The latest installment from our guest blog writer Franco Sammarco:
How To Increase Blog Traffic
By now, you should have established a blog for your business, hopefully having been helped by my last guest blogs. You’re bursting with ideas for articles with which to fill it, but you’re concerned – fewer people are reading your blog than you’d like. If you think this is an issue, then you’re quite right.
Why should you try to increase blog traffic? The answer is straightforward – your blog is a window for the online world to see your business, its brand, products and services. The more you increase blog traffic, the more people are looking through that window and the greater the chance that you will gain more business from interested parties.
So, the second question now is, how can you increase blog traffic? There are some simple but effective steps you can take.
Increase Blog Traffic – Make Yourself Visible: Online visibility is the key to increasing blog traffic. Your blog can be chock-full of the best content, but that content must been seen. To get your business blog’s message across, you must make it visible to internet searchers.
You can submit your blog to internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Dogpile and Bing. Although not guaranteed to increase blog traffic, doing so will make it more likely that your pages will appear in searches made using that engine.
Submitting your best individual articles to website bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit or Digg will also help increase blog traffic. Linking your material to these sites using relevant categorisation will make it more likely that interested users will come across your blog.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can further improve your visibility. This involves incorporating key words and phrases used for internet searches into you blog content.
Doing so makes it more likely that your blog will appear on the first page of internet searches that use those words or phrases. Don’t overdo this, however, or you risk your material being classified as ‘spam’ – valueless content – and removed.
Connecting your blog to other social media services will also help increase blog traffic. LinkedIn is the obvious choice to link to, since it is purpose-built for business interests, but you shouldn’t neglect other options.
Facebook is the largest and most popular social media site, and linking to it can give your blog exposure to a huge audience. Linking to other social media resources such as Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ will also contribute to increasing blog traffic.
You should also promote your blog outside the internet. Display it prominently in all the other media that you use such as business cards and brochures. Remember to make others aware of it in face-to-face contact, as any positive visibility helps increase blog traffic. Think outside the box!
Increase Blog Traffic – Presentation: Your blog is primarily a visual medium. When writing articles, it can be easy to forget how the final piece will look when it’s on a visiting searcher’s screen.
No matter how engaging you content is, few things are more off-putting than an unbroken wall of text. Remember the rapid-fire nature of the internet – you have to make an impression within the first few seconds.
Well-laid out content will help to increase blog traffic. Do your best to make your blog look interesting. Employ attractive colours and insert pictures that are relevant to individual articles. Remember to tag and describe your pictures as these will appear in search engines and can lead people to your blog.
Make sure your blog’s headings and taglines are eye-catching. In short, think like a newspaper editor – the pages of a blog should work on the same principles. However, be careful not to do this at the expense of clarity. You should still want to make a point with your blog, and disorientating your readers will not help to increase blog traffic.
Another way to catch and hold people’s attention is to use excerpts on your blog’s front page. Someone confronted by a single article might leave if it doesn’t interest them. If links to multiple articles are easily visible, visitors are more likely to find something relevant, and increase blog traffic with return visits.
Increase Blog Traffic – Define and Interact With Your Audience: Defining your desired audience and what you want to say to them is also effective means to increase blog traffic. This is especially important for a business blog, since you want to be writing for your likely customer base. Moreover, having a strong focus will allow you to establish your business as an expert in its field.
Acquiring a reputation for expert knowledge can greatly help increase blog traffic. Visitors are more inclined to develop loyalty towards your brand, and recommend your business to others.
Don’t just use your blog to talk at your readers. Establishing a dialogue with new and existing customers is a great means to increase blog traffic. Find out what their concerns and desires are, and use your blog to explain how and what your business can do to resolve or fulfil them.
Be friendly and approachable, and people will respond, especially if they feel they are getting something of value for free. Again, this all contributes to the kind of positive reputation that can increase blog traffic.
You can also increase your blog traffic by acting proactively outside of it. Seek out and comment on other blogs relevant to your business. You should view this as a continuation of business networking – potentially a highly effective practice, since everyone involved shares a common interest.
Join web forums or discussion groups relevant to your business and become an active participant. LinkedIn especially is a good resource, but you should also search out more on the wider internet.
All of this links back to growing your visibility online, which is the key to help you increase blog traffic. So why not give some of these methods a go? Your blog is a window for the wider world to see your business. To increase your blog traffic is to invite more people to look through it.