If you spend a lot of time producing killer content then you want it to be seen. Right? However, it can be all too easy to create the content and forget about all the marketing that needs to go with it. There’s no point in cracking content if it’s not getting seen.
We’d all like to increase our website traffic. It’s not easy but it is doable and just takes a little work and persistence. So in this post, I share my top 10 tips for increasing website and blog traffic.
1. Get social
I’m starting with the one that everybody already knows. You don’t need me to tell you the importance of social media, it’s preaching to the choir. But if you’re anything like me, sometimes we can get a little lazy when it comes to promoting our blogs on social media. Often I just push out the one post across my channels and totally forget about ever doing again.
Don’t be like me.
These channels are free, use them like you’d use free chocolate. A busy bee who literally doesn’t have the time to post social activity every few hours? I hear ya. Then get scheduling! Put aside an hour on a Sunday afternoon when, let’s face it, we won’t be doing anything other than being hungover or pretending to do household chores. Use tools like Buffr to schedule those posts.
One social channel that is heavily underestimated is Pinterest. If you’re serious about generating serious traffic then Pinterest absolutely must be part of your strategy. I’ll save the Pinterest tips for a separate post. But in the meantime, check out Tailwind – it has been transformative for my Pinterest strategy and blog traffic!
2. Optimise posts for search
SEO should be central to any blogging strategy. Search offers a whole host of untapped potential for driving valuable organic traffic to your blog. Your SEO strategy should include keyword research, writing optimised metadata, link-building and a whole host of other SEO tips and tricks.
There are a number of super quick steps you can take before you publish a post to ensure it is fully optimised for the Google machine. Such steps include writing metadata, adding alt text to images and improving readability with sub-headings and shorter sentences. These factors only take ten minutes to do but can drastically improve the visibility of your posts in the search engine results pages. If you’re really looking to improve your SEO, then check out my SEO ebook for small businesses and bloggers.
3. Submit new URLs to Google Search Console
Google’s little bots are constantly crawling the web to ensure it can provide the most updated and relevant results to searchers. When you publish new content on your website, it won’t immediately be crawled by these bots. This means there is likely to be a delay in your post appearing for searches.
Therefore it pays to give Google a helping hand and gently bring Google’s attention to your new content. This can be done via Google Search Console. Go to ‘URL inspection’, pop in the URL of your new content and then hit ‘Request Indexing’. And that’s it. It’s just your way of saying to Google, ‘hey, new content over here!’.
4. Guest posting
Now this is something I do not do enough. Never underestimate the power of guest blogging on other websites and blogs. Not only does it get you good SEO points, it is also a great way of generating quality referral traffic.
Just be careful not to be spammy. In other words, don’t find very mediocre sites and write a guest post for the sake of writing a guest post. Find websites and blogs which are highly relevant to your blog and in line with the kind of content you write.
5. Collaborate with other bloggers
It works both ways! Invite bloggers to post on your site and it can bring in a new audience. The chances are that the guest blogger will share their post across their own social channels, hence bringing a healthy dose of new readers.
Of course you’ll want to make sure that you get the right bloggers to guest post. It would be awkward if the post was terribly written and you had to post it anyway because maybe you’re too polite and British not to. Do your homework first. Find a blogger with similar interests and a similar style, plus the ability to write well. Or if you’re nervous about this approach, why not interview them instead? Same benefits but you’re in control of the content.
6. Irresistible titles
Don’t go too ‘click-baity’ on me but do write fabulous titles. Make your titles simply irresistible so people have no choice but to click on them.
But importantly, don’t write a catchy title that has no relation to your content. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a great title and clicking through, only to find that the content is pants. If that’s the case, people will be leaving your site straight away and probably won’t be returning any time soon. Trust is important, so don’t deceive. Write awesome content and match it with an equally awesome title.
Same goes for your SEO titles and meta description. If readers are finding you via organic search then what will make them click on your result over the others?
7. Internal linking
Don’t forget to link to other posts on your site, just like I’ve linked to my SEO articles within this post. It keeps people wanting more and maintains a healthy user flow through your site. Keeping readers on your blog as long as possible is key to building both a healthy readership and SEO kudos. Google considers time spent on a site to be a ranking factor so do what you can to keep people.
Always include a call to action at the end of the post. This should usually be a link to another post so readers have somewhere to go. Sure, they could find it themselves but people are lazy so you need to guide them.
8. Email marketing
Emails can be extremely powerful in maintaining a healthy readership and encouraging people to return to your blog.
Remember not to spam your users and make your email marketing genuinely enticing and valuable. Keep an eye on how many people are unsubscribing and consider why that might be. Always include call-to-actions and links to your blog within your email marketing correspondence.
9. Engage with other bloggers
Blogging is first and foremost a community. So don’t be a recluse! Engage with other bloggers, show genuine interest in their work and pay compliments at every opportunity. Blogging can be tough and it’s important to show support; usually people will reciprocate so it’s a win-win for everyone. Kindness is free, sprinkle that sh*t everywhere.
The best way to do this is via social media. Comment on posts, retweet great content from fellow bloggers and engage with discussions. It also pays to leave comments on blogs posts that you love. Show your appreciation and maybe you’ll get a visit back in return too.
I’m ending with an age-old piece of advice. It’s an extension of my above point but I mean this in the more traditional way. Networking is a fantastic way of increasing brand awareness. Of course you can do this online by engaging with other bloggers but do it offline too.
Talk to people about your blog. Tell them it exists. If you’re savvy enough to have a business card then hand them out everywhere. People are often really interested in your content, they sometimes just don’t know it exists. So make them aware and you’ll be reaching new readers everywhere you go.
Increasing website traffic takes time but with a clear strategy and persistence, you’ll get there. For more tips on upping your blog game, check out my post on using Google Analytics to improve your blog strategy, my 10 easy SEO tips, or my Complete SEO Guide ebook.