Ok, so you just set up a new blog and have written couple of great posts, but the problem is that nobody is reading them except your friends and/or family. This is situation that occurs to almost every new blogger but it definitely does not mean that your content sucks – it just means that you don't know how to get traffic to your blog.
There are many ways to get traffic to your blog: search engines, Facebook, Twitter, paid traffic and so on. Depending on your goals all of these ways are effective. However, if you are looking to get some free and constant traffic, you should take a look at keyword researching and get familiar with it.
If you don't know about keywords and search engine optimisation and you already have a blog, changes are that you are missing a ton of traffic already. Of course it is not reason to stop blogging – you can still get traffic from search engines, but having a domain name that matches chosen keyword helps a lot.
So, how does this all work? Here is step by step guide how to get traffic to your blog. There is a lot of content here but I try to make things as clear and short as possible.
Step 1 - Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first step on how to get traffic to your blog - you must first know what people are looking for. You can either use Google Keyword Tool or some software to do this. I use Traffic Travis for these tasks and I am going to show you how it works soon.
But first let's have a little overview what this software can do. Traffic Travis is one of the best keyword research tools I have used and for a reason. It can do pretty much everything regarding keyword research, including finding potential keywords, making deep SEO (search engine optimisation) analysis on them and finding domains that fit the chosen keyword.
So you get your hands on massive amounts of data, and the great part is that you can save all data to your computer for later use.
You can also manage your blog's SEO as a project within Traffic Travis, which is awesome and really helpful feature. It allows you to follow your SEO progress more easily as it shows your ranks for each keyword and keeps you updated on how your site is doing.
There exists two different versions of Traffic Travis: free and professional. The free version allows you to do almost all the things that you could do with the professional one, with couple of limitations of course. So don't worry if you are short on money, you can still do all the things I do in this article.
Okay, let's get started!
Open Traffic Travis and go to Research tab. Type in the keyword you want to do research on, I will be using photography as an example. Then choose the number of keyword suggestions you want to get (in free version it is capped to 100, the Professional Version can fetch up to 2000 keyword suggestions).
After the research is complete you get a list of keyword suggestions. You get to see various information about them:
Global monthly searches
Local monthly searches
Amount of PPC competition
Average cost per click on Google AdWords
And total number of search results in Google.
For example, plain ”photo” is searched 550,000 times monthly. That is a lot and it would be awesome to get a website rank first on Google with that keyword, but with a single word like that it is nearly impossible.
Step 2 – Finding Potential Keywords
Now you have a huge list of keywords, but to get traffic on your blog you must find the potential ones.
There are a couple of things to look at. Firstly the amount of searches. For a blog post I usually look something that has at least 350 searches each month, but if the keyword I look for is my main keyword, I want it to be something with at least 14000 searches each month. This all of course depends on you and the niche you are in.
You can set up some filters in Traffic Travis to get rid of keywords you don't want to see in your list. For instance I want to see keywords that contain "photography" and have global search count greater than 14000.
So, when you have found some nice looking keywords, select them on Traffic Travis and move on to the SEO tab and then select competition tab under it.
This is where Traffic Travis starts to get really awesome. Here you can do SEO analysis for your chosen keywords and find out what is rubbish and what is not. Start by clicking on the keyword box. As you can see, all keywords you selected previously can now be analyzed. Click OK and then Fetch.
Okay, when the analysis is complete, take a look at the keywords. As our goal is to get ranked on page 1 of Google – preferably on the very first spot – we don't want to choose any overly competitive keywords. So go with ones that are ”Relatively Easy” or ”Easy”.
You should also take a closer look on average page rank: if it is 4 or over, I usually wouldn't bother with it even if the tool says it is okay. Another thing to take a look at is the detailed report. Just click ”View Details” and the tool gives you the top 10 or 20 websites that rank for the keyword (depending on which one you chose).
Their page rank
Authority of their site
Amount of backlinks they have (don't worry if you haven't heard about backlinks, I will get to it soon)
Are their site listed on DMOZ
Does the keyword appear in their title
Does the keyword appear in their description
Does the keyword appear in their H1 tag
At this point you should not worry about ”what is DMOZ?” or ”why must keyword be on the title?”. Just worry about which one is the dominating color in the analysis.
If you see lots of red X's everywhere, it is a good sign. It means that your competitors haven't done proper SEO for their sites or that they aren't even trying to rank for the keyword you are looking at right now.
In other hand if you see green V's everywhere, it is a really bad sign and you should think about finding another keyword. Sometimes it is not an option but at least analyze carefully before you go to the next step.
