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7 SEO Hacks to Boost Your Ranking in 2021

7 SEO Hacks to Boost Your Ranking in 2021

There are more than 63,000 searches conducted on Google every second (about 5.4 billion searches per day) and Google has 90.46% of the search engine market share worldwide.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those things that’s always crucial to your marketing strategy – and always changing. Because of how quickly search algorithms evolve, it can be difficult to keep up with the newest best practices, especially when you have several other marketing channels to manage.

But if you aren’t ranking for the keywords that are important to your business because it’s too much work to keep up with SEO, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers.

Fortunately, good SEO doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. To help make your SEO work as efficient as possible, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite hacks to boost your rankings. Some of them are easier than others, but they’re all doable – no matter how new or advanced a marketer you are.

Hack #1: Focus on Your Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone content is your best content. It is:

  • Evergreen – it continues to be important to your audience over time
  • Relevant – it speaks to your audience’s needs
  • Comprehensive – it provides an informative and exhaustive source on the topics that your audience cares about
  • Up to date – it’s regularly upgraded as new information becomes available

Basically, cornerstone content is the content you want people to find when they search for relevant keywords – the SEO superstars of your website. Making sure it’s robust, valuable content is the first step, but there are several other steps you can take to help get it out there, such as making sure that popular posts are listed in your blog sidebar:

Your sidebar is prime real estate for your cornerstone content because it’s on every page of your blog. If you have a comprehensive guide to SEO in 2021 on your website, for example, make sure that everyone who comes to your blog for SEO tips sees it by placing it in that sidebar.

The cornerstone content that you create and promote will eventually start to work for you on its own, but it may take up to 12 months before you start seeing big returns in the form of search traffic, especially if your competitors are creating similar content. A good way to cut that time is to make sure yours in the best in your industry.

Hack #2: Don’t Forget About Your Footer

People used to put a lot of text about their companies and products into their footers to boost SEO traffic, but that doesn’t work anymore. In fact, with Google’s algorithm these days, it can actually hurt your ranking. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still boost SEO with your footer; you just need to be more strategic about footer links.

Screenshot 2019 04 28T091709.100

Make the anchor text more descriptive and lined up with the search terms that will bring people to your website.

For instance, when I worked at an online education company, I changed the footer link anchor text to “Learn Web Design” and “Learn Web Development,” rather than just listing page and product names. That small change helped improve the site’s domain authority for those topics.

And don’t feel like you have to only link to product pages or case studies. Link to your top value-add pages, such as Resources and Cornerstone Content.

Hack #3: Use a Keyword Research Tool

Take the search terms you rank for and enter them into a keyword research tool like Keyword Tool, KWFinder or  Ubersuggest:

Ubersuggest

You probably already rank for some keywords (hopefully more than just your brand name) but check out Google Search Console as well.

From there, you can find popular long-tail phrases from Google Suggest (autocomplete) that are related to those keywords. Take those phrases and rework your pages with related content that aren’t ranking with those keywords.

Obviously, I’m not just talking about shoving in the keywords. You won’t get a SEO boost from that. Modify your content so that those long-tail phrases fit into it naturally. It should flow well and make sense. Within 30-60 days, those modified pages should start ranking higher for those search terms.

Hack #4: Increase Dwell Time on Your Site with Amazon Polly

We recently added Amazon Polly to all the articles on Single Grain’s website. Amazon Polly is this little speech-recognition tool that will read the entire article out loud to visitors, and it’s increased dwell time on our site:

Amazon-Polly

Dwell time is a big SEO factor. It’s not enough for someone to just click on a link to your website; they need to stick around. Some people like to read articles and blog posts. Some people like to listen to someone else read them. Using a tool like Amazon Polly helps you engage both groups to boost this ranking factor.

Hack #5: Build a Brand

Increasing your brand value is a good way to boost SEO. It’s a good way to boost everything, actually, but we’re focusing on SEO right now.

Google ranks websites with strong brand queries higher than those without them. And how do you go about getting these queries? You make sure that people keep coming back to your website.

The more that people type your company or website name into Google or into the URL bar or who click on links to your website, the higher you’ll rank. To boost this effect, start capturing email addresses, either with a form on your website or with exit pop-up software. You can also do chatbot subscriptions with tools like Mobile Monkey.

Then, use these lists and your social channels to promote any content you create. Let people know that you release great content on a regular basis so they have a reason to come back. It takes time, but if you commit to growing your brand, you’ll improve not just your SEO, but your overall business performance as well.

Hack #6: Use This WordPress Plugin to Get More Subscribers

My friend Syed Balkhi created a WordPress plug-in called YouTube Subscribe, and it’s definitely worth a look from an SEO perspective. Here’s why: you can use this tool to embed other people’s videos on your website, but still have the subscribe button link to your channel.

For example, if you have a video channel but you don’t have any videos related to SEO, you can write an article or blog post about SEO and embed someone else’s video about SEO into the blog post. Then, when they click on the “subscribe” button, they’ll be subscribed to your channel, not the one that posted the video.

screenshot 1

Obviously, if you’re using a plug-in like this, you need to be careful. If you’re just blatantly stealing more popular YouTubers’ videos to get more subscribers, users are going to see right through that. Make sure you’re actually adding value to your content when you’re embedding other people’s videos with this plug-in, and make sure the bulk of the video content you’re promoting is yours for best results.

Hack #7: Don’t Forget About YouTube SEO

You’d be surprised by how many YouTubers totally neglect their SEO. For this reason, it’s not competitive at all. In fact, it’s much easier than traditional SEO.

If you don’t have a YouTube channel yet, it’s time to start one. You don’t need to have a studio or an editor. You can easily create iPhone videos – users prefer them anyway because they feel more “authentic.”

The trick to ranking high on YouTube SEO is to make sure that your videos get a lot of traffic in the 24-hour period after you post them. That means that the minute you post your video, you need to get it out on all of your channels – email, blog, social media, chatbot list, push notifications, etc.

Of course, you also have to do the basic optimization stuff like include the right keywords, have a good description and upload an SRT file, which is a subtitle file that’s saved in the “SubRip” format (get one from Rev.com for all your videos):

Rev subtitle translator

Here are some other basic tips for boosting your YouTube SEO:

  • When you upload your video on YouTube, make sure that your target keyword is in the filename of the video.
  • The title of your video should be at least five words and should also include your target keyword.
  • Your descriptions should be at least 200 words and accurately describe what’s in your video in detail. Include your target keyword here as well:
  • Spend some time choosing your tags, as including the right tags helps your video get discovered in YouTube’s “related videos” section.
  • Encourage people to share, comment and subscribe. The more engagement your videos and channel get, the higher YouTube will rank your videos.
  • Create playlists based around your keywords. This will help your individual videos for those terms rank higher.

What You Really Need to Know About SEO

Sure, there are always ways to game the system, but that doesn’t benefit the user. It doesn’t benefit you, either, because you won’t convert a user who landed on your website and didn’t find what they were looking for.

So if you do nothing else, focus on quality. Don’t publish 300-word blog posts every day just to have something to push out on social media. Instead, focus on one 2,000-word blog post a week that answers a question or solves a problem that your target audience has, and do it better than your competitors.

Once you create quality content, use the Content Sprout Method to build your brand across channels. Basically, this method involves taking a piece of cornerstone content and “sprouting” it across different channels. For example, say I write a guide to SEO. I can then turn it into a series of short videos, each one highlighting a different tactic. I can turn it into one or more podcasts. Then, I can promote all that content on my social media channels and through email.

The Content Sprout Method works because it starts with quality content – and the more you can create that and push it out there, the stronger your brand will be. Strong brands translate to higher Google rankings. It’s all a cycle, and if you take the time to do it, the end result is more business and revenue for you.

Quality Content: The SEO Gift That Keeps on Giving

Quality content isn’t just good SEO for now. It’s good SEO forever (or at least until Google significantly changes its algorithm).

If you create an excellent evergreen piece of content, people are going to keep finding it. A post you write tomorrow might be the post that brings you the most traffic two years from now. Make that initial investment into content creation. If done well, it will keep bringing you more visitors and hopefully, new customers well into the future.

And don’t forget to keep that content updated. Next year, we’ll take this blog post, update it with some new hacks, and republish it for 2021. And it will bring us traffic next year, just like this one will. Build on what you already have and what’s already working. It still requires effort on your part to do well, but ultimately, you’ll find that it’s much easier than starting from scratch.

7 SEO Hacks that Increase Your Search Traffic in 60 Days

7 SEO Hacks that Increase Your Search Traffic in 60 Days

Are you ready to catapult your website’s ranking to the top of search engine results pages?

If you’re strategic and focus on the user, then you can increase your SEO performance in less than 60 days- it is possible.

Every business or company that has ever launched a website knows how difficult it is to attract new customers. The competition is tough and therefore you have to set yourself apart from the millions of other websites in your industry.

Social media marketing is one way to boost your Search Engine Optimization, especially when you leverage Facebook ads, but it costs you a bit more money to get tangible results.

A better alternative is to test Google’s search engine along with a good SEO strategy.

For most businesses, the main reason for creating a website and implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to first improve their rankings in organic, non-paid methods. Once that is achieved, it becomes easier to generate traffic and sales.

The organic results show the pages that Google classify as relevant to the search query. But these are not to be confused with paid ads, such as Google Adwords that cost money to produce and have a different designation in the search engine results.

Therefore, if you’ve created a website and are ready to improve your organic visibility and attract traffic and customers to your business, then follow these 7 SEO hacks to improve the ranking positions of your website in the organic search:

1. Choose and target the right keywords

Undoubtedly, the biggest mistake that can be made by an SEO Company, in an SEO strategy, is to choose the wrong keywords that do nothing to help lead prospects to your business.

Every step in your SEO strategy should focus on improving your web pages with keywords that drive engagement and ultimately conversions to your business.

There’s no shortcut to getting ahead on organic rankings other than understanding the searcher’s intent and answering their questions through your SEO strategy. [source]

Keep in mind that people are more concerned about finding solutions to their problems over buying your product or commenting on the pretty images on your website. So when creating content and keywords, try to be useful and helpful over being clever.

Use keyword research tools to know what terms people are plugging in to find terms relevant to your industry, like SEMrush, KeywordTool.io, and Ahrefs.

You can even piggyback on your competitors’ keywords and pull business in your direction and outrank them in the organic listings.

Always go after long-tail keywords that are easier to rank and more focused on what the user wants. And note that unless your website is already marked a safe and secure site with established visitation,you may not be able to compete successfully in the online realm with old domains and weak link profiles.

Hence, go for keyword phrases that you can eventually rank and generate traffic for in around a 2-month period of time or less.

Trust us, there are still keywords in your niche that have zero competition, you just need a little more digging to find them.

2. Create useful and evergreen content

One important aspect of search engine optimization is the content involved, explaining what your business is about and how it can help the person who stumbled upon your website. And we’re not talking about just an average article, but useful and evergreen (aka “relevant”) content.

Since the main goal of your SEO strategy is to improve your positioning in Google, remember to apply additional techniques such as inbound marketing that will help you in creating valuable content (like creating content for an ongoing blog)to win over customers.

Another reason why it’s good to be feeding consistent, original, and useful content to your blog is that it’s one of the most popular types of evergreen content that’s optimized for search engines and its users.

Plus, if you’re able to create quality content then other websites will link to you. Moz’s study revealed that useful content also attracts social shares and the chances of it going viral. Many SEO Companies don’t provide this in their SEO Services.

Relevant and refreshed content on your blog adds value to your users and allows you to engage your target audience and improve your search performance.

