As I am surveying my blog trying to get the overall picture of where I am at right now and where I’d like to be, one thing becomes clear.
I need to get more traffic.
I’ve been working hard to increase reader engagement on my blog, i.e. researched how my readers interacted with TGC, where the obvious flaws were, redesigned the blog accordingly, then tweaked, tweaked, and tweaked some more.
I’ve also been working on my list building strategies, as well as finding different ways to keep my subscribers interested, opening my emails, and clicking on my links.
Logically, now is a good time to get more traffic to my blog.
Here’s me thinking about how I am going to do that.
How to Get More Traffic
As I am thinking about traffic in general, I see that there are two main traffic “streams” I need to work on and each one has its own approach and, most importantly, time frame:
- SHORT-TERM traffic (the kind of traffic I can bring to my blog today, but it requires constant work)
- LONG-TERM traffic (I won’t see any immediate results from it, but it’ll bring a lot of passive traffic in the future).
Immediate Boost: How to Get Short-Term Traffic
For the most part, this kind of traffic needs to be generated from referral sources, i.e. other blogs, social networks, etc.
Here are some possibilities I am pondering and their pros and cons:
This is what immediately pops in my mind:
Not a great traffic generator, in other words.
I am not saying it doesn’t generate traffic at all; just doesn’t generate enough of it to warrant my time.
Here’s an interesting post/experiment on the subject of blog commenting traffic Lisa Drubec and I did a while ago:
- Blog Comment Traffic Research: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
However, blog commenting CAN and SHOULD be used for other purposes, like:
- Brand recognition (the more other people see your face around the blogosphere, the more “presold” they will be on you);
- Link building (definitely check out my post on how to use CommentLuv for link building – I bet you never thought of this strategy).
My verdict: something I still should be doing on a regular basis, but doesn’t fit in with my current goal: getting more web traffic to my blog.
I think I am getting warmer.
How can I TRULY use social media to get more traffic to my blog TODAY?
Let’s dig a little deeper.
1. There are only that many times you can RT/share your own content – whatever the network.
And there are only that many times I can ask other people to RT my content.
2. I can work on increasing my social media circles, thus exposing more people to my content – like I explained in these two posts:
But again, this is not a “do it today to get traffic tomorrow” type of strategy.
3. Find bloggers with very active following and become friends with them.
As I scanned my Twitter timeline, I noticed that there are a couple of bloggers that get retweeted quite a bit – every time they shared any one of my posts, their followers re-RTed it.
Didn’t take me long to reach out to her, thank her for the attention, and “seal” the friendship.
Of course, it’s not all business – Gabriella is great, as I came to find out.
Another way of doing this: as you read other blogs (and I hope you do), take a look at their Twitter share counter – if the numbers are in the hundreds, they have an active Twitter following.
Of course, the same goes for any social network.
This strategy is definitely something that could be put to work pretty quickly.
4. Post on other people’s walls.
This works best for Facebook and Google+.
The trick is to choose users who are influential (thus have many active followers), but not too influential (or you’ll be lost in the sea of others trying to fight for attention).
The best way to get attention from these users is by sharing their content on your wall and ALWAYS tagging them when doing it.
I also like to mention different bloggers in each post I write, and when it goes live, I publish a link to the post on their walls always letting them know I talked about them.
This type of networking could definitely bring quick results, depending on how good you are.
My verdict: yes, it’s possible to get immediate traffic from social media. Not ideal though.
Guest posting kills several birds with one stone:
- GREAT for introductions and networking;
- GREAT for link building (the best kind of contextual one way links you can get);
- GREAT for immediate traffic generation.
Every time I published a guest post in the past, I got a surge of traffic from that blog.
How big of a surge?
Depended on the blog and how good my post was, of course.
But it always created a buzz.
For instance, I’ve been a regular contributor to Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs-Journey.com since August of 2011.
The twelve posts I published there so far brought me the following traffic:
Yes, guest posting does work and the more guest posts I write, the more web traffic I get.
To see what criteria I use to find suitable blogs to submit a guest post to, take a look at this post:
I also mention another ingenious way to pick the right blogs to guest post for here:
(By the way, the post above is a contest entry and you know how it goes: I’d love to have your comments and shares on that one!)
In anticipation of these questions:
- No, I don’t have a list of blogs that accept guest posts;
- Yes, I’ve been rejected before and it never stopped me from trying again;
- No, I don’t currently accept guest posts.
My verdict: guest posting definitely goes on my to-do list – immediately.
WRITE EPIC CONTENT
Here’s another thing that I can do right now to generate buzz, links, and traffic.
