14 clever methods to increase your blog traffic
Don’t worry! Almost every blogger is struggling to drive traffic to their website in the beginning, myself included! In this post, I will share my 14 favorite tips with you on how to increase blog traffic in 2021!
With the right tools and tactics, you can easily learn how to increase blog traffic!
All you need is to know HOW to do this. And this HOW is what I will explain here in this blog post. So, grab your notebook and get ready for your blog to receive massive amounts of traffic soon!
Don’t have a blog yet? Start with my blogging guide for beginners and set up your own blog in a matter of a few hours!
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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra. So it’s a win for everyone! Please note that I won’t link any products I don’t believe in or don’t resonate with my blog site. Thank you!
All the tactics I mention in this posted I tested out myself. And each tactic contributed to the growth of my first blog: Inhale The Good Shit and to the growth of this one!
Getting traffic to your blog can be quite challenging
It has been a real challenge for both blogs to find out how to increase blog views, but they’re slowly growing.
Honestly, I have considered giving up quite often. Today, I’m happy I didn’t, because all the hard work is starting to pay off, and I’m attracting more blog views each day! 🙂
However, if I’d had all the knowledge I have now, things could have progressed much faster. Therefore, I would like to share the knowledge with you, that I would have liked to have had myself when I first started.
Hopefully, my tips will help you to increase your blog traffic a whole lot faster than I did!
Is blogging your passion?
Do you have a lot (a whole lot) of patience?
Is writing interesting content one of your best skills?
If so, you have almost all the skills you need to run a successful blog! You just need to learn a little about marketing and promotion to know how to increase blog traffic. That’s all!
To increase your blog traffic and to get more blog views, you have to expand its reach and put your focus on potential readers. There are several ways to do this. I will talk about the methods that work for me in the text below.
Use them, get inspired, and find out which ones work best for you.
How to extend your blog’s reach to increase your blog traffic?
1. Optimize for SEO to increase organic blog traffic
SEO is a well-known abbreviation amongst bloggers, but in case you’re not yet familiar with it, here’s a quick explanation: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means to make content more appealing and easier to find, so the search engines can find your content and rank it higher in the search results. Which means you need to have an SEO marketing strategy.
Learn more about SEO in my SEO marketing strategy guide for beginners!
How to create an SEO marketing strategy?
An important part of your SEO marketing strategy is using keywords/keyphrases in your content, to let the search engines know what your content is about. When someone searches on Google for one of your keywords, your post will appear in the search results.
Did you know…?
Google processes 40,000 search requests per second or 3,500,000,000 queries per day. And each day, around 4,000,000 new blog posts are created globally. This means that you need to stand out in order to appear in the search results. Therefore, you need to create content that your future readers and the search engines will love!
Find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty
To create an SEO-friendly blog, you first need to do keyword research. One of my favorite ways to do this is with Google’s keyword planner, and to select keywords based on the average monthly search volume, the costs per click, and competition. Try to find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty, especially when you’re not ranking yet.
The Google page ranking algorithm doesn’t like keyword stuffers
The Google page ranking algorithm is becoming smarter every day. Previously, search engines were not able to look at the quality of content, and therefore content was mostly ranked based on the presence of keywords. This made people stuff their keywords all over the place, even when the text didn’t make sense anymore.
Search engines are becoming better and better when it comes to evaluating content. This means that to please the Google page ranking algorithm, and thus to rank high in the search results; you first need to focus on writing rich, quality content.
Keyword stuffing is no longer an option in 2021. On the contrary, in 2020, new algorithms can detect keyword stuffing and place your website lower in the search results when it gets detected.
2. Create valuable content
What is valuable content?
Your content is valuable, when it’s of use to your readers, when you solve problems and answer questions, when you do research for them, and summarize the results in a post.
Use Google Autocomplete to discover which questions your future readers are asking about the topics you want to cover on your blog. Which questions are they asking that will direct them to your content? You can use this question as the main topic for your content and provide the answer to it. This way, your readers will be able to benefit from it, and that is what Google finds to be valuable content.
So, monitor the latest trends, search for other questions your target group is asking, and provide them with the answer to those questions in your blog posts to create valuable content that the search engines and your readers want to see.
Why long, in-depth articles help to rank higher in the results of search engines?
When publishing lengthy, in-depth articles, you’ll have more chances to rank for long-tail keywords.
I connect with many bloggers via Tailwind. Tailwind is an online community that allows people within Tribes to support and share each others’ content. I will discuss this further in more detail later on in this post. But the thing that strikes me most is that many of the blog posts that other bloggers submit in this community are very short.
While the titles raise high expectations, they are barely met in the blog posts themselves. You may get clicks to your website, but they won’t be of any value because your readers will end up disappointed and won’t ever come back. It’s not interesting enough.
Do some research, invest some time and effort into your posts. It’s better to write one article that can be used by your readers over and over again as a manual, compared to ten short articles that have no substance to them.
