In this episode, we are going to talk about how to drive quality, laser-targeted traffic to your blog.
This is an exciting topic with a lot to cover because there are so many different strategies that you can implement, so let’s dive right in.
- The Difference Between Free And Paid Traffic
- Different Free Traffic Sources
- The All-In-One Social Media Tool That You Must Have
- How A Social Plugin Can Drive Even More Traffic To Your Blog
- Why You Need To Track Everything And How To Do This Correctly
The Difference Between Free And Paid Traffic
If you already know where most of the people in your niche hang out, you’re already ahead of the crowd. There are so many traffic sources out there that it is really difficult to pinpoint just one traffic source that will work best for your blog.
When it comes to traffic generation, one of the biggest debate topics is whether you should be driving free traffic or paid traffic. There are obvious pros and cons for free and paid traffic.
Free traffic means you don’t need to spend any money upfront to drive traffic. However, one of the downfalls is that it is slower than paid traffic.
With paid traffic, you can drive traffic fairly quickly (which is awesome if you want to collect data fast), but the downfall is that you will have to pay for it.
However, because we are talking about driving traffic specifically to our blog, I will only be covering free traffic methods here.
Different Free Traffic Sources
Search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo)
Users use search engines to actively look for information. So if you can rank a blog post for a certain keyword, when they land on your blog they become very targeted leads.
Remember when it comes to ranking on search engines, your title and your content need to have the keywords in them.
If you wanted to rank for the keyword ‘diet pills’ for example, you’ll be up against some serious competition, because the keyword is too broad. You can narrow it down and make your keyword more specific by using a long-tail keyword, such as ‘diet pills for men.
Keep in mind that long-tail keywords generally have a lot less competition, but also less traffic as well, because they are more specific.
For more ideas on what long-tail keywords you can target, scroll down to the bottom of the results page and you’ll see suggested related search terms.
You don’t have to include the entire long-tail keyword in your headline, because sometimes the string of words wouldn’t make much sense. However, as long as you mention the long tail keyword somewhere in your content, you’ll still have a chance of ranking your post.
In one of the previous episodes, I mentioned that you can use synonyms as well to increase the variety of the keywords you use in your content and still rank for it.
A good example here is that I searched for the term ‘diet pill for men’ but one of the top-ranking websites has ‘men’s diet supplements’ in its headline. So add as many similar or related keywords, as you can in your content and also in your title.
YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform online and while some of you may be camera shy and not confident shooting face-to-face videos, don’t let this stop you.
That’s because you can do voiceovers and screencasts or PowerPoint presentations. An alternative is to outsource the entire task and pay someone on Fiverr.com to shoot the video for you.
YouTube videos are extremely powerful (discover how simple it is to build one), when it comes to branding yourself. That’s why you want to expose your website’s details as much as possible to the viewer.
To do this you can have a trailer at the beginning of each video, watermarks, and also keep a link to your website at the very top of the description box for each video. Of course, you can also have a strong call to action within your video to get your viewers to take action.
The reason why you want to send viewers on YouTube back to your blog is that (from personal experience), YouTube is not such a great platform to build your list compared to your blog.
That’s why in the last episode, we went through how to turn your blog into a list-building machine by placing various opt-in forms to maximize the chance for the user to opt-in.
By now you should have an idea of where your market likes to hang out. Your blog should be optimized for social media engagement with users and I recommend you become active on those social media platforms.
In particular, you should be building relationships with authority figures in your niche by replying to posts or comments. I’ll get back to this point in just a moment.
Another way you can interact socially online is to link users on the social media platforms to specific posts on your blog that will help solve their query or problem.
This way you will come across as a trustworthy authority in your niche. The key thing here is to be personal and do not look spammy. Only leave the links to your posts, where it’s relevant!
This leads me to the next source of free traffic.
You can almost find a forum or Q&A site for any niche you can think of by doing a simple Google search. These are generally niche-specific platforms, where members can share their experience, but also seek help and ask questions around a particular topic.
If you have information that may be useful to other members, post a reply with a link to your blog. Try to engage with other users as much as possible, for example, by answering questions or even creating your thread to start a discussion.
Many forums will allow you to have a signature, where you can include a link to your blog. The signature will be appearing at the end of each of your posts and that way you can gain more organic exposure to your blog.
However, for anyone to click on your link, you need to have a strong, catchy call to action. Something like ‘Check Out My Blog’ just won’t cut it, because you haven’t specified the benefit for the user if they check out your blog.
Another great way of driving free traffic to your blog is through blog commenting.
This involves you leaving informative comments (with links pointing back to your blog) on another person’s blog (preferably someone, who is an authority in your niche and has a wide readership).
Be careful not to come across as spam or else the webmaster won’t approve your comment.
Reaching out and Networking with People in your Niche
This involves networking with other people in your niche. While this can involve tedious work, if you can get yourself under the radar of someone with great authority and influence in your niche, they’ll be able to help you by exposing your blog to their readers.
