There are four primary methods for driving more traffic to your blog. At a high level, those are:
Within these categories, there are numerous marketing tactics to employ. Overall, one mantra to follow is this: Write less, promote more.
Let’s examine how to get your blog noticed using strategies that will produce a real-world impact on your marketing.
Search engine optimization
For starters, your blog has to be noticeable, right? In other words, can people find your blog?
That’s what SEO is for.
SEO gives your blog page big wins by:
- Making it easily navigable from your home page.
- Allowing search engines to properly crawl and index your blog in search results.
- Structuring your sitemap in a way that makes the content on your blog just a click away (and navigating between them seamless).
- Optimizing your content using search-friendly keywords, topics and HTML.
Under the umbrella of SEO, there’s:
1. On-page search engine optimization
On-page SEO = actions that occur on your site.
By optimizing what’s on your site, you can get your blog noticed by search engines and, by extension, searchers. Effective optimizations you should consider include:
- Write blog articles centered around a single root keyword, and use semantic keywords as subtopics and additional points of discussion. Make your post as comprehensive and authoritative as possible for your intended target reader.
- Use keywords strategically throughout your copy, especially within H1 and H2 headers, image alt text, meta description and title tag. Long-tail keywords will make your blog more noticeable to a smaller subset of readers, but they’ll likelier have clearer search intent. Conversely, fat-head keywords have higher search volume, but the search landscape may be much too saturated: Your blog will be invisible in a sea of other blogs.
- Include rich media in your blog posts to make your articles more unique, shareable and clickworthy when shared on your domain or via social and email.
2. Off-page search engine optimization
Off-page SEO = actions that occur outside of your domain.
Blog traffic arrives to your site from many sources, and what’s explicitly laid out within your articles may not be a game-changer. As such, there are other indirect SEO factors to keep in mind. Off-page blog promotion tactics include:
- Being active and responsive on social media. Quality content encourages social sharing which in turn can send more traffic to your blog.
- Guest blogging on reputable, high-authority sites. A guest post through an online industry publication can send valuable referral traffic back to your blog via inbound links.
3. Technical search engine optimization
Technical SEO = actions that pertain to the backend structure of your site and its schema.
The greatest blog content ever created never saw the light of day because the site on which it was published was unsecured, contained broken pages and wasn’t indexable by search engines. Technical SEO fixes these sitewide issues and ensures the structural integrity of your domain’s architecture through tactics like:
- Using a structured data markup tool. A site with unstructured code is harder to crawl and index. Structuring it in a way that’s easy for Google to understand allows your blog to speak Google’s language.
- Increasing page speed. Pages that take more than three3 seconds to load increase bounce rates. Plus, page speed is a Google ranking factor.
- Becoming fully mobile-responsive. More than half of all searches begin on a mobile device, so your blog is only noticeable, really, if it’s adapted to mobile screens.
- Removing or redirecting 404s. Broken links and pages make it hard for Google to crawl your site and serve the best user experience to searchers. Removing them outright or redirecting them to functional destinations increases your odds of having a page appear in SERPs.
Social media promotion
Social media is a great source of blog traffic generation since there are many platforms on which to promote your content and your brand.
Though results are variable and heavily industry-dependent, respondents to a Search Engine Journal poll ranked their top traffic-producing social feeds as:
Here are some key tactics to use:
4. Incentivize comments and engagement
Encourage followers to comment, like and share your content, whether they are blog articles, auto-play videos, photography or interactive content like quizzes, polls or hashtag campaigns.
You voted, I was gonna do this one either way. pic.twitter.com/gUJtBiWskm
— Moosejaw (@MoosejawMadness) December 11, 2019
As your engagement metrics rise, social media algorithms will push your posts higher up followers’ (and followers of followers’) feeds. This momentum can thus generate even higher engagement and click-through rates. That equals more traffic arriving to your site.
5. Share multiple types of content in diverse formats
Following the same posting schedule without mixing up the types of content you’re sharing will quickly result in your promotions becoming stale. Sure, there’s an audience for long-form content and technical subject matter, but in measured doses calibrated to your intended readers.
Publish other forms of content that either live on your blog page or that are part of a larger campaign that syncs with your current blog themes, like:
- Product release announcements.
