How to Grow Your Blog Audience: Here Are 5 Tips
So you have a great blog. You write great content with lots of important information worth sharing. You publish frequently and promote your own content. But still, you aren’t getting many hits. Does it mean your content needs reworking? Not necessarily.
Breathe new life into your existing posts by following these 5 steps, and you can transform your low-traffic blog with a high bounce rate into a blog many new people will actually read and come back to.
The SEO and Analytics Steps to Follow to Grow Your Blog Visitors
1. Make sure your blog posts are visually appealing – and contribute to SEO
Looks aren’t everything. But are people more likely to take your blog seriously if it is professional looking? You bet! You put a lot of time into your blog posts, and it should look like you do. Be sure your layout is organized with defined sections. Add aesthetically-pleasing, yet relevant images. Furthermore, use relevant keywords in the alt text field (the text that will show if an image doesn’t render correctly) to maximize SEO. Put the effort into making your blog look like it is worth reading, and your bounce rate will drop, and average time on page will improve.
2. Increase readability, improve SEO and lower your bounce rate by using headers to create clear, concise subtitles and bullets
If your blog post is a list-type post in a bulleted or numbered format, think “SEO” when writing the headers of these lists. Each header you include should be a clear summary of what is to follow in the paragraph(s) below. And by including popular (and relevant, of course!) keywords, you’re reinforcing for Google what the post is about. This, in turn, increases your chances of showing up in search results.
3. Optimize your Meta Page Titles
Your meta title, the text in the top left corner of your web browser, should clearly depict what the post is about. This text can be picked up by directories/webmasters, too, if they decide to link to your post. Be sure to include the “focus” keyword of the post. Keep it relevant. Keep it specific. Keep it simple. (60-70 characters, max!)
4. Create/Update your post’s Meta Descriptions
The meta description neither plays a major role in SEO nor improves your rankings in a Google search, but it is still very important. Because, while there’s no guarantee that this description will be used by Google, if a search query matches it closely enough, Google may choose to display it in the search results. This gives you some control over what is displayed, and could mean that the searcher may be more likely to click on your post, as it will appear to be a good fit.
If you have not put much effort into your meta descriptions, they are easy updates to make. Start with your top-viewed posts and add focused, keyword-rich descriptions. Again, while it should be concise, the meta description give you more space to expand upon your page title. Think of it as a short summary to hook your readers. This will make it more likely for readers to find your post. (150-180 characters)
5. Re-promote your older, evergreen posts on all of your social media accounts – with appropriate hashtags
Sharing your posts with your followers is a great way to gain new views, but Twitter especially gives a potentially large opportunity for new readers. You can tweet out your posts, even if they are older posts, a few times a day with different text. Fool around with hashtags and find out what works best.
Don’t be hesitant to periodically – even aggressively – re-promote your “evergreen” posts (posts that stay relevant over time). Each time you tweet, a new person may find your post. Chances are, someone is looking for exactly what you are posting about, so let them find you through relevant hashtags. Even just one retweet can have a dramatic impact if it comes from a user with a lot of followers. (Read about evergreen posts for local businesses here.)
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So how do you know any of this actually works? Well, we tested it ourselves, and we think the results speak for themselves.
Our Blog SEO/Analytics Test Explained
We took four older blog posts and tracked their performance over the course of six months (a period we will refer to as Period 1). We then implemented the five changes listed above, tracked the posts for the following six months (Period 2), and compared the results of Period 2 to Period 1.
To start, we updated each post to be more visually appealing and up-to-date. This included the addition of new graphics (as the old ones looked dated), changes in font, and the switch to a more simplified format.
Once we were satisfied with the overall layout, we went to work on updating our SEO. This involved some keyword research to see if any new keywords had become popular since the original post date, as well as reworking headers and bullets to include these keywords.
Following the steps listed above, we then changed meta page titles and meta descriptions as recommended in steps 3 and 4, and we repromoted the posts on social media. We promoted each post once a week on Facebook, and up to six times a week on Twitter.
So what do the results of our test reveal?
After implementing the 5 tips provided above, we saw noticeable improvements in three areas that are good indicators of page performance:
- Page Views (how many times the post was viewed)
- Unique Page Views (the number of individual visitors to your page)
- Bounce Rate (the number of visitors that leave your site after viewing only one page – the lower the bounce rate the better)
Analysis of the page performance of these posts indicated an increase in page views/unique page views, as well as a decrease in bounce rate from Period 1 to Period 2. In fact, unique page views saw an increase of 24% following the implementation of these steps, which means more people were able to find our posts thanks to the SEO benefits provided by these changes.
The bounce rate decreased by about 5%, meaning that these changes brought visitors who actually stayed on the website rather than immediately bouncing off the page. In short, this means the viewers of the updated posts were quality visitors that were actually interested in the topic, rather than visitors that navigated to the page by accident.
All in all, the results of our test allow us to conclude that implementing these 5 tips can breathe new life into your older posts. Optimizing the posts for on-page SEO and regularly re-promoting them can have a positive impact on the number of individual visitors who can find and read your posts. And, of course, by incorporating these tips into any new posts, you’ll be one step ahead of the game from the start.
Sales Renewal’s insight:
So you have a great blog. You write great content with lots of important information worth sharing. You publish frequently and promote your own content. But still, you aren’t getting many hits. Does it mean your content needs reworking? Not necessarily. By following these 5 steps, you can transform your low-traffic blog with a high bounce rate into a blog many new people will actually read.