15 Quick Tips to Boost Blog Traffic

15-quick-tips-to-boost-blog-traffic

1. Connect your profiles. Does your Twitter page have your website listed in the bio? Does your Facebook link to your blog? Does your blog have links to all your social media profiles clearly listed? Make it easy for people to connect with you on the platform of their choice, and make sure all platforms can clearly direct people to your blog. Voila! Easy traffic.

2. Set up a newsletter subscription. You might entice readers with a free PDF if they sign up for your email list, or you might offer a special 3-part course to help them learn more about the services you offer. You also might offer a coupon. Whatever you do, set up some kind of reward and get people to sign up for a subscription via newsletter. Of course, this means you’ll have to occasionally send out updates, but people who are willing to give you their email address are much more likely to return in the future and purchase your products, so it isn’t the same as blasting them unwarranted.

3. Offer RSS feed subscriptions or simple blog subscriptions. Not everyone wants to sign up for a newsletter. But many people will sign up to read new updates. So enable the widgets on WordPress for people to easily subscribe to your blog via email or RSS feed–if you don’t use WordPress, there are also options to do this in Blogger, as well as through your own website. (You’ll have to speak to your developer about this.)

4. Send out notifications of your updates on social media. So not only do you have to make sure your profiles connect to each other and that people can easily subscribe to your blog and social media, but you also have to make sure that you send out updates automatically about your brand new post. You can set it up in WordPress to publicize to your connected accounts as soon as a post goes live (and you can do so in Blogger as well).

5. Schedule posts ahead of time. Have a hectic life with not a lot of extra time to blog? Well, why not try scheduling posts ahead of time? If you have one day that you can dedicate to writing the next month’s posts, do it. Then schedule them to go live whenever you want. Your posts will go out reliably when you need them to, and you can focus on doing other things until you’re ready to write again.

6. Include links to your newsletter in your sidebars/widget areas. When you set up your blog, make sure sidebars, menus, and widget areas are full of great information–like how to connect with you on social media and how to sign up for your newsletter. Doing this is a great way to make sure that you stay in contact with your fans who really want to hear from you–they gave you their email, after all, so they’ll be eager to read what you send them!

7. Install Sniply and watch your clickthrough traffic grow. If you haven’t heard of Sniply, you’ll definitely want to check it out. How does it work? You can set it up so that, when a visitor clicks a link you provide (be it on your site or through social media), they’ll not only see the article you’re linking to, but they’ll also see a little bubble in the corner of their screen. This bubble includes a space to include a catchy, customizable call to action, as well as a button that links back to your blog.

So how is this beneficial to you? Well, when you link to a site other than your own (say, a blog you enjoy linking to), people who follow that link will see an opportunity to be led back to your site whenever they’re ready. So you’re promoting your work while promoting the work of others simultaneously. Pretty cool, huh?

8. Offer to do guest posts for other blogs in your niche. If you enjoy blogging (and presumably, you do!), you might want to branch out and offer your services to other bloggers. Now, this might seem counterproductive–when do you have the time to write for other sites, after all?–but it’s not. You can build relationships with other bloggers, who will then promote your work alongside their own. You can also earn links to your site by including them in your byline. All in all, guest blogging is an easy way to earn links and get clicks to your site.

9. Post comments on other blogs. If you’re not feeling up to offering a guest post, another great way to get involved with other blogs is to leave friendly comments on recent posts. Usually you’ll have to set up a profile to do so, which allows you to have a branded profile image as well as a link to your own site in one convenient spot. People can then visit you by following the links in your profile!

10. Join Google+ communities and offer blog posts where applicable. Same goes for Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Twitter tribes. By joining communities or special groups, you can find like-minded people who are likely to be interested in your products and services. They might even share your updates for you. Social media doesn’t have to be ultra-competitive–in fact, it can really be beneficial to make friends with those you’d normally consider your competitors.

11. Install an SEO plug-in if you use WordPress. Updating your posts to be within the guidelines and recommendations of the plugin will help you get a better chance of ranking in Google/Bing/Yahoo. The best part is that you don’t have to know anything about coding or analytics–you just have to be able to fill in boxes as the plug-in suggests. The plug-ins can be free (or you can pay if you’d like more options) and they’re quick and easy to install.

12. Use CoPromote, dlvr.it, or IFTTT formulas to disperse your posts automatically and at different times. Staggering updates is key. If you dump your links everywhere all at once, you don’t reach the widest audience. For example, you might try updating Twitter first, followed by Facebook at the most heavily-trafficked times. Do what fits best with your schedule.