3. Optimize your metadata

Meta tags such as the title tags and the meta descriptions in the backend of your website are important to update as you create we pages as it allows search engine crawlers to understand the content of the web page and verify you as a credible source of information.

The title tag and the meta description are there to convince online searchers that your content is exactly what they’re looking for.

When you create a web page, make sure that target keywords appear naturally in your page title and description.

Here are a few definitions to help guide you:

  • Title tag: This is the text that appears as the title in the search result pages. It may not be the exact title found on the actual page when the user clicks on it, but it is recommended that you stick to the same title. The title tag should not exceed a maximum length of 55 characters.
  • Meta description tag: The meta description is a quick summary of what is on the page, like a preview. It is displayed in the result pages of the search engines below the title tag. An optimal meta-description has a length of 150-160 characters.
  • H1 tag: The H1 tag is displayed on the web page and usually includes the title of the page. Short for “Headline 1”, this is usually the biggest font on a page and most people understand it as the header. Make sure that there is only one H1 tag on each page that contains a relevant keyword for what the page is about. Other smaller subheadings are usually in the H2, H3 or H4 group.

How to optimize the Title Meta tag

The content of this tag appears in the zero position HTML snippets as well as in the browser with the objective to clearly define what the page is about.

A few points to keep in mind while creating a title meta tag include:

a). Title length: It is recommended that the title doesn’t exceed 60 – 65 characters. That way it will be shown in full in the SERPs and not show users a truncated or incomplete result.

Optimize title meta tag lenght

Note: Google does not take into account the number of characters, but it measures its length in pixels.

b). Relevance: The title tag must be relevant, descriptive, and unique for each of the pages. A big error that people often make is using the same title for different pages on a website.

c). Use the keyword: Always include the target keyword in the title tag and make sure that it appears at the beginning.

How to optimize the Meta tag description

The goal of a meta tag is to provide users and search engines with a brief summary of the content they will find on the page. It’s very important to optimize this piece to get the user to click on your page.

To optimize the meta tag description, you’ll take into account the following aspects:

a). Length: It should not exceed 150 – 160 characters, which corresponds to the maximum length in pixels shown in the search results.

b). Uniqueness: Each page should have an original description that differentiates from each of the other pages. Avoid duplicate meta descriptions on your pages.

c). Complementary: Your page description should complement the information you use within your page title.

Make sure that your meta description provides thorough information in an easy-to-understand tone. And don’t use heavy punctuation, uppercase letters, or special characters to try to drive home your point as that can instead hurt your meta tag efforts.

d). Use the keyword: Include the most relevant keywords for the page within your meta description and these should appear at the beginning.

4. Distribute content on social networks

Although Google has stressed many times that social networks do not influence search ranking, many Atlanta SEO experts disagree.

Having a profile on Google+ and updating it on a regular basis ‘seems’ to be one of the factors that will help you improve search performance.

Maybe not directly, but it can boost referral traffic to your website, like when you leverage Facebook and Twitter.

Increase Traffic Using Social Media

Undoubtedly, social networks are the perfect channels to publicize your products, services, and content; they also provide a way to direct traffic to your website.

To a greater or lesser extent, by using social media in your SEO strategy, you will reinforce your brand’s image, awareness, and popularity.

Another effective option to achieve greater visibility on the Internet is to use social media advertising platforms.

Among the social networks most used by SMEs to achieve their business’ objectives are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. LinkedIn also works when you’re trying to reach B2B businesses and working professionals.

Facebook continues to lead the social advertising platforms, but video websites and LinkedIn are close behind.

For example, on Facebook you can boost your content using ads as well as promote any organic content you post foras little as $5.

Twitter is another popular platform that offers a way for marketers to promote their content and business.

Essentially, if your content is primarily images, videos, infographics, and other visual content, Instagram should form an integral part of your social media plan because that is the kind of content that appeals to Instagram users.

Therefore, you can take advantage of the high level of engagement generated on Instagram where this type of content is more likely to be seen and shared amongst its users.

Through the use of these social media platforms and tools, it’s easier to distribute your content online, achieve greater interaction, generate a bigger impact, and grow your business.

In short, you could say that social networks are not a direct SEO services factor but without a doubt, they correlate with other factors such as traffic and time spent on your website which directly creates a positive boost in search rankings (according to a study by Moz).

5. Reduce the loading time of your website

If you want to achieve a decent user experience, you must have already applied certain principles of web usability, like optimizing your website so that all ofthe pages load quickly.

The Google PageSpeed Insights tool shows the loading speed of your website and provides recommendations for how to fix page load issues.

First off, it’s important to host your website with a reliable and fast server and only use plugins if they serve a useful purpose for you as they may affect how quickly the page loads. Google spider crawlers definitely pay attention to this and recognize how efficient it is for Google users.

That’s why Google rewards fast-loading websites by giving them higher rankings within organic search results over slow-loading pages.

It also allows you to check the loading time separately for desktop and mobile devices.

When creating a fast-loading page, always make sure that the image elements on your pages are compressed (no bigger than 1MB) and use a caching tool when loading it.

This ensures that fewer scripts run and that creates faster response times from the server.Test your website yourself and try to improve your scoring.

6. Work on Off-Page SEO

By building more trusted links that point to your website, you’ll increase your relevance and authority.

Something you should know is that the link value is not measured by quantity, but by quality. Ideally, if you can achieve both quality and quantity then you’ll have the most favorable results.

Link building is hard work and even the most experienced digital marketers struggle at it. So, with the little time that you have, focus on building fewer but high-quality inbound links from good domains and complementary URLs.

As your domain’s authority increases, your search ranking will improve as well.

When it comes to link building, Google is more concerned about how relevant the link is, how natural it appears on the page, and the status of the referring domain (whether it’s a trusted source or low-quality).

7. Perform an On-Page analysis

To do this, perform an On-Page analysis by looking at your website and analyzing whether the content meets Google’s requirements. This analysis often gives you an idea of the optimization potential of your website.

At our Atlanta SEO Company and with our SEO services, we can help you to perform On-Page analysis and develop a proven SEO plan to dominate your niche.

Based on the results, we can help you build a to-do list of what you’re doing right and what you can improve on.

You can also use Google Search Console to effectively track your website’s performance. This service helps you better optimize your website’s performance and track user behavior.

Knowing the keywords you currently rank for will help you determine what important steps you can take right now to improve your search engine results.

Google Search Console, for example, shows the keywords that your website is currently ranking for and their average positions.

Look at the keywords that show up in positions 11-20. These are the keywords you need to push to the positions 1-10.

You can do this by improving the quality of your content, length, and sending more trusted links to your pages.

Furthermore, the Webmaster Tool alerts you to errors on your web page that should be fixed and it allows you to track user behavior, especially conversions, on each page.

As a result, you can continually refine your website to get better search rankings without targeting new keywords.

Conclusion

These 7 hacks will help you optimize your pages to boost search ranking and sustain it.However, if you need some help, our SEO company Cardinal Digital Marketing can help you.

However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect results overnight. That’s why 60 days is the ideal ‘waiting time’ to see results as soon as you start implementing these hacks.

With lots of patience and consistency in the application of your SEO strategy, you’ll dramatically improve your search visibility regardless of the competition.

How to Get 250,000+ Visits (My Best Growth Hacks)

How to Get 250,000+ Visits (My Best Growth Hacks)

Growth is a key element for your business. The thing is, it’s not very easily achieved, but absolutely possible and this article talks about just that!

The firs thing you need to focus on the quality traffic so it converts. It’s not only about the numbers, it’s about the correct numbers. There are many free tools that can help you measure the analytics. Pay attention to things like targeting long-tail keywords, posting the best content ever written on the target keywords, improving your CTR, doing content layering, repurposing your content for other social media profiles, working on lowering the bounce rate and increasing the time-on-site, offering your site in other languages, practicing guest blogging, allowing other people to guest post on your site. Other things you can do are steal the best content from the competitors in your industry, steal your competitor’s traffic sources, refresh and update your content on a regular basis, build backlinks and dominate organic search, make sure your visitors don’t have technical difficulties, offer different types of content, etc.

When it comes to social media strategies, you need to take other steps like automating your social media posts. In the article you can read Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook hacks to increase traffic. Don’t leave out Reddit/Steemit. If you have a younger audience, Tik-tok and Snapchat are also very relevant.

A tool that will help you with promoting social shares is QuuuPromote. Continue reading to discover relevant techniques for all of these points.

My first 3 years blogging were awful.

This was due to the fact that:

  • I blogged inconsistently.
  • My articles were not amazing.
  • My traffic was lackluster.
  • No one knew me or my site.
  • And my sales and AdSense revenue were close to 0.

 

how my traffic has evolved over time

But now on my 7th year blogging, everything has changed.

 

  • I now own 9 blogs that I update almost daily.
  • My articles rank on the first few spots for highly trafficked keywords.
  • My traffic on alejandrorioja.com alone is close to ~250,000 per month.
  • My tactics and my story have been covered by Forbes, Mashable, Inc, and 100+ other blogs and news sites.
  • And my ad revenue is picking up fast.

TODAY, I’LL SHARE WITH YOU MY BEST TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC SO THAT YOU TOO CAN GET THOUSANDS OF READERS AND LEADS PER MONTH.

I’ll also share the system I have to blog effortlessly every day. (hint: I will show you where to hire your next writer and Growth Project Manager)

This is a big post, I recommend you bookmark it.

Take your time reading it, and work through the several tactics over several days and weeks (and possibly quarters).

Let’s get to it ?

I divided this guide into 3 main blocks:

  1. SEO and Content Marketing (released now!)
  2. Social Media Marketing (released now!)
  3. SEM and Paid Marketing (I’ll release it if this post gets 50,000 reads or 1000 shares)

Btw, I listed all the tactics by ease of implementation and highest payout, i.e. the best tactics that you should do first are listed at the top of each block.

If you consider yourself an experienced marketer and want to find more advanced techniques lookout for the fire emoji ?on the tactics. 

Let’s first cover…

Why growth is key for your business 

growth spur

 

With so many things to focus on when running a business (improving your product, doing customer support, hiring) sometimes increasing website traffic via SEO or SEM might not be top of mind for you.

I’d like to argue that Growth should be very top of mind because it allows you to see the real demand for your product, test out ideas quickly, get more engaged users and increase your business revenue.

While there are many areas of growth, in this guide I’ll mostly focus on getting more traffic.

However, not all traffic is made equal…

You should focus on more QUALITY traffic

Yes, getting more traffic volume is useful but if that traffic isn’t converting (signing up for your product, purchasing your service, clicking on your affiliate links), it won’t do you much good.

Even worse, if you buy traffic bots you are just doing yourself a disservice.

Aside from having a lower Alexa rank, the true benefit of having higher quality traffic is getting more people that can help you test different experiments that will eventually lead you to more sign ups and conversions.

Several A/B tests are made possible with high quality traffic:

  • content/layout tests (button colors, shapes, page layout, no sidebar)
  • Value proposition (which features to talk about first, what gets people excited)
  • Pricing (i.e. charge $99/mo or go for freemium)

Now that we are clear that we want the cleanest traffic for our data dashboards, let’s explore how to increase those Google Analytics numbers:

Here’s a great video that shares a few of the tactics I discussed (keep reading to find many more)

Free tools you should set up to measure your analytics

  • (Must have) Google Analytics to measure your site stats
  • (Must have) Google Search Console to see your organic performance
  • (optional) Google Data Studio or Big Query to run data analysis or create better dashboards
  • (optional) Hotjar to see how people are interacting with your site
  • (optional) Mixpanel to better visualize your funnels (there’s a free trial)
  • (optional) Buffer to measure how your socials are doing
  • (optional) Optimizely to A/B test your site

Alright, now that you are all set up, let’s start with my favorite channel to get more website traffic..

increase traffic with seo

A) How to use SEO to drive free traffic

SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is one of my favorite ways to increase site traffic.

