To attract more readers and keep them on the page, you need to work on the form of articles, optimization and distribution of content. In this article, we do not analyze publications on third-party sites , only work with your site.
Backlinko marketer and blog author Brian Dean increased traffic to his blog to 304,265 monthly visits. In his article, he shared the methods that helped to arrive at this result. He tested all the methods on his own experience and described in the material, and we chose the most interesting and added information on the topic.
How to increase website traffic
If you want to get more traffic from every piece you publish, try these techniques.
Refresh old materials
Organic page traffic grew 260% in two weeks without investment – Brian Dean simply updated the old material and updated the post date.
Why update old posts
Instead of writing new material to the blog every time, you can work on the old so that it is useful for longer. There are at least three reasons for updating content:
- Another chance to get noticed
When you post a post, many people who would find it useful will not see it – they accidentally miss an alert, do not find time to read it, and switch to other materials. Restarting a post provides another opportunity to get into the field of view of the audience for which it is intended.
- All the best to users
When you update the material, you make it better – add new data, fresh screenshots, fix bugs. As a result, users get an improved version of interesting content.
- Signal for search engines
Search engines value the age of a page, optimizer and SEO agency London consultant Robert Tolo spoke about this in a speech with advice from a Google specialist . He advised updating old materials instead of creating new ones, so the search engine will see that the webmaster is working on the quality of the content and updating the data.
How to update content
Restarting pages takes place in three steps:
- Look at your old content and find content that is still relevant now, or that can actually be updated to relevant. For example, posts that showed good results at first, and then declined, are suitable.
- Work on the content: delete what no longer works, add new data. Do not ignore this point, otherwise users will receive outdated information under the guise of fresh and stop trusting. If there is nothing to fix, you can add a video from Youtube – the page will receive a new content format and behavioral improvements.
- Re-publish the post: do not post it on a new page, but update the post date.
Case: updated date – traffic increased
The Razorlight Media company developed an adaptive version of the site. When the developers rolled out a new design, they accidentally changed the publication date of the articles in the template. It turned out as if all the articles of the company had just been posted. Within a week, organic was up 45% and direct traffic was up 62%.
When they noticed the error, they brought the dates back – traffic crawled down 31% per week.
They decided to test the hypothesis and again updated the publication dates – traffic grew by 43%.
For the purity of the experiment, the team again changed the dates to real ones – traffic decreased by 41%.
Articles with recent dates received more traffic even without content changes, but it’s best not to do this – users will be unhappy if you give them outdated information. In addition, the search engine will see that you are not working with the material and are simply updating the dates.
Find a topic with growing popularity
Most of the topics are super competitive: when you write an article about something popular, there are thousands of other materials about it that you have to compete with for a top spot.
You can take a different path and choose less competitive topics that are already relevant, but only gaining popularity. They can be found on Google Trends, and ExplodingTopics is available for English searches . It lists the fastest growing topics from 29 categories.
You can drive even more traffic to your articles with a popular topic with Google Discover . How to get into Google Discover, read the link.
This way you can find topics with potential and write about them. When their popularity skyrockets, you will already have detailed material.
Write “X vs Y” posts
Comparison posts of a pair of techniques, products, brands or services are interesting to many users because they want to make the right choice. “Which service is better: Convertkit or MailChimp”, “Paleo versus the keto diet”, “Xiaomi versus Samsung” will interest doubters and allow the optimizer to use the keys of both brands.
According to Brian, such keys are not very competitive.
The audience of such articles is quite advanced, users who are interested in reading the article “Ahrefs vs. SEMRush ”already understands.
Optimize for brand keys
Brand Keys – queries with brand and product names. Such queries are usually non-competitive. For example, a keyword with the brand name “BuzzSumo” according to Ahrefs has 49 thousand searches per month, it has a decent CPC:
Nevertheless, according to Ahrefs, this key has low complexity:
The disadvantage of brand keys is that you will never get to the top since it will be occupied by the brand’s company’s website. But sometimes it turns out to get to the first page, and for some requests this is already good.
For example, a Google Search Console guide posted on Backlinko last year ranked sixth behind Google Page results, bringing in 1,126 monthly visitors to the site.
Optimize for low frequency keys
Optimization for low-frequency keys that are not used by competitors will help to get more traffic.
The Top SERP Analysis tool will help you find new ideas for keywords : give it several keys, specify the search engine website and the region, and it will take sites out of the top, highlight the same domains and suggest keywords on the topic.