Commit yourself to your readers
I know all this research takes an awful lot of time, but if you want to be a good author, you have to commit yourself to serve your readers, take them seriously, and take your job as a blogger seriously. Your dedication and efforts will eventually be rewarded. Plus, your readers and the search engines will take your website seriously!
By long and detailed, I am talking about a minimum of about 700 words per post. And if you truly want people to notice you, then try to create in-depth articles of 2,500-3,000 words (or even more).
How to write your content around the search intent?
Google determines the search intent (or user intent) for each search query. And based on this intention, Google decides which websites show up in the search results, and in which order. There are three categories for the search intent: information, transaction, and navigation.
The 3 categories of search intent
Is the user looking for information? Does the user want to be navigated to a specific website? Or does he want to make a transaction?
Informational content differs from content that aims at getting the user to do a transaction. Tutorials, how-to-posts, and posts for beginners provide information. A navigational search results in content for users seeking the best possible options: the best…, the top 10… and comparison posts, and a transactional search will result in links directing to online stores.
Once you understand the intention of the user, you can fine-tune your key phrases accordingly. This way, you can increase your posts’ relevance and thus rank higher in the search engines.
3. Start optimizing for Google Voice and Featured Snippets.
Why you should start optimizing your content for Google Voice
Soon, half of all search queries will be voice-controlled. Therefore, Google will seek out content that answers questions that users ask through Voice Search. The featured snippets you see at the top of your search results are the same answers Google also uses to answer search queries that are made by Voice-search. I’m talking about the search results that Google displays at the top of the 1st page. There’s no need to click on a link to see the answer; it’s already there.
Make your content eligible for featured snippets
To make your content eligible to be displayed as a featured snippet or as an answer to a voice-search related search, you need to make sure your content is suitable for this purpose.
How do you qualify for a featured snippet?
To qualify for featured snippets, you need to create content that you base on questions and answers. Formulate questions in your headers and provide a clear and concise answer (between 40 and 60 words) in the following paragraph. Ensure that you formulate the question and its answer accurately. And also make sure your website’s load speed is optimal. Google ranks fast-loading pages above the ones that load slower.
4. Use SEO-tools
To learn more about SEO tools that can help you grow your blog traffic as well, I recommend you to read my blog about my top 10 SEO ranking tools, too!
5. Other methods to increase your rankings in the search results
Getting listed at the top of the search results organically is very hard these days. Especially when your content doesn’t contain any other form of multimedia that text.
Currently, the Google page ranking algorithm evaluates the overall user experience of a website, which must be optimized for the user in the best possible way. For that reason, you should use several forms of multimedia, such as videos and images.
When other users see you as an expert, they will share your posts, and that will result in more backlinks. And when you have a lot of backlinks, Google will take your website more seriously. Because when others share your posts, this must indicate your visitors appreciate your content.
Please do not engage in the so-called link building (collecting backlinks from other websites in a forced way). Each day, Google is getting better in distinguishing valuable/non-valuable, organic/non-organic, and this also goes for recognizing backlinks that aren’t of any value.
Use your keyphrase as your URL and meta-description
You should include your keyphrase in the URL of your blog page, in the headers, and in the meta-description. The meta-description is a small piece of text that gives your readers an indication of the information they can expect to find on this page. This is the text you always see below the link at the top of the search results.
6. Optimize images
Why optimizing your images is great for your SEO
Image optimization is of importance to your SEO because it can reduce loading times, and when you add text to the Alt-tag, it gives your readers and search engines a textual description of the image. Search engines read the Alt-tags of images, and that’s how your images can add to your SEO as well.
How do you optimize images for SEO?
Use quality, high-resolution images that are relevant to your content. Images play a significant role in the user experience of your visitors. This is why you want your images to look absolutely gorgeous. If your images don’t look amazing, this can come across as unprofessional and unreliable, causing your visitors to leave and never come back.
Give a description to the Alt-tags
By adding a brief description in the Alt-tags of your images, the search engines will know what is displayed on them. You should also include your keywords in the name of the image file itself. The crawlers of the search engines can only read the text that you’ve added to the image in the name and Alt-tag, which means that it’s up to you how the crawlers are going to perceive your image.
For fast loading times of your web pages, you should resize your images. Resize the image to the size it will be on your website and make sure to compress the image as well. The WP Smush and the Shortpixel image optimizer plugins are great plugins that will do all the compressing for you while maintaining the quality of your images!
If you are not sure how much your images affect your loading time, then you can use Google Pagespeed Insights to check this.
Anyways, devote some time to optimize your images. It won’t take a lot of time, but it’ll give you back a lot in return.
One more thing! Don’t forget to pay close attention to the copyrights of the images you use. To make it easier for you I listed my favorite websites for you where you can find copyright-free images that you can use for your blog or social media, paid and free!
7. Start pinning on Pinterest
The best thing to do and to learn is promoting your blog on Pinterest. Pinterest is basically a big visual search engine and you can link your content to those images (pins).
