As soon as you start the new blog the first thought that penetrates your mind is "How to increase traffic"? The first thing to consider is that you'll definitely have to put some effort into involving some target audience.
We are eager to sum up some thoughts and experiences of working with blogs and share them with you. Hopefully you will please us with captivating and cozy blogs after learning some keys to get more traffic involved.
18 Tips to Enhance Your WordPress Blog Traffic
- Enhance Blog Usability
The first task is making it easy for the blog readers to grasp the blog themes instantly and contact you. You should create the mixture of an exquisite style and usability. You will find a number of great suggestions in the awesome article by Jakob Nielsen revealing the secrets of weblog usability. Include author biographies, author photos and let the users find this personal information effortlessly. Take care about vivid article headlines and convenient navigation through the topical categories. These visual things will make it easier for your audience to stay within your blog, this will increase the number of pageviews for you.
- Complete Your About Page
The first thing people are curious about is your personality that's hidden behind the scenes of your blog. Visitors won't mind knowing your name, some information about what you do and what you like presented in a personal way. Too general content is likely to spurn the visitors, and some private info will evoke far more trust .
- Create Subscriptions and Newsletters
Send information about any promos, giveaways, contests and just recent blog posts via e-mail to the subscribed readers of your WordPress blog. It's not a hidden or spam influence tool anymore – you are free to create appealing designs and interesting contents for your Newsletter pages to make returning users pay attention to your resource again and again. You may easily use the Subscriptions widget just to notify your readers about the new posts.
- Activate the Social Sharing Option
The majority of blog owners are actively using this option allowing the readers to share the posts with their friends and partners on social networks, through their blog or even email. There are so many plugins made for this purpose now - some include a lot of social sharing options (virtually any network available out there), some only include one social network sharing option. Our suggestions is to combine them - emphasize on major sharing options such as Facebook sharing, Retweeting and StumbleUpon someone in the post header, while leaving an option to share the post on other networks somewhere in the footer. Each social network has its own admirers and is going to bring you interested readers. These readers are not occasional visitors. They are interested in the topics your blog represents, that could with high probability make them returning ones. You may select smart buttons from the option settings which will show up the number of shares for each resource on your blog.
Also, don't forget to check out our other post on this topic - Social Media Promotion of Design Content.
- Submit New Posts Regularly
The whole essence and the golden rule of blogging is updating the blog site with brand new content regularly or, otherwise, you risk to face a rapid loss of readers interest. Creating some schedule of publishing will help you to post regularly that would be convenient for your blog readers. You may make it once or twice a day or once a week, but it's not recommended to post too rarely. The schedule should be set as people like expecting regular things. In case you ever lack topics for posts you may use the WP DailyPost option to derive fresh ideas and news from. PressThis is another way to grab texts and imagery from any web page and generate new posts for your respective blog. You won't even have to visit WordPress website with this feature. Regular posting is aimed not only at increasing readership but also at keeping the search engines eagerly indexing your content.
- Select Nice Titles and Write Professionally
Being short and exciting enough, the good title will uncover any topic clearly. If you are publishing the articles updates to Facebook or Twitter, you are aware that people will only see the title and your link. And perfectly written heading should catch the user's eye as well as make sense out of the article context.
As you might suspect, better posts get more traffic accordingly. The post should be written with competence, and highly desirable by a professional in the area. No dull, repeating and impersonal posts! Ignorant and uneducated posts will avert readership from your blog forever and ever. So it's a great idea to hire a chief editor to revise and spice up the writings. According to Ahava Leibtag, "the content must be findable, readable, understandable, actionable and shareable". You will find more links to content marketing resources in the last section of this article.
- Put Links Efficiently
Try to put effective links preventing the readers from leaving your blog immediately and explaining the link route. Users know that life is too short to click on some unknown stuff, so links should hint where they actually lead - not just "read more here". And finally, it's necessary to highlight the links to some of your past articles in newer posts as not all the readers had a chance to see them. A lot of top blogs use image banners instead of text links to related posts, banners generate a lot more clicks as they are easier to see.
To keep users stay on your page just remember to select the checkbox saying ”Open link in a new window/tab” when adding the link. Neglecting such a minor thing could lead to the drain of visitors.
Prevent search engine crawlers from identifying some outbound links as the important ones by including the target="_blank" rel="nofollow" parameters to the outbound link code before the name of a link, for instance: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/mashable" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" >Mashable</a>
- Use Categories Reasonably
Submit the articles to topical categories to present a list of all posts on a certain topic and to ease the search of posts for the users. But try not to tag an article with all of your categories. This looks unnatural and messed up, think over the structure carefully. Ten to twenty categories are usually enough. Remember to highlight every category and the titles of its recent posts on the category main page.
