In a digital world with 152 million blogs, questioning the value of investing resources and time in building yet another one is a fair doubt. In 2019, however, content creation should not be seen as just regurgitating some ideas with no value into the web. Marketers, as well as entrepreneurs, should understand that having a B2B blog can increase your website traffic overall.
Organic traffic accounts for 51% of the traffic a website gets. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on advertising or time on social media platforms, creating content and sharing insightful articles will get you far better results over time.
But, How Much More Are We Talking About?
Websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages than others that don’t. Having a wider presence on search engines will let more users find
Being found online while searching for specific keywords can create the right intent in the users’ mind. Getting a user to read your content online is the first step of a successful lead nurturing strategy. As a matter of fact, organic traffic capture 40% of revenues generated online.
It Won’t Be An Easy Journey
Having a blog, however, doesn’t translate into immediate results. If you are looking for sudden spikes in traffic to your website, you are better off investing in paid advertising. Be aware though that paid marketing campaigns can generate traffic as far as you are spending. The moment you stop, things go back to reality.
Blogging is by no mean an easy task. You need to take into consideration that :
- You need to be consistent with publishing content
- You need to diversify the format of the content you publish
- You will need to wait some time before enjoying the results
Blogging is a lot like a healthy diet, not just any diet. It requires efforts, pain, and commitment. You will be losing weight but slowly, maybe a couple of kilos every 2 weeks. There will also be times when you will actually gain back some of the kilos you lost and you will feel demoralized and that all the efforts you put in were just a big waste of time. Yes, that’s blogging. However, if you keep being consistent, your body will react differently to food, your metabolism will adjust and then the change will be permanent.
This is what content creation for results is about. It takes time and you will hardly see improvements immediately. Once you cross that bridge, however, organic traffic will be consistent compared to any paid advertising activity.
In this article, I will focus on 15 ways to increase website traffic today for free. The only 2 things you will need are time and effort.
1. Understand Your Audience’s Preferences
Understanding your audience’s preferences is something crucial to start building a blog that lasts and add value to your uers’ lives. When working on content marketing, many companies feel like they need to add an article just for the sake of having something online. That’s wrong!
At the beginning, you should test different formats and understand how your audience reacts to each one of these. Take notes and learn. A way to learn even faster is to take a look at what competitors are doing. If you have competitors that have been actively blogging for a long time, you should be able to see what their audience engages the most with.
TIP: Remember that just copying what your competitors are doing won’t add any value to your audience. Be creative, brainstorm with your team. Take a look at the same topic in a different way. Be bold, don’t be boring. Your prospects have limited time, they won’t be reading twice the same thing.
2. Make The Most Of Social Channels
Creating content and waiting for your prospects to find it online won’t make it. You need to actively engage on social media channels with your audience. Each social media platform serves your audience in a different way. For example, if you are targeting B2B prospects, Instagram won’t really get
Social media platforms need a social media marketing strategy. Content needs to be adjusted and thought for each channel. Sharing the same content across all different platforms won’t get you the results you want.
You need to think also about the under-served format on specific platforms. For example, videos on LinkedIn gets priority in the feed compared to normal posts, as the platform seeks to compete with Youtube and Facebook for video content. If you don’t trust me, just check how an average video performs on LinkedIn in terms of views, and then check the same on Facebook or Youtube. The number of views you will get on LinkedIn is easily 10x of other platforms.
TIP: Remember that customizing your content for social media channels can potentially lead to get your post viral. The more shares and interactions your post gets, the more traffic your website will receive.
3. Don’t Be Boring, Mix It Up
An important thing to understand when launching your company blog is that you cannot create the same type of content over and over again. Depending on what you want to communicate to your audience, you need to mix the type of content you put out there.
However, we need to be realistic. Unless blogging is your main business, you won’t be able to publish every single time in-depth articles or have a wide variety of formats, such as white papers, infographics or videos. You need to find a good balance for your audience to digest the content you add online. However, remember that writing 500 words blog posts won’t get you anywhere. Top-ranked articles have on average between 1140 and 1285 words.
TIP: It’s usually a good idea to have every 2-3 weeks an in-depth article, maybe about some research you have done or with some best practices. Long articles get a lot more attention, shares and the time spent on it reading it is usually longer, hence increasing on-page engagement.
