A blog is an important asset to any business. It allows you to gain visibility as a thought leader, engages your audience in conversation, and acts as link bait. But you can only reap these benefits if you can actually get visitors to your blog. By now, we all know that content is king and that creating remarkable content on a regular basis will pay off sooner or later. But here are some simple strategies you can apply to each of your blog posts that will make your blog traffic soar quickly.
1. Make Your Blog Title Interesting and Engaging
The title is the most important part of each of your blog articles. You could have written the most remarkable content in the history of the blogosphere, but people won’t read it if they weren’t intrigued enough by the post title to click through. Also think of your blog title as a subject line; people will see your blog title in their email (if they’re email RSS subscribers), on Twitter, on Facebook, and in the search engines. Your blog title has to be engaging enough to break through the clutter on all of these channels. Here are some blog title strategies that work well:
- Use numbers (examples: “5 easy ways to” or “7 best strategies for”)
- Start with “How to”
- Use relevant keywords people are searching for
- Include benefit to reader (examples: “get more visitors” or “reduce costs”)
- Be controversial (example: “ Is PR dead? ”)
- Be specific - don’t fill your title with puns or try to be too clever
- Be unique
2. Make Your Content Easy to Read
Once you get people to click through to your blog post, your article should be very easy to read so that visitors can quickly decide that your content is worth sharing. The average Internet user is impatient; if you have paragraphs of dense text, or if your content doesn’t flow, your reader will quickly navigate away without commenting or sharing. Here are some ways to make your content easy to read:
- Use numbered lists
- Use <h2> tags for subheadings to separate content
- Use bullet points to break up large sections of text
- Bold important statements for emphasis
- Write at a high-school level. Don’t use too many “big” words or technical jargon.
3. Make Your Content Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
Search engine optimization is necessary if you want people to find your blog via Google, Yahoo, or Bing. However, you don’t want to just write for the search engines; you want to write for people. It’s a delicate balance, but here are some tips to help you optimize each of your blog posts:
- Meta title: The meta title will be your blog post title; put keywords as close to the front as you can, keep it under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off, and make each blog title unique
- Meta description: The meta description should be more than just an excerpt; it should be a summary of the article that includes keywords. These keywords will be bolded in the search results when people search for them, which will attract their attention.
- Header tags: Use <h2> tags when creating section headers instead of just using bolded text.
- Internal links: Link to other relevant articles in your blog using keyword-rich anchor text.
4. Encourage Interaction
If you want your readers to comment on your blog posts, ask them to! I always add a question in bold to the end of each blog post encouraging readers to comment. It’s an easy way to let your readers know that you care about their opinions and want to hear their thoughts. Also, encourage interaction on your social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter, using this same question strategy.
5. Include Social Sharing Buttons
Make it easy for your readers to share your content with their social networks, which will get you even more readers. Standard buttons include Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Like, LinkedIn, and you could add others that are relevant to your blog topic.
6. Link to Other Relevant Blogs
If you mention something in your blog post that you know has been written about in another industry blog, link to that blog with relevant anchor text. That blog’s author will likely see that you’re linking to them when investigating their traffic sources. You can add an insightful comment on that article you’ve linked to, with a “by the way, I’ve linked to this article on my blog, since I thought it was worth letting my readers know about.” If your comment was meaningful, you’ll get new visitors to click through, and you could even get that blog author to reciprocate!
How have you gotten more readers to your blog? Share your #7 in the comments below!
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