How We Increased Our Blog Traffic by 312% In 1 Month
Hitting a plateau with your website traffic is frustrating. I've been there.
My previous strategy was generating consistent and honestly, OK traffic, but was it arrogant to ask for more?
Well, it turns out, it was possible catapult your blog traffic by making this small adjustment in your content and in your outreach.
These two small shifts I made increased my traffic by 312% in a span of just 1 month
I want to share with you exactly what I did to win that traffic and how you can apply it to your blog.
Some Background –>
My blog at an article writing company shares the latest trends and tips in digital marketing.
I have a sizeable team of writers contributing to the blog, so my team and I post more or less every day and receive a fair amount of traffic.
However, this figure SKYROCKETED when I made a couple of tweaks to my content strategy.
In fact, traffic to our latest posts increased by 312% month-on-month from the day I published the first post that implemented these tactics. That's DESPITE us posting once every three days, instead of daily.
These tactics are simple enough for any blogger to copy, but it seems only the true professionals are willing to put the effort into doing this.
Step Numero Uno: Pillar content –>
The first step was to switch our focus to creating 'pillar content'.
Pillar content is a SUBsTANTIVE and INFORMATIVE piece of content.
So how do we create this so called "Pillar Content?"
Rand Fishkin coined the term '10x content'. Essentially, rather than posting useful nuggets on a daily basis, we aimed to create content that was 10 TIMES better than the best result found on search results for a given topic.
We set our sights to post authoritative and comprehensive pieces on the keywords we were targeting. We locked eyes with the top blog on the search results and aimed to blow their content out of the water.
The minimum word count for our bloggers was upped to 2,000 words (yup you heard us) and we included loads of data and quotes from influencers. Here is an example of the elevated quality after we implemented those best practices.
These days, it's widely accepted that Google prioritises lengthier posts and the organic search engine traffic we attracted to these posts was a big reason for the 312% increase. However, It definitely wasn't the word count alone that scored us some brilliant search rankings though.
The next step played a huge factor too.
Step 2: Influencer outreach –>
First off, we asked our bloggers to reach out to as many influencers as they could about their post.
You may be thinking:
O.K. state the obvious, but here's the next crucial step:
The low-hanging fruit for backlinks and social shares were the influencers WHOSE OPINIONS WERE INCLUDED IN THE POSTS.
Our bloggers reach out to industry experts on LinkedIn, Quora and Twitter for unique quotes, so they've ALREADY built a relationship by the time it comes to asking for a social share.
We also used searched the likes of Google, Topsy and Buzzsumo to find authors of similar posts in that niche if they'd consider sharing our research.
Our bloggers are very good at maintaining influencer relationships in general, so they each asked their personal contacts for shares too.
This really helped to spread the word of our brand new pillar posts.
The Results –>
Here's our before and after in the 30 days since implementing this strategy:
Roughly 30,000 unique visitors to the 30 posts we'd published in the previous month.
Secured just over 105,000 unique visitors to just 10 new posts.
We know this strategy probably isn't unheard of among the community in this sub-Reddit.
We suppose the majority of bloggers don't implement because they're too lazy to post meatier content, or too shy to develop relationships with influencers. It's worked fantastically for us, if nothing else, we hope that this piece was a reminder for all of us to elevate our standards for what is considered quality content!
We hope this was useful to some of you! If you want further detail on any of the steps we took (pillar content, 10x content, influencer relationships) let us know!
Interesting, thanks for the detailed explanation.
How long ago did you start this process and have you seen consistent increases in traffic?
It's only been about 2 months since the time we've implemented this strategy with our team but we've been seeing a steady increase in traffic so far! We're in the process of creating additional pillar pages as well for a few of our other services so we'll be rinsing and repeating this process. Maybe I'll give an update here in the comments a few months later to report the progress.
Do you think this strategy would work for a local service provider like a dentist or real estate sales person? How would you tweak it for that type of business?
I'd like to know the answer to this question, as well.
My gut feeling is that it will still work for drawing in more traffic, but won't work as well for bringing in good leads. (You'll draw in visitors outside your service area, or who are interested in a diy solution rather than paying for your services.)
Again, that's just a guess, and I'd love to hear from anyone with actual experience with this.
