How To Get Traffic To Your Blog In 6 Easy Steps

Every business owner knows the struggle of trying to generate more traffic and business through their website. From publishing blog posts to posting on social media, it may feel like you’re relying on hope and a prayer to start seeing results from your blogging efforts.

If this has been one of your frustrations, know that you’re not alone. Over 50% of business owners say blogging is their top marketing priority – but many still fall short when it comes to their traffic goals.

That’s because it takes a data-driven content strategy to start attracting the types of visitors you want for the long-term.

In this article, we’re breaking down how to drive more traffic to your blog using search engine optimization (SEO).

"SEO" letters spelled out

Here are the 6 steps we’re going to be covering to show you how to do this:


How to use SEO to drive traffic to your blog

SEO – search engine optimization – refers to the practice of optimizing your website to attract organic traffic from search engines (namely, Google). This is one of the best methods to increase blog traffic due to the sheer volume of people using Google to search for things and pull up blogs like yours.

Over 5 billion searches occur on Google every day, meaning there are tons of opportunities for searchers to find your blog, read your content, subscribe to your mailing list, or buy your products or services.

By optimizing your blog for search engines, you’re able to get in front of potential readers who are actively searching for the topics you’re writing about. If you make your content SEO-friendly, you will have a better chance of search engines ranking it high in the search results. And that’s how you will drive more traffic to your blog.

6 Steps To Getting More Blog Traffic with SEO

While we wish getting more traffic was as simple as writing a post and clicking “publish”, the reality is that it takes strategy to write content that’s worthy of getting ranked in search engines.

Not only are you writing to satisfy the search engine algorithms, but you’re writing content that needs to provide value to your target audience. If you publish content your audience doesn’t want to read, search engines aren’t likely to rank it either.

Below, we’ve outlined 6 steps for writing SEO-friendly content that’s sure to please your readers and Google. Using this strategy, you will be able to generate more google search traffic over time.

Step 1: Audit Your Content

Before you start writing more content, you’ll need to determine which posts are already doing well and which ones need to be nixed.

This is because your under-performing and unoptimized blog posts are liable to drag your website down, as search engines can see that you have a lot of content that people don’t want to read.

To find these posts, make sure you have Google Analytics setup to track how much traffic your website is getting and which blog posts are generating the most traffic.

Google Analytics

Let analytics run for at least a week so there’s time for the data to roll in. But if you are not getting any organic traffic at all, no worries, you can still start from the ground up.

To find your top blog posts in Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Here, you will see a list of your highest-performing blog posts in order of traffic volume. For more information on how to do this, see this guide.

With this list, you can determine which posts are doing well and which ones need some work. That presents an opportunity for you to edit your lower performing blog posts by adding more value, do more internal linking, adding images, and making them more reader-friendly.

What we want to look for are the posts that are hovering somewhere in the middle, which we call the “low hanging fruit”.

These are the posts you should optimize first in order to start seeing the fastest results and increase traffic.

Step 2: Repurpose or Re-Optimize Existing Content

Hopefully, your adventure into Google Analytics brought you some good news: that a few of your blog posts are already generating traffic. If not, you’ll want to spruce up the articles that are underperforming or not performing at all.

One option is to repurpose your content. This involves taking an existing post, editing it, and marketing it across other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, email, etc.

In that case, you aren’t so much as optimizing your post for search engines, but squeezing a bit of life out of it by circulating it across other marketing channels. This is the best approach if you don’t have the time or resources to fully optimize your content.

Man blogging on laptop

The other option is to re-optimize your content for search engines. This is a more involved process but is likely to result in increasing your blog traffic.

To re-optimize your content, you’ll want to follow the steps 3-6 below, only you’ll be editing an existing post instead of writing a new one from scratch.

In general, the re-optimization process involves updating your content in some meaningful way.  Maybe it’s including a new story, or adding a useful strategy you just learned about.

Then you would make sure to identify a focus keyword, optimizing the content for that keyword, add images, and try to re-promote it get the maximum traffic.

Step 3: Conduct SEO Keyword Research

When you come to this step, you’ll either be optimizing an existing blog post or writing a completely new one. In either case, you’ll need to identify a focus keyword to target in your article.

A keyword is what a person types into Google (or another search engine) in order to find blog posts, brands, products, etc. As a website owner, you want to target the keywords your audience is searching for so you have the chance to show up in the search results whenever they search for that term.

Brainstorm

To begin your keyword research, first, brainstorm a list of words that are relevant to your website. For example, if you run a marketing blog, you may want to write about email marketing, SEO, or traffic generation. Be as exhaustive as you can at this point.

If you are hoping to optimize an existing post, think of a few terms that summarize what the post is about. For instance, if your post title is “10 Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Beginners”, some other keywords you might include could be affiliate marketing tips or how to do affiliate marketing.

One helpful tip for brainstorming is to always write things out. We like using a tool called Dynalist. It’s a simple app that helps you organize your ideas into lists. What’s nice about it is that it syncs across all your devices and works on both PC and Mac. So it’s always available to you whenever ideas pop into your mind and you need to write them down.

Research

Once you have a long list of potential keywords, use a free keyword research tool like UberSuggest or a premium one like Ahrefs to analyze the keyword’s search volume and competition level.

If a keyword gets no search volume at all, that means no one is searching for it and it’s likely not worth targeting with your content.

At the same time, if it’s super competitive, it may be too difficult for you to rank for that term, especially if you’re just getting started.

The key is to find high search volume, low competition keywords to target with your content. Ideally, you’ll identify 1 focus keyword per post and a few additional keywords that are also relevant as well.

