Over 20 Expert Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog or Web Page
Egotism, Narcissism, or Altruism?
Whatever your reason for writing, presumably you wouldn't be doing it unless you intend for someone to read your content! If you make some revenue from affiliate schemes, so much the better. Increasing traffic to a webpage is all about writing well-laid out, original, quality material which is comprehensive, rich in natural keyword content, and provides users with all the information in one place without having to piece it together from various webpages. Marketing is vitally important, so you need to get the word out, make your presence known on other websites, and establish backlinks. This article gives you some tips on how to do this.
Over 20 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Webpage
- Use SEO effectively
- Pick a good webpage title
- Use lots of relevant keywords
- Use ordered lists to have a greater chance of being selected as a Google Snippet
- Research keywords using Adwords
- Post on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Post on bookmarking sites such as Pinterest, Stumbleupon and Tumblr
- Use hashtags with your posts on social media
- Write about evergreen topics
- Post on forums and Q&A sites, relevant to the page
- If permitted, add a signature linking to your page or profile, to the bottom of forum posts
- Add videos and promote your page on YouTube
- Interlink webpages
- Try to persuade high ranking sites to allow you to post backlinks
- Use lots of photos, graphics and illustrations on your page
- Use Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Flipboard widgets to share your profile on social media
- Comment on articles on other website so users checkout your profile
- Use Google Analytics to study the nature of traffic to your page
- Constantly update your page with new, fresh content
- Use a spell checker. Bad spelling and grammar creates a bad impression
- Write comprehensive content, so everything a reader needs to know is on your page
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When someone uses a search engine such as Yahoo Search, Google, or Bing to look for information on a topic, millions of search results can be generated. SEO is the process whereby a site is made more visible and higher ranking in the results. This can be accomplished by optimizing keywords and site layout, reducing loading time, making the site mobile friendly, and also making it easier for search engines to index the site.
Early search engine ranking algorithms relied heavily on keyword content of pages for ranking purposes. However this meant that webpage designers could cheat the system and resort to "keyword stuffing" to increase rank. Page ranking algorithms are now more sophisticated and rely on many factors such as the quality and relevance of inbound or back links.
Pick a Good Webpage Title
A good title with relevant keywords improves the chances of your page showing up in Google searches. However even if it doesn't, If you pick a catchy page title, a searcher may be curious and more likely to click on the link. Be honest with your readers, so don't use a tempting or sensational title which has nothing to do with the content on the page (known as "clickbait"). Now unfortunately popular titles such as "How to make money fast" or "How to lose weight" are going to face lots of competition. You can use Google Adwords to try out different titles and see which keywords are searched for most frequently but for which there is low competition.
Use Lots of Relevant Keywords to Generate Organic Traffic
Write material with rich keyword content, however don't overdo it. Excessive use of keywords, or repeating them and using them out of context to try to improve ranking, known as "keyword stuffing", is frowned upon by Google and can actually harm ranking. Its better to write naturally, while trying to include as many keywords which are relevant to the context of the webpage.
While visitors can reach your page after being referred from another webpage, there's a greater potential of generating traffic from users searching for information on Google, Bing or other search engines. This is known as "organic" traffic. So try and think of as many relevant keywords as possible. Use them in a natural way, and work them into your article. If you are familiar with Google Analytics, you can check which words were used to find your webpage and add any keywords or phrases which were used as part of the search term, but which were missing from the text of your page.
How to Get Featured Snippets for Your Site
You know those short paragraphs or lists you often see at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) when you do a Google search? They're called Google Featured Snippets. It's a lucrative way of getting traffic to your webpage and there are several approaches you can try to have your page listed in an FS.
- Break text on the page down into short paragraph capsules and use subtitle H2 formatting for headings phrased in a question style manner, beginning with one of the interrogatives "how", "what", "where", "when", "why", "who"
e.g. "When is the Best Time to Sow Seeds?"
