How do bloggers get traffic? Can having a blog get traffic to your site?
First, let’s remember that when we say traffic, we mean people – people coming to your blog to read content that is: useful, helpful, entertaining, informative and it fulfills a need and/or want. And of course, this must be provided in a way that they find you.
This means that you have two audiences – your visitor/guest/customer and the search engines who deliver them to you.
You are writing the actual content for people who visit you, while you are also writing to optimize the content for the search engines.
Table of Contents
- Keep the Guest Happy
- Keep the Search Engine Happy
- Take Action!
1. Get Traffic – Keep the guest happy
When someone is a guest in your home, what do you do? You invite them in, try to make them comfortable, offer them something that they want. You spend time with them and when they leave, you hope that they are happy and want to come back. (Unless they are a bad guest, who no one ever wants to return. Funny, that’s the same online, too!)
Ask yourself – who do you want to come and visit? What do you want them to get from it i.e. what do you want to give them? What would you love for them to tell other people about your blog?
Key point: Write a post as if you are writing it for an actual person who asked you a question or described some problem or need that they have and need an answer or a solution.
If you solve their problem on their first visit, you can bet they will want to come back when they have another problem. And you can be sure that they will recommend you when someone else has a problem or need something that you offer, either in the way of content, product or service.
What else do you hope for your visitor? You want them to be engaged the entire time and to read through to the end of the post, and if they have time, stay longer to look at the other posts. And if not, you want them to have such a good experience that they come back for another visit.
Thinking of your visitor
Just like the furniture in your home, you organize the content in a way that leads
your guest through it, comfortable and interested the whole time. You space things out so it is easy to read, provide lists or bullet points when you can. Add images, charts, graphs anything that makes it easier and more fun for them to be there. A guest sitting in that “comfortable chair” will be more likely to want to spend more time, and return.
And you want your guest to leave singing your praises, telling his/her friends all about this post they just read. Help them to do this by providing social media buttons at the bottom of each and every post.
A key tip is to provide clear focused content in each post. If your guest visits you for breakfast, don’t also try to include lunch and dinner. Stick to one focused topic per post. And yes, this is difficult to do – ask any writer! If you feel yourself wanting to add extra, write a new, separate post.
As an example, in this post I am trying to stick to the 2 simple principles of deliver content the customer wants in a way that helps the search engine deliver them to you. I strongly believe that truly understanding these 2 concepts will help you immensely and make content creation easier for you.
For blogging to get traffic, first write with the visitor in mind. It is always all about the customer!
2. Get Traffic – Keep the Search Engine Happy
Blogging to get traffic also means that the search engine must deliver the traffic to you.
The search engine is like the taxi driver bringing your guest. How does the taxi know where to go?
Maybe the passenger has the address, referred from a happy guest above.
Or maybe the guest gets in the cab and says, “Can you help me – I need to find X.” If the cab knows your spot and heard from other people that you have X and do a fine job of it, he will say “I know just where to take you” and his passenger becomes your guest there. He has learned your address from previous exposure or chosen you from a list offering the same thing.
How does the search engine (okay, usually Google) find you? It looks for the address which in internet terms is the keywords that are used in your name, or the title of an article and throughout your post. It also has a few other things that it uses to decide if it will take the potential guest to your site or someone else’s. And it will look at your history or reputation – have you been around for a while, is this the only one that you have or are you really legit?
These things answer those questions and are liked by the search engines:
Regular, Original and Clear Content that Answers Questions
- Regular content – ideally, write a new post every day. But if you can’t, write on a regular schedule i.e. once a week, or every Sunday and Wednesday. Try and follow the schedule.
- Original content – as in, no plagiarization! It’s perfectly legitimate to use other people information and quotes if you reference it. In fact, this is actually a plus and a source of external links, mentioned below. But even with that, try to re-write the information in an original way, with your own ideas and opinions. Or of course, provide completely original information!
- To answer questions – when you think about it, this is pretty much the whole point of a search engine. If you are answering people’s questions, on a consistent basis, you are helping the search engine
- Clarity – the clearer that you are in what your blog is about, the easier it is to write blog posts and the easier it is to be found by the search engines i.e. people. You can’t be all things to all people. Just be you and deliver what you want. This is often a hard concept to follow, but truly does pay off. Be specific and stick to it!
Play the Long Game
- A body of work – it takes some time for the search engine to figure out who and what you are. You must create a body of work to be able to do that. While it may happen sooner, aim to have 50 blog posts.
- External links – give credibility to your site. It is a way for Google or any search engine to see that you are drawing from and/or referring to other sites, and the higher quality the other site, the better. So obviously, don’t provide external to questionable sites or anything spammy.
- Internal links – are links within your site i.e. a link in one post to another one of your own blog post or phots. This is evidence to Google that you have a body of relevant work.
Make Sure to Have These
- Images – can be photos, vector images, graphs, etc. Original is good but if you use images from another source, always credit the source.
- Videos – are another format that Google loves. You can embed or link, again giving credit to its source.
- SEO – Keywords and phrases – the search engines care about delivering quality content to their users.
They find you with your use of keywords and phrases in the content, but if they find that you are overusing them, they will penalize you. Use a tool like Yoast to help you to use the optimal number per post.
3. Take Action!
When you write your next post, think of a person coming to your site as a potential guest being delivered. Why would they get delivered to you? Will you give them what they came for?
It can be tempting to skip a day, or a week, or even to get discouraged if you don’t see results – especially if you have just posted a brilliant article! Just remember that you are building a business, and as tempting as it is to want each blog post to be the one that brings you the traffic, remember that blogging is playing the long game. Post on a regular basis using the concepts and principles described here and it will happen.
To master the content game and get all the secrets to profitable content, get started with this.