4. Work On Headlines
Every day, there are about 2 millions blog posts shared online. Your chances to get a click on your articles are extremely low. Working on compelling headlines can, however, increases your possibilities.
When thinking about headlines, don’t go for the first thing that comes to your mind. Write down several options and then pick the one you believe could stimulate a reader to click on your blog post. Here’s an article that could give you some ideas.
TIP: Remember that when it comes to headlines you shouldn’t limit yourself to the title of your article. Think about that the blog post you wrote will be shared on social media platforms. This means that you need to think of a headline also for that.
5. Update Old Blog Posts
This is a very simple action that you should take on a regular basis. Depending on the amount of articles you write, you want to go back on those written a while back and update them.
The way you should update old articles is relatively simple:
- Make sure that all the websites you linked to are still working (if not, change them)
- Update images and graphs to make it relevant to today, not yesterday
- Modify the content to be relevant to today (again), i.e. if you wrote something that was true in 2017, but it’s not in 2019, get rid of it
TIP: Do this only when you have enough content on your website. There’s no need for you to go over 4 articles and update these. The more content you generate, the more opportunities you will have to take advantage of this step.
6. Beware Of On-Page SEO
SEO is not dead and never will. Online you can find different opinions on this matter but if you want to increase organic traffic to your website, you need to focus on SEO.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines, as Moz puts it. You should not ignore this factor as it is crucial. Note that, on-page SEO is constantly evolving, so you need to make sure that when you research for it, you look for updated resources.
TIP: If you run your company blog on WordPress, there’s a very good plugin, Yoast SEO, that help you optimize your content for important on-page SEO factors, and of course, it has a free version.
7. Focus On Long-Tail Keywords & Similar Keywords
When creating content for your blog, on top of making sure the on-page SEO is spot on, you need to focus on long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are specific, long and “unpopular” keywords that convert extremely well. The reason you should focus on these is very simple. The less popular (but specific) a keyword is, the less competition and more relevant to the researcher the results will be. Ahref, after analyzing 1.9 billion keywords found that 92.42% of them get less than 10 searches per month.
When you work on both on-page and off-page SEO, try to improve the ranking for long-tail keywords. These will bring to your website very targeted users.
There are several ways to find long-tail keywords and Google is here to help you.
First of all, go to the Google Search bar and start with a broad term, then look at the autocomplete suggestions by Google.
When searching on Google, you often see a box in the result page, named “People Also Ask“. Here you can find some more ideas as well.
TIP: These 2 methods can require quite some time to find the right long-tail keywords. If you want to speed up the process, there are also a bunch of tools online both for free and paid.
8. Start Guest Blogging Today
Guest blogging is a great way to share your knowledge, get noticed, and potentially get bak links to your website. These 3 factors have separate benefits for your company blog.
If you start reaching out to other blogs and share your knowledge for “free”, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your topic. The advantages are numerous, one above all others is that you gain exposure to someone else’s audience, which is great for your company. On top of that, most blogs will allow you to add a short Author Bio, in which you can have a link to your website and of course also your social media channels.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when reaching out to other bloggers you can establish a mutual collaboration. Basically, you can also ask them to write on your website and share their knowledge. You should be open to guest blog posts (see next point) as it increases the content on your company blog and adds another expert’s point of view on what your audience cares the most. The great thing about this type of collaboration is that you can have mutual do-follow
Do-follow back links are a crucial part of your off-page SEO activities. Search engines use these types of links to follow quality content around the web. The more you have pointing at your website, the more authority your website will gain.
TIP: To find bloggers who are willing to allow you to post on their blog, you need to find people in your niche. The research can be done easily on Google or, for example, I use Moz Free Link Explorer and check for competitors’ websites and who is linking to them. Here’s a list that could be useful.
9. Allow Guest Blog Posts On Your Website
Having other people writing on your website, especially if you run a business can be difficult to accept. However, as seen above, content creation needs to be consistent over time. If you don’t have the time to write every week, allowing others to guest post is a great alternative.
I found this myself as I was trying to grow MyStartupLand. Adding a “Write For Us” section, saved me a lot of time and allowed me to find also collaboration opportunities with bloggers and companies in my niche.