I like it a lot because anyone can get started on it by simply writing.

It doesn’t require any significant monetary investments like Google Ads other than your time, so a small blogger can start getting traffic even with a $0 budget.

THE BEST PART ABOUT SEO IS THAT, UNLIKE SEM, IT IS SUSTAINABLE AND MUCH MORE OF A LONG-TERM PLAY.

With SEM (Search Engine Marketing) the moment you stop paying for ads, your traffic goes to 0.

With SEO, you can reliably drive traffic every single month.

It’s an effort that pays for much longer (assuming you keep your articles updated),

Another great thing about SEO is that your efforts compound over time.

Writing a few articles help you increase your domain authority and that in turn brings you more traffic.

Also, a blog post you wrote last month can be driving 1000 visits, and this month’s blog post can drive another 500, helping you increase your monthly visitors very quickly.

Ok, so now that I made a case for SEO….

Let’s explore the actual tactics to rank and get more traffic.

1.  Target long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are keywords with decent traffic volume (say 1000+) and relatively low difficulty (KD <20). (what is keyword difficulty?)

long tail keyword chart

If you are just getting started, you should target long tail keywords because your blog won’t have the necessary authority to compete with the established players.

Also notice how the conversion rate is much higher for long-tail searches.

Now, let’s say you just started an e-commerce site selling merch, specifically T-shirts.

Instead of trying to rank for “T-shirts” which is a hard keyword..

…you can aim for “vintage T-shirts” which has a 12,000 search volume and a difficulty of 7. (Difficulty goes from 0-100).

You’ll be much more likely to rank and might even get better conversions.

Wondering where I got the keyword difficulty?

 

Don’t worry, later in this post I’ll show you how to do great keyword research for your business and find all the keyword metrics you need.

?You can find long tail keywords using:

? Related: Curious about what the highest paying keywords in the world are? Check this list

2. Post the best content ever written on your target keyword(s)

I’m not talking about good, neither great, but THE BEST CONTENT ever written for any particular keyword you intend to rank.

While it’s easier to push 500-1000 words of content, trust me going above and beyond with 2000-3000 word guides will really pay off.

A study done by SerpIQ confirms this

seo content length 2020

 

That’s why you won’t find any article on my site that isn’t detailed and thorough.

When you came to this article, you wanted to learn exactly how to grow your traffic. I plan to give you that and more. This 7500+ word guide is proof of that.

? To write the best content ever written on any keyword:

  1. Google search your target keyword
  2. Read the top 5-10 articles that appear
  3. Take note of the style of sites that appear on the first page (are they listicles, infographics, long articles or short sales pages?)
  4. Summarize and transcribe the best tips of each into a new blog post on your site and make sure you go in-depth (make sure you copy the style of post from step #3)
  5. Make the article better and longer by adding new information, including media such as images and links to Youtube videos (note that you don’t necessarily need to produce the YT videos yourself, you can link to others!)

Keep in mind that you should also have a healthy keyword density. If you want to learn more about ideal keyword density check out WDF*IDF.

How to publish 50+ articles per month, instead of 1-2

?If you want to scale this process, hire writers on Freeeup and follow the guide my friend Nick Jordan wrote on turning any writer into an SEO writer effortlessly.

Summarizing Nick’s article: He hires writers and instead of giving each writer specific guidelines for each article, he created a very straightforward checklist that ensures the best success. Here’s his formula for articles:

He requests each writer to get at least:

  • 3 sets of bullets
  • 3 lists
  • 2 tables
  • 8+ h2s
  • 5+ internal links
  • 5+ external links

This seems to be working really well. If you want to outsource your content to Nick’s content company, let me know and I’ll get you a friend’s discount. Note he works mostly with B2B companies.

3. Improve your CTR (Click Through Rate)

As you can see here, my site gets over 85% of its traffic from Search Engines.

top channels

And a lot of that comes from several experiments and learnings I’ve gotten from trying to optimize my CTR.

organic results ctr

 

Your CTR is directly influenced by your meta title and description.

Here are some serious data-driven guidelines to improve your CTR (data from this study):

  1. Include your keyword in the title and description (ideally towards the start).
  2. Add a meta description to increase CTR by 5.8%
  3. Add a question to your meta title to increase CTR by 14%
  4. Add emotion to increase CTR by 7%
  5. Add other words, such as: “How to”, “Checklist”, “2020”, “complete”, “7 tips to..”
  6. My favorite: add emojis!
  7. Keep your meta title between 15-40 characters to increase CTR by 8.6%. Note that Google only cares about pixel length and the max allowed length is 555 pixels (~60 chars). [Note than a “Q” takes more pixel space than an “i”]. You can test your pixel length here.

? Here’s a step-by-step exercise to improve your CTR by modifying your meta titles and description:

improve CTR
  • Search your keyword and see what titles people are using. Try to come up with a better title than them. For instance, if you see people writing “20 gifts for grandma”, try “25 gifts for grandma”
  • When applicable, add the year or season to your post “25 gifts for grandma this christmas”
  • Add emotion “25 christmas gifts for grandma that will melt her heart”
  • Add emojis “?25 christmas gifts for grandma that will melt her heart ”
  • Write a great meta description “Become your grandma’s favorite grandson by picking one of these adorable christmas gifts. Options for all budgets”
  • Booom!

Lastly, your slugs (i.e. /christmas-gifts on abc.com/christmas-gifts) should follow these guidelines:

  • Make it short and use your keyword (abc.com/your-keyword)
  • Use lowercase, even for acronyms (use /what-is-yolo and not /what-is-YOLO)
  • Use dashes instead of underscores (use /simple-recipes and not /simple_recipes)
  • Don’t use whitespaces (use /seo-guide and not /seo%20%guide)

? Another way to find really good meta titles is to look into the paid Adwords ads copy and find inspiration there. You can use Spyfu to look at what your competitors are using or just google your keyword and see the paid results.

spyfu

This works well because most of Google’s business is based on Ad revenue (like Facebook’s) and they optimize the ads they show based on relevancy and quality, and since they mostly make money from people clicking on ads, they will surely show the ads that have great clicks.

? Also, as this study on Search Engine Land shows, you can also improve your CTR by 400%+ if you win the featured snippet. (more on that later)

featured snippet

??Need to improve your metas and CTR at scale? Use tools like Rankscience or DistilledODN to run A/B tests of your metas and measure your performance.

 

4. Don’t just blog about keywords. Blog about “topics”. 

Any good blog post will rank for multiple keywords.

Usually those keywords will be clustered around a certain topic.

SEO Topic Clusters Pillar

What you don’t want to do is pick only one keyword and miss out on similar keywords.

For instance, let’s say your kw research lead you to the following 5 keywords:

?{cutest dogs, most beautiful dogs, toys for dogs, small dog toys, best dog breeds} ?

While you could attempt to write 5 different posts to target each keyword separately you will be better off by writing 3 articles with the following keywords in them because the keywords are so similar

1. {cutest dogs, most beautiful dogs}

2. {toys for dogs, small dog toys}

3. {best dog breeds}

This is called keyword clustering.

In a nutshell, the pairing logic works as follows:

keyword clustering hard clustering 1200x490 1

If two or more keywords share similar URLs on their google searches (let’s say at least 3 sites on the first 10 results), we group those keywords and consider them “similar”.

Once you find similar keywords, you can type them on Ahrefs and go to their parent topic.

?Here’s a longer guide that explains how to cluster your keywords.

Once you got a list of a bunch of keywords you are looking to target, you can also use a tool like SpySERP to cluster your topics.

With a bunch of content clusters you can start planning your content roadmap and…

5. Do Content Layering (aka middle-of-the-funnel content)

Content layering is very simple yet very powerful.

Content Layering

It involves creating content that generates links, ranks well and layers directly on top of your key product/service landing page.

Let’s say you sell domain names and hosting.

While your “Register A Domain” landing page might not be able to compete with the GoDaddys and Bluehosts of the world given their insane DA (Domain Authority) and Adwords budget, you can still make a huge revenue improvement if you create content one step above that page in the buying process.

For instance, you can create articles such as “how to find the right domain name” or “how to buy a domain”, which will get you people who are very close to registering a domain.

content layering

Then in that slightly-easier-to-rank-article, you can include links to your landing page, thereby driving significant highly targeted traffic.

Content layering helps because:

  • You rank for easier keywords with high intent, and potentially earn backlinks, thereby increasing your authority
  • It builds brand awareness and might improve your CTR as people will recognize your articles/brand next time they do a search
  • You can build your product into those pages, helping you close more business. (For instance in the case of Hostinger, they can add a domain name checker tool on that blog post)

This technique works great for new ecommerce businesses, SaaS solutions and anyone else selling products where people might have specific questions right before purchasing.

6. Repurpose your content for Medium and Linkedin

This one is super easy and has a great effort/reward ratio. Can be outsourced easily. 

All there’s here is essentially mildly rewriting your post and publishing it to Medium and Linkedin.

Given that those 2 sites have really strong Domain Authority it is not uncommon for me to see that some of my posts do better on the SERPs. (Search Engine Result Pages)

For instance my blog post on getting verified on Facebook that I repurposed for Linkedin has close to 180k views.

repurpose on Linkedin

On both platforms, what you can do is share 50-70% of the tips of your original article and then invite the readers to continue reading on your site.

You can add a sentence like “To read the last 3 tips, check the original article published on my site [link]” or “for the latest version of this article, check this link”.

Here are some pro tips for Medium

Use Medium’s import tool to import each blog post to Medium and automatically set the right canonical tag.

The steps to import an article to Medium are

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top-right corner of the page and click Stories.
  2. Click Import a story.
  3. Paste the URL of the story you’d like to import into the field and click Import.
  4. Click See your story.
  5. Edit your post and click Publish to publish it on your profile. (Note that some of the anchor links usually are broken so you will need to go back and fix them)

You can also sign up for Medium’s Partner Program and earn some decent revenue from the reads on your article.

medium publication

Curious how I do it? Check our my SEO & Marketing publication on Medium.

Here are some pro tips for Linkedin articles

On Linkedin encourage people to connect with you and drop a comment/like at the end of your articles.

The benefit of this is that every time someone engages with your article, their entire network sees it on their News Feed, bringing you amazing 2nd and 3rd degree views you couldn’t otherwise get.

This is how I announced this post a few days ago…

linkedin status post

This got me ~12k views instead of my average of ~300 views. (a 40x improvement)

Additionally, you can tweet your LInkedin article to @LinkedinEditors with a compelling description so that you get featured on Linkedin Pulse and potentially reach millions of views as your article will be promoted to a large audience.

? Need other Linkedin content hacks? Check my Linkedin viral guide on Huffington Post and this guide to get featured on Linkedin Pulse.

7. Lower your bounce rate and increase time-on-site using “Open Loops”

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that visit one page and leave your site, rather than continuing visiting other pages.

Time on site essentially tracks how much time someone has spent browsing your website.

These 2 metrics are important to Google because they indicate whether or not the content you produced is helping the users.

Publishing insanely good content will make your bounce rate lower and your Google rankings higher.

To lower your bounce rate, you can:

  • Hook your readers from the beginning (“My first 3 years blogging were awful”)
  • Make your site responsive and fast (more on that later)
  • Have a great site design that invites people to click around more (you can buy a beautiful website theme on Envato)

To improve your time on site:

  • Publish great relevant content
  • Write longer articles
  • Use Open Loops (read below)

Let’s talk about to Open Loops

I know you are wondering what Open Loops are, so let me explain.