Okay, now you know what kind of keyword you should be looking for. When you find a promising one, let's get to the third step.
Step 3 – Writing SEO Friendly Content
This is one of the easiest steps on how to get traffic to your blog through search engines – or at least in my opinion.
Let's start by the factors which affect which sites appear on top of Google search:
Does keywords appear in the domain name?
Does keyword appear in the title?
Does Keyword appear in the description?
Does keyword appear in the H1 tag?
These things tell Google how relevant your site is with the keyword used to search. If the keyword appears in domain name, title, description and H1 tag you boost your rankings quite a bit.
Another thing is keyword density within your content. When you write a blog post, you should include your keyword at least in your title, your first paragraph, couple times in middle and finally in the last paragraph. This is how I do this and it seems to work pretty well. We don't want to overdo things, you should still be writing for people and not for search engines.
Step 4 - Backlinks
This is really important step, but sadly it is also the most annoying one in my opinion.
A backlink is basically a link that points to your site. When a website links to your site, it gets boost in eyes of Google. Links tell Google that your site is popular and has great content, since usually people link to things when they think that the content is worth of linking to.
Sounds easy enough? Get tons of links and you rank well? Well, it does not work that simply though, as there are a couple of things you should be aware of:
Links from relevant content sites give more ”link juice” than links from non-relevant ones
Links that contain the keyword you want to rank for in anchor text give more link juice than links without it
Links from authoritative sites give more link juice than the ones from less authoritative ones (higher page rank = better)
Too many links at once will rise a red flag on Google, so don't spam!
Some links are No Follow links, basically search engines don't follow these links so it is better to stay away from them
So, the best links come from high page rank sites, from relevant content and the link has your keyword as an anchor text and does not have no follow tag (to check if a link is a no follow one, just open the source code, press Ctrl+F and type in ”no follow”. If you can't see no follow on your link, the link is fine).
So, how to get something like this? If your content is really awesome, you will eventually get these great backlinks kinda automatically. But it will take a long time, and if nobody comes to your blog, no one will link either. Let's help your blog to grow a little bit.
Here is where article marketing comes into play.
The basic idea is to submit great, relevant content articles on high page rank article directories such as Squidoo, and within that article you should link to post or page of your blog that you want to get traffic on.
For instance, if I wanted to rank for ”photography tips”, I would write a photography related article, submit it to Squidoo, and within that article I would make a link that has words ”photography tips” and links to my blog post that is titled something like ”50 Awesome Photography Tips” (as long as it does contain the keyword it is fine).
By having all these things in a right place, you will eventually see your blog rising from the ground into the sky. But remember, this all takes a lot of time and a lot of work! Especially the backlinking part. It can get a bit frustrating to write content to other sites when you could write it to your own blog, but it is all for sake of your blog in the end.
Okay, so what kind of article directories can you submit to? Here is a list of directories that I use:
All of these article directories are Do Follow ones, so you can get maximum potential out of them.
So, as I mentioned before, this all will take a long time to do. I didn't like how much time it took for me to do these backlinks, so I started to use backlinking strategy that I found on SmartPassiveIncome.com called ”THE Backlinking Strategy That Works”.
Joseph Archibald came up with it originally, and the author of Smart Passive Income, Pat Flynn, introduced it in his blog. I thank both of you!
I won't go into this strategy in that great detail so I make it short and explain how I do things. I use Unique Article Wizard to make backlinks to the backlinking articles that I have submitted to directories above. This basically gives a great boost to these backlinks coming from article directories as they get hundreds of backlinks from UAW.
If you would be doing backlinks straight from UAW to your blog, chances are that it would rise a red flag on Google since you would get hundreds of links just in few days.
So these ”inner” backlinks act same time as a shield to your blog and will still pass the juice from UAW links to your blog. This is effective way to get lots of backlinks in a short period of time and with minimum amount of work.
While this saves time and makes the backlinking process easier, it comes with a downside: UAW costs money. I feel that it is worth the investment for me since it saves my time and energy. But if you are short on money, remember that you don't have to buy anything at all to do backlinks, I am just saying that this all speeds up the process and makes things easier.
If you want to know more details about this strategy, visit Smart Passive Income and read about it, I highly recommend it!
Okay, that concludes how to get traffic to your blog. I didn't talk about using Twitter and other methods, but that is because I am not so familiar with these other methods. I don't think I could talk about them so much anyways because of that.
Maybe I start testing other methods out and write another article about this subject when I know more about them, but for now I will continue with working on SEO and getting traffic from Google, I hope you also get some!
Good luck and have fun with your blog!