The best ways to drive traffic to your blog and promote your content

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Whether you’re running a blog purely for pleasure as a hobbyist or are doing it to make a living or to promote your firm, standing out in today’s media-rich world is becoming harder than ever. Experts suggest there are now more web pages than there are people in the world – meaning it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and drive footfall. 

No business or individual creates content to just go unnoticed but it can often seem like you’re fighting a losing battle when it comes the time that you check your engagement rates and site statistics only to discover them disappointingly low. 

If you’re finding your blog (or even your business site) is languishing in the lower shadows of the internet, below are some ideas you could try that are used by the pros and that could help generate more site visitors and increase those all-important site usage stats. 

Remember the value in the idea that content is king

Bill Gates famously penned an article way back in January 1996 entitled “Content is King,” but the underlying message of his thoughts stands as true today as ever – if not more so. Unless you take the time to craft engaging, unique, and interesting content, you stand very little chance of attracting interest in your blog. Moreover, you’ll find it difficult to encourage repeat visits if you don’t keep publishing content that offers users something of interest. 

Video still reigns supreme in terms of the media available on the web that generates interest, far outstripping the user rates of written posts or even pictures. Consequently, if you want to increase footfall to your blog, think about adding video. 

Make sure you post your content in as many places as possible

Given the number of social platforms that now exist, theoretically, it should be pretty simple to cross-promote your posts – but it’s incredible just how many publishers forget to push their content on the major social channels. 

Unless you’re in the fortunate position that you already have a large user base, posting to social media should be at the top of your list for attracting new users to your content. 

Today, there are more social media channels than ever, but you should take the time to consider which will work best for you as each has its own specific user demographic. For example, millennials have been moving in their droves from Facebook to Instagram so if your blog is concerned with subjects that might appeal to a younger market, you should make sure you cross-promote your content on this channel. 

Likewise, one of the smaller social channels compared to the likes of giants like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube might work best for you – again, depending on your particular target market. For example, smaller social networks like Pinterest with its 77% female user base could end up ideal for you if your blog has a lot of content that women might find interesting. 

Ensure you remember the value of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to ensure your blog gets found on search engines. Today, people use search engines like Google for everything from researching shopping choices to asking for personal advice. 

Research shows that 71% of all consumer journeys start with a search – and very often, those searches are purely to find advice or information. No matter whether you’re looking to generate sales or just attract more visitors to your pages, you need to make sure your pages rank high on search engines – and, in particular, Google, which now accounts for approximately 92% of all search-engine-generated traffic. 

The dark arts involved in successful SEO are far too deep and varied to go into sufficient detail here, but as a starter:

  • Make sure you use descriptive titles in your blog posts
  • Remember the value of meta tags on your pages
  • Always use descriptive tags for images to help Google understand what your post is about
  • Encourage as many inward links to your posts as possible – including social media channels
  • Consider guest blogging for other sites to link to your content
  • Use keywords and phrases in your content that you think might be used by people looking for your type of content
  • Pay particular attention to your H1 and H2 tags and make sure you make them as descriptive as possible
  • Ensure your pages are well-coded and designed, strip out any outdated or unneeded plugins, and reduce your header code (this may well require the help of an expert SEO firm)
     

In truth, if you want to get the greatest impact from SEO, you would probably be best advised to enlist the services of a professional and experienced social media marketing firm that will study your existing site and content to tailor it better to your target market. 

Use URL shorteners on social media to ensure you don’t detract from your underlying message

In line with the point above about making sure you use the most descriptive page titles possible, oftentimes, you’ll find these long URLs take up half of your social media posts or end up being impossibly long to remember. To make linking easier, you should think about consulting this list of best URL shorteners that will keep your posts shorter and help users to remember the link. 

Makes sure you include your blog link in your social profiles

It should really go without saying, but one of the easiest and simplest ways to generate inward links to your blog is by including the address in your social profiles. These days, most people expect companies and blogs to have an additional social media presence, so you should ensure you cross-promote as much as possible. Including your site address on your profile should be a no-brainer. 

Join networks that feature content similar to yours

Again, another point that really should be obvious is the notion of attracting users from networks similar to your own. So, for example, if you mostly write about engineering subjects, joining online community hubs, blogs, and social media pages related to engineering (and contributing to their content) could prove a very easy route to attract new visitors.