Blogging is easy, right? You write a post, hit publish, and then suddenly hundreds of people suddenly start visiting your page to read what you wrote! NOT!! The reality is that blogging does take effort – choosing content to write about, selecting the right SEO keywords, formatting the post, and getting people to actually come to your website all require strategy and effort. So many bloggers struggle with getting decent traffic to their sites because they are missing some of the key components. For those struggling with how to increase blog traffic, there are typically three mistakes that are costing you that beloved traffic!
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Side note: If you happen to have landed on this post and haven't quite yet started your blog or just getting started and could use some helpful tips, you definitely want to read this post on How to Start a Blog which includes video tutorials and a comprehensive course to walk you thru the steps!
How to Increase Blog Traffic
Getting people to read out posts – that's what we all strive for as bloggers, right? Unfortunately, many new bloggers get stuck in the pattern of having to rely on reciprocation and share threads to get any amount of blog traffic for their published posts. So how do you increase blog traffic by getting people to your blog naturally (organically)? There are three things that you aren't doing or don't have which are costing you huge amounts of blog traffic!
1. SEO for Blog Traffic
SEO (search engine optimization) is the most important first step for gaining natural, organic traffic to your blog. Are you choosing the right SEO keywords and using them in the right places to help you rank on search engines? Basically, SEO is the word or word phrase someone would type into a search engine (like Google or Yahoo) to find the type of content you are writing about. Sure, you can just slap some text together about any topic you want, but if you want others to find it, it has to have the right SEO keyword(s). A common misunderstanding is that if you use Yoast SEO (which you should be using) and get the green light, then you are good to go for SEO. That is both correct and incorrect!
Yoast SEO is the best way to ensure you are using your SEO keyword in the right places – BUT – you must have chosen the right keyword to plug into it! You may get a green light but that only means you've put the word in all the right places to help you rank. If you've chosen a word/word phrase that no one is searching for – your post still won't see any traffic because no one is looking for what you are trying to rank for! So how do you figure out a good SEO keyword? There are several SEO keyword search tools that you can use to help narrow down a good choice for your content. I use Ubersuggest (because it's free) and you can also use the Google Keyword Planner from your Google Adwords dashboard (also free). Here is a quick video that explains how to use Ubersuggest to find your keyword.
Once you begin using a keyword or word phrase that people are actually searching for, your post will start showing up in search results and traffic to your site will increase!
Be sure to also check out:
- My Favorite WordPress Plugins for Increasing Blog Traffic, Subscribers, and Income
- Must Have Tools and Resources for New Bloggers
- Awesome List of Freebies to Grow Your Blog or Business
2. Social Sharing Buttons
Are your social share buttons displayed for maximum success? This is one of my biggest irritations when visiting other blogs. I really enjoy their content and want to share it but either I can't find their buttons or they don't have the option to share it on my chosen platform! There are key things to keep in mind in regard to social share buttons to ensure your content is shared:
- More than one set
- Make them bold and highly visible
- Share across all platforms
I highly recommend against using the social share buttons that come with your WordPress dashboard settings. Instead, I recommend using a plugin such as Sumo or Social Warfare. The buttons that come with your theme have limited functions and just really aren't that pretty or enticing. With Sumo and Social Warfare, you can enable them in multiple locations (top of post, end of post, and scrolling along the side). Why is that important? You never know at what point while reading your post that they suddenly feel the need to share it. Having them in multiple places makes them super easy to find when they are ready to share!
Aside from having them in multiple locations, they need to be bold and big! I know, the bright colors often clash with your blog theme, right? That's OK! They aren't meant to blend in. I was on a blog recently and it was such a beautifully laid out page and I really wanted to share it on Pinterest. I swear I spent like 5 minutes searching for the share button. Funny thing – it was right there immediately after the post but the buttons looked exactly like other buttons on the page – they were so well-blended into the theme that I couldn't see them even though they were right in front of me! Share buttons aren't meant to be pretty – they are there so others can share your content so they need to be boldly visible!