Open Loops are things (ideas, stories) that are left incomplete that your brain is rushing to finish or close.

Netflix does this really well by showing you a climactic moment right at the end of an episode so that you are hooked to watch the next.

You can do the same on your site.

For instance notice how on this post, I try to not only hook you from the beginning with a promise “I’ll share with you my best tips to increase your traffic so that you too can get thousands of readers and leads per month” but also throughout the post I have connectors between each tip such as “that leads me to my next point..” or “as you’ll see later…”

Something else to keep your visitors longer on your site is to actually write compelling, long form articles.

Last great hack I’ve been using is loading my next article when someone hits the end of a post.

This infinite loading keeps people on my site longer and bouncing less (which gives great SEO signals to Google) and also makes it more likely that they will share my article or close as a lead.

You can use the autoload next post WP plugin for that.

8. Offer your site in other languages 

I’ve translated some of my most popular posts to over 12 languages including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic.

On any given month, my translated posts drive about 10-15k visitors to my site.

translate your site

This is because it’s so much easier to rank in anything other than English given the lesser competition (do keep in mind that ad revenue might also be smaller in other languages).

If you were to translate your site to the top 12 economic languages, you will be able to reach 90% of all internet users (or 1.3B people).

I know you are curious to know which languages those are, so here you go.

The top 12 internet languages (alphabetically)

  1. Arabic / العربية (ar)‎
  2. Chinese / 中文 (zh_CN)‎
  3. English / English (en_US)‎
  4. French / Français (fr_CA)‎
  5. German / Deutsch (de_DE)‎
  6. Hindi / “हिन्दी (hi_IN)‎
  7. Italian / Italiano (it_IT)‎
  8. Japanese / 日本語 (ja_JP)‎
  9. Korean / 한국어 (ko_KR)‎
  10. Portuguese / Português (pt_BR)‎
  11. Russian / Русский (ru_RU)‎
  12. Spanish / Español (es_ES)‎

If you are implementing this, I recommend creating separate folders such as abc.com/es/ and making sure you learn about the correct hreflang implementation.

If you are just a content/affiliate blogger like me and have limited budget, I suggest using Polylang and Lingotek to get free machine translations of your posts. They are not perfect but they work well. Lingotek offers a connection to Microsoft Azure translation API, which I like.

If you are a bigger company, you’ll probably be better off hiring actual professional translators.

9. Guest Blog in other highly trafficked sites to build backlinks and get referral traffic

Akin to getting a shoutout on a big Instagram account (like the one for my site Mentioned @futuresharksmedia), blogging on large sites will not only drive some decent traffic but will also earn you a quality backlink.

For instance an article I wrote on the Huffington Post: “How to Find Your Niche” is driving a few hundred referral visits each month to my blog.

Don’t know where to start guesting? Try my list of best guest post sites.

Want to learn about my system to build 100s of links of DR60+ in just weeks? DM me if your budget per link is $200+.

If you don’t want to write a new post, here’s a list of sites that allow you to republish your article

? Here’s how you can slide into the DMs of editors at Forbes, Mashable and pitch your blog post idea.

10. Allow other people to guest post on your site

Future Sharks logo

Want to know how I was able to grow one of my sites (Future Sharks) to 50k visitors per month in less than a year?

It happened when I realized that I was the bottleneck to creating content.

I then decided to allow people to contribute to my site, thereby making it a contributor site and now there are over 1000 articles published on the page.

Related: Want to sign up to contribute to FS? Here’s the link. While at it, also sign up to contribute to SoInfluential and Authority Daily (or any of my other sites)

A few things you need to keep in mind if you are allowing people to contribute:

  • Only allow topics related to your niche
  • No one should be allowed to post any spammy links
  • You should try to link internally to other related posts
  • You should conduct a content audit every so often
  • The content should be at a minimum of 1000 words

The easiest way to get started is to add a link that says “Contribute here” on your site menu. Then have people email you or message you with their topic pitch.

Another way is to selectively reply to the countless of emails you are probably already receiving from content agencies or white hat link builders and see if their quality is any good.

The last one is to sign up for websites that allow you to offer (paid) guest posting on your site, such as

 

This way you can also start monetizing your sites!

11. Steal the best content from your competitors

Go to Ahrefs and type a competitor in my case, let’s say Siege Media.

competitor pages

Then you can go to their organic keywords. By default it will be sorted by traffic. Add those keywords to your list. (and run the keyword clustering idea from tip #4 above)

You can also go to their Top Pages and see which pages are generating the most traffic, then analyze the keywords to those pages.

find competitor pages

That’s just a teaser. Want to know more about finding keywords? Here’s the complete guide to keyword research

12. Steal your competitor’s traffic sources

You can use Similar Web to find out where your competitor is getting traffic from.

similar-web-traffic

For instance, I see that Backlinko (one of my competitors) is getting a ton of traffic from BlackHatWorld and Ahrefs. I can start publishing my articles on BHW and aim to do a collab post on the Ahrefs blog.

Can’t think of a competitor? Go to the competing domains on the left hand side of Ahrefs and see the keywords unique to your competitors.

competing domains

13. Refresh and update your content regularly

Have a blog post that’s not doing well despite you having poured hours into it?

Maybe it’s time for a refresh.

If you are a full-time blogger, you shouldn’t have any blog posts that you haven’t updated in the last 12-18 months. Given how fast things change, even something you wrote 6 months ago might need a refresh.

I’m constantly going back and updating my best content every 3-6 months, adding new strategies, removing ones that no longer work and adding new info.

For instance, one of my best posts is a script to invite all your friends to like your page on Facebook.

Facebook is constantly changing its layout and functionality so I need to keep it up-to-date as much as possible.

You can use Answer The Public (free) or Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer (paid) to find [new] questions that people are asking about your keywords.

increase website traffic answers

For instance, when I was writing this post, I typed “increase web traffic” into Answer The Public and found some keywords that I hadn’t thought of such as “for free, bot, strategies, etc”. I decided to add a few of those into this post.

Lastly you can add the Last Modified WordPress plugin to show your visitors when your post was last refreshed so they know they are reading an updated version.

14. Build Backlinks and dominate organic search

Backlinks are links from other sites to yours.

Google’s algorithm looks at over 200 factors to decide how to rank your site.

Content is #1. Backlinks are #2. (Rankbrain is #3)

Backlinks are a vote of confidence of other sites to yours, and are a key ranking factor.

Need a quick estimate of how many backlinks you need to rank in the top 10? Use the keyword search functionality on Ahrefs to find out.

Once you know how many links you need, you can build backlinks by:

  • Guest posting on other sites
  • Making such an amazing or novel post that people naturally link to it
  • Inter-linking your blog post with other posts you’ve written in the past
  • Using LinkProspector (here’s also a guide on how to do Link Prospecting)
  • Reaching out to whoever is linking to your competitors and asking for a guest post (Type your competitor’s url into Ahrefs and go to backlinks overview to see who is linking to them)
  • Distributing your content through Rankz and using Authority Land to do it at scale.

Want to build an easy backlink? Comment on this post with your site and a friendly message 🙂

 

15. Don’t lose your visitors due to technical difficulties

This includes making sure your site loads fast.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Use a CDN (content delivery network). I like Cloudflare.
  • Use browser caching. For WordPress, I like WP Fastest cache.
  • Minify your CSS/JS (use this tool)
  • Implement AMP (you can use the official AMP Plugin)
  • Make sure your site is mobile-first
  • Make sure Google is crawling your site correctly (check for any errors on Search Console)
  • Implement HTTPS (SSL). You can do it for free using Let’s Encrypt (not compatible with Godaddy)
  • Optimize your images before uploading them to your site using ImageOptim.

?Don’t have time to speed up your site or are not technically-savvy? Go on Fiverr and search for “website speed” or “wordpress speed” and hire someone. You can use this link to get 20% off.

Are you already getting 10,000 views and showing ads? Sign up for Ezoic and not only increase your ad revenue but also speed up your site with their Site Accelerator.

Want to find out if Google is indexing your non-https urls?

non https sites

You can search site:example.com -inurl:https and find out if Google’s index is showing them. You can then remove those pages or enforce https on them.

Want to find other technical issues? Use Screaming Frog. Here’s a great tutorial on how to use that tool.

16. Make different types of content

Don’t just stick to plain old blog posts.

Try infographics which will earn you shares, videos, ebooks and more.

siege better content

Credit: Siege.

SEO section wrap-up

SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Despite what you might have been led to believe, SEO is pretty straightforward.

You just need great content and backlinks.

If you have no budget for ads, get writing blog posts.

If you want to learn more about SEO, read these guides:

Now, let’s jump to the social media hacks below to see how status updates can help you drive traffic.

how to increase website traffic with social media

B) Social Media Marketing Techniques to Increase Your Traffic 

Big shocker here but yes, you need to promote your site and articles on all the platforms.

For higher engagement with your posts, make sure your update is not just the article link but a few teasers of what people can expect in the post, so that they click.

For instance, I teased this post by making it password protected and got over 5k views on my status (compared to an average of 300 views).

17. How to automate your social media posts

Need to do everything at scale? Use IFTTT or Zapier to automatically post to your social accounts whenever you publish a new post.

You can also hire a VA on Freeeup or use tools like SproutSocialBuffer or Hootsuite to schedule your content sharing.

Lastly, if you don’t have much content to promote but still want to have a robust content calendar, you can sign up for Quuu and have curated articles shared with your network.

Remember to always include a small ask at the end of your status post such as “like it if you found Y technique useful” or “share this with a friend that could benefit from X tip” or “comment which recipe you will be cooking this weekend”

Also add social sharing buttons to your blog. They will make people share your content much more often.

Btw, while we are here… mind sharing this post? It would mean a lot to me if you did. Tag me so I get happy 🙂 

Post at the best times to get more social engagement

Here are some general guidelines as to when to post on each platform.

best-time-to-post-on-social-media-infographic

 

Oh, and by the way, feel free to share your article more than once.

There’s a high chance most of your followers didn’t click on it or see it the first time you shared it.

If you use SproutSocial, they have this feature called ViralPost that will attempt to post at the times that they have determined will get you the most engagement.

Alright, time for the growth hacks on each platform…

18. Linkedin growth hacks to increase traffic

For the best exposure, make sure you connect with as many people in your niche as possible prior to promoting your articles.

Also if you only publish high quality statuses people will start noticing, so don’t let your quality standards drop. For instance, my friend, Hamza Khawaja, has created a brand for himself of being the go-to person for college students seeking internship tips on Linkedin.

Here are the guidelines for the best reach on a Linkedin post:

  • Share 1-2 tips from your article and leave a few tips out that require people to go to your page.
  • Space your status one line at the time so that people scroll and spend more time reading it.
  • For the best reach, do not include the link in your post but rather include in it the first comment.
  • Ask people to comment something or tag a friend that can benefit from your post. Even better, ask them to use a particular hashtag like “#traffic” so that you start trending. This helps growth hack your exposure as every time someone comments on your post, that post gets promoted to their followers.

Want to connect with me? Send me a connection request and tell me you found me on this article!

19. Instagram growth hacks

If you have more than 10k followers, do a swipe up story where you tease your article and encourage people to read more.

Instagram pods are key here. A pod is essentially a group chat where everyone agrees to like, comment, share each others posts as soon as they are live. Many people build them on Telegram.

The easiest way to get started is to get a handful of friends and create your own pod.

