Starting a blog takes a LOT of work. You’re faced with the daunting task of setting up a website, creating engaging content, and possibly worrying about running a business all at the same time.
To simplify the process of growing your readership, I’ve created this simple list of 10 Traffic Boosting Tips for New Bloggers.
Tip #1: Publish As Often As You Possibly Can
Back when I was mentoring new bloggers, the most important tip I always gave my students was that they should blog every day. This single tip was the most measurable, cost-effective, and time-efficient strategy they could ever implement.
Google is biased toward hyper-fresh content. Google wants to show content that is recently published, and prefers to give theirs readers the newest and most up-to-date insight into the subjects they seek.
Think about the last time you did a search for information. Did you see a few results (or perhaps a lot) that were old? Like 2013 or older? I did when I performed a simple search this morning. Isn’t that frustrating? That sense of frustration when you find old information is precisely what Google is trying to help their users avoid.
People seeking information are much more likely to click on recent results.
There’s another reason to blog regularly. Studies show that 82% of marketers who blog daily acquire customers from their blog.
Google will assign a freshness score based on the types of queries performed in your industry. For example, blog you blog about the NFL then you’re in a field where the queries are super fresh. If someone were to Google the score of the game last night, Google isn’t going to return old results. Continually publishing new content increases your website’s freshness score, and provides content with the freshest score it can get.
Tip #2: Update Existing Content
One of the easiest mistakes new bloggers make is thinking that a published post is done and forever in the past. Google insists on quite the opposite!
Bloggers should regularly return to older content and update old information. Just like new pages generate a higher freshness score, updates also provide freshness to a site, and the content you update.
Focus on making large changes to the core content on your site, and avoid making little changes to a link here and there or a sentence. Google may ignore small changes or changes to boilerplate content.
Tip #3: Link Internally
When used correctly, internal links can have a huge impact on your website’s growth.
Internal links are best used to continue the reader’s journey toward finding the information they searched. If you are writing a blog topic on how to knit socks, then it might make sense to link to another article you’ve written about the best types of knitting needles for knitting socks. Topics or posts that are relevant to each other and will provide value to at least a very small portion of your audience are perfectly acceptable.
The types of internal links you want to avoid are the ones you can’t justify. Never link just for the sake of having an internal link in every post, and certainly never stuff your content with them.
Tip #4: Link Externally
Linking out to other websites is considered by Google to be a very positive act. Linking to other resources, supporting evidence, sources of information, and insightful content (again, to continue the reader’s journey) will help boost your own website’s relevance score. When your relevance score increases, your rankings increase as well.
Site’s that link to other sites also tend to receive more links themselves. Why? Simple reciprocity. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours kind of thing. When you are perceived as helpful (and a good resource) then others are also more likely to link to you. It’s all about making your content the ultimate place where visitors can find answers they need — or where they should go to find them.
Tip #5: Enroll in my Course: ‘5 Simple Steps to Increase Your Website’s Traffic’
This free mini course contains quite a few additional ‘bonus tips’ for you to implement.
- How Google indexes website like yours and what you can do to improve your website’s visibility
- How to create a content marketing strategy
- How to improve your website’s clickthrough rate
- How to increase your website’s visibility in search engines by over 130%
Tip #6: Use Multimedia in Every Post
Using multimedia like images, videos, screenshots, and audio doesn’t directly improve your rankings — though there’s still some argument as to whether or not videos from Youtube might — but it does have a huge impact on your website’s user-interaction signals.
Google is paying more and more attention to user-interaction signals as part of their big push towards websites providing a better user experience.
Multimedia also improves your blog post’s perceived value. Higher perceived value means more links, which in turn means more rankings… and traffic!
Tip #7: Increase Your Dwell Time and Slash Your Bounce Rate
Dwell time is an engagement metric measured as “short clicks” and “long clicks.” Google uses the click time (or time spent on the page) to help them determine the quality of your content. You should be careful not to fall into one of the major SEO misconceptions out there that more time is always better. You want to answer your visitors’ questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In the same vein, you want to avoid the pogostick effect of visitors clicking over to your website, and “bouncing” or going back to the search results. This “bounce” is quantified by Google as your website’s “bounce rate.”
A high bounce rate is another one of the signals Google uses to determine the quality of your content, along with your relevance score.
Bounce rate and Dwell time can both be improved by providing useful, engaging, and sometimes longer content. Although not to be monitored in a vacuum, these metrics should still be monitored by all bloggers.
Tip #8: Engage Readers with Comments
I can’t say this enough: Comment sections are crucial to a blog’s success!
I use the comment section for multiple reasons:
- When readers become involved and comment, chances are they’ll become invested and turn into repeat visitors
- When readers comment, they don’t bounce and they stay longer
- Comments increase the content on your page and index VERY well because commenters often use language you don’t
A few tips I’ve used over the years to increase comments on my blogs:
- Write in a conversational tone — refer to the reader as, “you”, and to yourself as “I” and make it seem like a conversation the reader can just jump right into like they are already included
- Tell stories — people relate to stories
- Comment on other blogs (people tend to return the favor)
- Share your content on social media (social people love to comment)
- Reply to comments you receive and make sure your readers know you value their input (positive OR negative)
Tip #9: Use LSI Keywords
LSI Keywords are “Latent Semantic Indexing” or words that are commonly found alongside the keyword you’re targeting.
For example, if you were writing on a fitness blog about nutrition then you might also want to mention weight-loss foods, dieting, and fat loss. These terms are all generally talking about the same thing.
When Google sees LSI keywords in your content, it increases their confidence that what you’re writing is of quality and relevance to what their users are searching.
Finding LSI keywords for your topic is super simple. Just go into Google and do a search, then scroll down and see some of the recommended alternative searches. Those are your LSI keywords!
Tip #10: Measure Your Success!
So you’re creating all of this amazing content, and implementing all of these tips… then you wonder, “Is any of this working?”
I recommend Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free, easy to install, and provides reporting on every metric you could possibly want when starting a new blog. You’ll be able to tell whether or not certain subjects resonate with your audience, measure your reach, evaluate whether or not certain referring websites warrant more attention, and get an idea for whether or not your content is engaging.
You can track all of the metrics discussed in this post by easily setting up a custom marketing dashboard.
If you have a WordPress website, I highly recommend Monster Insights. This plugin will install your analytics tracking code, making implementation a breeze.
Don’t get overwhelmed! I tell my clients and students every day to focus on implementing / perfecting / or monitoring just one or two of these at a time. The great part about writing content and blogging is that you’ll start to see great improvements with only a little bit of effort.
If you have any questions about these steps, or want to recommend a few of your own, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!