Double Your Blog Traffic
Let's be honest here: even with really efficient content creation habits, business blogs are a serious time commitment. No one wants to write a blog that just isn't being read, shared or contributing to their bottom line. If you're mystified why your blog isn't getting the traffic you think you deserve, make sure you've mastered the basics. The following concepts are crucial to ensuring your blog is positioned for growth:
Post Content of Value on a Regular Basis. Leverage Scheduled Posts to Maintain a Consistent Presence.
Syndicate your Content with an RSS Feed. Include Social Sharing Buttons to Make it Easy for People to Post to Facebook, Tweet or Pin Your Articles.
Format your posts for visual appeal and readability, and always include an intriguing image.
If you're consistently using blogging best practices and you're still not experiencing the level of traffic you want, it's time for some advanced hacks. We're about to share 3 secrets to double your business blog readers:
Leverage Buyer Personas
Some people say that if you write great content, people are going to find it. To be perfectly honest, I just don't agree - I think strategic distribution and promotion are key to gaining a following. Even more importantly, if your content isn't relevant or helpful to your customers, they're not going to make an effort to come back.
Here at IMA, we're firm believers that buyer personas, profiles of your various customers that include details like demographics and profession are key to creating interesting content. While we've previously covered buyer personas in depth, it's really a matter of thinking about what your clients' lives look like, and how your product or service solution will make a difference. What's the appeal, and why do they need it? I recently came across a humorous, historical example of buyer personas, pictured to the right. Back in the day, the Lard Information Council was savvy enough to know that a segment of their market included young families, and created some visual content targeted towards those personas.
Make Sharing Really Easy
If you're mentioning, discussing or linking the work of other business bloggers in your content, be sure to let them know. No, don't send them an email. The vast majority of us have way too much content in our inboxes, and chances are that your nice note is going to get buried. Setting other bloggers up for one-click sharing from their own social media profiles is key:
Chances are, the other bloggers are going to respond a lot like this:
It only takes one click for the blogger to retweet and give your content exposure in their own network!
Two Words: Earn Links
Page ranking matters, because Google users are going to click one of the top three search results about 68% of the time. While you can increase the appeal of your results by including snappy meta descriptions and a rel author photo through Google+, ranking towards the top of the first page is crucial. Search experts speculate that inbound links to your content matter more than anything else when it comes to page ranking - as much as 70% more than your use of keywords. There are a few non-sketchy ways to earn these links, which primarily include writing guest posts for other blogs and more importantly, publishing stuff that other bloggers want to credit:
1. Write Relevant, Fresh Content
Being the first to break some industry-relevant news can be a great way to earn links and shares. Put a personalized spin on news stories by explaining how it's going to affect your industry. Google News is among the most valuable tools for savvy content creators, especially when you personalize your profile to ensure you're the first to hear about updates:
I've adjusted my settings so that I'm among the first to hear about infographics, social media and inbound marketing topics.
2. Use Fresh Numbers
Being among the first to re-publish and analyze fresh, relevant statistics can also put you in a great position to see the inbound links start pouring in. Read new eBooks, whitepapers and reports released by reputable research organizations and use resources like Factbrowser to your advantage.
3. Don't Be Afraid of Your Competitors
Virginia Swimming Pool marketing master Marcus Sheridan wasn't afraid to spotlight his competitors a little, and he claims this decision made him $150,000.00 in sales. Sheridan created an annual awards for swimming pool companies in Virginia, highlighting 5 of his competitors in a blog post. Their response? They all gave him inbound links and he earned the top spot on Google for the decision.
While you don't need to start an industry-specific awards, don't be afraid to highlight your competitors a little, especially if your product or service offerings are a bit different. Write a weekly round-up post highlighting useful resources on their blogs or better yet, exchange guest posts to add some variety and links to your business blog.
You've likely noticed a pattern in all of these hacks: it's all about relevance and convenience. Is it easy for your readers and other bloggers to share? Is your content targeted towards your buyer personas? Chances are, if basic blogging best practices aren't bringing the results you want, it's time to target your approach towards covering hot topics for real customers.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/cooldesign