Ideally everyone in the pod has a similar amount of followers so that no one feels like their are getting a bad deal.

If your engagement is high in the first few minutes, Instagram might promote you to the Explore page where you will reach people who don’t already follow you.

study done by Agora Pulse on IG hashtags, showed that you should use all 30 hashtags if you want to increase your engagement. And yeah, you should put them in the post, rather than the first comment.

Btw, you can automate your IG and Pinterest growth with a bot called Jarvee.

Pro tip: Learn how to get verified on IG and verified on FB to increase the reach of your posts and legitimacy.  

20. Drive traffic through Pinterest pins

I grew one of my clients’ Pinterest to over 12k monthly viewers, all automated.

I used Jarvee for this.

I found some related boards and re-pinned their most pinned content. Since the content was already validated (people liked it), I knew my boards will also be enjoyed by other users.

You can add your url to say 15% of all pins driving more traffic to your page for free.

Pro tip: Here’s a script to get more followers on Pinterest.

If you don’t want to use a bot, you can find services on Fiverr that will grow your Pinterest up to a 1M monthly views, just search for “pinterest”.

21. Good ol’ Facebook posting for website traffic

Facebook pages are no longer that useful given the terrible organic reach. (I’ll cover FB paid strategies further down)

2 things I see working well these days are:

  • Having a public personal profile (here’s mine) and befriending people in your niche who will enjoy your content
  • Having a private group that people need to request to Join (e.g. Stacking Growth) where you only admit people who are interested in your content.

In both of those cases, you want to curate an audience of readers and potential buyers that will engage with your posts.

22. Don’t forget about Reddit / Steemit

You can also post on relevant subreddits or Steemit to get your post some serious new traffic.

To find relevant subreddits, just head to Reddit.com and type a keyword such as “vegan”. You can then see different communities.

subreddits

Join a few, build up good karma by commenting without a link.

Later, then post an original guide on reddit for instance “how to make jackfruit tacos” and then at the bottom link to your jackfruit article.

 

Don’t have time to build up all that Karma? Hire someone on Fiverr with high karma to post for you for $5.

You can use the plugin Steempress to automatically post to Steemit.

23. Leverage Snapchat/Tiktok if you are trying to reach a younger audience

Learn how I got thousands of followers on Snap and do the same for your business.

I don’t know much about TikTok other than the fact that’s blowing up. You should aim to be there now and establish your influence.

You can copy some of the best vines or Tik Tok’s most viewed videos, remix them, add your own personal touch, and post them.

24. Use a “sharewall”

I totally just made up this word but it’s essentially a paywall that requires someone to share your post to access the content.

You can lock certain parts of your blog post and only allow people to read them if they share your post. Here are a few plugins you can use to lock your content.

You can put an ebook behind this “sharewall” or a very valuable tip.

Warning: don’t lock up too much of your content or you will start missing out on your SEO optimization. 

Click to Tweet

People are lazy and don’t want to spend time thinking which one-liner from your post will make them sound smart on Twitter.

Do the work for them and have a few key tips ready to be tweeted with a click.

You can do this using ClickToTweet.com.

25. Use QuuuPromote to blow your social shares out of the water ?

quuu promote results

 

QuuuPromote shows your content to people who are looking to share curated articles to their network.

If you start a promo, your article will be circulated around various people who are looking to share articles on their selected niches.

In my opinion, it’s worth trying a test out for $40 and see how the shares improve.

In a few days, I’ve gotten 50-150 shares. Not too shabby, although the click rate is quite low.

(I can only hope those are real accounts)

D) Other Growth Channels

If you are a brick and mortar store or provide local services, use Google My Business

Here you can sign up for Google My Business.

The pro tip here is to have an Offer running at all times. Businesses with offers get more views and the “offers appear near the top of the Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.”

google my business

For example a dating coach in Austin could list him or herself on Google My Business and set the service area to +20 miles.

People who are located in ATX and are searching for “dating coach” will likely come across this coach and visit his or her website.

The offer should be compelling enough for people to then close. An applicable offer here could be “free 15 min phone consultation” or “free date outfit audit”. Think of something that will make your prospects be interested in your business over the rest.

You should also aim to have as close to 5 stars as possible.

Also use Yelp to drive traffic

Similarly to your Google business page, you should aim to have your profile as complete as possible.

In certain niches, running promotions on Yelp tend to pay off. Some good ones are lawyers, tax attorneys, dentists, and others.

How to get more 5-stars on Yelp, Google and Trustpilot:

  • If you are a restaurant, offer a free dessert or boba for any review (while you shouldn’t directly ask for 5 stars, people will tend to review you highly anyway)
  • You can also email previous customers and ask for a review
  • Include links to review your business on your website and social posts

Use Quora to drive super qualified leads

If you are an SEO tool, you should be answering Quora questions such as “What are the best SEO tools out there?”

On top of answering and building your personal brand, you will also earn great referral traffic.

Pro tip: You can even find super easy keywords to rank by using Ahrefs to find all the keywords that quora.com is ranking for.

Then you can find some of the juiciest keywords you could ever dream of.

Since Quora isn’t a targeted site, you will likely outrank it with your niche site.

Hijack the news and be the first to cover a topic

This is a great strategy Everipedia used. During their first years, they aimed to write articles faster than Wikipedia or any other news site when a major event or personality emerged.

You can also use Google trends to find some interesting breakout stories.

google trends

For instance on Nov 2, 2019 the US was looking at several UFC fights. You can also use the category dropdown to filter based on your niche.

It’s not always useful but sometimes you can find a very good never seen before topic that you can cover.

Use Google Analytics to analyze where your traffic is coming from 

Head to Google Analytics and click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.

Here you will be able to see which channels are driving traffic to your site (Organic Search, Direct, Referral, Social, Other).

Here you have a choice, either double down on your best channels or improve the ones that you’ve been neglecting.

For instance, I can see that I’m driving the most traffic through organic search which means my SEO tips work.

But, on the other hand, I haven’t done much promotion on social media, so I should start sharing there more.

Analyze your competitors and steal their content strategies

See a blog doing something interesting? You should definitely study their tactics.

For instance, the other day I saw Databox interviewing tons of thought leaders and creating a big listicle article. This is a great idea because every thought leader will share that article and drive tons of new website traffic. Not only that but also people will tend to link back to their site, getting them a ton of links.

You bet I’ll be doing the same with my So Influential blog.

 

 

 

Build and leverage your email list

On several of my sites, returning traffic is key.

Here’s a good plugin to build an automated email notification every time you post an article (or every Sunday, etc).

Another benefit of a list is that you will have some warm leads to sell your course or program to.

Best tools for this are Mailchimp, Braze, Marketo.

Chatbots

Another great tip is to build a Facebook chatbot and broadcast your articles there. I suggest using Manychat for this.

The benefit of a chatbot is that they have a 70%+ open rate and a 15%+ CTR. (insane!)

Web push subscribers

Notify your subscribers when a new post is up via Chrome notifications.

Two tools that will help you accomplish that are Subscribers.com and PushAlert.

Be on YouTube ?

Another great way to drive traffic to your site is to post content on Youtube.

If you want to see which keywords on Google Searches are showing Youtube videos on the results page, here’s how you can do that.

Head on to Ahrefs and use the keyword filters to “include = video”.

Learn other Youtube traffic tips.

 

Do targeted outreach and email your blog post out 

Find bloggers using AuthoritySpy and send them a link to your post sharing with you thought it would be useful to them.

As long as you don’t come off as spammy and your article is super valuable to them, I don’t see why anyone will get mad.

Use PR

This ties back into growing your personal brand.

Need a mention quickly? Sign up for HARO and help reporters fill in the expert info they need to publish their articles today.

Here are other tricks to get press for your company.

 

Need a PR agency recommendation? DM me if your budget is $5k+. I know just the right firm.

? Want to grow your brand and be featured on Future SharksSo InfluentialAuthority Daily and CryptoTimesDM me and we will make it happen. (Ask me about the bundle pricing).

The beauty of a site like Future Sharks is that it’s super easy to get on and it usually provides a springboard for the rest of your PR. (i.e. many people got their first press article on FS and then eventually went on to Forbes).

Not only that, but getting on FutureShark’s homepage also gives you a ton of exposure to more than 50,000 readers.

You can find out about the pricing here.

 

Write amazing headlines to draw the reader in. 

Even the best blog post will go unread if you fail to spike the interest of the reader. Also juicy headlines will get you more social shares, thereby driving more traffic.

Here are some great hacks to reverse engineers the best Buzzfeed headlines.

Leverage influencers

Sometimes a tweet from a respected leader in an industry is all you need to go viral.

Need to find the best influencers? Head to SoInfluential.

 

Grow your brand

For instance, each month I’m able to drive about 1000 people who search for my name “Alejandro Rioja” to my site.

branded queries

If you are a company or an individual, you should be aiming to capture brand equity so that your prospective clients are searching you by your name.

You can do this by getting quoted on other sites, being consistent with your publishing, and going on TV shows, speaking gigs and podcasts.

A benefit of podcasts is that you can also get a backlink to your site.

Same thing with speaking gigs. When I spoke at Ontraport’s Ontrapalooza event, I was able to get several mentions and traffic to my site.

Need to get your product to catch on like fire? Use Viral Loops

Viral Loops will incentivize the user to share, tweet, or refer a friend to earn a higher spot in line.

This is great for giveaways, limited time sneakers, conferences, etc.

 

Alright time to close this post off. Here are the tools I swear by.

Services and tools you need to use to grow your website business

  1. Freeeup (absolutely amazing when it comes to finding ghost writers)
  2. Fiverr (get your social media posts, infographics, emails, videos)
  3. Canva (easily design your own blog covers and graphics)
  4. One or more of these SEO tools, my favorites being:
    1. Google Analytics (essential)
    2. Google Search Console (essential)
    3. Ahrefs or SEMRush (pick one)
  5. If you need paid growth
    1. Facebook Ads Manager (tutorial coming soon!)
    2. Google Adwords (let me know if you want a tutorial in the comments)
    3. Your particular niche lead generator (for example, if you are in the insurance niche, buy ads on Nerdwallet)
    4. Taboola, Outbrain

 

Conclusion 

Traffic is a matter of consistency, and a few growth hacks here and there.

Remember, keep at it, and you will see your traffic increase over time.

The more content, the more potential shares and the more your traffic will compound.

The techniques shared here work best when you combine a lot of them at the same time.

Would love if you dropped a comment telling me which one of these strategies you plan on implementing next. Also if you know of any other hacks or tips to get more web traffic, please share it with the community in the comments 🙂

If you share this post, tag me and write 2-3 sentences about it. Every 50 shares, I’ll pick one person and do a free audit of their marketing funnel 🙂

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic – The Easy Way (27 Proven Tips)

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic – The Easy Way (27 Proven Tips)

Starting a blog these days has become easy with platforms like WordPress. However once it is up and running, the next big challenge you have is to bring more traffic to your blog or website.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a marketing guru to promote your blog. You can easily increase your blog traffic to get more visitors by using some proven best practices.

In this article, we will share some of the easiest and tested tips to increase your blog traffic like an expert marketer.

Unlike other articles on growing blog traffic, we are only going to share tips that we have personally used to increase our website traffic to millions of pageviews every month.

We also have done our best to make this the most comprehensive website traffic guide, so you can have a holistic blog traffic strategy for your business.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Before You Start – Setup Push Notifications for Your Site

Website push notification helps you stay in touch with your visitors after they leave your website, so you can bring them back. This is the top 5 traffic source on WPBeginner.

