Let's face it. Traffic usually gets a bad rap. Bumper to bumper, slower than a slug, traffic. Yuck!
But put the word 'Traffic' in the context of your blog or website and the ears of every blog crazed internet marketer will perk right up.
When it comes to our blogs, we crave traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. Getting traffic to your website is what just about every serious internet marketer or blog owner craves, and yet, it alludes many.
The question of, "How do I get more people to my website?", is one that can keep you up at night. You read and read and think and plan, but... what works?
SEO? Social Media? Content? YouTube?
You can spend hours and hours reading of how to increase traffic to your website, but by the end of the day your head will be pounding. I mean just look at the number of results that pop up in Google when you ask, 'How To increase traffic to your blog'
Over 68 million results! (*wheeze, cough, sputter*) Talk about information overload!
But the truth is, more than half of what you'll read online about SEO just plain crap. Most of the information you'll read is outdated and many who implement these so called tactics will find it has damaging effects on their blog and readership.
So what do you do? How do you increase your blog's traffic, while turning those unique visitors into customers without being annoying?
This blog post will help.
Build Out Awesome Content
I know, I know. You want a magic trick to start flooding your site with hundreds of thousands of viewers. But let me just state something here.
There is no fast way to increase your blog traffic.
Unless you're someone well known with a large following from some other avenue, online or otherwise, you're going to be trudging up this hill for a while.
You can't launch a site with little to no content on it today and expect to be getting 100,000 unique visitors in your first month. In fact, you shouldn't even expect that in your first year. Granted, there are exceptions to this, but in general, this is what happens.
Now, there are methods that help move things along, but everything will take time. And what works for one person, will not always work for another.
Every blog is different. The audience you're targeting will be different to that of many other blogs. There are avenues you can try, but this tip should never be forgotten.
Building out your content is the first step towards more traffic.
This can be overwhelming to think about, I know.
There are all those gurus out there telling you that your posts should 800 words long, and other say they should be 2000 words long. You're told that you should focus on keywords, and spend hours to find the perfect one for your post.
In my experience as both a blogger and blog reader, there is one tip that I've come to learn to follow.
Write for your readers. Don't think so much about what Google wants. She's always changing.
Don't drag your content on and on just to get it to a specific word count. This will annoy readers and bore them to death. (I can just hear Ben Stiens dry voice in the background. "Bueller? Bueller?")
Instead, think about what your audience wants. They're the ones who will become your customers and your mini internet marketers. Do they like shorter posts, or longer ones? If they like it, they'll tweet it or share in on Facebook.
Does Google tweet your blog posts? No. No she does not. Studies have shown that adding content to your site up to 5 times a week, especially when you're starting out, can boost traffic.
Need help pushing out that kind of content? Find a quality blogger to help ease the load a bit.
This can be a bit of a tricky one. However, one of the best ways to build authority online is through guest posting.
Finding a site with a decent readership in your niche of choice can build your online "street cred" and help with traffic to your site.
Let's be clear though. Don't be spammy if you try this. You can't write a crappy article in hopes of getting gold.
Matt Cutts of Google went on a bit of a rant about spammy guest posts, and though he apologized for slamming bloggers, he meant what he said.
Don't be a Spam Artist!
If you write a guest post, think of the audience there as your future audience. Be informative, helpful, and a bit funny–if you can find a way to sneak that in. People enjoy this, and if you captivate them well enough, they'll likely check out your site in the Author Bio box which will result in more viewers.
Even if you don't get a DoFollow link out of it, if you can have a link back to your site that is NoFollow on a site with a large readership, it can be well worth it.
Master The Art Of The Bait And Hook
The Bait and Hook is technique that can work amazingly well if you know what you're doing. A great title can increase your Click-Through-Rate and help increase your traffic.
Just what is the Bait and Hook technique? It's two fold.
The "Bait" would be the Title of your blog post that shows up in Google Search. The "Hook" would be the first few lines on of your post and it will make or break all your efforts.
Wait... Did I just not too subtly refer to online readers as fish?
Yup. I did. And it's fitting.
Did you know the average attention span of people online is between 5 and 8 seconds? That's less than a Goldfish...
You have that short amount of time to lure them over, get on the hook and reel them in.
This is an art that people like Jon Morrow have mastered. (I bow to thee, Sensi Morrow)
But be warned.
You're Bait Title should always relate to your content or your going to see a HUGE bounce rate. This pretty much undoes everything in your just tried to accomplish.
It's like hooking a fish on your line only to have the line break. Arg!
Your first few paragraphs can have a large impact on weather a visitor will stay or leave your page, but your whole post should keep their attention.
Pictures, Gif's and Infographics are a great way to keep their attention and this will also help increase your social shares.
Don't completely forget about Google though. We recently wrapped up a post on building a blog that Google loves. I highly suggest you read that as well as the article by Joe Fylan about decreasing bounce rates on your site.
Both go over some excellent tips to help you with traffic and sustaining viewership.
These 3 methods are going to be your foundation for building your online empire. Social Media works when used right. YouTube can be a good traffic source. Heck, even free podcasts work!
But nothing trumps great content, building authority in your field and mastering the art of captivating your audience. So dig in, get your hands dirty and be patient. You efforts will pay off in the long run!