How to Increase Traffic to Your Website or Blog in 8 Steps
Have you been trying to increase traffic to your website or blog? This is a question every site owner faces at some point. You’ve written a lot of great content and created high-quality images, but your site has hardly any visitors to appreciate it.
So what should you do? In this article, I cover the top strategies to show you how to drive traffic to your website.
P.S. You might want to get a notepad.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this article includes some affiliate links. So if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no cost to you. That helps to support me and keep this website running.
1. Choose High Traffic Content or Blog Ideas
One of the most important aspects of blogging or content marketing is keyword research. This is a crucial step that informs you if the topic you want to write about has an audience. Because without an audience, you won’t get traffic to your site.
The key is finding keywords with search interest, meaning words and phrases that people search for online. You also want keywords that address questions people have, that they could type into a search box. Once you’ve found keywords like these, integrate them into your content.
When Google crawls your site, these keywords help inform the search crawlers what your page is about. And when it ticks all boxes in terms of quality and relevance, your article would pop up when someone searches for a particular keyword.
What’s the takeaway here? You need to do keyword research early on, so you can find out people’s search intent.
How do you do keyword research?
The first stage of keyword research is deciding on a topic. Try to choose a niche that’s not too broad. Start by creating a list of content or blog ideas that highlight a solution to some kind of problem. Then write out the different possible ways people might search for this topic.
If you’re short on ideas, search platforms like Quora.com. It’s a question and answer forum that’s a gold mine for bloggers. See what topics are being asked about — then use that info as a jumping off point for your own article or post.
Another strategy is to use Google’s autocomplete functionality. Start typing a search term into Google’s search box and Google will instantly suggest a list of related keywords. Alternatively, search for a full phrase, then scroll to the bottom of the search results and check out the “related searches” suggestions.
Next, use any of these keyword research tools:
These tools help you find new keywords as well as search volume for your topic ideas. They’ll also show which keywords may be too challenging to rank for. When possible, go for keywords with low competition, because you have a better chance of ranking for them.
Another tip is to target long-tail keywords, which are keyword phrases that are very specific to your topic. So instead of using keywords like “baby food,” use long-tail keywords like “what is the best baby food for children below age 3.” You’re more likely to rank higher using the second example since it’s more focused. Therefore, it could increase your blog traffic.
2. Write Long-Form Ultimate Guides
Long-form content is another way to increase traffic to your website. If you read blogs like NeilPatel, Moz, or Quicksprout, you know that most of their content is in the form of “ultimate” or “how to” guides with over 3,000 words. It takes a lot of time and effort to create long-form content, but it can have enormous benefits.
Neil Patel says, “Long-form blog posts usually perform better on every level.”
Not everyone is willing to create long-form content because it’s a lot more of a grind. But if you can put your head down and do the work, you could win out over your competition. Search engines want to give users the best value for their search term, which is why they may rank long-form, high quality guides higher in the SERP (search engine results page).
Take a look at the graph below. It’s from a study carried out by serpIQ, which found that the top 10 search results came from content with more than 2,000 words.
There’s a popular narrative that says nobody wants to read long-form content. It’s true to some extent, but long-form content has a lot going for it too. It packs more keywords, backlinks, and information into a single page. A technical staff member at Google says:
“Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.
That’s why today, we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”
Long-form content is also easier to share on social media. It provides enough content to tweet about, post on Instagram, share on Facebook, or whatever social media platform you’re on.
A study carried out by Buzzsumo and Okdork analyzed 100 million articles based on word count. In the end, the study concluded that articles between 3,000 and 10,000 words got more shares than articles with less than 3,000 words.
Here are some tips for creating long-form content:
- Write out your goals.
- Use keywords research or check your competitors’ blogs to get topic ideas.
- Hire a freelancer if you don’t have the time to create the content yourself.
- Include email sign up buttons.
- Include social share buttons.
- Repurpose the final article to share on social media and with your email subscribers.
3. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging not only drives traffic to your website, it can also lead to more writing gigs, an increase in email signups, and getting more of your products sold.
So what is guest blogging?