We use the tool called PushEngage. It’s a freemium software that we highly recommend for all bloggers, website owners, and eCommerce sites.

It lets you send notifications to your visitors mobile or desktop device that are hard to miss, so you get a much higher engagement rate than social media or email.

The best part is, you can communicate with visitors after they’ve left your site.

We use it on all of our websites, and it’s by far the best traffic channel for us.

Not many website owners know about this tactic because it used to be hard to set up in the past. PushEngage has made that easy. Here’s how to add web push notifications in WordPress.

Once you do this, any of the tips below will drive compounding traffic growth!

1. Create Audience Profiles to Understand Your Users

Audience profiles

Before you start creating content for your blog, it’s important to spend a little time understanding your target audience and what they are looking for.

You can quickly build an audience framework by answering the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problems are they facing that you can help solve?
  • What kind of content are they looking for?
  • How would they ideally try to find the answers to their questions?

Answering these questions will help you get a clearer picture of your target audience.

You can also expand on this by adding further personalized questions such as:

  • How old are they?
  • What are their occupations?
  • What is their education level?
  • What is their expertise level in the subject matter of your blog?

These audience profiles are also known as buyer personas in the eCommerce industry. If you run an online store, then we highly recommend that you check out this detailed guide on how to create a buyer persona with examples and templates.

2. Do Keyword Research to Plan Your Content Strategy

Keyword research

Keyword research is a technique used by content creators and SEO experts. It helps you discover specific words and sentences that users type in Google and other search engines to find the content they are looking for.

Normally, beginners just rely on their best guesses when creating content. As you can imagine, this strategy is a hit or miss.

If you use the “best-guess” strategy, then there’s a high chance that your articles will likely not rank high in search engines.

Simply because no one’s looking for the keywords you have used, or there is just too much competition for those keywords.

By doing proper keyword research, you will unlock the following benefits:

  • Discover actual search terms people are looking for
  • Find unique content ideas for popular search terms
  • Learn from your competitors and beat them with better content
  • Create a series of pillar-articles to drive steady traffic to your blog

Now the question is how do you actually do keyword research? Luckily, it is not as difficult as you would think.

There are a lot of free and paid keyword research tools that can help. We use SEMRush for our content strategy.

All you would have to do is enter a keyword, a competitors blog/website URL, or your own URL to find out more keyword ideas.

We have created a detailed guide on how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog with step by step instructions.

3. Make an Editorial Calendar

Editorial calendar

Once you have done the keyword research, you’ll likely come up with tons of blog post ideas.

Sometimes, the large list of keywords can overwhelm beginners to a point where they simply give up.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we recommend creating an editorial calendar (a game plan). Remember, no large blog was built in a day.

It takes time and consistent effort to create a successful blog.

Creating an editorial calendar will help you create and stick to the plan.

There are plenty of useful tools that you can use like Asana and Trello to name a few.

These tools come with a powerful set of features that will help you stay on top of your game.

The goal is to organize, create a bird’s eye view of your strategy, and be more productive.

Here are some more tips on managing your editorial workflow more efficiently.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Start with two articles a week and gradually increase your pace when you can.
  • Be consistent with your publishing schedule. Make sure you follow your calendar and publish regular content as planned.
  • Add notes, keyword ideas, and outlines to your calendar. This will help you produce better quality content when you sit down to write.
  • Use colors, tags, categories, and other features in your calendar app to make it more visual and organized.

Here are some more tips on managing an editorial calendar for your blog.

4. Create Comprehensive and Useful Content

Create comprehensive content

The most important thing that users and search engines look for is good quality content.

For a blog, a quality piece of content is usually a comprehensive article on a specific topic that covers all the details. This makes it extremely helpful for users.

These comprehensive articles are known as “pillar articles”. Other experts may refer to them as flagship content or cornerstone articles.

Basically, these are your most important articles. You need choose the most promising keyword and then provide as much information as you could in one long-form article.

You should create as many pillar articles as possible to cover all the important keywords in your industry.

Following are some tips that you should keep in mind when creating pillar content:

  • Pillar content could be any type of article. For example, a how-to guide, tutorial, comparison article, opinion piece, a listicle, and so on.
  • The difference between pillar content and other articles is that your pillar articles are more comprehensive and provide in-depth information on the topic.
  • Your pillar articles are not time-dependent. They are evergreen and always useful. Although we recommend keeping them updated with new information to stay on top of search results.

We will cover more tips later in this article that will help you create high-quality pillar articles to get more traffic from search engines.

5. Make Your Content Readable

Make your content more readable

As we mentioned earlier, search engines and users love longer and comprehensive articles that provide all the information they need.

Now the problem is that humans have a short attention span.

A slight difficulty in reading or understanding will put off your users, and they will leave without looking at all the useful information that you offered.

To solve this problem before it happens, you need to make all your content easy to read.

A good place to start would be to present your article in bite-size sentences using a friendly tone and lots of visuals.

Following are just some basic tips to make your content more readable and user-friendly.

  • Use smaller sentences and paragraphs. This leaves a lot of white space around text making it easier to look and read.
  • Try to improve typography by using more readable fonts, large font-size, and plenty of line spacing.
  • Check the readability score of your content. Yoast SEO comes with a built-in tool for that, you can also find tons of other online readability checkers
  • Use a grammar checker. We recommend using Grammarly, it not only checks grammar but actually helps you write better.
  • Use images, screenshots, videos, infographics, and other visual elements. These media elements make your article highly-engaging and easier to read.

6. Learn and apply the SEO basics to your Website

Learn basic SEO

SEO is a set of best practices that help you make your website more search engine friendly. You don’t need to be an ‘SEO Guru’ to improve your website.

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can do SEO for their own websites without hiring an expert. There are plenty of SEO tools and plugins, free advice, and step by step tutorials available that you can use.

We recommend using All in One SEO plugin for all WordPress websites. It is the most comprehensive SEO and website optimization tool. The free version includes all the SEO features that you will need on your website.

You can learn all you need to know about SEO, in our complete WordPress SEO guide for beginners. It includes step by step instructions, and it is the exact same SEO setup that we use on our own websites.

7. Learn to Write Great Headlines

Learn to write effective headlines

When users find your content in search results or RSS feeds, the first thing they see is your article headline.

A catchy blog post title stands out and gets more clicks. Whereas a plain and boring headline gets ignored, and users are likely to scroll by it.

This makes headlines very important.

You need to learn how to write better titles for your blog posts that capture user attention and get more clicks.

Luckily, blogging experts have been doing research on headlines for a very long time, and you can benefit from their findings.

These are the basic building blocks of an effective headline:

  • A good headline triggers an emotional response (joy, surprise, shock, curiosity, fear, excitement, greed, and so on).
  • It offers users a reward and value
  • It promotes the content by including target keywords

Copywriters use power words to trigger emotional responses. They tell users why the article is valuable or what they will get from clicking on the headline.

Lastly, a good headline includes a call to action for users which is often subtle and sometimes implied.

To learn more, we recommend you to check out these headlines that went viral and what you can learn from them.

You can also use the following free headline analyzer tools to help create better headlines:

Our team regularly uses these three tools to create better blog post titles and headlines.

8. Make Internal Linking a Routine Task

Make internal linking a habit

Now that you have started creating good content, it is important to link to your articles from your existing blog posts. This is called internal linking, and it plays a huge role in SEO.

Here is why internal linking is so important:

  • Internal links help Google understand the context and relationship between different articles on your website. It then uses this information as ranking signals.
  • Internal links, when placed strategically and in context, can help you increase page views and reduce bounce rate.
  • It is harder to ask third-party websites to link to your articles. It is way easier to create links on your own site.

We recommend making it a habit to link to your older articles from your new articles.

Because internal links play such an important role in SEO, we have even made it part of our pre-publish checklist for our writers.

9. Start Generating More Backlinks

Backlinks

A backlink is an incoming link to your content from an external website. Backlinks are one of the most influential signals in Google’s rankings.

Getting backlinks from reputable websites and blogs is very difficult. Not just for beginners, even experienced bloggers struggle with it.

Here are some tips to get quality backlinks to your website:

  • Reach out to influencers and reputable blogs in your industry, and then tell them about specific content on your website that they might want to link.
  • Write guest posts on other blogs and websites.
  • Interview influencers and bloggers on your blog. They will likely want to let their users know to come checkout their interview, and you’ll get a backlink.
  • The easiest way to get a backlink is to add a link to your website on all your social media profiles.

10. Add Images, Charts, Infographs to Create Visually Attractive Content

Use images

In step 5, we mentioned that adding images and charts to your articles makes it more readable.

Since visual elements are so important, we believe they deserved their own spot on this list.

As human beings, our brain prefers visual elements. We love colors and objects because aesthetics trigger emotional responses in our brains. This makes us more engaged and immersed in our surroundings.

People love looking at infographics because they make information engaging and easy to consume.

Images in your blog posts grab user’s attention and help them focus on not just the visual element but also the text around it.

If you’re just starting out, then it’s important to know that you cannot just use any image you see on the internet. Images are protected by copyright and stealing copyrighted material can have serious consequences.

Ideally, you want to use your own images, graphics, and photographs, but not all bloggers are graphic designers or photographers.

Luckily, there are so many great resources to find royalty free images, and there are even tools that you can use to easily create your own graphics. Here are some helpful resources:

11. Add Videos to Your Articles

Add videos to your blog posts

Videos are the most successful form of content on the internet. Users spend more time on blog posts containing videos than just text and images.

Adding videos to your articles in WordPress is super easy. However, you should never upload videos to WordPress because it is not optimized to stream videos.

A video hosted on your WordPress hosting server will take up too many resources, and the user experience would be terrible.

The best way to add videos to your WordPress site is by uploading them to YouTube and then embedding them in your blog posts.

This gives you even more exposure as YouTube itself is the world’s second largest search engine, and a popular social media platform.

There are many ways to easily create video content for your website. Here are a few that you can start with:

  • You can create slideshows of how to tutorials with voice over instructions
  • You can create screencasts
  • Record interviews with other bloggers and influencers in your industry
  • Become a vlogger by adding your own videos shot in selfie mode

For video editing, if you are using Mac, then iMovie is perfectly capable of performing basic video edits. Windows users can use free video editing software like Lightworks or Shotcut for basic editing.

12. Utilize User-Generated Content

Add user-generated content in WordPress

User-generated content is basically any content generated on your website as a result of user activity. This includes comments, testimonials, guest posts, user reviews, and more.

User-generated content helps you bring more traffic to your website because it gives users multiple opportunities to participate and get involved.

Users are more likely to return, share, and even purchase from your website when they spend more time on it.

There are many different kinds of user-generated content that you can add. You need to choose what works best for your blog and start from there.

For more ideas, see our guide on how to use user-generated content in WordPress to grow your website.

13. Keep Your Website Design Clean and Clutter Free

Clean design

There are a lot of great WordPress themes available on the market. The problem is that many beginners want to use a theme with all the bells and whistles. These themes are not always the perfect design for your website.

Bad website design stops your users from spending more time on your blog which decreases your pageviews.

Whereas a good design helps them discover more content, explore different sections, and spend more time.

We are often asked by users how to choose the best theme? Our answer is to always strive for simplicity.

A simple, clean, and functional theme makes a good first impression and offers the best user experience.

If you are looking for some theme recommendations, then check out our expert-pick showcases:

14. Optimize Website Speed to Load Your Pages Faster

Improve your website speed

In this era of instant gratification, no one wants to wait for a website to load. If your website is slow, then users will simply leave your website before it even loads.

Search engines like Google also consider website speed and page load time as one of the important ranking factors.