Another benefit of networking is that you can do what’s called ‘guest posting’, which means you write a quality post for them, which they will publish on their blog.
Not only will you gain exposure and siphon traffic to your blog, but you’ll also be perceived as an authority by their readers.
The All-In-One Social Media Tool You Must Have
A great social medial tool that I recommend is Buzz Bundle. It’s an all-in-one easy-to-use tool that’s great for finding targeted audiences (from forums, Q&A sites, blogs) from keywords that you put in.
This allows you to directly engage with users without having to leave Buzz Bundle and log in to each social media platform or having to search for targeted audiences yourself on Google.
As you can imagine this will save you a lot of time!
Once you log in to Buzz Bundle, you need to first create your persona. So on the left-hand side navigation column, click on ‘Personas & Profiles’. When you create your persona, talk a little bit about your website and what you hope to achieve with it.
Also include your email address, as Buzz Bundle will use this to create accounts with all the different Q&A sites out there that are relevant to your niche.
Now let’s head over to ‘Streams’ and click on ‘Add Streams’. In the popup window type in the keywords that you want Buzz Bundle to look for and hit OK. Buzz Bundle will now go out there and look for all sites that contain your keyword.
It will take Buzz Bundle 5-10 minutes to populate all the different types of websites. If you click on ‘Find Buzz’ in the top left-hand corner, you can see that you have the option to populate sites from blogs, forums, social networks, Q&A sites, or video-sharing sites only. Generally, however, I just keep it as ‘All Types of Websites’.
Once Buzz Bundle has returned all the search results, you can just reply to the different posts or comments from within Buzz Bundle.
How A Social Plugin Can Drive Even More Traffic To Your Blog
Social Locker is a WordPress Plugin that can boost your social traffic tremendously. What the plugin does is that it will lock any content that you choose (e.g. videos, PDF downloads, certain parts of the post, etc.).
If a reader wants to unlock and access the content, they have to tweet, like, or share your page on Google +.
While this will increase your social signals and traffic to your blog, be careful not to overdo this, as it can put the reader off. That’s why I recommend you deliver the entire content first and then only lock
in additional bonus content, such as a downloadable PDF summary of the entire blog post.
This way it’s a lot friendlier and you’re not forcing them to share your post.
Why You Need To Track Everything And How To Do This Correctly
The reason you need to track everything is to analyze how people are responding to your blog. If someone lands on your blog and leaves straight away, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Aim to keep the bounce rates (people arriving on your blog and leaving without clicking on anything) as low as possible.
So to track all your traffic, I recommend you use Google Analytics. Simply type in ‘Google Analytics’ into Google and it should be the first page that comes up on the results page.
You need to have a Google account to be able to use Google Analytics, but this is free and easy to set up. Just click on ‘Create An Account in the top right-hand corner and follow through with all the prompts.
Once you sign in with your Google account, you need to sign up for Google Analytics by filling out your details on the next page. There are a few data options at the bottom of the page, which are all ticked by default.
This is only to help Google collect data and if you want you can just untick all of them. When you are done, click on ‘Get Tracking ID’.
Next, a popup window with the terms of service policy will appear for you to read and you need to click ‘I Accept’ to continue.
Next, copy the script in the box as shown in the screenshot below and head over to your WordPress dashboard. Hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ and then click on ‘Editor’.
Don’t let the PHP codes scare you! Just move on and click on ‘Header’ from the right-hand column.
Look for as shown in the screenshot. We need to paste our Google Analytics code above this script. So at the end of the line just above , press Enter to space it out and then paste your code there. Scroll down the page and click on ‘Update File’ to save.
The Google Analytics code will be applied to all the pages on your blog so that you’ll be able to track all traffic to your blog and analyze other information like how long they spend on a particular post or page, which posts have the highest bounce rates, and so on.
Google Analytics will also track the different stats for return visitors compared to new visitors, and a lot more.
To access your Google Analytics reports, head back over to your Google Analytics account. Then click on your blog address or ‘Reporting’ from the top menu and this will take you to the reporting dashboard.
Let’s quickly go over a few terms that you need to know to make sense of the data. (For more information just hover your mouse over each of the terms and a little information box will appear):
- Sessions refer to the number of visits, whether they are from new visitors or return visitors.
- Page Views refer to the average number of pages a user goes through when they land on your website.
- Session Duration is the average time a user stays on your website.
- Bounce Rate is the percentage of users, who land on your blog and leave straight away without clicking on anything else on your blog.
On the left-hand side under ‘Audience’ you can view a breakdown of the demographics of your traffic, their interests, geographical location, and so on. Under ‘Acquisition’ you can get further information about where your traffic is coming from.
Another Google tool you can install on your blog to get your blog indexed quicker is Google Webmaster Tools. The process to install it is very similar to that for Google Analytics.