Guest blogging (or guest posting) is when you write a blog post for another person’s website. There are several benefits you get from guest blogging (aside from traffic to your own site):
- You expand your personal network for your niche. This fosters backlinks, social shares (that can lead to more social media follows), and more opportunities for you.
- It helps build your authority on the topic you’re writing about. When this happens, people will increasingly respect your opinions and views on the topic. Think about big name people you know who are authorities in their respective fields. How do you think they got to that level? They got recognized by other big names (or websites) in their industry. The same can happen for you.
- Guest blogging is great for SEO. Links from trusted websites still carry a lot of weight in Google’s eyes. The more links you get from reputable sources, the higher Google will rank your site in search results for relevant searches. So getting links back to your blog from relevant websites is quite helpful.
So how do you find guest blogging opportunities?
- Find websites in your niche by searching for “your niche” + “write for us,” “contribute,” or “submit a guest blog” on Google. If a site allows guest bloggers, follow their guidelines to the letter and submit your idea.
- Identify the sites where your competitors are guest blogging, then pitch the site owners your idea. Start by using tools like SEMRush, where you can enter your competitor’s URL, then look at the site’s backlinks. There’s a good chance that some of these links come from guest blogs.
- Befriend writers from relevant blog sites on social media (i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn). Build up a rapport with them over a few weeks. Then when you feel like you have a good opening, ask if you could guest blog on their site.
- Check out My Blog Guest, which is a guest blogger community. Sign up and search for sites that are looking for guest posts.
4. Build an Email List
This should have been at the top of the list because of how crucial it is. Everyone with an online business should have an email list. Your email list is your safety net.
With a mailing list, you build a community around your brand. You can notify your email subscribers about new blog updates, product releases, updated features, etc. It’s a simple way to promote yourself to interested parties. After all, they signed up for your mailing list, so they want to hear from you. Don’t disappoint them.
Right now, email marketing is one of the top content marketing strategies for most businesses. According to Hubspot, “83 percent of B2B companies use e-newsletters as part of their content marketing program.” Another study showed that “99% of consumers check their email every day.” So growing your email list is a no brainer.
How do you build an email list?
Use Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are freebies you offer people in exchange for their information. They can be ebooks, cheat sheets, coupons, free trials, webinars, etc. Using lead magnets is a simple way to build your email list and show your worth at the same time.
Create a Pop-up
Email pop-ups are a great way to expand the visibility of your signup form. Usually these appear after users scroll down a certain percentage of your page or have been on your site a specific amount of time. Pop-ups bring another opportunity to encourage users to sign up for your email list.
The key to a good pop-up is to not overdo it. You don’t want it to appear too soon and frustrate your users. So if your pop-up is time based, figure out how long the average person stays on your page, then set the pop-up to appear at the halfway point. If your pop-up is based on percentage scrolled, wait until your users have seen 30% of your page before it “pops up.” Otherwise, they could get annoyed and leave the page.
Talk About the Benefits of Subscribing
Just having a pop-up or sign-up form isn’t enough. Users will want to know what they’re getting into before they give you their email address. So tell them the benefits they’d get from subscribing. In other words, say what’s in it for them.
There are many email marketing services to help manage your emails, create pop-ups, and make landing pages. Here are a few good ones:
Add Signup Links to Your Social Media Platforms
No matter where your audience is, you should try to convert them into email subscribers. So if you’re active on social media platforms, share email signup links to encourage followers to join your mailing list.
5. Write SEO Friendly Content
Your on-page SEO efforts are essential to getting traffic to your website. You should keep SEO in mind for every article you write. Because you want Google to reward you for all your hard work by ranking you higher in the search results.
So what are some tips for creating SEO friendly content?
- Include your target keywords in your page title, URL, headings and subheadings.
- Make your meta descriptions compelling. They should have calls-to-action to encourage users to click-through to your website.
- Add your main keyword in the first 150 words of your content.
- Use the Google Page Speed Analyzer tool to check your page speed. The faster your site is, the better chance you have to rank in the organic search results.
- Include original multimedia like images, videos, and infographics. These are all items that could appear in search results and drive more traffic to your website (think Google Image search, Google video carousel, etc.).