To make sure that your website loads fast, you need to optimize your WordPress performance. This means you need to use caching, avoid unnecessary bloat, and optimize your images.

We have prepared a step by step WordPress performance optimization guide that will help you speed up your website without hiring a developer.

15. Start Your Email List Right Away

Start building your email list

Most beginners spend too much of their time bringing new users to their website. However, more than 70% of users leaving your website will never return.

The trick to growing your blog traffic is NOT to just get new visitors, but you also need to keep existing visitors coming back.

How do you make sure that users return to your website?

You do that by asking them to subscribe to your blog.

Users can subscribe to your website’s social media profiles. However, most social networks limit your reach, and your users can only see some of your content.

This is why you need to start building your email list.

The best thing about your email list is that you own it. No one can limit your reach, and you get direct access to your user’s inboxes.

Email marketing is the most cost-efficient and highly effective marketing tool at your disposal.

You are losing potential subscribers each day without an email list.

For more on this topic, please read our article on why building an email list is so important.

Once you have an email list, you can send regular email newsletters to bring more visitors to your blog.

We recommend using Constant ContactSendinBlue, or ConvertKit.

Here’s our step by step guide on how to create an email newsletter.

16. Automatically Share Your Blog Posts

Share your content

When we stress that you should build an email list, we don’t mean that you should stop building a social media following.

Quite the opposite, in fact, we want you to continue building a social media following on all the important social platforms, and even find new niche platforms that you can explore.

The problem with social media websites is that you have to regularly post content to keep your profiles active and drive traffic to your blog.

If you do that manually, then you’ll soon be spending quite a lot of time on sharing content.

This is where IFTTT comes in. It is a free online service that allows you to automatically share your WordPress blog posts on social media websites.

17. Regularly Share Your Old Articles on Social Media

Share old posts

If you’re like most blogs, you probably only publish one article a day, this means for the rest of the day, there is no update from you on social media.

On platforms like Twitter, your Tweet will soon disappear, and your users will probably not even see it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could automatically share your old content at regular intervals throughout the day?

This will help you get more traffic from social media by increasing your visibility and keeping your profiles more active.

Luckily, you can automate it with tools like Buffer and Revive Old Posts.

With Buffer, you will have to bulk-upload your updates manually. On the other hand, Revive Old Posts will allow you to automatically share your own old articles.

18. Explore Other Social Networks

Explore more social networks

There are so many social media websites out there, but most of us spend all of our time on a few top platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Obviously, you want to focus on them to drive more traffic to your blog.

However, depending on your blog’s topics you may have more success on other social platforms that are less crowded.

For example, if your blog is about building businesses, then you may find more engaged users on LinkedIn.

If you run a lifestyle or fashion blog, then Instagram may be the platform you should focus on.

You can always spend time on Quora to answer user questions which build backlinks and help increase blog traffic.

We recommend that you try spending more time on social networks other than the big two. You may find a more passionate audience and a bigger following there.

19. Participate in Online Communities

Participate in online communities

Online communities are a great source of traffic mainly because they already have engaged users who are interested in the topics that you are discussing on your blogs.

You can find smaller communities on Reddit, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, YouTube communities, and more.

Pro Tip: Don’t just start posting links to your articles. This is called spamming and moderators will instantly block you.

You should spend some time building reputation, answering questions, joining discussions, and then only share your website if it is appropriate.

20. Make Your Own Online Groups

Make your own online groups

Another way to build a passionate following around your blog is by starting your own online group. You can use free platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn and invite your users to join in.

As your community grows, so will your influence. The active participants in your group will proactively help you promote your blog on their own social media profiles.

After some time, this little community can become a major source of traffic for your blog.

21. Participate in Q & A Websites

Participate on question and answers websites

You may have noticed that sometimes years old answers from websites like Stack Exchange, Quora, or TripAdvisor would still outrank more established blogs in search results.

Question and Answer websites are one of the biggest online communities on the internet.

The advantage of answering questions on these platforms is that your answer will remain live for a very long time which means that it can become a regular source of traffic to your blog.

Once again, we will not recommend you to just go there for posting your links. Instead, you should write actual detailed answers with links to your blog posts only if they fit in the context.

22. Find and Engage with Influencers on Social Media

Influencer marketing

Influencers can help you promote your blog and can significantly boost your website traffic.

However, the problem is that most influencers get tons of messages already. Since you are a new blogger, they assume you probably don’t have anything to offer them in return.

So how do you get the attention of an influencer? More importantly, how do you get them to promote your blog?

First, you need to start a conversation with them on social media.

Next, share their content with your own commentary, reply to their threads, leave comments on their blog posts.

Make sure each of your interaction adds value to their discussion.

Influencers love it when users appreciate their efforts. They will notice and remember you. Once you have established a relationship, you can approach them to give you advice.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it helps you build life-long friendships that are mutually profitable.

23. Use Social Proof to Get More Traffic

Using social proof

Human beings are social animals. We like to know about other people’s experiences as social proof and use it to make our own decisions.

You need to use this social proof on your website, on your social media profiles, in your tweets, and in emails to promote your blog.

Now you may be wondering, what if I am just starting out? How do I leverage social proof on my blog?

There are tons of ways to leverage social proof, even on a new blog.

  • Add a feedback form and ask users to leave you feedback that you can share on your blog.
  • Directly approach users and collect testimonials
  • Ask users to rate your articles
  • Ask users to write reviews
  • Numbers are brain candy. Share your social media counts, email list subscriber counts, and other numbers as social proof.

Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t as big as other successful blogs, they are still powerful social proof.

24. Monitor Social Media

Monitor social media

People are asking questions all the time on social media websites like Twitter. Set up alerts to monitor keywords on social media and then jump into conversations to answer their questions with a link back to a relevant article on your website.

You can also monitor social media websites for your brand name, links, conversations, and more.

There are plenty of tools that you can use for this. Here are some of the best social media monitoring tools that can make it all easy for you.

25. Track Your Website’s Keyword Rankings

Track your keyword rankings

After you have started creating content and promoting it, you need to track how well each piece content is performing. Furthermore, which keywords is it ranking for.

You can do this with a tool called, Google Search Console. It is a free tool provided by Google that helps you see how your website is doing in Google Search. We have a complete Google Search Console guide that will teach you how to use this immensely powerful tool, like a Pro.

Next, you would want to monitor your competitor websites. Google Search Console will not tell you who is ranking higher than you and why.

For that, you’ll need a tool SEMRush. This will also give you detailed insights into your competitors, their top keywords, and what you need to do to outrank them.

26. Track Your Website Traffic and User Engagement

Track user analytics

Now that you have started getting some traffic, you need to know where your users are coming from, and what they do when they are on your website. Without this data, you cannot evaluate your strategy or plan your next moves.

This is where Google Analytics comes in.

It tracks your website visitors and helps you see traffic reports, engagement, and other user activity on your website. For instructions, see our step by step tutorial on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

The biggest advantage of using Google Analytics is that you can see what your users are doing when they visit your website. See our article on how to use Google Analytics to track user engagement on your website.

Knowing this data helps you double down on what’s working, and stop doing what’s not.

27. Continue Learning Online Marketing and SEO

These tips will help you increase your blog traffic and continue getting more subscribers.

However as your blog grows, you need to learn more ways to grow your business.

WPBeginner is the largest WordPress resource site. We regularly publish tutorials on online marketing and SEO. We have a YouTube Channel as well, where you can learn more about WordPress, growing your blog, and SEO.

OptinMonster Blog is another great resource that you would want to follow. OptinMonster is the best conversion optimization software on the market. Their blog is where they regularly publish articles on how to get more traffic, subscribers, and sales.

We hope these tips helped you increase your blog traffic. You may also want to see our list of most useful tools to help you further grow your blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Protect Your Business’s Mobile Devices

How to Protect Your Business’s Mobile Devices

Given the growing mix of smartphones and tablets that do double-duty for business and personal use, these devices are among the most difficult company assets to manage and protect. When one of those tools goes missing, not only would the employee’s personal information be at risk, but company email, messages, video assets and — most worrisome — client contact information, company log-ins and access codes all could be potentially exposed.

Small firms now find themselves having to keep tabs on a constantly-changing roster of employee-owned and managed devices. How should a small business track, manage and protect its smartphone inventory? One solution is to find a combination of software and gadgets that allows you to not only track company-affiliated mobile devices, but protect and manage the work information stored on those devices.

Here are some problems to anticipate and steps to take to head them off:

Lost phones. The first thing to do is to give employees the tools they need to make sure they can find their devices in case they go missing. One way to do that is to attach what amounts to a digital leash to company smartphones.

Tulsa, Okla.-based ZOMM and Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Phone Halo are both devices that alert the user when they’re about to leave their smartphone behind. With ZOMM, the user carries a small sensor, say on a keychain. Phone Halo’s tag can be attached to keys, a wallet, purse or other items. Both sound an alarm when the user is parted from their phone.

Cost can be a factor: ZOMM charges $90 for its device and Phone Halo runs $60. So, small companies will need to pick and choose which of their mobile tools are protected.

Data leaks. Remote finding tools are nice, but it’s smart to add a second layer of protection that backs up the data on the devices, manages the identity on those devices and wipes data when the phone is lost.

Here we liked Lookout Mobile Security. Based in San Francisco, this free-to-start app is available for both the Android and Apple smartphone platforms, but it also works with tablet computers like the iPad. Lookout lets users automatically back up and restore contacts in case a phone is lost. Lookout Premium — available only for Android for $3 per month or $30 per year — goes a step further by letting users lock a lost phone or wipe data from it if it is stolen or misplaced.

Similar features are available for iPhones and iPads using Apple’s Find My Phone app, which is available for free in the iTunes store. The app uses Apple’s new iCloud to track the user’s device as well as manage data on it.

We found RIM’s BlackBerry Management Center to be the category leader in terms of security among smartphone devices. The free service lets business users remotely manage multiple RIM devices from a single account. If a phone gets lost, users can lock it and display a message telling whoever finds the phone how it can be returned.

Users can also wipe the data from a lost or stolen phone and restore settings and content from a lost or broken phone onto a new one. Personal users can set permissions as to what the business administrator can and can’t do with their phone.

All that said, be aware of unanticipated problems. Because you will likely be dealing with a variety of phones run by employees, let’s face it, there will be issues. Digital leashes like ZOMM are only as good as their carriers. If your employees don’t carry car keys or tend to misplace everything — including their phone and their phone leash — the system simply won’t work.

The same goes for Lookout, which is limited in its ability to track multiple devices under one user account. Employees will also have to alert you quickly when they’ve misplaced their smartphone, which is a surprising hassle. Without a phone, how do they let you know the phone is gone?

Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Computer Security

Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Computer Security

Cybercriminals are relentlessly hacking websites to attack unsuspecting visitors, breaking into databases to steal customer information and trade secrets, and infiltrating executives’ PCs to filch financial-account information.

Typically, only the largest of companies can afford an in-house security team with the tools and expertise to defend them in this kind of cyber war. Other firms, experts say, are now largely outgunned.

That’s why a growing number of smaller companies are outsourcing the job to so-called managed security services providers. They offer state-of-the-art technologies and seasoned security pros at affordable prices because they spread the costs across many clients. Indeed, small- and medium-sized companies are expected to drive a near doubling in spending on managed-security services to $14.9 billion in 2015 from $8 billion in 2011, according to Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc.

Should you jump on the bandwagon?
Turning over computer security to an outside firm makes many managers nervous because they must give up direct control of critical systems. But doing so typically brings better security at a lower cost, industry watchers say.