The primary purpose of Pinterest is to get ideas and inspiration. So, if you come up with solutions to specific problems, or with suggestions, this platform should be your primary social media platform to promote your blog.
To succeed on Pinterest, you need to create Pinterest-friendly images. Customizing images to meet these requirements increases your chances of getting repinned by other Pinterest users.
Pinterest-friendly images can be created very easily with Canva. In Canva, you select the Pinterest image format, and there you have the choice between numerous customizable templates, or you can completely design one by yourself. Although there is a premium, paid version of Canva, I must say that you can already achieve quite a lot with the free version.
Tips for creating a Pinterest worthy image:
- You should at least include the URL of your blog, your logo, and the title of your post to the pin.
- Use compelling titles that will prompt people to click on your pin to navigate to your website to learn more. For example: How I earn €… per month with… How can / must / do you… (number) tips to … The (number) best ways to…
- Use clear fonts and pick a few fonts that go well together. On Pinterest, you can find many pins with great combos! And in Canva, you can make a brand kit for your designs with the fonts and colors you want to use for all of your pins.
8. Use Tailwind Tribes
Another piece of advice I wish I’d had months ago: Tailwind! Tailwind Tribes are great! Join some Tribes that fit your niche and connect with the other bloggers in that Tribe to share each other’s pins on Pinterest. There’s a free trial version, so you can test it to see whether this works for your blog.
It is also a great Pinterest scheduling tool. You can schedule pins in advance and set up smart loops, saving you the time and energy of manually managing and sharing your content.
The Pinterest algorithm has changed a lot since I first wrote my Tailwind recommendation. If you’re in need of a Pinterest scheduler, Tailwind is still ok to use for bloggers. It’s an official Pinterest partner and therefore safe to use. However, Pinterest wants you to focus on fresh pins, and they don’t appreciate too many repins anymore.
So use Tailwind, but stay on the safe side. Don’t repin your pins more than 2 times, and don’t use the smart loop function.
Another great resource to expand your network is the option to join Facebook Share Threads. Search for Facebook groups for bloggers (within your niche) to connect with other bloggers, ask questions, and share each other’s blogs.
Facebook groups can be found by searching on Facebook for ‘bloggers + your niche’ and then filter the results for groups.
10. Start building a mailing list to send e-mails to your subscribers
A mailing list is a list that people sign up for in order to receive your newsletters and offers.
A mailing list is incredibly valuable because people who sign up for it are genuinely interested in your content. It’s an asset, really! If you don’t start to build this list, interested readers are likely to find their way to your blog once, but may never find their way back without the option to subscribe to your newsletter.
Mailerlite is my preferred service to build a mailing list. The free version is sufficient for beginning bloggers. You can use it for free up to 1,000 subscribers. You can update your plan by the time your blog is expanding.
To get your readers to subscribe to your newsletter, you could offer something in return, like a free checklist, a useful template, or a printable!
And remember to send a welcome mail to your new subscribers, including a thank you note and a few links to a few older posts that might be interesting to them.
11. Connect with your readers and other bloggers
As mentioned before, you should connect with fellow bloggers via Facebook Groups, but also look around for other blogs that fit your niche, particularly those that already have a big audience. Leave useful comments on their posts that will get you noticed by both the blogger and her readers.
When you leave a comment there usually is an entry field to leave your URL with your comment as well. That way, the owner of the blog and her readers, might pay your blog a visit, too if your comment sparked their interest.
Build strong connections with your readers and make sure you always respond to the comments they leave below your posts too.
A Contact page is also an essential page of your blog! Make it a priority to create this page to make sure everyone can get in touch with at all times.
The more your posts are shared, the more traffic you’ll get.
The question is, how do you get people to share your posts?
To get your posts shared, you have to make it easy for your readers to share your content on social networks. You can do this by placing social share buttons on your blog. There are special WordPress plugins to do this. I use the Sassy Social Share plugin for this, it’s free, and you can customize the buttons according to your preferences.
Do not overuse these buttons; just pick a few platforms your readers use the most.
13. Create a system to promote your blog
With so many different channels to share your posts, it’s hard to keep track of the places you’ve already submitted your new posts. That’s why I’ve created a free checklist for you to use to make sure you’re promoting your blog in the most efficient way.
Grab your free copy of my checklist here!
It is smart to keep a small budget for advertising. There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars a month on advertising, but just a small investment can generate lots of extra traffic. Find out which advertising medium works best for you.
Google Ads doesn’t work as well for me as Pinterest ads do. Aside from that, I find Google Ads quite complicated. You lose a lot of time with constantly adjusting your ads and, therefore, also a lot of money. Avoid this in the beginning, and keep it simple. By the time you wish to do more serious advertising, I suggest you take a short course or hire a professional to do this for you.
Getting traffic to your blog takes time. Yet, through hard work, perseverance, and a great passion for blogging, you’ll succeed to increase your blog traffic, too!
Please let me know if this guide on “how to increase blog traffic” has been useful to you. And if you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments below.
Don’t forget to share this post on social media, sharing is caring!