I have both dental and real estate clients. you use content marketing to bring new traffic and you retarget with paid Facebook ads to to stay top-of-mind or to bring them into a funnel until they're ready to buy.
That's a great way to capture leads too. Especially if you retarget based off of a specific action that the Facebook Pixel picks up such as the ones that clicked on "contact us" or on a certain services page. If you set up the retargeting for people that have clicked on the dental crowns section of your dental website for example, you can send an ad offering 20% off for a crown.
A tad scary for that person seeing the ad but effective nonetheless!
It definitely can! There are a few tweaks I would make and I'll use a dentist as an example.
Let's say the dentist is making a push for teeth whitening since that is a door opener for identifying other dental services such as crowns…etc. (this was a real case for a friend of mine that was marketing for a dentist)
Write a pillar post such as "Everything you need to know about teeth whitening". Cover topics such as "teeth whitening services, teeth whitening products, how to keep your teeth clean…etc." all in that one pillar post.
Keep in mind which keywords have a high commercial intent and optimize your content for those keywords. For example someone typing in "Best teeth whitening service in Toronto" is more likely to make a purchase than "natural ways to whiten my teeth". Write a supporting piece of content such as "Top 10 teeth whitening services in Toronto" and link to this post in the pillar post.
Then use a tool like Buzzsumo to search for influencers and topics in that niche. Sometimes you'll have to create content that is easily sharable for the influencer to pick up on it. An interesting one in the dental industry might be that glow teeth whitening product. Again the principle is to have internal linking between that content and your pillar content once the influencer shares the content.
Hopefully that helps! Feel free to DM me if you have a specific client situation you'd like to discuss.
Thanks. Very helpful information.
Honestly these numbers are meaningless without including stats about conversion rates as well. You could get a million unique visitors, but if none of them convert then your traffic is garbage. So out of those 105,000 unique visitors, how many of them converted? Whatever convert means to you… became a customer, gave you their info, etc.
I agree with @RandyHoward.
On face value those might sound like impressive figures, and you might think your strategy is working.
However, dig a little deeper, you'll probably find out it's all completely pointless.
Web traffic is vanity , Conversions are sanity.
Without including your conversion figures, and success rate of attracting customers of particular persona, or even considering which elements of your content guide your customers through areas of your sales funnel,
These figures are just empty and hallow, if the aim of for your campaign was to increase the surface for Advertising revenue, then maybe it's worked and you've managed to increase revenue from Google Adsense by possibly a couple of dollars, which when you consider that in order to generate the content in all probability required hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars, it really wasn't worth it.
I got over 400% in 2 weeks and 90 new members to my site. Those 90 created accounts and verified emails. It's all possible but the traffic is key.
This is just another vanity based metric
Of those 90 new accounts, although emails were verified, it doesn't mean that they are legitimate new customers.
I have over 30 email addresses, which I use to sign up to various email lists, webinars and some such, once I verify accounts, I generally have rules to auto delete.
I am not the only one I can assure you.
When we data cleansed an account for a customer due to GDPR regs last month, and analysed the data, from their supposedly large and active email news letter list.
We found that only 16% of the list actually ever respond or visit the site. Even less have actually lead to repeat sales.
So again, the value is in defining the right metrics.
The problem is your metric is not the same as mine as well as what is considered a customer or not. I own a discourse forum and membership is tracked with what is read, time spent on site, returns to site etc. We have an area that's only visible to logged in members.
When we had Vbulletin we got tons of spam. Since we switched to discourse not a single spam account joined up. I view new member emails we refuse any yahoo, Hotmail, foreign email sign ups. If accounts can be automated easy we refuse the service.
You can use a throwaway email if you want but if you are still returning to read and participate I don't really care if it was a throwaway. Your time on the site is important to our advertisers.
What you have provided now is what is vital to metrics – Context.
As you have clarified, metrics without providing the proper context within which they measured and why , are for the most part vanity metrics.
Personally, I prefer to measure Conversion Rates and spend time defining the right context, objectives and goals for these.
Yes, traffic is important, but so is quality of traffic. Volume of traffic is worthless if 99% of the traffic doesn't convert. So yes one can increase traffic by 400% but if only 1% of that traffic converts then all you've got is 399% wasted traffic.