- Use bulleted or numbered lists and tables rather than large blocks of plain text when explaining something
- We don't know how Google decides which paragraphs to extract information from on a page in order to create a featured snippet, or whether it looks for certain keywords, but you can experiment with using words such as "step 1", "step 2" at the beginning of subtitles or maybe numbering subtitles
Keyword Research Using the Google Keywords Tool
Keyword research is vitally important to ascertain what search terms people are actually typing into their search engines. The Google Adwords Keywords Tool is useful for coming up with suggestions for keywords to add to your page. This tool allows you to submit your webpage, from which it generates a table of keyword ideas along with the search frequency for the keyword and competition from advertisers. See here for the tool.
Use Hashtags to Categorize Your Content
Add hashtags (eg, #health, #fitness #DIY ) in the description field whenever you pin, tweet, post to Facebook or bookmark your content on any similar sites. If you don't use hashtags, only your followers will see your tweets. By using hashtags, you potentially increase your audience. If a user clicks on a hashtag in a post or search for a hashtag, they are presented with a list of posts by other users which include this tag. If you used this hashtag, with a bit of luck your pin may appear in the list.
What to Write About? - Seasonal and Evergreen Topics
Seasonal topics are obviously only going to receive a peak in traffic at the relevant time. Not many people are going to be searching for information on how to make Christmas decorations in the middle of summer, or how to garden in the winter! Also if you write about current topics, interest may dwindle over time. An evergreen topic will generate interest throughout the year and long into the future. So for example an article about a disease or disorder or technology will always be popular.
Tell Google About Your Webpage
Usually this is automatic and webpages are eventually crawled and indexed by Google. In any case, you can submit your webpage URL to Google
Social Media - Networking and Bookmarking Sites
- Post your Page on Social Media Let everyone know about your page on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Redgage and Google+.
- Join Communities You can join "communities" on Google+ or "groups" on Facebook and post tips or links back to your Google+ profile / webpage. Alternatively create your own community, invite contacts and build ties
- Pin Images on Pinterest If your page includes an image, you can "pin" it to a board on the Pinterest.com website and this will link back to your page. Flipboard is a bookmarking site similar to Pinterest and has the potential to generate a spike, albeit temporary, in traffic, if a user with lots of followers "flips" your page
- Tweet About Your Page Use hashtags with your tweets to categorise them. Now the problem with tweeting is that if your followers follow lots of other people, your tweet can get lost in their feed, unless they specifically check your account and your tweets. However if lots of people re-tweet, your twitter post can potentially go viral giving you lots of exposure
Remember there is a fine line between promotion and spamming. Overpromoting your website can annoy website owners and visitors. You can even be "shadow banned" without even knowing it. This means that even though you can see your own content, it won't be visible to visitors to the site. If you bookmark, try to balance links or photos you add with content from other sites also.
Social bookmarking may drive direct traffic to your page. However Google has become wise to self-promotion on these type of sites so backlinks have become devalued and no longer have the same affect on page ranking as they used to.
Question/Answer Sites and Forums
You can join forums which are relevant to the content which you write about. Create your profile and add a link back to your webpage. Some forums allow you to append a signature to the bottom of every post. This could be a link to your page or profile on social media. Answer lots of questions and answers to improve your presence on the site. Be sure to post links at the end of your answers or in your profile.
Promoting Webpages on YouTube
You can make Youtube videos and add backlinks to webpages which have additional information relevant to the content of the video. If you have a website, you could make a slideshow of pages/articles on the site. Remember readers have a short attention span so the video needs to be short, snappy and enticing to encourage them to follow the link back to your site.
At the bottom of your webpage you can add links to related content on other pages of your site. You can also add links to other sites with additional information.
Use Images - Photographs, Diagrams, Illustrations or Abstract Graphics
As they say, "A picture tells a thousand words". There's nothing worse then a Twitter feed with just plain text - It's plain boring!. So liven up your tweets, or postings on other social media with a photo, diagram, illustration or some form of graphic. If you can't create your own, you can use public domain or Creative Commons images from free photo sites.
Use a Twitter Widget
Copy a snippet of code (which Twitter will generate for you) onto your website for displaying your twitter feed. You never know, you may gain some followers!
