How to Drive Organic Traffic and Grow your Blog in 2020
Every blogger or website owner is actively looking for ways to drive organic traffic to their blog or business website. Why? Because with more traffic comes increased sales opportunities, more leads and conversions, and eventually more revenue.
Unlike paid advertising, creating organic traffic is not easy to come by. According to a study on search traffic conducted by Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages on the web do not receive organic traffic from Google.
With the vast majority of pages on the web receiving no visitors from Google, how can you keep your blog in the remaining 9.36% ?
Driving organic traffic takes time, consistency, and diligence to put a working system in place.
So, what’s the secret sauce? This article will walk you through nine proven steps that every blogger can follow to create an insanely successful organic traffic pipeline.
You may not enjoy so much success within a couple of weeks, but following these steps will diversify and strengthen your traffic sources in the long-term.
Let’s dive straight in.
9 Actionable Steps to Increase Organic Traffic to Your Blog
Hubspot reports that 61% of marketers say that increasing organic visibility is their highest priority when it comes to inbound marketing.Here are nine proven and easy-to-follow steps that every blogger can follow to increase their organic traffic.
1. Optimize your blog for SEO
Optimizing for SEO involves increasing its search engine rankings and boosting visibility. It’s a diverse concept that involves both onsite and offsite optimization. Some technical SEO steps that you should follow to ensure your blog is performing well in the search engine include:
- Ensure target keywords feature throughout your web content.
- Include keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and headings.
- Use high-quality images, audio, and video content
- Use keyword-rich alt text for your images.
- Ensure quick loading speed
- Ensure your blog is mobile-friendly
- Fix all broken links
Using these SEO tips will give your blog a head start- it will be easy for Google bots to index and crawl your blog and eventually improve your rankings.
2. Do extensive keyword research to identify suitable topics
Doing keyword research can help you identify phrases that can generate a considerable amount of traffic and social views.
The good thing is that the process doesn’t have to be painful or time-consuming. You can use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or Answer The Public, to discover how popular particular search phrases are in your niche.
Here is a good example using Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.
Let’s consider a blogger whose area of interest is “content marketing”, which in this case serves as our seed keyword. To identify suitable topics around this topic, we use the keyword explorer to generate a list of relevant keywords.
Worth a mention is that ranking for long-tail keywords is far easier as compared to the common short keywords. They’re arguably the holy grail when it comes to getting to getting higher organic traffic and conversion values.
According to Wordstream, long-tail keywords convert at 36%, almost 2.5 times more than the top ten landing pages whose conversion rate averages at 11.45%. Since long-tail keywords are highly focused, they can help you fuel your blog strategy and eventually, outperform the competition.
One great way of discovering keyword ideas and uncovering new opportunities is by checking the SERP results. For instance, if you’re writing a blog post targeting the long-tail keyword “how to hire a financial advisor”, you can perform a quick search for the topic on Google.
Upon searching, you will realize that the “people also ask” section (positioned just below the featured snippet), offers a set of questions related to your search query.
This section provides keyword ideas and topics that might catch the attention of your readers. Additionally, there’s a “related searches” section at the bottom of the search results, which is super helpful for content ideation.
3. Create high-quality content
One of the best ways to increase organic traffic is by creating engaging content. It comes in handy when optimizing your posts for SEO and your readers as well. The perfect content for your blog should be:
- Relevant to the target audience
- Original and unique
- Descriptive and informational
- Thought-provoking or actionabe
- Backed with high-quality visuals
While it is possible to ensure your content, whether long or short, has the attributes mentioned above, long-form blog posts work best.
Longer posts are naturally more keyword rich and will rank better for long-tail keywords. Additionally, the in-depth nature of long posts is more satisfying to readers. For this reason, content that ticks the “long-form” box is more likely to attract readers, which in turn has a positive implication on your blog traffic.
A content study by Backlinko shows that long-form content gets 77.2% more links than shorter articles below 1000 words. The study also reports that the ideal content for maximizing social shares is between 1000 and 2000 words.
4. Publish content regularly
Once you craft high-quality content, the next step should be focusing on consistency. Bloggers who produce and publish great content on a regular basis are more likely to enjoy success.
A good approach to this would be coming up with a realistic publishing schedule that you can follow on a long-term basis. By updating your website with fresh and high-quality content, your chances of ranking on the search engines are much higher.
5. Build an email list
According to Oberlo, there are more than 3.7 billion email accounts worldwide.
A whopping over 269 billion emails are also sent every day. These mind-boggling figures are a clear indication of how emails, if used correctly, can be a great channel for generating organic traffic. While this sounds great, you ought to know that not every email list generates traffic results.
So, start building your email list by placing an opt-in form. You can encourage readers to subscribe to your blog, a newsletter or even offer valuable gated content in the form of eBooks, reports, and PDFs among others.
Having an email list is a great way to strike a long-lasting relationship with your readers and keep them coming back for more.
6. Be active on social media
Most bloggers use social media platforms to push out their content. While this is pretty easy, most do not know how to drive organic traffic from these platforms to their blog.
The first step should be choosing the right social media platforms. You don’t have to be on every platform – what’s important is choosing the one that’s most frequented by your target audience.
Be active by putting out at a couple of posts or updates every day. The trick here is keeping your social followers engaged with valuable content. It is also important to add social sharing buttons on your blog so that visitors can share content on their favorite social platforms.
Another way of driving traffic is by getting involved in social media groups. There are groups for every niche on the web. Here, you will find an online community that is interested in what you blog about.
Always complement the work of other community members and share thoughtful insights regularly. Additionally, focus on making valuable contributions to conversations and share relevant links to your blog content.
7. Guest posting
Guest blogging is a traffic generation tactic where you create content for other blogs and websites. In return, your content will be visible to the website’s visitors and social followers. You also get some credit and a chance to link back to your blog. This is a proven way of generating more traffic, social shares, and quality backlinks that enhance your ranking.
Worth a mention is that not every website out there is suitable for guest posting. You should start by researching top ranking websites and blogs with significant social influence.
Once you identify suitable targets for your guest posts, consider pitching to them. The key to a successful pitch is ensuring the choice of topic is in line with the website offerings. By showing how your post will add value to their blog, you have a greater chance of getting accepted.
8. Participate in question and answer forums
Q&A forums are a great place for bloggers to expand their reach to relevant and interested audiences. Monitor ongoing conversations related to your niche and pitch in with some helpful information.
For instance, if you blog about Python programming and someone asks a question on “How to get started with Python,” you could create some short custom content responding to the question. Within your answer, include a link to your blog so that the requester and other interested viewers can check through for more information.
9. Partner with other bloggers
As a blogger, you might have realized that there are plenty of non-competing blogs in your niche with the same target audience. A good traffic generation idea would be partnering with them to create collaborative content such as:
- Expert roundups
- Guest appearances
- Feature interviews
- Collaborative newsletters
- Challenges and contests
Creative collaboration can be enormously productive. By working together, you cross-promote across each other’s audience base. This kind of networking gives you access to an entirely new, yet highly interested user base without compromising your partner’s traffic.
The above strategies are proven and powerful enough to take your blog traffic a notch higher.
Growth and results are not realized overnight, but through motivation and consistency in everything you do. Stick to these strategies, and you will eventually expand your reach, attract more readers, and drive traffic to your blog.