8 Tips to Improve Your Blog Traffic

8 Tips to Improve Your Blog Traffic

So, you’re blogging. That’s great. Blogs have SEO value, and they can bring in more leads than other forms of marketing. But, how are you supposed to get people to your blog?

I put this post together to help you increase your blog traffic and make the most of your content marketing efforts. These steps have worked for me, boosting our blog traffic month after month!

Here’s how I did it, step by step, and how you can too!

1. Press pause and reflect

Before you publish another post, you should take a break. If you already have blog posts scheduled to publish, go ahead and let those publish while you take some time to audit your blog.

You should have some sort of analytics set up to monitor traffic, so you’ll need to go through your data and figure out what’s worked best and what’s flopped. If you don’t have analytics set up, now is the time to set up Google Analytics (or whatever you decide to use).

Look at your top 10 articles. Do they share a common theme? What about your least popular articles? Use this information to shape the direction of the next blog articles you plan. Write more of what gets the most traffic.

Also look at which days you get the most traffic and where that traffic comes from to determine when you’ll post and how you’ll promote your blog.

2. Set goals

Before you start building a strategy, you need a goal. My goal was to quadruple our monthly blog traffic by the end of the year, but your goals don’t have to be crazy. Maybe your first benchmark is to improve blog traffic by 100 or 1000 views a month, depending on where you’re starting out.

3. Build your strategy

Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, it’s time to build a strategy around that.

Get some sort of editorial calendar. We use Trello (Trello is free, but the calendar option is not). You could use Outlook or the calendar in your phone. Hey, feel free to use a physical calendar if that’s your thing.

Once you have your calendar, plan at least a month ahead. Figure out how often you’ll post, and stick to your schedule. You know what types of posts work best, so plan topics and titles from that. For instance, if how-to blogs do well, publish one of those each month.

While you’re planning, don’t forget to plan how you’ll promote your blog and add your promotion schedule to your editorial calendar.

4. Share your goals and ask for help

When I set out to improve our traffic, I knew I needed help.

So, I sent out multiple emails, asking people in our company to help write, and I found a small group of people willing to contribute on a regular basis or write a one-off post (or contribute part of a blog post).

I emailed people asking for 1-2 tips about a particular subject, and when enough replied, I put them together into a blog post, wrote an intro and a conclusion, filled in any gaps or answered any questions I felt were left unanswered and published.

You might be surprised by the amount of people who are willing to help.

5. Figure out how often you should post

I tested a lot before I settled on a publishing frequency. Here’s what I did:

I tested publishing once a week, five times a month, six times a month and twice a week. Eventually, I settled on twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, because when we publish both days, we get a traffic spike on Tuesday and a smaller spike on Thursday.

You should test for a while, but eventually you’ll want to settle on whatever works best for your blog and your audience. No matter how often you publish, though, be consistent. For instance, if you want to publish once a month, try publishing on the first Tuesday of the month, every month.

Note: For a small business blog, you probably don’t need to publish twice a week.

6. Audit and republish older posts to drive organic traffic

When you audit and republish older posts, you don’t have to write an entire post. You can just update it with any new information or statistics, maybe get a quote from someone in the office, add an updated graphic, update headings and body copy with keywords and republish it with a new publishing date. That’s what I do.

You can do this for posts that have performed well and also for posts that didn’t perform as well. I do a mix of both, and I try to republish one or two posts each month. If you’re only publishing once a month or so, you may only be able to republish every few months.

Note: I started doing this because I read this post about how you can improve organic traffic by auditing older posts.

7. Promote your articles

Promotion is extremely important for your blog. Without regular promotion, we definitely wouldn’t have seen such an improvement in monthly traffic.

Here are some ways to promote your blog:

  • Weekly emails
  • Social media
  • Social media ads
  • Share with employees
  • Share with clients/customers
  • Share on your personal social media
  • Share with other industry professionals
  • Ask guest bloggers to share

If you already ask customers for emails at the register or check-in/check-out then you’ve built an email list. If not, you should ask customers for email addresses and start sending out regular blog emails. Don’t be afraid to ask. I think every retail store I’ve ever gone to sends me promotional emails because they asked for my email at the register.