- Link to Similar Bloggers
Linking to some other blog will notify the blog owners that you have mentioned their resource on your web page. This helps to establish some extra trust and encourage the bloggers and readers to visit your blog. More likely, they'll link to your blog in return as well. You may see Freshly Pressed and Global Tags offering blogs with similar topics and therefore audiences. By using tags in your posts you'll have a chance that other WordPress users will notice them.
- Write Posts and Comment on Other Blogs Like Yours
Reading the comment people see the name and company the user represents. Knowledgeable commenting on other similar blogs will give people an idea of your professional skills, and they might be interested in your blog as well. This task is pretty easy: find some nice blogs corresponding your topic and comment sincerely. This works exactly like any social network. People will thank you by going to your website.
Another effective way to bring more dedicated users is writing an email to the chief editor or other blog representatives. Who knows? They might eagerly post your content.
- Respond to All Comments on Your Blog
Doesn't need any specific explanation. People spend their time commenting your posts and you show them your gratitude and appreciation by answering their questions or commenting on their thoughts.
- Satisfy Your Readers Requests
You may create a feedback page or write a post asking visitors to share their thoughts about the topics they would like to see uncovered on your blog. You may even make somewhat like a contest with a small gift or giveaway for those who've suggested better topics. You may gather suggestions on Twitter and Facebook as well. Keep the readers informed about the topics you choose for writing an article.
- Use Paid Options for Getting Traffic
There is a number of web resources providing bloggers with applications for bringing more visitors to your post for some fixed rate. E.g. StumbleUpon offers such a service for minimum $.05 per click. It's quite a nice tool for the brand new blogs that need some start up promotion. PR Newswire could also be helpful for this purpose.
- Get Technorati Account
This makes your blog much easier to find when people search by Technorati tags. Based on the number of links to your blog from various websites, your blog is given a rank. The higher your rank will be the easier to find your blog will be when people search for things. A higher rank gives your blog greater credibility in Technorati. You need to claim your blog. You will also want to search for a plugin for your publishing platform that supports Technorati tags. For WordPress users, I recommend Ultimate Tag Warrior - when you post an entry you can supply it with Technorati tags.
- Submit Your Weblog to Blog Networks
BlogTopSites is a perfect example of such blog networks or rings. You should be careful to select the proper category. The easy way of joining blog networks is submitting your WordPress blog with Blogs Of The Day. This could be done just by installing a special plugin. The popular blogs are ranked there based on some special formula.
- Use FeedBurner
The RSS feed is familiar to the geeks rather than to the beginning users, but there is a group of people seeking for some RSS feed they can subscribe to in case they like your blog. This could be achieved by implementing the FeedBurner service.
- Get Official Blog Social Media Accounts
Some time ago we've already touched on the topic of how big IT and design brands effectively work on Facebook - feel free to check out this Facebook page strategies research in case you haven't seen it before. Our suggestion is to actively connect with your audience on social networks - this is fun and will be very useful for your blog. Also, don't forget to integrate Facebook and Twitter widgets that would display dynamic info from your Facebook page or a Twitter account.
- Track Your Visitors and Subscribers
And finally, try to keep an eye on where your visitors came from, what they checked out and where they left. Most webhosts include stats monitoring systems like Urchin suite. Or you may try some special plug-ins like Wassup tracking your blog visitors in real-time. There is also Mint Pepper for tracking your subscribers statistics.
Of course, good old Google Analytics will also be very helpful in analyzing your visitors, there's also a WordPress plugin for this purpose.
Key Blogging Ideas to Digest
Try to establish personal interaction with some of your readers due to the replies to the comments, newsletters and e-mails. They will most probably place a link to your blog on their websites in return.
Such actions as commenting on other blogs including your URL, posting things regularly, arranging categories and search keywords in the proper way, composing great articles and titles, publicizing them using various social media tools and other aforementioned tricks will be encouraging traffic boost of your blog, permanently and stably.
Some other marketing techniques enabling to grasp the visitor's attention is holding a contest or a giveaway on your blog. This offer should interest the target audience, be unique and available for a certain time frame for your blog only.
Using one of the options above, remember the key recipe of any blog success – just make the visitors feel like you are here to broaden their mental outlook or to provide them with helpful materials to resolve their issues.
And ultimately, there is always a good old suggestion for the copywriters and blog owners to write posts imagining your future boss who's going to revise them in 5-10 years. This will help you to concentrate your thoughts and reap delicious fruits of your labor.
More Resources Regarding Prosperous Blogging
- Think Blogging is a Dead-End for Your Small Business?
- Tips on Blog Post Optimization
- Some valuable info on Content Marketing
- 15 Blogs All Bloggers Should Read
- Writing for Social Media: Usability of Corporate Content Distributed Through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace — Streams, Walls, and Feeds
- Enterprise 2.0: Social Software on Intranets
- Eyetracking studies of the front page for company weblogs
- 30 Traffic Generation Tips
- Creating Valuable Content
- Essential WordPress Plugins that Every New Blog Needs