The final thing to keep in mind when understanding how to increase blog traffic with your social share buttons is to ensure your visitors can share your content across all social sharing platforms! Many bloggers only put buttons for the platforms they have an account on (typically Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). Not everyone uses those platforms and many actually use platforms that you may not even know exist! I was reviewing my analytics one day when I was still a new blogger and noticed I was getting significant traffic from this thing called StumbleUpon. I had no idea what it was but is sure as heck was sending traffic to my site! I soon realized it was another platform for bloggers to share content and although I didn't have a StumbleUpon button, someone had shared my content there and I was now getting blog traffic from it!
You don't want to have like a million buttons showing on your page, which is why using a plugin like Sumo or Social Warfare comes in super handy! You are able to set your top share buttons plus a button that, when clicked, opens up a box which lists ALL current platforms for sharing. You don't need to have an account with these for others to share your stuff. Once you have that option, you will see your blog traffic increase for sure!
3. No Pinterest-Worthy or Pinnable Image
Even if you haven't mastered the SEO game, you can still generate massive blog traffic via Pinterest! If you don't know – Pinterest drives more traffic to blogs than most search engines and is often overlooked in planning out a blog strategy! Pinterest (second only to SEO) is the answer to how to increase blog traffic! As you visit various blogs, you may notice that some have a nice, sizeable image with the blog post title on it somewhere on the post. You may also visit some that only have simple images (no text). Chances are, the images without text are not getting shared on Pinterest. Why would they? What board would they save it to? If they did save it, how would anyone know that it wasn't just a pretty image but actually an image that can be clicked on leading to other content?
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Do you want to know how to increase blog traffic? Have at least one Pinterest worthy (pinnable) image on each blog post! Your job is not just to write content, but to provide the means for others to share it. Your image must show that it leads to a written article about a specific topic so that others will know they can get there by clicking. You'll see even better results by having an additional image “hidden” to where it only shows up when they click the share/pin button. Here is a short video that explains what the whole “hiding pins” thing is about and why it is so important. Once you've published a post, you should immediately pin the pinnable image from your post right to your blog board on your Pinterest account. Then, your Pinterest followers will be able to see it and possibly repin to their own boards!
Another important factor in adding images (pinnable or not) to your blog post is to ensure they are formatted with the right Pinterest SEO and Pinterest description text. This is necessary to ensure the pin description says what you want it to say when someone pins it to a board. (Pinterest works on SEO as well). All of this hiding and Pinterest SEO can be done manually, but it is super-confusing and one missing piece of code will mess the whole thing up. Fortunately, there is a plugin called Tasty Pins that makes it very simple and easy and no messing around with the HTML code is required. When I first tried doing it manually, I always managed to delete a character of the code and, as a result, my pin wouldn't display correctly. I was so excited to find Tasty Pins because it allows me to add Pinterest text and the correct SEO alt text for all images on my post (which is important for getting the green light with Yoast SEO). Tasty Pins also enables you to hide multiple images on your post. This is important because can share multiple pins (different design/color palette/etc) for the same blog post which will boost traffic to it! Check out Tasty Pins for yourself and see just how easy it is!
So there you have it! Stop wondering how to increase blog traffic and get to work on the fixing these mistakes. Soon enough you will begin seeing those visitors and page views climb! If you are new to the blogging world and could use some additional tips, enroll in the Get Your Blog On course which literally walks you through everything from picking the right niche, choosing a platform and host, what free plugins you need (and which paid ones are nice to have), how to set up your email and subscriber form, how to navigate your dashboard, and so much more. You won't find a more comprehensive course out there. I created this course after taking those expensive ones and realizing most new bloggers could not afford to spend that kind of money! Also, be sure to get connected to my private group – Girl Bosses Rock Tribe Blogging Bootcamp – which was created specifically to help new bloggers figure it all out!