There should also be a spot on your blog/website where people can subscribe.

And share new articles with social media followers, friends, family, other industry professionals, etc. Also ask guest bloggers to share their articles across social media. If you have the budget, you can use social media ads linking to new posts to drive even more traffic to your blog.

8. Test and repeat

Whatever you do, don’t stop testing! Even if your test fails and your traffic drops during the test, you’ve learned what not to do. Consistency may be key, but testing every so often can help you learn new ways to improve traffic even more.

3 Ways to Find Topics for Your Blog

3 Ways to Find Topics for Your Blog

Your blog is a powerful marketing tool—if you know how to use it right.

Blog posts provide SEO value and can bring in lots of new leads. Blogging can also help you get more website traffic, and your blog can help turn a consumer into a customer. In fact, 81 percent of consumers trust information and advice from blogs, and 61 percent have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.

But, what are you supposed to write about?

Getting started can be the most difficult step in writing a blog post. This article aims to make blog post topic generation just a little easier.

Here are three tools for finding blog post ideas when you’re stuck.

1. Feedly

Feedly is a feed reader, which means that you can view many different blogs in a single feed. There are free and paid versions of Feedly, but the free version is probably enough for your needs. You can use Feedly to follow industry blogs and get ideas based on what others are writing.

Here’s a mini tutorial for using Feedly:

  • Sign up for an account
  • Search for industry blogs (for instance, pet stores can search for “pets,” “pet grooming,” or “pet store” to find blogs related to their industry)
  • Follow any blogs you think could help you come up with ideas

Here’s a full tutorial for using Feedly. As a bonus, you will probably be one of the first to learn any industry news that could affect your business if you check Feedly daily.

2. Topic Generators

Blog topic generators are helpful when you have a general idea of what you’d like to write about, but you can’t decide on a concrete headline or way to approach the subject.

Here’s how I use blog topic generators:

Let’s say I know I want to write about getting more online reviews, but I’m not really sure how I want to frame the post. I’ll go to a topic generator, enter my term (“online reviews,” “review marketing,” or even “get more reviews”) and read through the options the generator gives me.

You’ll usually have to edit the title for grammar (or to make it make sense) so keep that in mind when your results appear.

Here are two topic generators you can use to find blog topics.

1. HubSpot: HubSpot’s blog topic generator allows you to add up to three nouns and will find blog topics for each.

If I enter “online reviews” into this generator, HubSpot’s suggestions include:

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Online Reviews
  • 10 Quick Tips About Online Reviews
  • How to Solve the Biggest Problems With Online Reviews

2. Portent: Warning: You probably won’t use the exact titles Portent’s title generator gives you. It’s great for sparking creativity, though, and it does occasionally produce useful blog titles.

If I enter “online reviews” into Portent’s title generator, here’s what I get:

  • 5 Surprising Ways Online Reviews are More Refreshing Than New Socks
  • How to Cheat on Online Reviews and Get Away With It (Don’t do that!)
  • 20 Great Articles About Online Reviews

Bonus: Coschedule

While you won’t find ideas on Coschedule’s headline analyzer, you will get a good idea of how powerful your headline will be. And since a great headline is the key to drawing readers in and getting them onto your site, you should be using this headline analyzer to determine how your headlines will resonate with your audience.

3. Your customers and your community.

Your customers and community events (or news) are also good sources for blog topics.

You probably get the same questions over and over from customers, right? Why not answer those questions in blog posts? This will help you provide valuable content for your customers. And, you’re probably also answering a question prospective customers have, which should help them take the next step in the buying cycle.

Don’t forget about local events. If your business is planning to attend a local event, write a short post about the event, what attendees can expect and what your business will be doing there. (Will you be donating products or services, handing out samples or just there to help set up?)

Final Thoughts

Remember, no matter what you write, your blog isn’t just a content marketing tool. It should be providing value to your readers. Give them something they can use, and they’ll likely remember your business the next time they’re in the market for a similar product or service.