Try longer titles
A study of 912 million articles found that users were more likely to share articles with long titles.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that such titles of articles reveal the topic more fully, attract with details. They can also include more keys.
According to Google’s analysis of 5 million results , emotionally charged headlines with negative or positive sentiment get more clicks, so epithets can be used and headlines can be phrased in a lively and natural way.
On the other hand, titles should not be too emotional and clickbait. The same study showed that headlines with the booster words “amazing,” “powerful,” “secret,” “best,” and others had lower click-through rates. The title of the article “How to Write Insanely Amazing Headlines” is likely to be off-putting.
If the text of the article does not give what the title promises, users are unhappy, so it is better not to get carried away with emotions and embellishment
Write an introduction using the PBC formula
While reading the article, the user constantly decides whether to continue reading the material. According to research , the first scroll of content is read most attentively, so it’s better to write the most important and catchy information there.
In our experience as users, many authors are afraid to start with useful information “head-on”, but try to smoothly sum up with the help of long beginnings with well-known facts or the history of the term. Since these are well-known facts, it is not interesting to read about them. A joke in the subject:
We do not have statistics, but we ourselves usually skip such introductions or completely close articles where the author is carried away by summing up the point. Surely many more do the same.
Brian Dean developed a formula for writing an introduction for an article and called it the “PBC Formula” after the first letters of Preview, Benefits and Call-to-action – content, benefits and call to action .
PBC Formula Introduction:
- Briefly outline the content of the post.
An article on content marketing techniques that work in 2020.
- List the benefits that the reader will receive from studying the material. These techniques will help increase your blog traffic and retain your readers’ attention. All of them have been tested in practice – here is a case in which the blog author managed to increase organic content several times without investments – a screenshot.
- Call to action.
Try implementing these techniques on your blog and measure the results.
Brian is just using the “Let’s get started!” …
Such an introduction immediately introduces the reader to the course of the matter, answers his question “why should I read the material at all” and is usually formulated briefly, so it does not take much time.
Post a strong post
The same study of 912 million pages found that most social media reposts collect a small number of strong posts – these are useful long posts that “shoot”. 1.3% of such published articles account for 50% of reposts on social networks.Strong posts collect the most reposts
There is no formula by which to write a guaranteed successful article. But people are more likely to share very detailed materials on issues that are relevant to them.
Often times, companies focus on small articles trying to keep the posting periodic, but sometimes it pays to break the schedule to create epic content that has more impact.
For example, an article from the Backlinko blog, ” How to Write a Blog Post: A Comprehensive Guide, ” took 50 hours of work:
- 20 hours – write a post;
- 15 hours – draw illustrations and visual effects;
- 10 hours – to take and edit screenshots;
- 5 hours – post an article, work with the code.
This work paid off – in the first week, the post attracted 10,555 visitors:
Most of those visitors came from the reposts they received on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is the only page that has 5369 shares on social media:
Add eyeliners on social networks for content from the site
Facebook’s algorithms prioritize posts that take users away from their platform. Therefore, simply sharing a link to an article on the site is not enough, you need to add native content.
For example, such a post consists of a link preview and a title, it will be seen by fewer audiences than it could:
And in such a post, in addition to the link to the site, there is a native accompanying text:
It gives social media algorithms what they want – original content and engagement. These posts bring in more traffic.
Tell believable stories in YouTube videos
YouTube videos are more personal than text posts. When a user reads a text on a website, he rather hears his own inner voice, and while watching a video, he sees a speaking person and perceives him as an interlocutor.
It is appropriate to include small personal stories in videos as examples for 30-60 seconds. This will help to better reveal the topic and establish closer contact. If in the video you tell how to deal with a problem, share an incident from your life or a story you know to show that this happens and no one is immune from mistakes.
The audience will appreciate these life stories in videos as long as they are short, lively and relevant to the theme of the video.
Reduce speech in video content
People save their free time and want to watch dynamic videos. Many even turn on fast forward if the speaker speaks very slowly.
Some content creators try to make videos more natural and spend less time editing, so they hardly cut the video. There are long pauses in them, “aaa”, “mmm”, “as you know”, other parasitic words that in real life allow the speaker to take extra seconds to formulate a thought. You don’t need them in the video, so take care of your viewers and make more splices by cutting out unnecessary ones, which slows down the pace of the story.