Even if you can afford to hire your own security staff, it could be a challenge. “Security is so hot that good people are hard to find, and they’re expensive,” says Edward S. Ferrara, a security and risk analyst at Forrester Research. “So even if you wanted to build an organization [to provide your security], it would be hard to do that.”

Security-service firms, however, have office parks full of experts. They likely employ people who have worked with other companies in your industry facing similar risks and challenges.

With these outside experts, you pay for only as much service as you require rather than the ongoing costs of a full-time staff and equipment. The size of your bill is typically determined by the number of computers and other devices being monitored or some other measure of the volume of work involved. For a small business, such flexible pricing is often appealing because expenses can grow or shrink along with your business.

Beyond potential financial benefits, security-service firms also can help small businesses focus on running their companies, says Ferrara. “If you make lawn mowers, make lawn mowers. Don’t fiddle around with information security.”

How to choose a provider.
A dizzying number of companies provide managed security services, including such giants as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Verizon. You’ll probably want to select a company with technology that can meet your specific security needs and provide a responsive support team. If you handle financial or medical data, the provider also should help you comply with data-security regulations.

If you’re planning to outsource all your basic security needs — including the defense of your network and the devices on it and the filtering of your email for spam, scams and malware — you’ll probably want to consider one of the soup-to-nuts services. Some of these companies offer cloud services that monitor your systems by running your traffic through their data centers before it comes to you. Some install equipment on your network that sends data to them for analysis and investigation. And others combine in-house and cloud technologies.

Among the companies serving small businesses are security-software giants such as Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. There are also a slew of specialized service providers to choose from, including Solutionary Inc.Perimeter E-Security and Dell’s SecureWorks Inc.

If you’re primarily concerned about securing your website, you might consider a new breed of startups offering specialized technology to sites of all sizes. CloudFlare Inc. and Incapusla Inc. can block security threats to sites while boosting site speed and performance.

Dasient Inc. can help keep malicious programs and ads off your site. And firms such as Prolexic Technologies defend sites from so-called denial of service attacks, or floods of bogus traffic that make a site unavailable to visitors.

You don’t have to fend off cybercriminals all by yourself. There are plenty of services that can give your company effective protection at a reasonable cost.

What ‘DDoS’ Attacks Are and How to Survive Them

What ‘DDoS’ Attacks Are and How to Survive Them

Never heard of a DDoS attack? Small companies that do business online ought to learn about this growing online threat — and figure out how they’ll respond should one ever hit them.

Consider what happened to Los Angeles-based business-planning publishing and advisory company Growthink. Last September, a surprise flood of bogus traffic knocked its website off the internet for several days. Growthink turned to its hosting firm for help, only to have its website sidelined so other sites wouldn’t be collateral damage. It finally recovered by hiring a DDoS-protection firm, BlockDos, to filter out the bad traffic. Then it moved to a new hosting service, Rackspace, so it would be better prepared next time.

“It was pretty intense,” says Kevin McGinn, Growthink’s IT director. “We had no idea why we were being singled out.”

Growthink had suffered a “distributed denial-of-service” attack. In a DDoS attack, legitimate site visitors are denied access by hackers who immobilize the site either with a flood of bogus internet traffic or a surgical strike that exhausts the resources of a specific web application. Successful attacks can cripple business operations. Growthink estimates its website outage erased $50,000 in revenue.

3 Hidden Security Risks for WordPress Users

3 Hidden Security Risks for WordPress Users

WordPress is arguably the web’s most popular content management system and blogging platform, and for good reason. The system is free, easy to use and provides a wealth of features that would otherwise cost business owners thousands of dollars in development expenses.

But if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. While the WordPress platform still represents a useful web development option for small businesses, it’s critical that you familiarize yourself with some of the system’s weaknesses to avoid its hidden security dangers.

WordPress updates its platform frequently to respond to known threats but isn’t able to police every possible one. Here’s a look at the platform’s three biggest security weaknesses that you should be aware of:

1. WordPress is susceptible to attacks and URL hacking.
The WordPress platform executes server-side scripts in the PHP web development language, using commands sent via what are called URL parameters to control the behavior of the MySQL databases that store your site’s data.

If that all sounds pretty technical, don’t worry. You don’t need to understand web coding to protect your site. What you do need to know is that this type of website structure is vulnerable to a certain type of attack. Hackers can use malicious URL parameters to reveal sensitive database content, a process known as “SQL injection attacks.” Once hackers have this information, they can hijack your site and replace your content with spam or malware.

To protect your WordPress site from such an attack, consider modifying your site’s .htaccess file, which is a configuration file that enables you to control the way your hosting server behaves. You can prevent hackers’ URL parameter requests from succeeding by including the code found here.

Note that this code is intended for WordPress owners who are using Apache-based web hosting. If you aren’t sure what type of hosting you use or if you need assistance in modifying your site’s .htaccess file, contact your web hosting provider’s support team or a private web developer.

2. Free WordPress themes frequently contain security exploits.
One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that you can install it for free, use free plugins to add functions and download free theme files to give your site an appealing look. Unfortunately, unscrupulous developers have laced downloadable theme files with everything from undetectable spam links to malware files that infect a site once the theme is installed.

To keep your website safe, download files only from sources you know and trust. Paid themes represent less of a security risk than free themes. But if you want free themes, you can scan them for malware before uploading them to detect any attacks that may have already occurred using the anti-virus program installed on your computer.

3. WordPress’s default login process can be easily hacked.
All WordPress dashboard logins are located at the same address across URLs, meaning that nearly every WordPress login page can be found here. Also, WordPress’s default settings don’t allow for secure logins. This means a site running on the WordPress platform may be susceptible to “brute force” attacks, in which bot programs try various login combinations in the hope that one lucky combination will allow access to the site.

To get a feel for how prevalent these attacks can be, consider that the sites hosted by popular blogging site Copyblogger experience between 50,000 and 180,000 unauthorized login attempts each day.

To protect your website, install the Limit Login Attempts plugin. In addition, you can work with your web hosting provider to block IP addresses that make multiple unsuccessful login attempts.

While it might sound like a lot of work to take these precautions, you can expend much more time and effort trying to fix your site if you wind up the victim of a successful hacking attempt.

Need Blog Post Ideas? 3 Easy Templates to Get You Writing — Now

Need Blog Post Ideas? 3 Easy Templates to Get You Writing — Now

If you own or manage a business blog, you know how difficult it can be to keep up with the type of regular publishing calendar that’s needed to form a connection with your audience. Dare to slack off even a few times and miss a few weeks of posting, and you’ll likely find that the readership you so carefully cultivated has all but disappeared in favor of greener, more regularly updated pastures.

So if you’re struggling to come up with new content ideas to fill these potential gaps, consider the following blog post templates. These basic structures can be reworked over and over again — giving you the steady stream of content needed to sustain your blog’s reader base.

1. Lists
The list post is a popular type of blog post, given that it’s often easy to write and tends to be more widely shared among social connections than other types of articles. You’ve probably seen these posts all over your favorite blogs. This very article is an example of a list post, in that it discusses a list of three possible blog post types to consider when you’re out of content ideas.

 

Writing a list post involves coming up with a collection of different items that suit an overall theme that’s related to the subject of your site, an industry issue or any other topic of interest to your readers. For example, a few sample list post topics from the Entrepreneur home page include:

Your list posts don’t need to feature only a few items. Including 25, 50 or even 100 or more items can help to create great reference posts for your readers, without requiring the mental effort needed to draft lengthy content-driven posts instead.

2. Link round-ups
Another popular type of blog post is the “link round-up.” Instead of writing an entire post of your own fresh content, gather links to interesting articles throughout your industry and compile them into a new post on your own site. When pulling content for your link round-ups, be sure to pull from reputable websites in your own industry and related fields.

Not only do readers often appreciate discovering new websites through link round-up posts, sharing another author’s content on your own site can help build rapport with him or her. These relationships could eventually lead to reciprocal link round-up mentions, guest post opportunities and more.

To see an example of a link round-up post, take a look at The Lede section of the popular Copyblogger website. In particular, the recent, “5 Writing Articles You Should Read” incorporates elements of both list posts and link round-up posts in order to create a highly useful resource for the site’s readers.

 

3. Quick interviews
Finally, if you can’t come up with anything interesting to say on your own, why not try an interview post? These are fairly self-explanatory, as they consist of asking another person a series of questions via email, phone call or video chat.

Ideally, the person you’re interviewing should be someone whose experiences and interests enable him or her to provide valuable answers to your readers. One example is a recent Marketing Profs interview with business guru Daniel Pink.

This type of blog post offers a hidden advantage: Interviewing the right people — that is, people with significant influence in your industry — can send a flood of traffic back to your blog if your interview subject happens to mention the post to his or her followers. Though you may not have the clout to secure these types of posts initially, building up a solid reputation as a good interviewer can help you to eventually land the interview subjects who can dramatically expand your blog’s recognition.

However, keep in mind that interviews take time to produce. Not only will you need to initiate contact with potential subjects in advance, your final posts may be delayed based on these subjects’ schedules.

For this reason, interview posts should be looked at as a way to fill your future post slots with interesting content that doesn’t require much effort on your part. If you’re in need of an immediate article, both list posts and link round-up posts can help you to develop content quickly in order to prevent your blog from drying up and your readership from disappearing.

In Search of Buzz: What It Is and How to Build It

In Search of Buzz: What It Is and How to Build It

When it comes to marketing, people always seem to throw around the word “buzz.” “Let’s build some buzz!” “We have to get some buzz going!” Things like that. But when you step back and ask yourself what, exactly, buzz is, you often find yourself saying things like, “Well, it’s… you know… it’s… something. It’s social media! It’s PR! That’s what it is, right? No?”

The point is, “buzz” is vague. And, oftentimes, the pursuit of it can be expensive. For young founders and their companies, there’s no time for vagueness — or wasted money. But there is still the absolute need for others to know about your company, your product/service and what you’re up to. After all, you want someone to buy what you’re selling, right?

With this goal in mind, here are three concrete ways you can “build buzz:”

Get out of your apartment — I mean, “office.”
It’s easy for a young one- or two-person company to sequester themselves. There’s too much to do and there’s not enough time to do it. But if you’re holed up all the time, you’re missing out on some prime buzz-building opportunities.

Chances are there are real-life Meetups or hangouts in your area, relevant to what you’re working on. And if you’re in the tech space, almost every region has some sort of listserv. Example, here in Philly, there’s Philly Startup Leaders. It’s a great place to learn about what’s going on in town, straight from the people who are making the tech scene happen. Actually physically getting out and meeting people (like-minded or not) is buzz-building in its simplest, most true form.

Blog.
You hear it all the time, but blogging matters. Do it. Go to WordPress or Tumblr or wherever you like and start a blog. It can be a personal blog. It can be your company’s blog. Better yet, explore blogging for an outlet that already has an audience. *grins*

What does blogging have to do with buzz? Plenty. It builds credibility. It gives you relevant content to share with anyone — customers, press, business partners, advisors, whoever. It gives you a place to chronicle your young company’s experience, a place to engage with early adopters. And it’ll improve your communications skills.

Word to the wise though: stay consistent. A blog with a two-month-old most recent post smells funny.

Build a great product.
This comes as no surprise, but it all comes down to products. If you build a lousy product, no one will use it let alone talk about it. If you don’t listen to your early adopters on how to improve said product, they won’t evangelize. If your product’s not ready, then drumming up buzz probably doesn’t make sense at that moment. (There’s nothing wrong with waiting!) Frankly, a great product will help you get to that inflection point where you’re no longer pushing as hard as you can to generate buzz… it’s coming to you.

 

 

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