A blog is one of the best ways to drive traffic to a website; whether it be a corporate website, directory, or online shop. By adding great content to your blog regularly, you will provide useful resources to visitors and publish more pages for search engines to index.
High quality articles will also generate more incoming links to your website, strengthen your brand, and increase loyalty from readers, existing customers, and potential customers.
I have been writing online and working online since 2000, however it was not until 2006 that I started actively blogging. It became quickly apparent that blogging was something that I enjoyed as I wrote every day and was passionate about the topics I was covering.
Like every aspiring blogger, I made a lot of mistakes along the way. It took me years to realize what generated traffic to my websites and what did not. However, I believe I have become a more competent blogger because of this experience.
In this article, I would like to share with you some tips on how you can use a blog to increase the volume of traffic to your website. I hope you find it useful.
Use a Professional Blog Design
Your blog should present the professional image that you want to project to readers. This will reinforce your brand, increase credibility, and help increase leads and sales.
One mistake many bloggers make is to place too many advertisements and non-essential images on their blog design. Many visitors will find this intrusive and click the back button before even reading your articles. If the aim of your blog is to increase traffic and increase conversions, you should ensure your website design is both beautiful and practical.
(At ToolsPlatform, we have multiple blog designs available for our Free Blogs and Upgraded Blogs!)
Your blog design should be responsive so that it looks great on desktop and laptop computers, as well as smaller devices such as tablets and smartphones. You should also use a font that is easy to read.
The sidebar is the perfect place to help visitors navigate your blog easier. Take advantage of this area and display a search bar, category links, and archive links. To encourage people to stay on your website longer, you can display recent blog posts, featured articles, and related articles. A good place to display related articles is underneath the blog post.
Ensure Your Website is SEO Friendly
Your website does not only need to look good for humans, it needs to be easily interpreted by search engines so that they can crawl and index your content efficiently. Thankfully, the WordPress platform is an SEO friendly solution that has built in SEO features such as custom page slugs.
It is important that your website is structured correctly to help your content rank well. Your website theme should use header tags correctly in templates, validate with no HTML or CSS errors, and take advantage of additional navigation features such as breadcrumb navigation links.
Choose Your Topics Wisely
The topics you cover on your blog will influence the kind of people who read your articles. If you publish many basic tutorials on a subject, you will attract a lot of beginners. Likewise, if you publish advanced tutorials, you are more likely to attract people with more experience on the subject.
It is therefore vital that you research what topics to cover on your blog and devise a long-term content strategy. This will generate targeted traffic from people that are more likely to subscribe to your blog and purchase your products and services.
One way to increase traffic to your blog is to cover topics that are currently popular. Services such as Google Trends make it easy to follow trending topics and let you see what is hot and what is not.
Write High Quality Articles
In January 1996, Bill Gates famously said that “Content is King“. This remains true 18 years later.
High quality articles are more likely to be read and more likely to be shared by others. This in turn increases incoming links and search engine traffic.
Do not look at a blog simply as a way of increasing the number of indexable pages on your website. You need to focus on quality content. Remember, the more targeted your visitors are, the more likely they are to purchase your products and services. So focus on quality and forget about cheap traffic that merely inflates traffic statistics.The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to increase traffic to their blog is: Solve problems. If you can help your visitors in some way, they will be thankful. They will be more likely to subscribe to your blog, share your content, and become a loyal customer.
Here are some tips on publishing high quality articles:
- Use images in your articles – They increase social media shares and break up long pieces of text
- Use a good article title – The title of your article will be displayed in search engine results and in social media shares
- Improve your grammar – It pays to go back to basics and review important grammatical rules and guidelines
- Perform interviews – Interviewing important people within your industry can improve your brand through association
- Share important news – Rather than simply publish links to important news stories, you should give your opinion on the news story and how it will affect others
- Publish honest reviews – Provide honest reviews about related products and services
- Help readers – Guides and tutorials will help resolve readers problems and issues
- Use lists – List posts grab attention and allow readers to digest information quickly
- Publish linkbait articles (from time to time) – Linkbait articles, resource lists, and infographics, are more likely to be shared by others
You do not have to handle all blog content yourself. There are many professional bloggers available who will help you publish great content on your website.
There are varying thoughts as to how frequently you should publish articles on a blog. Most high traffic news blogs publish multiple times per day as more news means more traffic, however most businesses publish a few times per week or a few times per month.
If we make the assumption that every article on your blog will be of the same quality, publishing more frequently will generate more traffic; however, this does not necessarily mean that more is always better. As Joel Friedlander rightly says, what is important is that you pick a schedule that you can actually keep, long term.
Readers need consistency, and publishing five articles one week and then not posting for another month, could do your blog more harm than good. I suggest starting off at a slow publishing rate such as once per week and then increasing publishing frequency once you have the resources to do so.