We’ve told you a few times: You need to start a blog for your business.
Heck, we did it. And you’re here aren’t you? Exactly. So if you still haven’t started a business blog, now is the perfect time to take action.
Did you know that nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes? A recent study from Hubspot showed that 79% of companies that have blogs report a positive return on investment on their inbound marketing efforts, and 55% report more website traffic. And while it’s relatively easy to start a blog, getting people to read it is not. The old adage is that “Content is King,” but even the best content isn’t worth much if you don’t have enough blog traffic so that people read it.
So how do you achieve that monumental goal on your company blog? Assuming your content is already high-quality and on point, here are 15 tips to increase your business’ blog traffic and show the world what you’ve got.
Share your posts on social media
Social media for small businesses goes a lot deeper than just Facebook, of course. Social media networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ have become major sources of blog traffic. So once you’ve tweeted your post and put it on Facebook, go ahead and link to it on your business’ other social networks too. LinkedIn is a great place to get your business blog noticed, since it became a go-to spot for business advice and information as well as networking.
Link to bloggers and influencers
You know that quick little rush you get when you see somebody’s linked to your post? Big-time bloggers and influencers get that too. And the more you link to them, the more they’ll be inclined to check out your blog. And assuming your content is good, eventually they’ll share it too. Here are a few more advanced tips on developing a digital influencer marketing strategy for your business.
Join the conversation on relevant blogs
Nothing will make you lose your faith in humanity faster than reading the comments on blog posts. Seriously, who ARE these people? But you can use that to your advantage: When you comment on other people’s blogs and leave relevant, insightful comments, or just add value to the conversation, people will take notice and check out what you’re doing on your business blog.
Analyze your keywords and use them
Consider using a keyword research tool like SEMrush to identify your top keywords. Then, just craft your content around the keywords that are leading people to your site. But be careful not to overdo it and be sure to avoid common digital marketing mistakes. If you’re not already using Google Analytics – or some other traffic monitoring and analytics program – you need to be. Once you’ve set up Google Analytics, take a look at the pages that your business’ site visitors are landing on to get a better idea of the keywords that may be ranking well. In addition, Google Analytics will help you measure your blog traffic and monitor your progress more easily.
Use long tail keywords
What are long tail keywords you ask? They’re simply longer ways of phrasing something so that people looking for EXACTLY what you write about end up on your blog. For instance, if your store specializes in clothes for large men, don’t just use keywords like “Tommy Bahama.” Use longer, more specific keyword phrases like “clothes for big and tall men” or “big and tall men’s clothing.”
Keep everything short
Confused yet? While long tail keywords in your content are important, your headlines, URLs and posts should be relatively short. First, because people have the attention spans of fruit flies these days; and, as masterful as your 2000-word description of your tax-prep service is, nobody’s going to read all of it. Secondly, search engines may more easily recognize your headlines and URLs when they are the optimal length.
Create viral content
Have you ever looked on Facebook and seen that 14 people you know posted a story called “16 ways you know you were born in 1987?” This is what people read these days, like it or not, and if you can think of a topic – and write it well – that is inherently sharable, a quick list filled with silly gifs may go viral and make you Internet famous in no time.
Guest blog and invite guest bloggers
Some bloggers have big egos for people who work for free. If you feed said ego, then they will be more apt to help your business. So nurture a relationship with well-known bloggers in your industry, then hit them up and ask them to guest post on your blog. Hopefully, they’ll share the post and get you some traffic. Then offer to reciprocate. Not because you’re a nice guy, but because if your post on a well-known blog is good, it will lead people to your site. It’s not always that easy but when it works, it works very well.
Interview industry leaders and influencers
Aside from celebrities, most people who are successful in their industry are looking for opportunities for self-promotion. Some even hire publicists. So if you solicit someone who’s well-known in your field for an interview, they’ll probably say yes. And when that interview is published, they’ll probably share it on social media and drive traffic to you.
Think about what people search for
The Social Media Examiner suggests using words like “Vs.” or “Best,” as many people are trying to debate the merits of, say, “Getting an oil change vs. letting your car ride it out” or “Best Manicure in Akron.” Google Keyword Planner and other digital marketing tools can help you find the most commonly searched terms in your field.
Include images and tag them
People – usually people looking to use images for themselves and not pay for them – search for pictures almost as much as they do for web pages. So using that “ALT tag” feature to annotate the images on your blog post is especially important, since that’s how they’ll find you. Just make sure to note that people can use your pictures with credit and a link back to your blog, or put your logo on the picture.
Link back to yourself
Because if you’re gonna have a blog, you better be all about self-promotion. And while linking out to known bloggers and other sites helps them notice you, linking back to your own content keeps people on your blog longer as they (hopefully) become more interested in what you’re doing.
Participate in Q and A sites and forums
Go to sites like Quora, Reddit, and Answers.com, find topics related to your business on which you can contribute information, and link back to your business’ blog in your profile. Once people can see you’re an expert, it will drive traffic to your business’ blog. But be sure to avoid coming off as a quasi-spammer, answering questions about the best hotels in Miami with stuff like “I don’t know about Miami, but if you’re ever in Cleveland, try my restaurant!”
Put the blog in your email signature
It’s not going make your company blog go viral or anything, but at least lets people know your business has a blog and could result in an extra trickle of blog traffic.
Use social media sharing buttons
Social media sharing is one the fastest ways to promote your blog posts and put them in front of your audience. Make it easy for people to share your blog posts on social media by installing share buttons for your social media networks on your posts. And make them prominent to incentivize social sharing.
Running a blog on your business’ website is not as easy as “build it and they will come.” If you’re already spending the time and effort to craft high-quality blog content, then it is just as important to increase your blog traffic to get your blog posts in front of your audience.