All to often I read people boasting how they grew traffic by X%, but they often fail to justify how or if that X% actually contributed to an increase in Revenue % .
Great to hear you Discourse forum is doing well, would love to hear about how you've managed to generate revenue from it. Well done and keep going.
Thanks. Actually it hasn't been easy. What I focus on is a niche forum then charge direct advertisers. We do zero affiliate or adwords or nothing.
Now while I focus on the traffic and directly finding people to invite as members to the board, another admin is focused on finding advertisers and inviting the advertisers to the board directly via email. The advertisers are small businesses themselves. Then we offer banner packages, dedicated categories or sub forums. Email blasts to the members which is done very easy within the forum.
Discourse indexs very fast with Google.
My main one generates about $2-3k monthly and growing. We are building up 2 more in other niches. Within the next 2 years I think I'll grow to about 10 total forums. Now I also don't make the mistakes I did the first time around and having discourse it has been alot less problems then xenforo or Vbulletin when we used them. I spent so much time fixing errors and getting shitty support for something I paid a license for. Discourse is free, more modern and has a great community behind it. I honestly don't think I would have been as successful without it.
I also realized Instagram and other social media pages are useless to my site. We had an Instagram I grew from adding others to nearly 20k. But not a single conversion to the site as members. Same as our Facebook page and group. People attracted to Facebook wanted to stay in Facebook and not on the site itself.
Don't I know how difficult Forum based buisnesses are :-)
We ran one for over 10 years, for an open source security based software application we developed. Back in the day we used PHPPB, vBulletin and even xenforo , at its peak we were making about £100 a day in adwords and more with affiliates etc. However, in truth the money it generated just about covered the Administration costs etc.
People have no idea how quickly a simple question about software, can rapidly descend into Death threats or violent debate somehow involving the nazis!
Not to mention the thankless and overwhelming tasks of dealing with all sorts of spam! We eventually just shut it down, as it just turned into a distraction.
I have heard plenty of good things about Discourse, but haven't as yet really taken a detailed look.
Good luck with your venture sounds like you're on the right track!
I recently started an Adwords campaign. First time spending marketing dollars on the business. My website traffic increased 1800%. They stayed for an average for 3.2 seconds. I did get one call though, so I guess it did something.
If that call was 1 customer who signed up for $1 million worth of work, then that would be an outstanding Return of Investment (RoI). :-)
However, what it does tell you that your landing page needs work, your calls to action need optimising and you need to continue testing and experimenting until you get it right.
The addage, Half of money your spent on advertising is wasted, at the moment you you don't know which half :-)
No paid work unfortunately. We have a software product so the call ended in a demo and it not being a fit, but that's ok. I guess it proved that inbound could work if we knew what we where doing.
It did teach me that I actually need to think about the ad message, point then to a specific landing page (not our standard front page) and use some call to actions.
So testing and optimising looks like my future for a little while. Not a bad $250 lesson really.
Paying your Digital Marketing School fees :-)
Good luck. feel free to ping me if you need help etc. I can offer assistance on picking the right tools etc.
I appreciate your input Randy.
So I agree that web traffic can be a vanity metric. At the end of the day, your version of conversions (sales, newsletter sign up…etc.) will be the ultimate measuring stick to determine a successful campaign.
But here's the reason why we decided to post this article regardless:
• Conversions are led from traffic. No doubt there are many campaigns out there with a poor unique visitor to conversion ratio but if the campaign is done right, traffic is the beginning of conversions.
• This is an SEO Subreddit not a Conversions Subreddit. (Yes, there's dwell time and more to consider once the traffic flows through but the traffic is still a valuable component of Search Engine Optimization (SEO))
• For the sake of brevity, there's only so much we can cover in one post.
• We are in the process of working on optimizing our conversions (some steps we're taking are establish stronger pillar pages, creating a drip campaign for our newsletter, recalibrating the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) of our site…etc.)
To answer your question though, we had 212 people sign up for our newsletter (our Key Performance Indicator (KPI)) from the 105,000 unique visitors, which is slightly above the 1.95% average email list sign up conversion ratio.
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