How to Increase Your Blog Traffic: 5 Proven Strategies
Updated: Mar 29, 2019
It's one of the first questions we often get asked by budding writers...
How do I increase traffic to my blog?
You've worked hard on creating your blog. You're happy with your design, domain name, structure and you've even started publishing great content.
But something is missing. Traffic!
There's nothing more soul destroying than putting massive amounts of time and effort into creating quality articles, waiting for the views and shares to roll in.
But don't despair! All is most definitely not lost.
Ok, so all is not lost, but how do you actually go about increasing traffic to your blog and get it noticed? Is it that easy?
Well, these 5 proven methods for getting more readers to your blog will have you jumping for joy as you see the visits pour in!
Conduct Thorough Keyword Research to Target Qualified Blog Traffic
Keyword research isn't the be all and end all. There, I said it.
But, it still plays a major part in building the foundations for your content.
Clever, thought out keyword targeting can provide an excellent way to increase traffic to your new blog for free.
If your blog is already established, you might be in with a chance of ranking on google for higher volume search terms.
But as we're concentrating on driving traffic to your new blog, it's my duty to tell you that your chances of ranking for these highly competitive keywords are uber slim.
However, there is still a way to rank for highly qualified terms and drive awesome traffic to your new blog.
Embrace the long tail keyword!
Long tail keywords are the holy grail to increase blog traffic fast and for free.
Let's take the title of this blog as an example - "5 Proven Strategies to Increase Traffic to Your New Blog for Free".
Looking at Google's Keyword Planner below, you can see that we havn't targeted the very generic, very competitive terms for our the primary keyword in our title.
Our chances of ranking for the term "increase blog traffic" would be pretty slim. But the term does give us a starting point to branch out from to find longer keywords or phrases to rank for.
So in the end we've used the core term of "increase blog traffic" and elongated it to be "increase traffic to your new blog for free".
Usually the longer your keyword, the more qualified it is and the more specific it is to a searchers needs.
Long tail keywords by default will have lower search volumes and therefore slightly lower traffic.
But, by targeting long tail keywords that we can rank for, the traffic you do receive is highly qualified and relevant.
A constant stream of highly qualified and relevant traffic is exactly what we're looking for!
So, how do you go about finding these long tail keyword gems?
We always highly recommend undertaking your own manual keyword research. Don't take the information in Google Keyword Planner as gospel.
It doesn't always include a thorough breakdown of all the keywords at your disposal and we've grown a little suspicious that it pushes high volume (therefore higher costing) terms in your direction!
Finding your core keywords to branch out from like we highlighted above is your starting point. Now it's time to dig a bit deeper and there's some fantastic free keyword sourcing tools out there we can use.
1. LSI Graph
LSI Graph is an excellent free keyword tool that helps you find long tail keywords as well as keyword variants that are semantically related to your core keyword.
We talk a little more about latent semantic indexing and keywords in our article on landing page optimisation.
UberSuggest is another one of our favourites. Just pop in your primary keyword and a whole load of long tail and keyword variants will be at your finger tips.
As well as sourcing new keyword ideas, Niche Laboratory gives you tons of information related to your primary keyword. From social media influencers to lists of free seo resources on the topic.
With Google Keyword Planner, your own manual research and the above keyword tools in your armoury, you'll be ranking for highly qualified long tail keywords in no time!
Increase Referral Traffic by Becoming Active in Forums and Communities
This is one of the easiest ways to drive referral traffic to your new blog.
You can find hundreds of Digital Marketing forums and communities out there. But make sure you pick the right one's and conform to the community rules!
One of our favourite communities to join to help drive traffic to your blog is Quora. It also happens to be one of the favourites of Neil Patel!
Quora is a community based on the question and answer format. People ask questions to find solutions to their problems and people answer questions to give them solutions.
Answering questions on Quora gives you a chance to share your knowledge with the world, whilst also allowing you to link back to your own content.
Make sure you avoid too much self promotion and link spamming though, the moderators will be right on top of you otherwise!
Best practice is to offer genuine quality and expertise first and then think about plugging your own content second.
Use the search bar in the top navigation to find topics to follow and questions to answer.
You can then use the filters on the left hand side to find suitable content to interact with.
Being active on Quora also allows you to build up your brand. Your profile page lets you give a little more information about your company, as well as giving you space to put in a link to your chosen destination.
