Blogging has long been a must try method for all businesses attempting to achieve a wider exposure and increase traffic to their site. And it’s still going strong with an estimated 55% more traffic rewarded to company websites that run a blog consistently.
“Why would I want traffic on my website? It took me an extra 15 minutes to get to work this morning… i’m sick of traffic!” – Joe Bloggs.
This isn’t the kind of traffic that makes you late for work! In fact, most traffic that comes to your site is potentially a customer or client. You’ve just got to direct them down the correct paths to turn them into conversions.
So, with that in mind, it’d be a good idea to take your blog seriously, wouldn’t you agree?
There are tried and tested methods you can use to help you achieve the best possible results from your blog, most of which we will cover in this article. So equip your quill & ink and take note!
The design of your blog is arguably just as important as the content within it. Personally, if I come across a website with a poor design – whether it’s visually imperfect or badly laid out – 9 times out of 10 I’ll click the back button and find a different blog.
I won’t be the only person who does this. One reason being, people have gone onto your blog to find information. It’s your job to publish that information in a presentable and easy-to-find way.
Think of it like eating fine food. You remember a restaurant not only by the food, but the experience you had when at the table. Were the waiters/waitresses pushy and shoving deals in your face or were they giving you the chance to find what you wanted before they politely asked for your order? Was the table spotlessly clean or did it have the remnants of someone elses bottle of red wine on the table cloth? You get the picture.
So in terms of your blog’s design, here’s some things you should consider to help increase traffic.
Does the content stand out over other features of the blog?
Are you offering your readers the option to see a backlog of articles?
Is your content presented in an orderly fashion using headings, bullet points, numbered lists?
Does your blog actually look attractive and tidy?
Is your stock photography relevant to your blog and brand?
And most importantly
Is your blog’s design user friendly?
It’s a good idea to follow conventional ideas of blog designs. You’re probably saying to yourself, “How do we stand out among the other companies if we just follow conventional designs?”. That’s where your high quality content comes into play. A wise man named Bill Gates once stated, many years ago, that ‘content is king’. And that wise man’s statement still applies. Yes, by all means, try to challenge conventions of blog designs where necessary if you think it will be beneficial your brand, but you should be concentrating more on publishing useful, relevant and shareable content!
Create High Quality Content Consistently
Content is what makes people look on your site, high quality content is what makes people remember your company. Providing that you have the ability to consistently release high quality content on your blog, it’s essentially an open door with a sign offering free candy to all people walking by your shop window.
It’s not as simple as writing one or two mediocre blogs and hoping all your readers share the content and buy something from you. Yes, you’ve supplied them with information or opinion for free, but be realistic, they won’t worship you. Not yet anyway!
Your content must consistently provide value to your audience. I can tell you to perfect your grammar and expand your vocabulary – though it would be constructive – but that doesn’t add value to a blog; it contributes to the professionalism of your company. Your content can be valuable to a reader by educating, entertaining or influencing them. If your content fails to meet any of the criteria that offers value, it’s just another average joe blog.
Okay, i’ll stop with the puns.
High quality content doesn’t always mean a ten thousand dissertation on your topic. It can be more than words. An infographic for example is an easily digestible and informative piece of content to post on your blog that can be extremely contagious on social media sites if executed well. If your content is getting shared, there’s a high chance it will increase traffic to your site.
Think Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engines – like Google and Bing – are a massive part of introducing traffic to your site. They provide your site with two types of traffic. Organic and paid. Assuming you are not paying customers, all of your traffic from search engines will be organic. This is where your blog can make a huge impact.
Because your blog is filled with delicious keywords for search engine crawlers to pick up on, it will increase the rankings of your blog posts on search engines. For most bloggers, this means learning how to write content in a way that will benefit SEO, but still offering your readers a valuable, informative and entertaining post that will not only provide them with all the information they require, but also leaves a lasting impression in their minds which may convince them to return in the future.
So your content is up to scratch, but what’s behind the scenes that you should take into account?
If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can make the most of the SEO fields that they provide to help you boost your rankings. Also entering in alt tags on all of your images enables search engine crawlers to read information from your otherwise non-crawlable image, as well as providing your readers with a description of the image if, for whatever reason, it fails to load.
Once your post is ready to publish and share on the web, you’ll need to create a tidy link that is readable to both search engines and humans. There’s no use in a domain like www.domain.com/9493242. You can create a permalink that is relevant to the topic of your blog e.g www.domain.com/cat-falls-off-table. It makes it easier to recognise the content within the link and search engines love it!
There’s plenty more to think about when optimising your blog for SEO but taking the time to master the basics can be extremely valuable.
Have a Little Patience
In 2006, Take That released the song ‘Patience’. I like to think it was written about blogging.
This is possibly the most difficult of the blogging tips. It can take months, if not years, to build a loyal readership and gain decent exposure through your blogs. It can seem very daunting at first, especially when you want results fast, but with solid strategy and a bit of belief in your blogs, you will succeed.
People often expect immediate results and lose interest in blogging after a few blogs. That’s not what content marketing is about. It’s a long term strategy that builds relationships with your audience with proven results in increasing traffic to a site.
In between posts, try promoting your articles, measure the results, reply to any comments you may have received. By understanding how your blogs perform on certain days or what topics your audience find more favourable, you can write blogs that target your readership and retain the relationships you already have.
Be thorough and consistent with your blogs. It’s common practice to use an editorial calendar to keep track of when you’ll be publishing your blogs. You can schedule your social media and other content on the calendar too. Using a calendar gives you an effective way to track your content and measure its performance.
So, let’s round it up.
Keep your design simple, clean and user-friendly.
Create valuable content.
Make the most of SEO opportunities.
Track and measure results.
What have I missed? What would be your number one blogging tip to increase traffic? Leave a comment in the section below! Please share if you found this blog post valuable to you, it goes a long way.