TIP: When opening for guest blog posts make sure you set some ground rules. One above everything should be the quality of content. Once you have this option available on your website, you might get a lot of requests and, sometimes, these are people who are looking for merely a do-follow backlink to their website. After few trials and errors, I now allow only links to other websites in the Author Bio and there is a minimum word count guest bloggers need to write.
10. Re-publish Your Content Across The Web
There was a period when Google would penalize duplicated content. Today this is not anymore the case. This means that you can take advantage of higher authority websites, such as LinkedIn, Quora, or Medium to get links back to your website.
Although your website won’t get penalized, there is still a risk for your ranking. If you re-publish content on other websites with better authority, you might find your blog ranking lower than these. A way to avoid this unpleasant situation is to use the
TIP: I usually wait a couple of weeks to re-publish my content on other platforms. Quora is a great platform to answer questions with your content that people around the web might have. The trick here is to basically copy and paste your article and tweak it to fit the question asked. I use it every now and then and, as you can see from the screenshot below, the spikes in views are clear when you answer something in details.
11. Make Your Website Responsive
I wasn’t sure whether to add this point to this list as today this should be a given. However, I still come across non-responsive websites when searching something on-the-go. Yes, in 2019, there are still website owners who don’t understand the value of mobile optimized pages.
It has been reported that in 2018, 52.2% of websites visits were from a mobile device. On top of the fact that today website visitors are using their mobile devices to access content online, Google has announced that it will rank first the mobile version of your website. This means that if you haven’t optimized your website for mobile devices, you are going to lose a lot of traffic.
TIP: If you want to find out how your website is doing, you can use a free tool by Google, called, surprise surprise, Mobile-Friendly Test. You just need to add your website URL and wait that Google analyzes it. What you want to see, after the test, is something like this:
Another good thing to do is to connect your website to Google Search Console. Here, Google will send you alerts when there’s something wrong with your pages. It is helpful as, most likely, you won’t be checking your website constantly from a mobile device.
12. Improve Your Website Speed
Website speed is crucial for user experience as well as ranking well on Google. As a matter of fact, if your website loads slowly, Google won’t rank it well. It has been shown that users who need to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load (on a mobile device) will leave that page.
Speed is difficult to manage, especially if you are not a tech expert. You will need to optimize both the desktop and mobile version of your website. This is probably where you might want to outsource, in case you can’t find your way around it.
TIP: Google provides another free tool, PageSpeed Insights, to give you feedback on page speed.
13. Comment On Other Websites
You are probably visiting several other websites in your niche. Unless it’s a competitor’s website, take the time to comment. Adding insightful comments on others’ blogs can contribute to your image.
Some blogs allow you to add also a link that states your website (win-win to get some links back). However, when commenting on the web, you shouldn’t be spammy. Always offer something interesting for the blog owner to actually add your comment to their blog post. As you will see, most websites have an “approval” process in the comment section.
Commenting on other people’s website won’t result in immediate traffic, however, will help you build a name for yourself.
TIP: Take the time to add lengthy comments on other people blog posts. In this way, you can add value to the content shared. It’s also useful to be the first one to comment, as this will give you more exposure. Quality and relevance are key when commenting, don’t forget that.
14. Steal Your Competitors Traffic
As seen in point 8, you can gain some advantages by analyzing your competitors’ activities. You can learn which websites are linking to them and you can “steal” that traffic.
Understanding referrals to your competitors’ websites can give you insights on what topics get linked the most and where you can easily go and ask for a referral as well.
15. Host Podcasts or Webinars
The advantage that you have as a business is that you can gather experts and share insights on industry trends or specific topics. Podcasts, especially, have gained a lot of momentum lately. However, also webinars can help your business blog get more attention on the web.
Both podcasts and webinars are great means to share knowledge and people love learning new stuff!
TIP: If you don’t time to put together a podcast or a webinar, what about attending someone else’s? This is, again, a great way to get your name out there and increase your authority. On top of that, you usually get a link back to your website.
There are tons of ways in which you can increase organic traffic to your website. Having a blog is a great way to differentiate the way you talk with your prospects and customers. The above-mentioned 15 tips are all free and can be implemented today.
If you want to speed up your organic growth, you can obviously add some paid activities. The combination will lead to better and faster results.
Do you have any other free way to increase traffic to your website? Share your ideas in the comment section below.