If you want to improve your blog traffic you need to make sure you have a healthy blog. But how do you know if you blog is configured right to achieve your online goals and is in good health!
I have learnt a lot from others as well as made some mistakes along the way while blogging. Many of these are easy to avoid though.
How To Improve Blog Traffic
Your blog is living entity on the web and needs regular attention to stay healthy and steadily increase blog traffic. If you get complacent and just ignore it then traffic to your blog will suffer – essentially it will be ill – in other words it won’t perform and won’t meet your objectives.
Healthy Blog = More Blog Traffic
The goal of a healthy blog though is not just to get more traffic though, it is also important to convert your blog traffic into business. There are a number of ways to do this and of course it will depend on why you are blogging in the first place and the nature of your business.
1Tidy Up Your Blog Struture
There are a number of mistakes people make in building out their blog that makes it unfriendly for SEO.
Search engines like people look for logical structures in a website and so your blog likewise should be organised to help make it eay for people to find information that is relevant for them.
Action: Build a logical structure for your blog
Here are some tips and examples:
Let’s imagine for a minute that you are writing a blog about Spicy Fillipino Food.
You might have logical categories as follows:
– Meat, Seafood, Rice, Vegetables, Beverages…
as tags then you might have:
chicken, beef, lamb, pinoy…
This then would make it easy for people to find things they are interested in.
For keywords you need to think about a pyramid approach and NOT repeat the same keywords. For each category have a keyword that you want to focus on that is preferably long tail i.e. niche marketing.
Tips – Don’t repeat the same keyword across pages or posts
For a simple process use the SEOMoz pyramid. Start from the bottom and build up.
2Clean Out The Rubbish
Many bloggers love to write on their blog but don’t use some of the basic tools that Google provides to help you keep your blog healthy.
Action: Tidy Up Your Blog
Probably the best starting point here is Google Webmaster Tools. Go to the main Google Webmaster page and then in follow these key steps:
- Remove duplicate content
- Remove old outdated pages that give a 404
- Remove duplicate meta tags
3Make Sure Your Blog Is Fit
I won’t labour this point but the speed of your blog matters.
Action: Speed Up Your Blog
- Use a caching plugin to increase the speed of your blog
- reduce image sizes
- lighten the load of your code – use only the WordPress plugins that you need to
- For more details see our blog post on 5 ways to improve the speed of your WordPress Blog.
4Grab Peoples Attention
One of the challenges is create headlines that get you high click through rates.
The dilemma here is that you not only have to use keywords in your title but also make it appealing.
Action: Create Strong Blog Titles That Boost Your Traffic
Take a basic idea and craft a killer headline before you write a single word of the body content. Why? Because that is what people see in Tweets, Facebook posts and it is
one of the first impact on your blog.
- Use magazines and other media for inspiration on titles that grab attention. The media business is not new and seasoned professionals in the trade know how to place winninig headlines oin papers and magazines. Use these to get a feel for how to develop some great headlines.
- Provide a clear benefit to your target market e.g. how to massively increase online sales using unusual psychology
- Use a sense of urgency – e.g. 10 quick ways to boost your blog performance
- Ask a Question – e.g. Why People Really Don’t Click Your Headlines
5Groom Your Blog’s Looks – Make It Visual
Whether you use the internet a lot or a little you can’t help but have noticed the changes in the amount of visual content. Sites like Pinterest have grown massively as have sites/apps like Instagram, Vine, Flipboard and many others that deliver highly visually engaging content.
So what does this mean for your blog traffic. Well the more engaging your blog, the more visually it is the more likely it is that it will hold peoples attention and get shared.
If you get content pinned for instance you are creating more backlinks as well as getting more exposure to your blog content.
Action: Get More Visual
- Optimise your blog for platforms like Pinterest
- Produce a good layout and style for each blog
- Use a blend of content including posts on other sites to create a blend of media
6Get People To Take Action
One mistake is to just to expect people to do things. Don’t take it for granted that people will do what you want them to do without a clear signal.
A call to action provides a contextually relevant communication that directs people to take an action e.g. click here, sign up, enter your details now, read more articles, share this….The purpose is to entice people to do something.
The reason this is important is that the more people take action the more they will:
- sign up for newsletter
- click to share socially
- buy stuff
Action: Create Clear Calls To Action On Your Blog
- Be clear and concise to get a focused CTA
- Use distinctive colours, graphics and text to get people’s attention
- Test different CTA’s to find out what works best
- Make it clear What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)
7Make It Social
Using the right WordPress plugins can make the difference between someone sharing your content or not.
Use social plugins not only for sharing but commenting as well. Blog comments can be a great tool to drive traffic to your blogs.
Action: Some Plugins TO Make Your Blog More Social
- Use social comment system like Livefyre
- As people to follow your key profiles to follow using SocialBox
- Use a social content locker for added value content – Social Locker
8Optimise Your Blog Content
Make sure your overall on page strategy is right and your SEO settings are right.
Action: Get Your SEO Basics Right
For a simple 20 point guide follow these steps
9Get Known In the Right Places
Develop a clear guest blogging strategy and focus on relevant blogs for your market and audience.
Guest blogging on reputable high quality sites will not improve blog traffic but will also build valuable high quality links to your blog.
Action: Guest Blogging
- Be realisitic as to how many blog posts you can write a week/month
- Research which blogs accept guest posts and are right for your topic – use SEO tools like Buzzstream
- Simply write great articles – remember new people will want to see your authority on the subject
- Blend in different media and links to relevant articles that are trustworthy and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge/li>
10Be Personal and Conversational
One of the best ways to engage an audience is to be human and also write in a way that shows that.
There are lots of experts but only one you.
Perhaps you do not realise how amazing that fact is but it is true and the most unique part about your blog.
This will be the one of the main reasons people come back to read more, which in turn will improve blog traffic by building your community.
Action: Find Your Voice and Style
I have often struggled with this myself. But here are some thoughts around this:
you wouldnt worry so much about what people really thought of you if you knew just how seldom they do
- It is easy to get worried about what you write and what people will think about you. Be brave and just do it. Writing improves with experience and so too does blogging.
- Focus on your passions and not just the mechanics of it. What I mean here it is easy to get into the detail of how to do things, provide helpful tips but without the personal touch and discussing personal experiences it can become hollow.
- Learn to invite others in. Use interviews for instance to invite in other people’s thoughts and build your own interactions. If you are not careful you can become a bubble and not part of a broader community of experts in your field. Don’t compete just join in and collaborate
- Use offline meetings with people to garner feedback – people say things more honestly and helpfully in a face to face conversation than short snippets online.What do you think makes your blog great?