Topics: Content Marketing
A blog can be a great business resource to assist in creating brand advocacy, highlighting areas of expertise, and establishing credibility as a thought leader in an industry. It can be a key component in driving traffic as well as increase conversions for a corporate website. But a blog without exposure and traffic can’t provide those benefits.
So how can you optimize and promote a blog to drive traffic, increase visibility, build brand credibility, and more? These ten tips can help get you on the right path:
1. Know your competition
Whether a blog is well established or still in its beginning stages, it is important to understand the industry landscape and conduct an analysis of it. This analysis can provide insights into current industry trends (and possible blog post topics) as well as what competitors may or may not be doing well. This is a good time to examine a competitor’s backlinks and begin crafting a strategy to build a similar (and then improved) backlink portfolio. A strong backlink portfolio in conjunction with trending, blog topic-based posts can assist in organic rankings and increase blog traffic.
2. Design for usability and shareability
Following a thorough analysis of the industry, it is important to evaluate current blog design and structure. A strong design and UI/UX is important as this can easily encourage users to continue throughout a website or leave immediately. A quality blog design can result in perceived brand trust as well as increase the likelihood of content being shared and driving more traffic to a site. A good experience can encourage the user to view more pages per site visit as well as increase time spent on the site, both indicators that can improve blog traffic.
Blog structure is equally important. A blog hosted on a subdomain can be more difficult to find organically than a blog utilized as a subfolder (driving traffic to a site for multiple keywords). A well-structured website also assists the user experience in making information and related content easy to locate across the site.
3. Write with a target
Having a strong content marketing strategy complete with personas and individual content goals is crucial to increasing blog traffic and visibility. This not only encourages a plan and purpose for content but increases the likelihood that the content will be shared and assists an organization in engaging with the correct audience, thus building credibility and potential leads.
4. Be consistent!
Becoming a thought-leader through content doesn’t happen if an organization cannot consistently produce quality content. Be consistent in tone, reliable in posting regularly (we recommend using an editorial calendar to drive this initiative), and always provide high-quality information. These tips can assist in gaining a following, increasing social shares, driving organic traffic, and improving trust from site visitors.
5. Include visuals
Media such as photos, graphics, charts, videos, presentations, etc., can lead to higher visitor engagement with a blog. It is important to have a variety of media sources on a blog to speak to different types of users, increase social sharing of content, and ensure posts are shareable for image sites such as Pinterest. Images can also drive organic traffic to a site from Google Image Search.
6. Be SEO-friendly
Having a blog that is friendly for SEO both in code and content is crucial to increasing blog traffic. Code SEO elements should include each page with a meta title and meta description, opportunities for H tags, alt image tags, use of categories and tags, and of course keyword-friendly (not stuffed) content.
7. Start linking
Links within content can provide good information to readers. Internal links can assist with directing readers down the conversion funnel while contextual links can add more context to the copy and provide a better user experience. Links can also enhance SEO value, helping visitors more easily find blog content.
8. Promote socially
Having a social presence has become an integral component to an organization’s success, and sharing the latest blog post is an excellent way to build up social profiles, engage with an audience, and drive traffic back to a blog. There is an art to social promotion and it is recommended to create strong social content to engage with users.
9. Participate in communities
Often referred to as comment marketing, participating in communities and building relationships with other blogs through commenting on posts is an excellent way to place content in front of a target market and drive traffic back to a blog. When done right, this opens up opportunities for guest blog posts, mentions in industry curation posts, and links back to a website. It assists with building an industry image as thought leaders and drives traffic to a site through backlinks and branding presence.
10. Analyze the results
To discover which posts and marketing efforts are increasing blog traffic, it is important to analyze the results. This provides opportunities to understand what content resonates with a target audience, which social sites drove more traffic than others, and where improvements can be made as well as where repurposing can occur. Analyzing will provide insights into how to continue increasing blog traffic and visibility.