skimmable content. They want to be able to skim your blog post for a short period of time and then move onto something else. With all the technology around, it’s common for people to get distracted and easily bored by one topic at a time. A great way to break up the monotony of test-based posts is to add in visual content.
This could be anything from graphics to videos to images. Social Media Examiner found that 32 percent of marketers consider visual images the most important type of content for their business. Google reports that seven out of 10 viewers watch Youtube videos to solve a problem with their studies, job, or hobbies. Visual content is valuable and powerful when used correctly in blog posts. Add relevant, helpful images and videos to your posts.
8. Guest post for blogs in your industry
If readers in your industry visit their favorite, popular blogs and see your name or brand come up, this will change their level of interest in you. Before, you were just another blogger trying to get your name out there. But now you’re being featured on a credible, authoritative site that many readers respect and look up to.
This tactic will do wonders for your blog traffic and it’s called guest posting. Writing for other blogs in your niche will position you as a thought expert and expand your reach further than before. You’ll get more eyes on your content as well as increased levels of engagement. You need to craft a persuasive pitch and present yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you get a link in your author bio, link back to a landing page or social media account.
9. Optimize for mobile
Google research shows that 53 percent of mobile users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. This is part of a smooth UX and without it, your website views will dwindle. Optimizing your site for mobile is a must when there are 3.9 billion unique mobile internet users worldwide.
Responsive design means that no matter what device a user is exploring the internet on, everything will fit the screen appropriately and look put together. Once you determine how your audience uses your site, you can decide how best to optimize the experience for mobile.
10. Add social sharing buttons
It’s important that your content can be easily shared across various platforms by users for the best chances of visibility. The further you’re able to expand your reach, the more increased blog traffic you’ll receive. It’s important that you don’t have sharing buttons plastered all over your website as this is tedious and annoying to users. They should be strategically placed in each blog post in a way that doesn’t interrupt the UX.
Decide which social platforms you’re going to display for the option of sharing. These should be the platforms that your audience is most active on so that you have higher chances of increased traffic. WPBeginner lets their audience post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest directly from their blog.
There are tons of strategies and tactics you can use to market your blog and get the shares and interactions you crave. Gathering that traffic is no easy task, but the benefits you’ll reap from it are well worth it. Remember that your readers come first so optimizing your website for their easy navigation and pleasurable UX is a must. Take advantage of social media and email to connect with your audience and update them on your brand. Do your research on them as well so you know what you want to see from you and you can deliver. How will you drive traffic to your blog this year?