Once you have your keywords, you can then use an on-page SEO tool like Surfer SEO to do further analysis. SurferSEO will allow you to analyze your focus keyword in the SERPs and give you insights into the top pages that are ranking for your keyword.

With this knowledge, you will have the data you need to optimize your own post in the same way.

Step 4: Write (or Re-Write) Your Blog Post

Man typing on laptop at desk

Once you’ve selected a focus keyword for your new (or existing post), it’s time to write your content. If you’re re-optimizing a post, you’ll want to follow these steps, but by editing your content.

First things first: Do not make the mistake of stuffing your keywords into your content.

The Google algorithm is smart, but readers are smarter, and if either of them gets the sense that you are trying to spam your content full of keywords, you’re not going to rank well.

Instead, you want to incorporate your primary and secondary keywords into your content naturally.

Here are some best practices to follow when writing your blog post:

  • Include the focus keyword in the title of your post to indicate to search engines and readers what your post is about.
  • Incorporate your focus keyword or secondary keywords in some the headings (H1, H2, H3) of your article, but only if applicable
  • Include the focus keyword one time in the first paragraph of your article.
  • Thoroughly cover the topic of your article. In doing so, you’ll naturally include your focus keyword and semantically related keywords.
  • Determine the ideal word count. Aim for a rough average of the top-ranking posts for your focus keywords. In most cases longer articles do rank better than shorter ones. However, make sure your article is not full of fluff.
  • Add internal links within your blog post that link to other relevant pages or posts on your website. I suggest using Link Whisperer to make this process a lot easier.
  • Link out to reputable articles that cite the points you make. If there is a relevant article written by an influencers in your marketer, link out to them so you can do some outreach to them later.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists to break up your content. And make liberal use of white space.
  • Write a meta description that describes what the post is about and preferably contains your focus keyword.

I also recommend using SurferSEO Content Editor feature to help you automate this process.

The Content Editor creates automated guidelines for you, based on the top ranking sites for your chosen focus keyword. So in real-time, you know what keywords you are both under-optimized for and over optimized and helps you always write more SEO optimized content.

SurferSEO - Content Editor

Step 5: Add Images

Images add pizzazz to your posts, make them more engaging, improves your SEO, and increases social media shares. Readers love visual content as much as they love textual content, so be sure to add images to your blog posts.

Woman in yellow sweater holding camera

As a best practice, you’ll want to add images that are relevant to the content. Filling your article will stock photos of women eating salad won’t provide much value if your article is about trekking in Nepal.

If at all possible, adding your own photography. Or try to incorporate screenshots where relevant.

Here are some tips to follow when adding images to your posts:

  • Avoid copyright issues by only sourcing royalty-free images from sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, or paid stock photo sites.
  • Include your own screenshots, especially for detailed tutorials or guides.
  • Optimize your images for the web by shrinking the file size using Photoshop, tinypng.com, or ImageOptim (Mac only)
  • Save the file name as something relevant to the photo, like “man-typing-laptop.png”.
  • Add optimize image alt text for SEO and accessibility. This is the text that the visually impaired “read” using e-readers, so make your text descriptive yet concise.
  • Feel free to add gifs or videos to your posts as well to improve engagement.

Step 6: Promote Your Blog Post

Once your blog post is published, you’re not done yet. While it may take some time for the organic traffic to come rolling in from the search engines, you still can start promoting your post right away. This is called content marketing, and it’s crucial that you take this step before moving on to your next article.

Mobile phone with Facebook app and "social media" spelled out in Scrabble pieces

You have multiple marketing channels available to promote your blog posts to a wider audience. All of these can send traffic to your site, hopefully resulting in some new subscribers, leads, or customers as well.

Try these methods for promoting your blog post online:

  • Share your post on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Automate your social media posting with tools like Buffer or Hootsuite
  • Promote your article to your existing email list with an email broadcast.
  • Host a Facebook Live and encourage viewers to check out your post.
  • Create a main Pinterest image for your blog post that you can post to your Pinterest board.
  • Include a link to your post in your Instagram bio and tell your followers to check it out in your posts or Instagram Story.
  • Reach out to other blogs to guest post on their site and include a link back to your article (you may have to ask permission for this).
  • Record and publish a relevant YouTube video and include a link to your content in the description.
  • Use WordPress plugins that share your article as soon as your post goes live.
  • Reach out to influencers you may have linked out to in your article, and see if they will promote your content to their audience.

Final Thoughts

SEO traffic is the primary way we’ve been driving traffic to SmartBusinessTrends. And we are able to leverage this traffic to make affiliate commissions on the products we promote.

However, it does take time and patience, especially if your blog is new.

But to ensure that Google gives you blog the love that it deserves, you need to be following these best practices if you really want to get more traffic to your blog.

So use this post as a checklist, that you can reference anytime you write or update an article on your site.

Don’t worry, they will become second nature to you the more you publish.

Frequently Ask Questions

How do I get traffic to my blog for free?

The best way to get traffic to your blog for free is to leverage your existing audience. So if you have a Facebook group, an email list, or a chat bot, you should always send out updates to these platforms whenever you've written some new content.

How do I get my blog noticed by Google?

If your site does not have any authority, I would suggest publishing content as consistently as possible. At a certain point Google will see this, and start crawling your blog multiple times per day, and finding your new content automatically.

How do I get traffic to a new blog?

The first step to getting traffic to a new blog, is to write some epic content that's worth sharing. Follow Brian Dean's skyscraper method, and you can use it to attract links for your epic content from influencers in your market.

About Jessica Foster

Jessica Foster is the founder and lead SEO Content Writer at Keys&Copy – a premier content agency that serves SEO and digital marketing agencies. She hails from the very beautiful Seattle, Washington but is often off traveling to faraway places.

>