13. Don’t forget to check statistics. Finding that one post is performing better than the others? Don’t be afraid to reshare it. As long as you’re not spamming the same link over and over, you should be fine! And no matter what, always remember to reshare posts again a few months down the road. You’re always gaining new fans and followers–give them a chance to read your best work, too!

14. Put a link to your blog in your email signature. Make sure you’re always just a click away. You can also include links to your social media profiles or include your cell or office number. This way, whenever you send an email to a customer, they’ll have an easy way of reaching you. And if you’re sending out those guest blogging requests, it’s also a great way to encourage prospective blogging partners to visit your social media profiles, too!

15. Install a mobile-responsive theme! Now that Google is including mobile-friendliness in its ranking algorithm, you’ll need to make sure your blog can be read by mobile devices. Install a theme that’s responsive (aka mobile-friendly) and you won’t have to worry about being pushed off the top page for mobile searches. That should help with blog traffic!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to discover how we can help you be seen online.

5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Blog More SEO Friendly — in 30 Minutes or Less!

5 ways to make your blog more SEO friendly in 30 minutes or elss

1. Install a responsive-design theme (Time: 7 minutes).

Look through your blogging platform’s pre-made themes and you can find responsive designs for free. If you want to have a little bit more choice, you can always pay a one-time fee to have access to a design that’s more customizable.

So how does a responsive design help with SEO? More and more people are searching the web through mobile devices nowadays–that includes phones and tablets. As this becomes more commonplace, Google is going to start valuing mobile-friendly sites more than those that don’t cater to all devices. Don’t be left behind–get on this now. It can be free, and seriously–7 minutes. You can do it in the time it takes you to take out the trash.

2. Make sure your URLs are easily indexable (Time: 3 minutes).

When you post a new article, does it show up looking something like this?

Myawesomeblog.com/?p=431

Yeah, that doesn’t really  help the search engines find your site. Instead, go into your permalinks customization and make sure you choose something that enables you to format the title with keywords. Search engines love keywords, not random letters and numbers that tell them nothing of the page’s content.

(Note: on wordpress.com, your links should automatically be formatted correctly; on wordpress.org blogs, or self-hosted blogs, you can find the permalinks customization option under “settings.”)

3. Make your images SEO-friendly (Time: 10 minutes).

Well, to be honest, this depends on how many images you have on your blog. But if you have a reasonable amount, you can easily make this work in under 10 minutes.

Simply go to your media section (where you host your videos and images), and open up the editor. On wordpress, you can see all your media in one spot and you have the option to rename them, add links, and add something called an “alt tag”. That’s where the gold is.

Alt tags tell search engines what the picture is about. So if you go in and edit all your images’ alt tags, search engines will be able to associate them with your site and keywords.

For example, instead of leaving the alt tag of an image of a plumber working at a toilet blank, try writing a descriptive sentence like, well, “plumber working at a toilet”.

4. Install a plug-in that helps you stay on top of SEO best practices (Time: 5 minutes).

Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO are the best choices. Yoast recently had a security issue, but they quickly worked to seal it back up, and everything is back to normal again.

These plug-ins can easily be installed on WordPress from here or here, or you can do a search for them yourself from the native WordPress dashboard. After they’re installed, you can then begin playing around with options and implementing strategies that will help your posts rank better in search engines–and the best part is, this can be free, or close to it.

5. Submit a fresh site map to Google (Time: 5 minutes).

You can do this manually, or by using the Google Webmaster Tools generator. Then you can submit your sitemap through Webmaster Tools yourself, and it’ll all work just fine. We promise.

Or, you can do it an easier way. With a WordPress blog, you install another plugin that’ll make this much more convenient.

Try something like Google XML Sitemaps, which you can download here for free. What this enables you to do is create a sitemap quickly and easily–and the plugin will submit it to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. It notifies these popular search engines every time you update so that they can quickly index your work. Much, much easier than trying to do it yourself, right?

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

6 Simple Ways to Promote Your Blog

1. StumbleUpon

A lot of people think of StumbleUpon as being a social media network that sort of disappeared into the depths of the internet several years ago. But it’s actually still a really great way to promote your work. There are sponsored pages if you’d like to pay for advertising, but even if you just list your articles under relevant categories, you’ll see traffic begin to trickle in.

Some good StumbleUpon tips to remember:

  • Don’t just add your things. StumbleUpon is a social media network–so add friends and “like” their sites too!
  • Choose good tags when you add a site. The more specific you get, the better.
  • Ask your network of peers to “like” your site. You can do the same to theirs.
  • Make sure you have an opt-in area clearly visible to Stumblers–i.e., somewhere on the front page. Often, they’ll leave as fast as they came, but if they’re interested in hearing more from you, they might opt-in to your newsletter.

