Who doesn’t want more traffic? We all love watching those numbers go up, but sadly, very few people actually work in the right direction to pull more visitors.
It isn’t as simple as setting everything up and opening your shop to find people lining up outside. There is a lot of competition today, especially when it comes to blogging, and no matter how hard you work, if you aren’t focusing on the right areas, you won’t see any returns on your investment of time and money.
If you are concerned about your readership and traffic, this guide is what you need to read and then work on the issues highlighted here.
You just started
A lot of people just set up their blog, put up a few posts and start wondering why they aren’t getting readers. While this might have worked a decade ago, today there is just too much noise on the internet.
Your blog posts are part of thousands published every day and it takes time for search engines to identify you and start directing people towards your site.
So relax, breathe easy and keep up the good work. You’ll see results improve with time.
You don’t follow best SEO practices
SEO or search engine optimization isn’t just for experts. Even if you don’t know a lot about it, you can still follow the best practices on your blog. These include setting up a link structure, defining categories properly, including related links to your own posts within your articles, using proper meta tags and following the heading hierarchy (H1, H2, H3…etc.).
Good SEO practices make it easier for search engines to find your blog and categorize it properly so that it shows up against relevant search queries.
You are not targeting any keywords
Like the first two reasons, this is also related to search engines. Keywords are words or terms which people use when searching for specific information.
For instance, if you want to find out about restaurants in your locality, you are likely to search for ‘(Type-of-food) restaurants in (Locality-Name)’. Now only those restaurants which mention somewhere on their website, whether it is their content or their meta tags, that they operate in your locality, will show up in search results.
So basically, if you are not targeting the right keywords, you won’t be coming up in search and consequently people won’t be able to find you.
You are not promoting your blog
As mentioned earlier, there is just too much noise on the web today. Thousands of blogs are constantly competing for traffic every day, which is why the need for promotional channels has increased considerably.
You can’t publish a post and think your job is done. You need to promote it socially across several networks. The most popular networks are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus. You should ideally create profiles for all these and promote every new post when you publish it.
Similarly, there are tons of forums out there which have loyal and active visitors. Find one that goes with your niche or industry and start contributing and promoting your website there.
However, whenever you are using other mediums for self-promotion, read their guidelines to ensure that you don’t end up spamming their users or getting banned due to violation of their terms.
Engaging with others on these networks is also beneficial because you are much more likely to receive traffic if you are an active participant yourself.
Your content isn’t useful or entertaining
You might wonder how the quality of your content impacts incoming traffic. The truth is, even if a search engine or social channel sends traffic your way, it is the quality if your content that promotes word of mouth and social sharing.
You’ve probably heard the word ‘viral’ in terms of posts and content. That’s when something ends up being shared thousands of times because it’s either very useful or entertaining. This essentially means an equal number, if not more, of visitors to your site.
To promote social sharing, make sure your content gives value and stands out. The web’s noise problem, as mentioned earlier, also means there is very little unique content available. If your content manages to uniquely impart information or entertain your visitors, your traffic is much more likely to see a big boost.
You aren’t posting new content consistently
Like everything else in life, blogging also demands consistency. If you aren’t posting new content regularly, not only do you suffer in terms of search engine rankings but you also turn down your incoming traffic.
People like new stuff. They don’t want to wait a month for your next post. Even if your content is amazing, they will lose interest if there are long breaks in between pieces.
Decide on a reasonable number of posts per week (ideally around 3-4) and stick with that goal regardless of whatever happens.
If you work on these areas you are definitely going to see more traffic. However, from then onwards, it will be up to your content and offerings to make sure first-time visitors share your blog and become returning visitors.
For more useful guides like this one, you should check out our ‘Drive More Traffic’ Series here.