With all of the time and effort you’ve put into blogging, people should be lining up to read your articles. Unfortunately, the sad truth has set in – your blog posts are not the only ones out there. In fact, they’re competing with mountains of other articles across the web.
Don’t fret, your well crafted words don’t have to fall on deaf ears! Here’s how to increase traffic to your blog.
Start with superior content.
This may be an obvious one to you, but readers don’t want to waste their time with sub-par content. There are a plethora of websites pushing out blog posts and users have every right to be picky.
If you’re writing content simply for the sake of ranking in search engines, it’ll be painfully obvious. Dislike writing or don’t have the time? Find someone to take care of it for you. There are plenty of freelancers out there or you could hire on a marketing firm that offers content writing.
You could also try taking turns writing with members of your staff to avoid getting burnt out. A new perspective can’t hurt.
Give your blog posts a great title.
In order to increase traffic to your blog, you need to ensure users take that crucial first step – clicking the link to open your article. Among a long list of competing results in search engines, your blog’s best bet at attracting clicks is with a superior title.
A few tips on crafting an enticing blog title:
- Don’t stress on getting it perfect prior to writing. Start with a rough title to inspire your article and make adjustments if you find yourself heading in another direction.
- Keep it accurate. Exaggerating a title may get those initial clicks, but it’s also likely to earn you a higher bounce rate. Set clear expectations for users to avoid disappointment.
- Use under 70 characters. Anything longer than that will be cut off in search engine results. Try a Google Search preview tool (there are plenty of options) to get an idea of how your title will look to users scrolling through.
- Try using numbers. Of course incorporating numbers in every title would be a bit redundant, but they do tend to perform better. For example, ‘7 Tips For Crafting a Killer Blog Title’.
Follow the crowd.
Not just any crowd – your crowd. Find which platform your target audience is present on and interact on it. If you already have profiles set up on multiple social networks, begin sharing blog posts on each one. Take a look at your Google Analytics (free to install!) and see where the majority of your referral traffic is coming from.
Accompanied with the right social post text, sharing your articles on these networks will increase traffic to your blog and the likelihood of them being shared by your followers.
It doesn’t hurt to remain active across all networks even if some aren’t quite so popular, but it does start to become a disadvantage if you’re unable to consistently post. Old posts and activity give users the impression that you’ve neglected your business and won’t be responsive.
Don’t skimp out.
Though our attention spans are steadily decreasing and page load times of more than 5 seconds are painful – when it comes to content, the longer the better.
Since at this point most topics have been fully saturated with blog posts, its necessary to write something that’s better than all of the other similar articles out there. Better means a compelling voice, more detail, and more content.
Who wants to share a skimpy piece of content with little value, anyway?
Not only will longer content please human visitors, but it will also please the all-powerful search engines. Recent updates to Google’s Search algorithm, dubbed Panda and Penguin, are suspected to have added more emphasis on content length.
Nobody enjoys long pages of breakless text – no, not even your college professor. While its probably too late to redo those college research papers, its never too late to change up your blog writing style.
Proper formatting and an attractive website theme allows you to go into detail with longer content, without losing the interest of page skimmers. Use headers to separate your different points and try to shoot for three sentence paragraphs over long chunks of text.
When relevant, it’s also a good idea to include visual aids like images and video.
Use the right keywords.
Although some SEO gurus will claim that the significance of keywords is phasing out, they still should play a big role in your content marketing strategy.
It’s true that search engines have added a long list of additional factors to their ranking process, yet keywords remain one of the primary ingredients. Utilizing strategic keywords will help you to reach the right audience and increase traffic to your blog.
Some pointers on choosing and using keywords:
- Think about user intent. It’s always helpful to search a keyword yourself before targeting it in a blog. The results may surprise you! Perhaps what you thought was a great keyword is actually the name of an existing brand users are searching for.
- Don’t just consider the number of searches a keyword receives. Look at the competition as well! Moz’s Keyword Explorer offers 20 free queries per month which will help you determine keyword potential, competition, and popularity in search queries.
- Long-tail keywords can be winners. Long-tail keywords (think ‘kittens for sale in new york city‘ instead of ‘kittens‘) may receive less searches, but the ones they do receive are by more qualified searchers. If you were a kitten breeder in New York City, traffic from ‘kittens for sale in new york city’ would be far more likely to convert and easier to get than ‘kittens’.
- Treat keywords like sprinkles, not the whole cupcake. While there’s no magic number for how many times a keyword should be used in a blog post, you don’t wanted to be penalized by Google for keyword stuffing.
Unlike many traditional forms of advertisement, content marketing requires that you be in it for the long haul. Increasing traffic to your blog may not be instantaneous, but it’ll be certainly worth it for your SEO, website, and business!