As an online marketer, one of your key goals is getting more traffic to your blog without spending a lot of money. Sure, you can spend more (much more) trying to draw people to your latest posts, and we are definitely not ruling out paid channels. After all, we know first hand how native advertising can increase traffic, and especially qualified traffic – those consumers who are more likely to spend money with your company.
But as a blogger or marketer trying to get more eyeballs on your blog, you should definitely be looking at ways to do that without having to break the bank, leaving precious budget for the paid advertising methods that really work.
Here are 15 ways that online and content marketers are increasing targeted traffic to their company blogs without spending an arm and a leg:
- Leveraging Long-tail Keywords
- Refining Sales Nurturing with Email Campaigns
- Guest Blogging
- Optimizing Load Time
- Adding Value in Forums and Other Blog Comments in Your Niche
- Revamping Your Evergreen Posting Strategy
- Posting Regularly on Social Media
- Assessing Your Competitors’ Strategies
- Investing in Customer Surveys
- Using Guestographics
- Becoming Mobile First
- Publishing an Ebook to Capture Leads
- Using the Skyscraper Technique
- Optimizing your Meta Descriptions to Increase CTR in the SERP
- Pay-Per Click (PPC) Advertising
1. Leveraging Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are groups of words or phrases that mimic regular speech, and they are all the rage in digital marketing. Why? Because people don’t search online like they used to. Today, people use a more natural, flowing language style in their web searches. It’s the difference between searching for “vegan birthday cakes” or typing in “where to buy a vegan birthday cake” or “how to make a vegan birthday cake” in your search bar.
Last year, Google integrated BERT into its search algorithm. BERT is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP), and Google uses it to better understand the user intent behind search queries. The days of “keyword stuffing” are long gone. Writing your blog content with long-tail keywords and a real, conversational tone can bring you favor with Google’s algorithm and drive significant increases in organic traffic.
Use Google Autosuggest and Keyword tool to find the best long-tail keywords for your marketing strategy – both are free.
2. Refining Sales Nurturing with Email Campaigns
Email marketing is a great tool for building awareness and engagement, with a sensational ROI of 4400%! That’s pretty rare in the cutthroat world of digital marketing, and you should definitely use it to your benefit.
Using free or low-cost email marketing web applications, you can design a series of targeted and automated emails promoting relevant blog content to different audience segments. Email marketing web apps can also help you set up automated response emails, content-sharing emails, invitation emails, and more. Some great low-cost email marketing services include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Get Response, and check out these tools to help you optimize your emails and get the most from your campaigns.
3. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to tap into another brand’s existing audience without paying a dime. Everyone is looking for great content. As long as you can write relevant, interesting, and high-quality content about your niche, there’s no reason you can’t be a major contributor to a high traffic publication. Publishing as a guest author builds your presence on the web and will naturally build organic interest and traffic to your website over time.
When submitting your guest post, remember that the blog is not an advertisement for you; instead, it should provide added value to the reader, targeted to the blog audience. The article should also satisfy the blog owner’s posting requirements, and include links to their own content. Instead of linking to your own website within the post, make sure you reserve any self-advertisement for your author bio.
4. Optimizing Load Time
One thing that may be limiting the amount of traffic that your blog is receiving is your site’s load time. If your page doesn’t load instantaneously, there’s a good chance that the user will leave before your site even gets a chance to wow them. To optimize your load time, you may need to resize images, restructure text, and make changes to plugins. Pingdom and tiny png are two online tools that are great for optimizing load time. Pingdom allows you to test the load speed of your website, and tiny png reduces the file size of your png image files.
5. Adding Value in Forums and Other Blog Comments in Your Niche
A well-crafted comment on another blog or in a relevant forum generates attention to your internet presence and can drive meaningful traffic to your blog. But it won’t work if your comment is nothing more than “thanks for a great post!” followed by a link to your blog. Rather, an effective comment is about adding value to the conversation. Comments should be at least two sentences and should add a new perspective or address a specific aspect of the blog.
To get traffic from your comments, choose blogs and forums that are in your niche and are already popular with high traffic. Also, know that the higher your comment appears on the page (i.e., the sooner you post it after the blog is published), the more likely it is to be seen and gather momentum. That means commenting early when the conversation is still hot. Of course, the cost effective benefits of commenting are obvious – contributing to another’s blog or forum doesn’t cost anything except your time.
6. Revamping Your Evergreen Posting Strategy
Evergreen blogs are content that stands the test of time. Because they are always relevant, these blogs can drive traffic to your site for years to come. Even so, there are ways to refresh evergreen posts and make them even more effective.
Start by optimizing your titles based on the latest SEO keywords. Make sure that the links in the post are up to date and in working order. Refresh any of the content in the blog post that may have changed since you first posted it. Here are some more tips to boost your SEO and content marketing strategy.
Revamping your evergreen posting strategy is free, requiring smart planning and some SEO knowledge rather than your hard-earned cash.
7. Posting Regularly on Social Media
Getting more traffic to your blog may be as straightforward as letting people know about it.