Write GREAT content. EPIC content.
I can’t say it any better than Corbett Barr did. No one can beat that title.
I’ve seen other bloggers try and come up with a very lame “Write Contagious Content“, but of course it doesn’t come close.
What makes content epic?
I wish I knew.
Some of my most popular posts were a complete surprise to me, yet some that I thought for sure would create the buzz, went almost unnoticed.
Will this post generate the buzz? Will you love it? Will you link to it?
I suppose I’ll find out once I hit the “Publish” button…
I did find some ways to get an insight into what kind of posts are the biggest hit with my readers.
1. Posts that get the most comments.
Pretty obvious one, right?
2. Posts that get the most clicks from other blogs.
One of the awesome features of CommentLuv Premium is tracking how many people clicked on your CommentLuv links that you left on OTHER blogs.
That should give me an insight into what kind of content might draw people in.
Let’s take a look:
The first post in the screenshot is about the best affiliate marketing programs and how to find them, i.e. about how to make more money!
No wonder it drew attention.
The second one is about writing better content. Didn’t do so well.
Probably because everyone else under the sun writes about writing better content….
As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I am doing right now!
The last two had words “free”, “discount“, and “giveaway” in them. Everyone likes a freebie, right?
Note to self: do more giveaways!
3. Topics that get searched for via your search box.
Did you know you can track what your readers are typing in your search box?
You can and it’s easy to set up.
It’s a great way to learn what topics your readers want to know more about, what keywords you might want to target for future search engine traffic, and what posts you might want to add to your sidebar.
In the past month, my readers performed 354 searches:
You can find these stats in your Google Analytics under Content ==> Search Terms.
And now I have a much better idea of what to write about in the future.
4. Do more giveaways.
CommentLuv Premium stats above reminded me that giveaways were always a big hit at Traffic Generation Cafe.
Don’t JUST give away stuff though.
Find ways to help it go viral.
In both cases, my goal was to build more links to those posts and that was the condition of becoming eligible to win the product.
Another great example of a viral giveaway is Kindle Fire Giveaway from DragonBlogger.com.
That contest was centered around social media and some of the eligibility conditions were following on Twitter, retweeting/otherwise sharing the post, etc.
I don’t remember exactly at this point, but if Justin stops by, I am sure he’ll tell us in the comments.
The results? Incredible.
By the way, Justin just started a new Kindle Fire giveaway contest.
The contest ends at 11:59pm EST on February 27, 2012.
You can enter it here: VDay Kindle Fire Giveaway.
My verdict: every post I write I will write based on what my readers want to learn about at Traffic Generation Cafe.
This web traffic generation strategy is entirely under my control and can definitely significantly influence my immediate traffic.
It might be a bit more difficult to achieve for you if your blog doesn’t currently enjoy the kind of readership Traffic Generation Cafe has.
However, writing epic content should still be one of your main goals to get more traffic; it just might take a little longer.
How to Get More Long-Term Traffic
Now I am thinking more long-term.
The methods I described above WILL bring various amounts of quick traffic.
However, if I want to keep it up, I’ll have to constantly network, chat on social media, write guest posts, etc.
Not that I should stop doing that at any point, but I don’t want to do it to keep my business afloat; rather, to take it to the next level.
I need to find more long-term leveraged sources of traffic and the only source I can think of that fits the bill is search engine traffic.
What Do I Need to Do Today to Get More SE Traffic Tomorrow?
Several things I can think of.
The two “big picture” factors that influence search engine rankings are:
- Onpage optimization
The easiest way to bring more search engine traffic to my blog is to find the posts that are already ranking in the top 20 for any high-searched terms and see if I can do a better job with on-page optimization and link building.
1. DO SEMRUSH SEARCH
SEMRush is the only tool I know of that can tell you what your site is currently ranking for vs the rest of the tools that require you to KNOW what you are ranking for or want to rank for and then telling you where you are at for that term.
Let’s take a look at my current SEMRush stats:
The keywords are currently sorted by the amount of search engine traffic I get from them.
So even though I am currently ranking #11 for “bounce rate“, it still brings me more traffic than “traffic generation“, for which I am currently ranked as #1.
It’s not hard to notice that some of the listed keywords have great potential for traffic IF I manage to rank better for them.
“Bounce rate“, “how to get more followers on Twitter“, “web traffic” have great potential.
The one keyword that stands out is “tweetadder“.
Tweetadder is one of the products I love and promote that allows you to get more Twitter followers.
This is the kind of keyword I definitely need to work on, since it has income potential, as well as traffic potential.
