The launching of a new blog is usually followed by a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. You have invested so much time and effort into starting your blog that it often seems like the hardest work is done and now everything is going to flow naturally. But, the reason why so many great blogs fail is that their authors fail to understand that building an audience and increasing traffic in WordPress demands just as much work (if not more) as starting a blog.
In the early days of blogging, maybe it was possible to succeed simply by offering top-quality content. Nowadays, knowing the basics of online and content marketing and marketing in general is essential for literally any type of blog and website to even stand a chance. On the other hand, there’s no need for you to become a marketing expert, learning from other’s experiences and implementing best practices usually brings tangible results. Therefore, we decided to put all the best ideas, practices, and tips for increasing your blog traffic in one article. Stay tuned to find out more about:
- The Power of Headlines
- The Art of Storytelling
- Creating Evergreen Content
- Improving Underperforming Content
- Why Giveaways Always Work
- The Importance of Longer Posts
- The Value of Knowing Your Audience
- Why Listening to Your Audience Matters
- The Significance of Building a Full-Fledged Online Presence
- How Relationships With Influencers Can Help You
- The Keywords Your Blog is Ranking For
- Using Google Analytics
- Creating a Content Calendar
- Learning SEO
- Using Internal Links and Backlinks
- The Benefits of Email Marketing
- The Power of Great Design
- The Advantages of Using Push Notifications
- Pages Every Blog Should Have
The Power of Headlines
Having attractive headlines is a piece of advice you can’t miss once you start exploring ways to increase your blog traffic. Headlines are important without a doubt, but if the content they lead us to does not hold up to the headlines’ promise all you get is an increased bounce rate, while the traffic will not really improve. Headlines set the tone of the entire story you want to tell. While there are headline formulas that are proven to work, always check whether they are in line with your long-term content strategy. Catchy but misleading headlines may jeopardize your reputation in the long run. A good headline corresponds to the topic of the article, evokes some kind of emotion, gives the reader a clue whether he will find a solution to his problem or simply intrigues him. What will work best for you depends on the type of content you offer. A good tip in this regard is to never think about the headline as something separate from the article it refers to.
The Art of Storytelling
Stories and storytelling are two entirely different things. You can have a great story and lack the skill necessary to tell it in an appealing manner. On the other hand, the only great thing about your story may be the way you tell it. The good news is you can have both. Storytelling is the art of recognizing what it is that people can relate to in a story, turning ordinary events and topics into compelling narratives, and evoking emotions in the hearts of the readers. If you manage to create a story around your brand, blog, or website, all the content you create will become part of a bigger context and users will be more prone to feel like they are a part of something bigger which makes them more likely to come back, as well as share and talk about you on social media. Storytelling offers you the chance to show your authenticity and relate to your audience on an emotional level.
Evergreen content is the kind of content that does not lose any of its relevance as time goes by. These are usually longer articles that cover a certain issue or topic in-depth and from many different angles. They represent a kind of knowledge base and the more of these types of articles you have on your blog the more likely you are to become a go-to resource for targeted issues. This implies more visits and more shares of your content as well.
Sometimes the key to boosting your blog traffic is already in your hands and you are just not using it right. It often happens both to novel and experienced bloggers that some pieces of their content simply miss the target. It is important to identify this type of content and to understand why it did not bring the desired results. Maybe it doesn’t align with the user intent, maybe you haven’t researched the topic well enough or there are some technical problems that prevent the users from accessing it – whatever the issue is you need to know about it and correct it. Understanding what went wrong will help you learn how to improve the underperforming content that, once updated, can be the source of new traffic on your blog. It will also provide new insights into your users’ needs and traits.
Giveaways Always Work
Who doesn’t like to get presents? Offering your audience valuable products like an ebook, online course or service for free, is a great chance to attract new readers and engage your existing audience. If possible, always include a link to your website in the material you are offering for free. You can also use giveaways to build your mailing list and create buzz on social media – all this will surely affect your blog traffic too. It would be great to make regular giveaways a routine so that users keep coming back each week/month to check if you are giving away something that they need. This may imply more work for you in terms of preparing products and organizing giveaways, but it pays off in more than one way, and there are plenty of WordPress giveaway plugins that will help you streamline and simplify the whole process.