- Video testimonials.
- Industry research.
- Charts, data and other numerical-based visuals.
- Commentary on social trends and conversations.
6. Perfect your teaser text and CTAs
You don’t have to post entire chunks of a blog post onto your social networks. The same goes for a 30-minute webinar you recently hosted.
Instead, publish just a snippet of information, hashtags and associated links back to your blog.
Allow your social images, captions and meta descriptions to speak for your larger post. If followers want to see more, they can hop over to your blog for the full effect. More traffic for you!
Distributing your content via email is a must-have. Email marketing is a machine in the content marketing space, and it generates the highest ROI.
The great thing about emails, too, is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can use free online templates, custom designs or a mix of both via your preferred email automation platform.
Here are some great tactics to consider:
7. Send a weekly blog roundup or newsletter
Email is a short-form content distribution method, so curating digestible snippets of information into a seamless reader experience is key.
Send a weekly email to your email database that includes any trends, talking points or topics they might find interesting. Link those readers back to your blog with CTAs in your email.
You can include infographics, custom images, GIFs, company announcements and article teasers to create an eclectic mix of clickable content.
For even better results, use your buyer personas to segment your email list by audience interest and lead quality. That way you’re not blasting your entire database with the same batch of content. Instead, you can configure your email sends to be targeted to specific subsets of prospects and blog readers.
8. Send experience-focused blog content to mid- and bottom-of-funnel leads
Not all readers are created equal.
While your weekly email sends address a wide swath of your readership and their respective phases in the funnel, you should also send hyper-specific content to individual readers provided they meet certain criteria.
For instance, if you’ve already engaged with a prospect multiple times and you know they are mere days or weeks from potentially making a purchasing decision, sending them a personalized email with curated content can be a real needle-mover. By that we mean sending only your best, industry-specific, audience-focused blog content that definitively solves a problem or helps them in some tangible way.
In other words, if someone prefers visual case studies, send them visual case studies – not your templated mix of articles and graphics.
Promoting your blog as a funnel-agnostic asset allows you to leverage it for multiple purposes.
Because credible backlinks from authoritative websites are a top-three3 Google ranking factor, few promotion channels are as important to the performance of your blog as a successful link-building campaign.
Here are a few ways to increase blog traffic with link building:
9. Network with high-traffic publications
As mentioned above in our off-page SEO section, guest blogging in doses can be beneficial to your blog promotion. The reason is that posting your content on external sites increases readership, particularly on high-engagement industry sites.
So, in the content marketing arena, a guest post on Search Engine Journal or Moz, for example, would allow you to speak directly to your industry peers and high-intent audience.
Including links back to your site within those posts then gives your newfound readers a clickable avenue back to your domain. That means an uptick in referral traffic that you couldn’t have achieved otherwise.
10. Earn organic links with proprietary research
A persistent problem content marketers face is the ubiquity of posts that already exist on a given topic. For instance, there are 477,000,000 live search results that cover “blog promotion.” That’s steep competition.
To overcome diminishing returns in a crowded field, create content that is wholly unique to your company’s proprietary data. Think surveys, studies, polls or analytics that only your brand has access to, or that you chose to devise for the purpose of publication.
An SEMrush study found that SEOs believe their most effective link building tactic is publishing proprietary research.
And it makes sense.
If there’s literally a single web page available on the internet that offers key information, there’s only one web page to link to: yours.
11. Create internal link arteries
Link building is for generating quality inbound links from external domains. But don’t overlook what you can completely control on your own site: internal linking.
Once blog visitors arrive to your site, your internal links provide them additional pathways for navigating through the rest of your blog posts and landing pages. That way, they don’t bounce after a short session.
Instead, they have multiple opportunities and next steps to interact with you. This often takes the form of visitors clicking on related blog posts, CTAs or form fills.
The result is that the blog traffic you’re generating isn’t a one-time win: It’s a flywheel that keeps producing more victories for your SEO and promotions.
In every blog post, include several internal links to other content where relevant.
With a comprehensive blog promotions strategy you can improve your search engine ranking, make your marketing more dynamic and boost your traffic enormously.
Comment below with your winning tactics!