- Optimize your images. Compress them so they’ll load faster and include alt text.
- If you have a WordPress site, use an SEO tool like Yoast to optimize your content.
- Link internally to other content on your site with keyword-rich text.
- Format your articles to make them easy to read. Use subheadings, short paragraphs, and bullet points.
- Get backlinks from reputable sites.
6. Share Your Content on Social Media
Posting on social media is a great way to share your content and increase traffic to your website. It also helps you:
- Create brand awareness.
- Improve your reputation and become an authority in your niche.
- Encourage other people to share your content.
- Build interest around your website
Social reshares on social media can also positively impact SEO. Even though social media isn’t a direct ranking factor, search engines still crawl and index these platforms. And the credible backlinks on social media could help influence your website’s page rank.
But not every social media platform is the same. They all have different audiences, which is why it’s important to figure out which platform best suits your needs. If your blog is more professional or business-focused, you should promote your content on Linkedin. If it’s more visual, put your efforts into Instagram or Pinterest. Spend your time on the site that is most beneficial to your bottom line.
If you plan to post across multiple social platforms, use automation tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts. They can streamline your processes to help keep you on track. And remember, social media platforms favor consistency. So the more consistent you are with your posts, the better chance you have of growing your audience.
If you have some extra cash to spend, you can also run a paid campaign on social media. This is another easy way to get traffic to your site. Although paid campaigns obviously aren’t free, they can help you target a very specific niche that aligns with your website. For example, Facebook Ads let you target users all the way down to their age, gender, interests, or even connections. If you properly target your audience, they’ll be more likely to take a specific action (like buy a product) on your site.
7. Share Your Content on Quora and Reddit
Forums can be great tools to help expand the visibility of your website. By answering questions and contributing to topics on these platforms, you can build your authority and leave a link back to your blog.
Another benefit of these sites is that they get indexed by search engines. So when you share a helpful answer to a question, Google could rank that answer for a search term. This is another way to expose your brand to a new audience.
There are also little communities on Quora called “spaces.” Find a space related to your niche and request to be a contributor. Then you can drop links to your website and reach a wider audience.
Reddit has similar communities called “subreddits.” Although if you want to be successful on this site, you may have to traverse some of their political minefields.
Here are some tips to use to make you successful on Reddit:
- Find a subreddit related to your niche.
- Participate in the groups and leave comments for about a month.
- Then start dropping helpful content without including links back to your site.
- Eventually, you can add a link back to your site after you’ve commented/posted a fair amount. You can submit it directly in a post or else leave an excerpt, then add the link.
- Write compelling headlines to make your content stand out.
Remember, social media platforms are called “social” for a reason. You’re meant to socialize. So don’t open an account and immediately start sharing links to your content. Create value first and then start promoting your brand.
8. Interview Thought Leaders
The final way to get more traffic to your blog is by interviewing thought leaders. This might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s worth it when someone finally grants you an interview.
What’s the benefit of interviewing a thought leader? It makes people see you as a credible source who has access to highly respected individuals. This builds trust in your brand. By providing an expert’s take on a topic, you will automatically get more eyeballs in front of your content.
Remember, these experts usually have followers who want to hear what they have to say. So let them hear it from your site. Plus the thought leaders could share your content from their own social media, which is another win for you.
So how do you get access to a thought leader?
Do your research to find out who the authority figures are in your niche. Linkedin is the perfect platform to network and find out about another person’s background.
Be specific in your approach. Tell the thought leader precisely what you want when you reach out to them. Give them the time frame of the interview, send an outline of the content, and explain why you need their expertise. This way, they’ll be fully informed and can quickly decide if they’re interested or not.
When you do the interview, make sure you record the conversation. Whether it’s a voice or video call, this will enable you to keep an accurate account of what was said. Then later, you can easily refer back to conversation points, and you won’t have to rely on your memory alone.
Yes or no answers aren’t very interesting. So ask open-ended questions. This will allow your subjects to express themselves freely, and that’s how you’ll get quality content your readers will want to share.
How to Increase Website Traffic Summary
Those are the top 8 strategies for how to increase traffic to your website. Now all you have to do is get started. Good luck.