Now that I know some great keywords I need to work on, it’s time to get to work.
2. IMPROVE ONPAGE OPTIMIZATION
Time for a little disclaimer: getting search engine traffic is a huge topic that in no way can be covered in one post.
These steps will work better for those readers who already have some understanding of SEO.
If you feel you need more in-depth information on how to get search engine traffic, pick up a copy of my free SEO report.
Onpage optimization is something that you should be able to tweak easily since it’s entirely under your control.
I usually make sure to include my main keyword(s) in the following places:
- Post title (this is your H1 tag);
- SEO title (different from post title; this is your <title> tag);
- Description (your <description> tag);
- Slug (this is the one you need to make sure to get right the first time around; I don’t recommend changing slugs later);
- Sub-headlines in the body of your post (H2, H3 tags);
- Make a few of the keywords bold and/or italic (for good luck).
- Thesis Theme SEO Benefits – learn more about on-page SEO whatever theme you are using.
- Free SEO Report: Much Ado About Nothing – great way to learn to do your own SEO audit.
- What’s in a Slug? – more about slugs, what they are, and how to use them to your benefit.
3. BUILD MORE LINKS
Still the most vital piece of SEO puzzle.
If you are not ranking as well as you’d like to, you need to build more/better quality links.
- Blog commenting;
- Guest posting;
- Asking other bloggers to include your best posts into their speedlinking posts;
- Asking other bloggers to include you in their blogroll (works for the home page rankings, not really for posts);
- Article marketing, including syndication, article spinning, blog networks, etc.
More details on the above strategies:
Blog commenting is the easiest way to get more links to any post.
Granted the quality of those links depends on how well you do your research and/or build relationships with other bloggers to make sure your comments actually get published.
Learn more about effective link building through commenting:
- How to Get 10 High-Quality Links In 30 Minutes Or Less
- How to Milk CommentLuv for All It’s Worth
- One Way Link Building: How to Find the Best Links Every Time
Guest posting – enough said about that.
Only one point of note here: it pays to build relationship with the blogger you guest post for.
If you continue guest posting for the same blog over and over again, that particular blogger will be more lenient as far as allowing you to link to your own blog more often.
If it’s your first (and only) guest post, then don’t expect much more than the bio links, which are still great to get.
Speedlinking posts – you know the ones that mention the best reads of the week?
Those are great relationships to build.
If you produce quality content and know the bloggers who do such posts, you don’t even have to ask them to link to you – it happens just because you write epic content.
Here are some blogs that do speedlinking posts:
That’s all I can think of right now, but if you have suggestions, leave them in the comment section.
Blogrolls – getting included in various blogrolls could give your blog some great exposure.
- Write epic content;
- Build relationships with other bloggers;
- Ask to be included in their blogroll.
Article marketing, etc. – there’s no way I can cover this link building technique in this post.
I also don’t believe that an average blogger has a need to learn all the intricacies of building links through article marketing.
There’s just not enough hours in the day.
I did learn how to do it.
And now that I do know, I prefer to outsource these tasks.
If you want all your SEO needs to be taken care of and have a budget for it, I’d recommend SEM Group for the task.
They’ve always done an exceptional job doing link building for me and I’ve seen great results from their efforts.
If budget is an issue, Fiverr.com will do.
Of course, you have to know what you are doing to separate the wheat from the chaff there.
When in doubt, go by the ratings and feedback comments for any given provider.
4. MY PLAN OF ACTION
So I want to rank better for “bounce rate“.
Here’s my plan of action (just to give you a step-by-step example):
1. I’ll find some high PR blog posts to comment on and leave “bounce rate” as my anchor text for KeywordLuv or CommentLuv link.
2. I’ll ask some of my blogging friends to mention the post in their future blog posts as it fits in with the content.
Since most of my readers ARE my blogging friends, here’s me asking to please reference the post in your future writings:
Anchor text: bounce rate
It’s a great post, by the way, and I am sure your readers will benefit from it, plus I’ll stop by to drop you a comment when I see your pingback.
3. I’ll mention the post in some of my future guest posts.
4. I might find someone on Fiverr to build some links to the post for quantity-sake.
5. I’ll monitor my ranking progress to see how well I am doing and change my plan accordingly.
Get More Traffic Marketing Takeaway
I think I’ve done pretty well with my “get more traffic” plan of action.
Well enough to keep me busy for a LONG time.
What’s your plan of action?
Nothing wrong with that as long as you are planning on taking ACTION on what you’ve learned.
Please share this post with your social media circles.
Image credit: incredible photography by Kira Rozanov