Blogging is one of the most valuable content types you can invest in which is why so many organisations do it. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links to their website and B2B bloggers generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. If your business blog is hovering in the stratosphere but you’ve got galactic ambitions, these 11 tips show you how to increase traffic to your blog and help you blast off for the big time.
1. Take a Giving Mindset
Blogging is a great way to communicate with customers and prospects but it can be tempting to make it all about you. Take a giving mindset and make every post a gift to your audience; you might not get a gift back straight away, but if you know what your audience wants, your gift will be appreciated. By putting your audience first, you’ll gain their trust and be well-placed when it’s their time to buy.
2. Customise Your Content
Guessing who reads your blog might have been ok a decade ago, but today you’re competing against other, more targeted, blogs. Leading marketers invest in customer personas to gain insights about their customers’ interests, concerns, social media preferences and more. Then they use this knowledge to develop appealing blog topics written in a style that speaks to their readers. With 90% of consumers finding the customised content useful, adopting this tactic for your blog will attract more of the right kind of clients.
3. Mix Up Your Content Types
Your customer personas can also help you understand the types of content your customers like. Two-thirds of the population are visual learners so video, infographics or graphs and charts will convey information in a visually appealing, digestible format. According to Edison Research, podcast consumption grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. Consider providing audio content so your customers can engage with you at times they previously couldn’t e.g. when cooking or driving. Multiple formats will appeal to a wider audience that consumes its content in different ways.
4. Go Beyond SEO
You should know how to get blog traffic with SEO by now (if you don’t, click on the link at the end of this article). But analysing keywords is only part of the picture. Instead of turning to analytics, why not turn to your customers instead? Take a trusted client to lunch and have (gasp) a real-life conversation. You’ll learn more about the problems they face, get on the spot feedback about your solutions and you’ll also hear the words and phrases they use. Feed these insights into your blog content to demonstrate a deeper understanding of your audience.
5. Develop Sticky Headlines
In a time-short, information-laden world, we can forgive audiences for only reading the most useful or interesting content. Which is why your headline needs to align with what your audience is looking for by including the most relevant SEO keywords. But not all headlines are born equal and different headlines work better for different audiences. This is a blog post in itself.
6. Create and Edit Separately
A top tip for tip top content is to separate out the creative process from the editing process. Take two days to generate one piece of content. On day one, you’ll use the left side of your brain to get your ideas down (whether written, on video or as an infographic or some other format). On day two, you’ll engage the right side of your brain to spot errors and methodically edit until your content makes complete sense and flows.
7. Remain Inspired, Randomly
Neuroscience has shown that screen culture negatively impacts how we learn. Because the information we consume digitally lacks metaphor and abstract concepts, we take information in but fail to connect it to improve our knowledge. What’s this got to do with how to increase traffic on blogs? Your blog is all about answering problems and providing solutions. And anything that results in a deeper understanding of your explanations will be more effective.
Include imagery through metaphors or join seemingly unconnected topics to take your audience on an unforgettable journey. Review your blog post ideas and challenge yourself to link your product or service with something seemingly unrelated. Your memorable content will cut through and keep audiences coming back.
8. Be Consistent
Blogs that post regularly present the business as one that’s reliable. To stay on track, use an editorial calendar that sets out keywords, post titles, blog outlines, format, CTAs and due dates. Block out the time you need to generate content in your diary (two days’ minimum) and then do it.
9. Repurpose, Reprocess, Reuse
Not all blog content needs to be new. Take a second look at your existing material with the benefit of hindsight; do changes such as new technical solutions or amendments to legislation give you a different angle? If you’re going to use an existing piece, be sure to only repurpose the most popular posts to send your blog traffic ski high.
10. Invite a Guest
Generating blog content takes time. To relieve the pressure, invite a guest blogger to fill one of your slots. If you can get someone related to your industry, you’re also likely to be seen by their social media followers. Scratch your guest blogger’s back by including a short bio at the bottom of their post with a link back to their website for an SEO boost. Plan your guest posts strategically to gain a new voice and keep your blog feeling fresh.
11. Don’t Leave Them Hanging
A blog post without a clear call to action is like a raised hand no-one high fives - awkward. Tell your reader what you want them to do next. Whether that’s comment, visit, find out more or buy. Your Call to Action (CTA) should be aligned to the reader’s position in the buyer journey. If your blog is aimed at raising awareness, a ‘buy now’ CTA is misplaced. But if your content is focussed on a case study of your product or service, directing prospects to an article with more information and not to your website will make them feel you don’t want their business.
With over 2 million new blog posts each day, these tips will help your blog stand out from the crowd. If you’re still looking for inspiration on how to increase traffic to your blog, download this HubSpot eBook on ‘Increasing Blog Readers’.