This is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.
Who doesn’t like more traffic?
Not matter how many monthly blog visitors you have, you still want more. Because more traffic means more opportunities to build relationships, generate leads, close deals and make money.
However, the problem with most of the conventional traffic generation advice is that it’s either too expensive or it’s just simply outdated, ineffective and useless.
Writing high quality content, guest blogging and blogger outreach are all great tips for a long-term traffic strategy. But what if you need something to create an immediate impact?
In this post, I’ll share three changes you can make to your existing and future blog content, without spending tons of money, to immediately start getting more traffic from search engines and social media websites.
Use Relevant Long-tail Keywords
You must’ve seen bloggers who aggressively advocate the concept of “writing for humans” not search engines. I’m all for it, but so is Google.
Over the last few years Google has been making regular changes to its algorithms all aimed at making its search results more natural and user friendly. SEO is not what it once used to be. You can’t stuff your articles and blog posts with keywords, create unnatural backlinks and expect to rank higher in search results.
Things have changed.
So, in a way, writing for humans and writing for search engines are similar concepts now (if not the same). To rank higher in search results you need to write for humans.
But there’s a twist.
You still need to use smart tactics, which are in line with Google’s recommendations, to beat the competition for the first page.
So when you write your next bog post, focus as much on long-tail keywords as the high competition head keywords. To make this work effectively, go to your Google Webmaster Tools account and select Search Queries (under Search Traffic).
Note: You first need to configure Google Analytics for your blog, and integrate it with Google Webmaster Tools.
You’ll find the list of keywords that are sending you traffic, along with your average ranking for each keyword. Copy a keyword from this list, from example “freelance blogging”, and search for it on Google.
When I did this for my own blog, I was nowhere near the first page of Google on this keyword since it’s so competitive. It has a lot of traffic and competition. But if you scroll down to the related search area, you’ll see several long-tail keywords.
These are the long-tail keywords that Google finds relevant to the keyword “freelance blogging”. And here’s your opportunity, since these keywords are not as competitive as the main keyword, but are closely related to it.
Copy these long-tail keywords and use them, in a natural way, throughout the body content of your post. Try using different variations of these keywords as well. This will improve your rankings not only on the long-tail keywords but also on the main keyword, since Google considers all of them closely linked with each other.
Neil Patel shared his case study where he was able to increase his monthly search engine traffic by 50,000 using this technique.
You can apply this on your archive content as well. Just pick up your main keyword, and use the related long-tail keywords throughout your content in a natural way.
Create Longer and More In-Depth Blog Content
Another way to attract much more traffic to your blog content, and generate more social shares, is to write longer, in-depth and epic content. I know these have become buzzwords, but let me quantify this for you so that it’s easier to understand.
Research after research confirms that search engines love longer content. Kevan Lee discussed the ideal content length in this truly epic post on the Buffer blog. Neil Patel has also discussed the ideal length of blog posts in detail on his blog.
There’s clear consensus that posts longer than 2000 words rank much higher than say 1200-1500 word posts. And this study by SerpIQ provides further proof of this fact.
Longer posts also tend to get much more social shares which suggests that readers also prefer more in-depth blog posts.
All this means that you need to make your blog posts more in-depth and valuable. So the next time you’re writing a 1000-1200 word blog post, try expanding it by using more examples, stats, references and studies. Make it as comprehensive and as detailed as possible.
But don’t add words just for the sake of it. Make sure every word in your post provides value to the readers. I personally use forums and platforms like Quora and MyBlogU when I need more in-depth knowledge on a topic. MyBlogU is particularly useful since it’s a dedicated platform for bloggers and content marketers where they can discuss and brainstorm ideas, seek advice and even hire freelancers to help with content creation.
Intelligently Promote and Amplify Existing Blog Content
It’s easy to focus too much on creating new blog posts for traffic generation, while completely ignoring the existing content on your blog. Every piece of content on your blog, no matter how old, is an asset and can be used to bring more traffic and boost conversions.
There are several ways you can do that.
- Promote Archive Content on Social Media
You need to aggressively promote your older content on social media to attract regular traffic. You can use social media management tools like Oktopost to schedule weekly or monthly social updates. I particularly like the Evergreen Post Tweeter plugin that automatically Tweets your archive content on a set criteria.
- Optimize Conversion Routes
Visitors come to your website from numerous different routes. But certain routes have higher conversion rates as compared to others. You can use TrenDemon to identify the most profitable and high conversion routes to your website. After identifying these high conversion routes, TrenDemon brings more of your traffic onto these routes using personalized content recommendations and calls to action.
This not only boosts conversions on your website, but also helps you identify the top performing content, the ideal length and the best platforms where you can promote your content for more traffic.
- Link Back to Your Older Content Using Natural Anchors
To leverage your older content, you need to regularly link back to it in your new blog posts. With the new Google algorithm changes, however, you need to be careful while choosing the anchor text on your internal and external backlinks. Don’t use keyword based anchors. Instead, go for natural anchor text like, Click Here, Read This, Read More. You can also use longer phrases for linking back to your content.
Every blog needs regular and high converting traffic to survive and grow. But you don’t always need to create something new or spend extra money to get traffic. You can boost your traffic numbers, and conversion rates, by making the right changes to your SEO, back linking and content promotion strategies.
I’ve discussed three techniques that I’ve personally found very effective. But I’d love to hear how you attract more traffic to your blog. See you in the comments.
Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blogWriting My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
3 Content Tweaks to Increase Your Blog Traffic without Spending a Penny