2. Reddit

Reddit can be a real hit or miss. Post at the wrong time, and your content will be lost to the abyss very quickly. Post at the right time, and you could see a major influx of traffic. But there are some rules that apply here that you won’t want to break:

The way it works is by posting to a page called a subreddit. (Take a look at the SEO subreddit here for an example.) Users can then “upvote” or “downvote” posts on the subreddit page. It makes sense then, that in order to get to the top of the list, you have to get a steady flow of “upvotes”–otherwise your post will be buried by other submissions. And, as it turns out, Redditors are a little bit pickier with the content they choose to upvote: your post must be very well-written, and it must contribute valuable information to the subreddit’s topic of discussion. Furthermore, no one wants to upvote a spammer. So to make sure that you get the most out of Reddit, be sure to:

  • Respond to comments on your posts so that readers know you’re invested
  • Cross-post to different subreddits. However, you should be sure that you choose different categories. If you post to two similar subreddits in the same day, you might be perceived as a spammer. (I.e., posting an SEO article to an SEO subreddit as well as an internet marketing subreddit (good) vs posting to SEO and SEO tips (too similar).
  • Post entire links. Some platforms almost require shortened links (like Twitter, for example), but Redditors do not want to be clicking text links and have malware installed on their computers. Make sure your links are clear and easy to read.
  • Help out fellow Redditors by upvoting for relevant content.

3. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual social media platform that allows users to share “pins”–or pictures with text descriptions and links. Pinterest users curate pins into themed “boards”. So how does this help you promote your blog?

Well, Pinterest is actually quite widely used. And its users are invested, often creating boards with thousands of pins on them.

By adding an easy-to-spot “Pin It” button to images on your blog, you’ll be able to more easily facilitate sharing on Pinterest. In order to achieve pin-worthy pictures, you can use tools like Canva.com to make gorgeous (and free!) images to appeal to your audience. Keep in mind that Pinterest is largely visual–unlike Reddit, pinners enjoy the aesthetic look of their boards, so you can’t just post a link and hope for the best.

You can also use a widget to drive traffic. Head over to your profile on Pinterest.com and click the little gear icon, then navigate to “Create a Widget”–and voila! Pinterest feeds you the code. You put it on your blog and it allows people to see your boards, then click through to browse more closely.

Some tips go get the most out of your pins:

  • Make sure that your descriptions are clear and concise. Add hashtags if you like.
  • Double check to make sure your links are all good. No one wants to follow someone who mindlessly posts spammy links.
  • Leave comments on pins you particularly love.
  • Every once in a while, re-pin your old content to make sure it is seen by more pinners.

4. Interlink on your own blog

As time goes on and our blogs grow larger, we build up a great arsenal of content. But after six months, eight months, a year… well, you aren’t making use of a lot of that content, because it gets buried under all the fresh stuff. A great way to lead your readers to your other posts is to 1) insert links to older articles in your new content, and 2) to go back to older articles and insert relevant links to fresh content.

For example, do you have an old social media article that would help corroborate your data in a newer article? Go in and link it! Have a guide that has been buried under pages of new posts? Find a way to promote it on the front page or in your newest articles. By making it easy for your audience to find content, you’re going to see a big increase in page views and traffic.

Another great reason to do this is because search engines love it. They’ll see your site as more connected and active, and your articles will be seen as higher quality. You can’t lose with this method!

5. Post Old Content Intermittently

This ties in with the above tip: If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should definitely consider promoting your older content again. By doing so, you’ll bring a fresh persepective to your older posts. Plus, tied in with new interlinking, you’re creating an interconnected “web” of data on your blog, rather than disjointed posts that are too easily lost in the sea of information you’re producing.

How can you most easily manage this? Be sure to keep a content calendar to repost old articles on a regular basis. If you have time-sensitive content, you obviously should make sure to not include it in your posting plan–no one wants to read “Top Social Media Trends of 2013” right now, unless we’re doing a Throwback Thursday event!

Be sure to post content on all of your social media sites, and if you’ve done significant updates to an article, feel free to repost it on your blog and let everyone know you’ve revisited the subject.

6. Blog exchange

As a blogger, you probably have other blogger friends. If this is the case, why not offer to do a blog exchange? One of the most important parts of getting your blog in front of more eyes is networking. Not only do search engines find sites with external links more valuable (from reliable sources, of course), but readers might already read one blog and trust its content–and if they trust that content, they’ll be willing to give yours a try.

This isn’t necessarily the same thing as guest posting, but it’s similar. Guest posting can go in this vein as well–you can offer a post to a blogger you feel would benefit from your content and hope for the best. But building a network among your connections certainly won’t hurt either.

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.