You know how it is — it’s totally pointless even having a blog if you aren’t driving any traffic. And even if you are driving traffic, it hardly matters if it’s the wrong type of traffic.
The problem is that you’ve heard all about businesses who spend small fortunes each year on driving traffic and you know you can’t compete.
Feel like giving up? Don’t quit just yet. As it turns out, it’s totally possible to drive more traffic to your blog … for free.
“But if that’s true, why are people paying money for traffic?”
Let’s just say that driving free traffic requires you to think smarter and work a bit harder — at least to begin with. It also helps when you keep tweaking your efforts via your SEO tool.
Ready to give it a shot? Let’s take a look at what you need to do.
Optimise the Heck Out of Your Website
The first thing you need to do is optimize your website.
What does this mean? It means tweaking things so that it starts to rank better.
While you can pay an SEO agency to do all this for you, you can do it yourself, too.
Firstly, you need to do your keyword research.
Find the main keywords people are using to find blogs like yours, group them into bunches and then start to create topics based around them.
Look for the user intent behind your main keywords too so that you know exactly why a user is looking for your blog. Once you know what the user intent is, you can then start to deliver higher quality content that will rank better.
Add your main keyword to your pages and content but don’t stop there. Add it to your URL, your title tags and your images.
Adding your main keyword to your images (that is, their alt tags and title tags and file names) is standard SEO practice and will help you rank better. It’s a neat trick that so many bloggers miss.
Add your main keyword to your meta descriptions, too. Your meta descriptions are great ways to drive more traffic because this is what a user reads before clicking on a website. Your meta description needs to be compelling enough to convince someone to click through.
Other things you need to optimise are your site speed. Google uses site speed as a ranking factor, and if your site takes too long to load, it won’t rank. Run your website through a site speed tester. If it’s too slow, take a look at what the problem is. Usually, enlarged images are the main culprit.
Work on making your website user-friendly, too. The more presentable it is and the easier it is to use, the better it will rank.
Launch a Content Marketing Strategy
I know you have a blog — but do you have an effective strategy in place?
A good strategy can help you score more traffic without spending any cash.
For your blog to be successful, it needs to be based on your audience’s needs.
This is where too many novice bloggers go wrong because they don’t understand their customer well enough.
It’s all about meeting a customers expectations and giving them what they want. Once you start doing this, your content will get shared more and linked out to more.
You need to use your analytics tool to discover what your customers’ goals and needs are. Then, you can create killer content based around these two areas.
Deliver an Insane Amount of Value
Take a look at your blog as it is right now. Would you say that it’s delivering lots of value? Or is it falling below expectations?
In 2018, both Google and your customers want you to deliver an incredible amount of value. Google ranks long-form content better than short form, while your customers share it more.
The reason Google ranks long form better isn’t down to word count. It’s down to the factors that long-form content creates.
For example, in-depth content is more linkable than short form. It contains more value, more data and more answers, and thus authoritative websites are prepared to share it and link out to it.
And this is really what you need to be aiming for: in-depth content that authoritative websites in your niche will be prepared to share and link out to. This will increase your traffic and rankings, and boost your exposure.
If you’re worried about creating new content from scratch all the time and think it sounds difficult, it’s a good idea to create skyscraper pages.
This is when you take an existing piece of content that’s performing well, find its weaknesses and then expand on it and make it better.
A skyscraper page is a piece of content that offers a crazy amount of value. It’s got depth, stats that no one has provided yet and it’s better than the competition.
It’s so good that it gets shared like wildfire all over the internet.
Once you’ve created a skyscraper page, you can then identify influencers in your niche and politely ask if they’d be kind enough to share it. They’ll benefit too because your awesome content will further cement their own position as an expert among their audience.
As you can see, it’s totally possible to grow your blog and drive more traffic for free. It all starts with an optimised website, and then you need to put together an effective content marketing strategy before doubling down on value.
This article was written by Aljaz Fajmut – Nightwatch CEO