Comment on Articles on Websites
Leave constructive comments on websites which allow this. Someone may just look at your profile and follow the link to your page.
Popular or Obscure Topics?
Its debatable whether its better to write about popular or obscure topics. A popular or general topic will be searched for more frequently but you face competition from lots of other authors. A more specialized topic will be searched for less. however less people are likely to have written about it and competition is lower.
Online Showcasing Communities
If you have an interest in photography, you can submit photos to online showcasing sites such as Deviantart.com . If you become popular on the site, viewers may look at your profile and follow the link back to your webpage/website, or to your Twitter or Facebook account.
Big brother Google is watching you so don't try to game the system by resorting to spamdexing, otherwise your page rank may suffer! As the portmanteau suggests, this is a combination of spamming and indexing and an attempt to beat the system. Keyword stuffing, and using isolated lists of keywords, duplicating webpages, using hidden or small text to attract searches, creating scraper sites to direct searches to your page, paying for lots of backlinks and spamming the comment sections of non related blogs are all examples of this activity.
Use Google Analytics to Monitor Traffic to Webpages
The Google Analytics tool is useful for determining the nature of traffic reaching a webpage. It provides information about visitors to your site: their country and region, search terms, referral source and lots more.
If you haven't set up Google Analytics, now is a good time to do so. It is an invaluable resource, giving lots of information or statistics about the visitors to your site.
This is the type of information you can find out about your audience:
- The numbers of visitors to your account. You can select the timescale of interest, either choose a day, or a range of days specifying the start and end date. This information can be further filtered to display the numbers of visitors per hour, day, week or month within this timescale
- A breakdown of the country and region where visitors are from (over the timescale)
- The nature of the traffic, i.e whether it is organic, direct (pasting a URL into a browser is a type of direct traffic), or comes from social sources, e.g. Twitter, HubPages, Facebook, Stumbleupon etc
- The technology used - Device (e,g, desktop,mobile,tablet), browser, operating system
Audience size can be viewed numerically and also graphically over the timescale of interest. Specific to Hubpages, you can also select individual hubs and view statistics as described above
The Real Time feature can be accessed from the side bar on the left.
What Exactly is Google Analytics Real Time?
This is a feature of Google Analytics. It is "real time" because it provides instant traffic data about visitors to your site: their country and region, search terms, network, referral source and the content they are reading. When a visitor comes on line, an orange circle appears on a map close to the region in the country from which they are viewing your content. A sliding time line shows the users on site and other information is displayed also including the referral source, the number of visitors from social networks and search keywords if the source is organic, i.e someone has searched for a topic in a browser.
This feature was added several years ago and is very entertaining, and according to one user's description, "I feel like someone watching their pets!". There is an element of truth in this and I suppose it is sort of voyeuristic watching visitors, coming on line and seeing what they get up to, the keywords they use to search the site, and how they navigate to other pages. Several years ago, I wrote an article about lawnmower troubleshooting which gets a moderate amount of traffic. On Saturdays and Sundays in early summer, those little orange circles light up all across America as poor unfortunates try to cut their grass and their lawnmower won't start! Then about 12 hours later, the same happens across Europe. Checking the search terms that land users on a webpage can be insightful and aid in e.g. coming up with a list of FAQs to add to a page.
Improve, Improve, Improve !!!
My motto is "If a job is being done it should be done right" (not that I always practice what I preach!). So edit and improve your articles constantly. If a surfer lands on your page, the least you can do is to to provide the information they require in a comprehensive, easy to follow manner, or entertain them if you "specialize" in creative writing. While it mightn't necessarily increase traffic, this gives a good impression and they may bookmark your page and return in the future. Hopefully they will "like" the article, pin it to Pinterest or Tweet it.
Make sure your content is grammatically correct and without spelling errors. Re-adjust the layout so that your article so that it is easy to navigate. Use bullet points and numbered steps if necessary (rather than long extended paragraphs) to illustrate points. Add extra content as you think of it and compliment the text with lots of photos or diagrams. If you can take your own photos, so much the better. Photos should be properly attributed with links back to the source.
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Eugene Brennan