Hi friends! I have a great guest post to share with you tonight: 12 Tips for How to Get More Blog Traffic + Keep Readers Engaged. This post was written by my friend Danielle Zeigler, a business coach who assists with business strategy, social media management, SEO, and blogging. Danielle has been helping me improve SEO for my blog over the past few months now, and I’ve found what she taught me so helpful that I asked if she’d be willing to share some of her best tips with all of you. I know a lot of you are also bloggers, so I hope you find this post helpful! Thank you to Danielle for sharing with us, and if you’re looking for some help with your blog or business strategy, check out her services on her website: Danielle Zeigler Coaching!
Take it away, Danielle!
So – you’re on Facebook, have a consistent blogging schedule, and vaguely know what SEO means. Now what? Dig into these tips to take your traffic to the next level.
Don’t Lose Your Readers
1. Minimize your load time to keep readers engaged. Kissmetrics.com says, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” Excessive ads, buttons and photos can slow it down. Consider what each item is worth and experiment with placement, WordPress plugins, and even removing things that may be hurting your traffic numbers.
a. Check out these 5 ways to speed up your WordPress site.
Up Your Social Media Game
2. Expand beyond Facebook and Twitter. Instagram and Pinterest are excellent for food + healthy living bloggers.
Here are some Pinterest-specific tips to get more traffic:
- The best time to pin is between 2-4pm and 8pm-1am.
- Verify your website so you can track your analytics.
- Use images with text (your post title). Picmonkey.com is great for this.
- Join “community” boards on Pinterest
- Pin guides and tutorials for a 42% higher click-through-rate
- Use hashtags, just like you do for Twitter and Facebook. Either search hashtags before you use them or try Hashtags.org to find popular tags.
- Make sure your pin link works, and make sure it leads to the actual post and not your homepage.
3. Start using StumbleUpon – immediately. SU has helped me triple client’s web traffic, so I highly recommend it. Use these tips to maximize your presence:
- Fill out your profile and interests.
- Make lists to organize your shares.
- Share more than your own content. Get active. Share content from your favorite bloggers, resources and other pages you think will do well.
- Follow other users and interact, much like you do on social networks.
- Make it easy for readers to share your post on SU. Make sure it’s in your line-up of social sharing buttons.
4. Repurpose old blog posts to get the most out of each post. You have new followers all the time who haven’t read your posts.
- Use a Twitter Plugin like “Tweet Old Posts”, or schedule posts to multiple channels with something like Hootsuite. If using Hootsuite, this gives you a chance to pull different quotes from your post and schedule for the future. Get creative! It doesn’t always have to be your post title. Ask questions, use teasers, and play with other titles you thought about using.
5. Maximize traffic through sharing at optimal times on social channels. You can use Hootsuite or a similar automation tool to schedule most of these. Best sharing times:
- Facebook: 1pm – 4pm
- Twitter: 1pm- 3pm
- Pinterest: 2pm-4pm and 8pm-1am
- LinkedIn: 7am-9am and 5pm-6pm
Cozy up to SEO Tactics
7. Use an SEO Plug-in, like “Yoast All in One SEO”, to make sure you cover the basics.
- Fill out the title tag with 60 characters. This is usually your blog title, so make it appealing and share-worthy!
- The meta-description is not used by search engines, but can encourage people to click your link. Google shows around 160 characters.
- Use keywords in your URL and H1 tags. These re-enforce what your post is about to search engines.
8. Break up your text with sub-headings. These help readers scan your post, and all heading tags signal to search engines what your blog post is about.
9. Spend time thinking of a good title. Titles with the most clicks often include:
- Questions (people are typing full questions into Google more often now – Anne’s “How to Make Brussels Sprouts Delicious” post does well here!)
10. Link to related posts within your blog post + have related posts available underneath. These keep readers engaged in your content and increase your page views.
- Use a plug-in like YARPP (Yet Another Related Post Plug-in)
11. Complete the “alt text” for your images. Use keywords that are related to your post but also describe the image. This is another signal to search engines about your blog post topic, and this helps categorize images in searches.
12. Install Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools. These aren’t as intimidating as they may seem! Reasons to utilize these tools:
- See which posts are performing the best. You can also install a WordPress Plug-in, such as Jetpack, to see your stats right on your dashboard.
- Monitor your referral traffic. Which social channels are doing the best? If you’re advertising, is it worth it? Are other bloggers linking to you? If yes, go thank them! :)
- Webmaster Tools can analyze the technical aspects of your blog, like broken links and pages. Not only do these annoy readers, search engines also pick up on them and will penalize your ranking.
What tools and tips have given you the most traffic growth? Anything to add to this list?
Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us, Danielle! I’m going to add some of these tips to my to do list, too. And in the spirit of this post, here are some related posts I’ve written in the past that you guys might find helpful. :)
Also, you’re interested in learning more about the basics of SEO, check out the guest post Danielle wrote for my friend Lindsay recently: SEO 101 – How to Increase Organic Search Traffic for Blog Posts. It’s really helpful!