Once you've established yourself as a trusted source of information, those referral visits will start to rush through!
As well as Quora, you can also try publishing your content on communities like Growth Hackers and Inbound.
These sites allow you to publish articles in full, but it can take a little more time in terms of engagement with others before you really start to reap the rewards.
Grow Your Social Media Presence to Create Another Stream of Traffic
Having an active presence on social media is one of the simplest ways to increase traffic to your new blog for free.
It takes seconds to set up company profile pages on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest et al.
We've seen the most success on Twitter. You can build a loyal, quality following and reach target audiences in no times at all.
One of our articles outlines some awesome and highly effective ways to get more twitter followers, check it out if you want to become a Twitter pro!
Just recently, we've started to up our activity on Pinterest too, with some pretty impressive results!
In terms of providing quality referral traffic, Pinterest has become a major player over the last couple of years. So much so, treating Pinterest as a search engine is now common practice.
Search engines use keywords to drive their algorithms, this is now no different on Pinterest!
Link Building Outreach to Identify Opportunities to Increase Traffic
This is one area bloggers tend to forget about or not even consider.
Not only does a link building outreach campaign drive traffic to your new blog, those links that you do acquire also drive page authority and SEO 'link juice' to specific pages and your domain.
The more quality links you have pointing to your domain, the higher your website authority.
Higher website authority = Higher rankings for your blog = Increase blog traffic! Win.
So, how do you go about targeting people to link back to your content?
Start off by signing up for a free account on Moz. Then, download their 'Moz Bar' extension.
Moz Bar enables you to see the domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) of websites. The higher the authority linking back to you, the more link juice is passed on to you.
Find websites and blogs within your own niche that have published similar or related articles to you.
Chances are, if you're a new blog you probably won't be getting 60+ domains linking back to you, but aim as high as you can!
Collate a list of as many suitable websites and blogs as possible.
Now you need to find their contact details.
Most half decent sites will have a 'contact us' page somewhere or an email address you can contact.
Once you've found their contact details, it's now time for the fun part of creating an engaging, compelling outreach email that catches the attention and prompts people to want to collaborate (and link back to) with you!
The best outreach emails have an eye-catching subject line and a personable, natural approach.
The guys at Hubspot put together a great article on the subject, outlining 9 link building outreach email techniques.
Optimise Your Meta Data to Entice Traffic From The Search Results Pages
We touched quite heavily on meta data optimisation in our article explaining how to boost your organic click-through rates.
Meta data optimisation is also plays a massive part in driving more traffic to your blog, so it's well worth outlining again!
Your page title and meta description are often the first impression people get of your content, so don't neglect them!
Think of your space in the SERPs (search engine results pages) as a free advertisement, why waste the space to advertise for free?
Let's start with your page title (or meta title).
Your title needs to be engaging and eye-catching, whilst at the same time encompassing what your content is for the searcher.
We'd always recommend including the primary keyword that you want to target within the page title.
Position it as close to the beginning of the title as possible for maximum weight and ranking power.
Make sure you keep your title under 70 characters.
If you want to check out what your organic result might look like, use meta preview tools like the one below from smart search marketing.
It's also worth baring in mind that your page title is now measured by 'pixel width', essentially how much physical space your title is taking up.
Try sticking to below 70 characters still, but also attempt to make your title under 500 pixels to ensure it shows correctly.
Right, so you've optimised your page title. What next?
Time to make your meta description shine!
Your meta description is where you can explain in more detail what your page is about.
A neat little trick; Include your primary keyword and another variant, if it matches with a searchers query, Google will bold it, immediately making your description stand out!
Aim to keep your meta description 155 characters or less, any more than this and Google will likely truncate it with "...".
Talking of truncation however, if you want to be clever you can test writing descriptions that will truncate on purpose.
This could add extra intrigue to your search result and get that click!
How else can you make your meta description stand out in the results pages?
Research by the guys over at Conductor found that including things prices, dates et al can boost your click-through rates by 36%!
So, if you're wondering just how to increase traffic to your new blog for free, the above steps are the best place to start!
Remember though, you can implement all the greatest optimisation strategies and techniques in the world, but if your content doesn't tick the 'quality' box, you won't ever get very far.
Quality content alongside on page and search engine optimisation will build the foundations for an awesome new blog.
Now, what's stopping you? Implement the above strategies and watch the traffic flood in!