Friday, February 13, 2015

Increase Business Blog Traffic With These 5 Tips

Many small business owners know that they should be blogging and creating content for their website, but they become frustrated when the traffic and sales don't follow immediately behind. In order for a business blog to help convert visitors into leads and sales it needs to be seen. To help increase your business blog traffic use these five simple tips.

1. Promote on social networks that cater to your target audience
After you publish a great blog post on your blog what do you do next? Your first step should be sharing it on social media. It is impossible to be effective on every social media network, so focus on the networks that your target market is active on.
Want to quickly identify the social media networks that drive the most visitors back to your blog? Dive into your Google Analytics account and see where the most social referral traffic comes from. Focus on the sites responsible for the most referral traffic and weed out the social networks that just aren't producing traffic. When you share your content on social media ask your audience to share it if they enjoy reading it. This is a very simple way to expand your social reach and introduce your company to a whole new audience.

2. Improve your website speed and mobile optimization
If your blog posts don't load right away your visitors are going to leave and find a source of content that loads immediately. A slow loading websites will essentially push your visitors to your competitors -- consumers demand fast websites, so take the steps required to increase your load time by utilizing the speed test resources below.
There is a good chance that the majority of your blog visitors are arriving via mobile devices. This makes it very important that your website provides a pleasant mobile experience. If a visitor has to zoom in and out as well as manipulate the screen position in order to interact with your content they aren't going to return or share it via social media. Google's mobile search results now feature a "Mobile-friendly" notation next to the websites that they deem provide a good mobile viewing experience.
Here are some resources to help you check your website speed and mobile friendliness:

3. Link out to relevant websites you want to build relationships with
Building relationships with other websites and bloggers within your industry is a great way to get more exposure as well as referral traffic. Interlinking your own blog posts benefits your SEO and keeps your visitors on your website longer, but you need to link out to other websites as well.
Linking out to other high quality and relevant websites shows Google that your content is on par with the resources you are linking to and it also helps to build relationships with those sites. A good rule of thumb: link out to websites that you want to build a relationship with and provide value to your readers. This can result in future earned links as well as guest posting opportunities.

4. Develop an intelligent keyword strategy
If you are serious about driving traffic to your blog then you need to create a keyword strategy designed to pull in organic search traffic. Targeting long tail search phrases in your blog posts is a great way to increase organic traffic to your blog. Generally speaking, long tail search phrases are easier to rank in the organic results due to lower competition.
So, how do you identify potential long tail keywords and search phrases to create your blog content around? You can start your brainstorming by entering in some keywords and terms into Google's search bar and seeing what auto-complete suggestions appear. Write down some of the results and enter them into the search bar -- then take note of the related searches. Repeat this process and create a list of potential terms to research via Google's Keyword Planner. This will give you an idea of the monthly search volume for each.
Don't be turned off by keywords with low search volume. If you are publishing a lot of blog content you can target a lot of terms, which all add up to a large combined monthly search volume.

5. Create content that provides value
Creating content involves more than just cranking out blog posts. You need to think about what your target audience wants to read and what they will consider to be useful. If they enjoy reading your blog content they are going to return to your website in the future and they are going to share your content across their social media profiles.
A lot of businesses will publish blog content that rivals advertisements. Give you helpful free information on your blog and your audience will appreciate it. This helps to build a relationship based on trust. Consumers are going to return to blogs that aren't constantly jamming offers down their throat. Focus on providing value and the leads and sales will follow naturally.

Article originally appeared here on February 5, 2015, by Jonathan Long.