Social media is shown to account for 5% of website traffic referrals, but expect that number to be much higher when focusing on a niche audience. If your blog or business has a solid following on social media, this is an audience more likely to read your latest blog. Make sure to post all your latest blogs on your social media pages and encourage people to comment and share. This tactic works better the more followers you have, so pair it with a strategy to boost your social media audience.
8. Assessing Your Competitors’ Strategies
Just as important as your own strategy are the strategies of your competitors. By conducting competitor research, you’ll be able to see what works well for their content and blogging strategy. This can allow you more insight into the market as a whole, and more opportunities to make changes that you already know will result in success.
Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs make it easy to assess other websites and bloggers, and discover very specific information about their organic search, paid search, backlinks, top keywords, content performance, and main competitors. It’s a great starting point to know how to boost your own blog assets with organic traffic.
9. Investing in Customer Surveys
One of the most important things that you can do as an online marketer is to really know your target audience – their pain points, interests, likes, and dislikes. Online survey tools, like Qualaroo – which offers a free trial – can help you to target specific groups, and learn why your customers are taking certain actions on your site. When you discover the topics and content that your customers really want to read, you can make sure to invest your time and energy in writing blogs that will appeal to your target audience.
10. Using Guestographics
What do you get when you cross an infographic with a guest post? A “guestographic”!
Guestographics combine two powerful traffic-driving tactics. It goes like this: you create and publish an informative and richly illustrated infographic about your niche topic on your own blog. Then you pitch it to relevant blogs and websites that may want to link to your guestographic.
These blogs share your guestographic on their own sites, with backlinks to your site.
Guestographics really work. The “father” of guestographics – Brian Dean from Backlinko – showed that a guestographic increased organic traffic to his site by 175%!
11. Becoming Mobile-First
Okay, so this may be one of the more obvious ways to increase your traffic, but it is so important, we could not leave it out.
In recent years, with the proliferation of mobile use worldwide, Google adapted its algorithm to favor web pages that are optimized for mobile. If your blog does not have responsive design, you should update it already yesterday.
Also, remember that the change applies per page, not per website. That means that each and every individual page on your website needs to be updated – you can check pages using Google’s mobile-friendly test.
When it comes to cost efficiency, creating an app can be expensive and won’t be worth your time as a blog owner. Rather, focus on making your site mobile responsive with the help of free mobile optimization function on blogging platforms like WordPress.
12. Publishing an Ebook to Capture Leads
Self-publishing used to cost thousands of dollars, but now, publishing your own ebook can cost you little more than your time. You can offer an ebook on self-publishing platforms like Amazon, or as a direct download from social media posts or email marketing. To drive high quality traffic to your site (it’s likely that a large majority of your readers will be potential customers, after all, they’re reading your book), publish a link to your blog directly inside the ebook.
13. Using the Skyscraper Technique
Another excellent idea to get great traffic to your blog is the Skyscraper Technique. to drive traffic. The technique is incredibly simple, yet incredibly effective – in this link building case study, search traffic was increased by 110 percent in 14 days. In this one, 348 percent in seven days.
The first step of the skyscraper technique is to find and improve existing content within your field that has already been shown to generate a lot of interest in social. BuzzSumo is an awesome tool for seeing what content about a specific keyword has been popular recently. For example, a search for “blog traffic” reveals the most shared content on the topic in the past year.
You can see how the post you’re reading now has a similar title to these ones. This article offers a different perspective but we’re building on top of these “Skyscraper” posts that we already know people want to read and share.
The next step is just as simple: share the content by connecting with the right audience. Don’t just send the content out to a random email list; instead reach out to site owners and industry leaders who have already expressed interest in your topic and see if they are willing to promote or publish your article. And of course, share it on your social media channels or with the help of native advertising.
14. Optimizing your Meta Descriptions to Increase CTR in the SERP
To increase the number of visitors who click on your website from a search engine results page (SERP), you need to optimize your meta descriptions. Optimization of a meta description can significantly increase traffic to your blog or landing page – according to Backlinko, pages with a meta description get 5.8% better CTR than pages without. Changing your meta descriptions is a no-cost strategy that’s easy to implement. Meta descriptions should be concise, kept to under 160 characters, should be unique, and must be specific to the specific page you’re advertising.
15. Pay-Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC should not be ignored as a potential method for driving traffic to your blog in a cost-effective way. Before you start, make sure you know what your goals are for your content. If you were to drive 1,000 more visitors to your blog post tomorrow, what would success look like? What do you want these new visitors to do? If your goal is to have them read your entire blog post, make sure you’re measuring bounce rate properly. If signing up for your newsletter is the KPI you’re focusing on, make sure you’ve set up the right goals in Google Analytics (or your preferred web analytics software). If you want them to read another article, what article are you recommending when they get to the bottom of your article, and what’s your call-to-action (CTA)? Are you A/B testing two CTAs? If these same visitors come back to your homepage a week later and buy your product, will you know they first learned about your company by reading your blog post (if the answer is no, make sure your looking into attribution tracking, not just “last-click”, to understand the true impact content marketing is having on your company’s bottom-line).
What else would you add to this list of cost-effective tactics for driving traffic to your blog?