Longer Posts Equal More SEO Opportunities
Longer posts indicate that you took a more elaborate perspective on the topic you are covering and help you establish yourself as an authority in your respective field. Readers usually respond well to longer articles as they appreciate someone took the time and effort to deal in depth with the issue at hand, and they are more likely to share an article that is longer than 1000 words. They also value not having to search for other resources. It’s always better when you find all the answers you need in one post, right? The longer the article, the more words it has, which means more opportunities for SEO. Search engines love longer posts, which have the tendency to become evergreen and attract backlinks and organic traffic from Google. If for any reason you still find long posts a bit intimidating, maybe making the content more scannable could fend off your worries.
Know Your Audience
One of the common mistakes bloggers make in the beginning is that they focus too much on attracting an audience while forgetting that they also need to establish a relationship with them.
Either way, it is absolutely essential to know your audience really well. Only by knowing your audience will you know where to find it, as well as how to connect with and engage readers in order to establish a long-term relationship. Blog traffic is fueled by the kind of audience that is authentically interested in what you’ve got to offer, not by random visitors who come to your site attracted by clickbait headlines. Take time to get to know your audience, learn how they behave on your website, what pages make them stay longer, what problems you are solving for them, and then act accordingly. There are great tools, such as A/B testing tools for example,that can help you get more precise insights into your audience’s likes and dislikes.
Testimonials, feedback, reviews, etc not only show that you are willing to listen but also generate significant social proof that you then can use to promote your blog. While it may not seem important for traffic at first glance, social proof can play an important role in increasing the traffic rate. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback and collect testimonials and reviews. The experiences of your loyal readers may inspire more shares and attract more of your target audience. Plenty of testimonial tools will help you do this in an elegant manner.
Build a Full-Fledged Presence on Social Media
Different social media platforms are popular among different age groups and types of audiences, and that can mean only one thing – you need to establish a social media presence on all the relevant social media networks. Let your blog be the point where all these different audiences meet and share what they have in common. You will achieve this by offering quality content on social media, interacting with users, answering their questions, and engaging in conversation with them. There are great tactics for successfully promoting your blog on social media, but before you employ them, make sure you choose the social media channels that are most relevant for your site. These can also include Q&A websites like Quora and Reddit, online forums, and similar.
Befriend an Influencer Until You Become One
Influencer marketing is very powerful nowadays but it may be very challenging for a new blogger to get the attention of a famous influencer. So, prepare for a marathon – choose a couple of influencers that you respect and follow them on the platforms they are most active on. Analyze the kind of comments they react to, join an ongoing social media discussion or start a relevant conversation with them, and always make sure you offer value in any interaction you make with them. Reply to their threads, leave feedback on their blog posts, pose meaningful questions that show you are familiar with their work, and share their content on your own channels. Simply by interacting with them you get more exposure and a chance to reach a new audience. Of course, for this approach to succeed you need to know the difference between an interested fan and a stalker. In other words, make sure not to overdo it.
Your content may rank spontaneously for keywords you did not choose on purpose. In some cases that can be a good thing, a wonderful opportunity to generate more content that will answer your audience’s needs even more precisely. But in other cases, it may mean your posts are ranking for all the wrong keywords that are essentially irrelevant for your blog. So make sure to check if your content is ranking for appropriate keywords. Keep track of how your content is performing and check which keywords are doing a good job. That may also give you ideas for new posts.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful free tool that will bring you many useful insights. It will help you understand how your users behave on your blog, where they are coming from, and what engages them. It can also give you lots of important clues about their needs. You will get detailed traffic reports and as you learn how to make sense of all the data you get this way, you will be able to make smarter content strategies and plan your actions more efficiently. Learning to use Google Analytics properly is an absolute must for any website owner.
Create a Content Calendar
A Content Calendar is not just about publishing posts regularly. It gives you a wider perspective and helps you not get lost in random ideas that often seem creative but lack consistency. Create a detailed content plan with carefully and thoroughly thought-through topics that are in line with your long-term content strategy and ongoing trends. The time of publishing a post is also very important for its success, and there are proven ways to find out the best time for publishing a blog. It may seem to you that this kind of calendar may suffocate your creativity, but, in reality, calendars actually boost creativity. Seeing the wider context and having a larger perspective is often very inspiring.
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and the only way to stay on top of the game is to keep up with these changes. That’s why it is essential that you understand the basics of SEO. There are plenty of useful SEO tools that will help you master best SEO practices without having to become an SEO guru yourself or having to employ an expert.
Internal Links and Backlinks
An internal link is a reference in your article to another page on your website. It is an easy yet effective way to achieve a better ranking. Internal links show Google which pages of your website you consider most relevant, so they are of great importance for SEO. Just make sure to make internal links as natural as possible and you can create as many of them as you wish – Google won’t penalize you for having a lot of internal links.
Links that lead to your pages from other, external websites are called backlinks and they are very strong factors for achieving a good ranking on Google. Unlike internal links, backlinks are much harder to generate. Reputable websites need to have a strong reason to choose to link to your pages, but there are things you can do to raise your chances. These include writing guest posts on websites you wish to backlink to you, interviewing influencers as they will usually invite their audience to see their interview on your site (which means getting a backlink), sharing news about specific content on your website with influencers that are likely to find it relevant, etc. One of the easiest tricks that may not be as effective but still works is adding links to your website on all your social media profiles. Links play a huge role in SEO and it is worth learning about link building as links directly influence your website traffic.
Email marketing is one of the most budget-friendly ways to advertise your blog, so make sure to grow your email list from the very start. Having an elegant newsletter popup strategically placed on all the right pages will prove to be of great help. You can occasionally boost your email list by offering your services or products in return for the reader’s email address. Blog traffic is not only about attracting new users – by sending regular newsletters you may inspire old users to come back to your website. Make sure to avoid common mistakes in email marketing and in the long run it will be a sure way to boost traffic on your site.
The Power of Great Design
One of the most important aspects of your online presence is your website’s design. Your users are literally judging your website based on its look, and a bad impression can ruin a lot of hard work you invested in other aspects. Statistics show that you have up to 10 seconds to impress your users, and within these 10 seconds they have already decided if they are staying, leaving, or ever coming back to your site.
A well-designed website is the cornerstone of a quality user experience. It will help you build trust, inspire users to take action, and establish yourself as a brand. There are many factors that play a role in web design. We are usually talking about color, typography, and imagery but there’s a lot more to web design that decides how good it is. You also need to think about website navigation, visual hierarchy, layout types, load time, and responsiveness. If this sounds like too much for someone who is not a web design professional, there’s an easy way to ensure all the above aspects are covered – simply pick a high-quality blog WordPress theme that matches your style.
There are also many things you can do by yourself in terms of design to make your content more appealing regardless of the theme you are using. These include:
- Using beautiful images in your posts – people are more likely to stay on a page they find visually attractive. Beautiful images, for example, can incite people to share your content on social media and are also very helpful in storytelling. Just make sure you optimize your images for the web and make all your visual content SEO-friendly.
- Splitting articles into comprehensive sections – not only will your articles look more appealing and readable this way, but the entire page will look less cluttered. Users will easily find precisely what they are interested in and therefore are more likely to stay on the page and come back to your site.
- Employing infographics and charts – just like beautiful images, this type of content is easy to comprehend and more likely to be shared on social media.
- Adding video content – interesting video content can be very engaging and is also very sharable and social media-friendly.
- Organizing your content by creating categories, using content tabs, adding visual site maps, creating accordions and toggles, etc. – your content structure is the essence of a good user experience. Making it easy for the user to find what he needs on your pages inspires the user both to stay on the page and explore your website. Excellent website structure, easy navigation, and optimal content organization improve both the visual and user experience in general.
Push Notifications Work
Discreet and practical, push notifications are a surefire way of getting users to return to your website. The reason why they are so effective is simple – they remind those readers who are already interested in your blog about the news, updates, new publications, offers, etc. They do not play a role in attracting a new audience but they are great for engaging the audiences that already visited your pages. With the right push notification plugin, they are easily set and you will quickly notice positive changes after you start using them on your site.
There are certain types of pages that every blog should have that can help you attract and connect with your audience on a more personal level. As we mentioned, establishing a more personal relationship and sense of closeness plays a large part in how attractive your blog is to users. Make sure you have an About Me/Us page that tells an interesting story – use images, tell fun facts about you, share your interests, and don’t forget to use keywords. There are also other types of pages that every blog should have and you’ll decide which are most relevant for you depending on the niche you are covering.
The online world is a very competitive one and you have to be open to constantly learn and improve to stay on top of the game. Applying the tips from this list is sure to bring you results in the long run. It is on you to choose the tools and tactics that will work best for your type of blog. Whatever you do, you’ll need a good analytics tool and quality content for sure.