Do you struggle to drive traffic to your new blog posts?
Yes, I’m talking about single posts? I know it’s a lot easier to build traffic to your blog, but it’s going to be difficult if you have no plan in place to promote the next post in your editorial calendar.
You want reliable and qualified search traffic, but don’t know where to start, this in-depth resource will guide you. Every step you take to promote your blog should result in a trusted link—and you need links to boost search visibility—even on new posts.
According to HubSpot, “Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.”
Take these 7 steps and watch every new post you publish generate consistent traffic from Google, and other organic sources:
1). Target long-tail keywords in your new post
Your new post needs to rank in Google fast. You can help influence it by targeting low-hanging search terms.
For example, a new post on Quicksprout is currently ranking on #1 in Google for the keyword phrase “digital marketing routine.”
Interestingly, the post was only published 5 days ago:
Trust me, I know you’re probably thinking, “but Quicksprout is an authoritative blog.”
And you’re right.
QuickSprout has a Domain Authority of 77 and Page Authority of 80. So it’s obvious that a new blog with a lower authority metrics may not attain quick rankings in Google even if it targets the same long-tail keywords.
I know all that. But let’s look at it this way: If Neil Patel (the author) of the blog didn’t target any long-tail keyword, what’s the chance of even showing up in Google organic listings in the first place?
It’s a 0% chance.
My client’s blog is fairly new with DA and PA of 24 and 18 respectively. Yet, we’ve successfully ranked new posts in the first 30 days. That’s not bad!
The traditional keyword research has its limitation. Because you’re exposed to more head keywords, which shouldn’t be your primary focus for “that” new post you want to drive organic traffic to.
When you lay your hands on untapped long-tail search terms, your traffic, leads, and sales will skyrocket. But don’t take my word for it.
Did you know that Amazon drives 87% of sales from long-tail keywords?
So how do you see long-tail keywords? Do you define them on the basis of the number of words they contain and how less-competitive they can be?
Well, that could be true to an extent, but there’s more to long-tail keywords. Before we get into that, I want you to understand that all content is not created equal.
If you’re willing to do the heavy work before creating your content, then you’ll get more traffic, and more traffic means more conversions and sales for your business.
Giving your new blog post that initial boost in the search engine can result in a snowball effect—giving you more opportunities to reach a wider audience even though you didn’t set out for such.
You need to be strategic with your posts. For example, don’t create a post on a topic you think will do well in the search engines—but rather, you need to test it out.
The most important step you can take before producing content for your audience is to research and target long-tail keywords. Both Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz and Marcus Sheridan, CEO of River Pools and Spas have shown how these low-hanging fruits can boost organic traffic by 80%.
To find such keyword phrases, go to Google Keywords Planner and enter a sentence (not a head keyword). I know it’s contrary to what you’ve been taught. But what we’re after is to uncover terms that your competitors haven’t discovered yet.
Once you enter a relevant sentence or title (e.g., how to write viral content), click on “Get ideas” button:
Next, Google will show you long-tail keywords that are of topical-relevance to the sentence.
If you look closely, you’ll see that these search terms have low competitions (i.e., on Google AdWords), and it can also give you an idea on what you can target in your titles when creating a new post.
So, your post could have this title:
- How to Make Money from Facebook and Grow Your Business
- 5-Step Plan for Making Money on Facebook for B2B Businesses
Once you’ve created a valuable content that’s optimized naturally for long-tail search phrases, endeavor to build a handful inbound links to the page, and you’ll generate organic traffic.
More importantly, use deep linking to strengthen the new page with internal pages. This would help in the on-page optimization.
2). Add exclusive data to your new post to earn editorial links
Your new post can take on wings and earn editorial links from industry blogs if you add exclusive data. Data can be defined as “factual information generated from experiments.”
And of course, for this data to be exclusive, it means you have to conduct the research yourself, set up the variables, or participate in a study which you have the full right to share publicly on your blog.
Truth is, in today’s highly-competitive market, people may not take you seriously. Come on, why should readers even pay attention to your post when there are over 3 million posts that went live today?
What could be so special about your blog post?
Your target audience doesn’t need more content, what they need is depth; they want to go deeper. The Content Marketing Institute in their study found that in 2014, 72% of digital marketers produced and published more content than the previous year.
Sadly, 36% of businesses still struggle to produce content that draws the audience in, nurtures them, and keeps them for the long run. To be honest with you, that’s the biggest content marketing challenge right now.
You can get readers to go beyond the headline and even share your content on social media—out of their own will—that’s the purpose of content marketing.
You can do it by creating data-driven blog posts.
Trust me, you’ll see a different kind of engagement when you start adding exclusive data to your post. Did you notice how I naturally linked to Content Marketing Institute above?
I had no option. I had to do it because their statistics/study was exclusive. I couldn’t find it elsewhere—and because of what I’m communicating, another data will not suffice.
For example, the 2017 Customer Support Salary Study which was conducted by HelpScout with help from Support Driven is an exclusive data because you can’t find the statistics elsewhere.
For this purpose, the post (or rather, the report) has garnered more than 140 social shares according to Buzzsumo, within one month.
If you’re tight on budget, you don’t have to spend so much money conducting elaborate tests. Here are simple experiments that can provide unique data points:
- Conduct a simple A/B test. Or do a multivariate test if you’re a pro.
- Send simple survey questions to your audience.
- Design a professional infographic with data points that people can reference.
- Run a contest and report the outcome.
- Poll your readers.
- Design simple quiz that people can participate in.
- Collaborate with other businesses to conduct a study.
- Start a challenge and keep posting an update on your blog.
The list is endless.
Note: When you include exclusive data on your new post, you’re giving people a reason to share it, link to it, and reference it as an authoritative resource. Useful data can also improve your content’s perceived and real value.
3). Get into the conversation with your audience
“If your business is not green and growing, then it’s right ripe and rotting.”
One of the ways to grow your reach and increase your chances of generating consistent organic traffic is by getting into the conversation with your ideal audience.
Stop sitting on the fence after pushing the “Publish Button.” Get the word out about your post.
In this case, I’m referring to online focused discussion boards, niche forums, and other communities.
Industry forums, in particular, can provide a steady source of referral traffic. Just by participating in forums (posting threads and answering questions) Brian Dean generated 387 visitors from Warrior Forum, while Trafficplanet.com, another active forum drove 121 visitors to his website.
According to Jason Falls, a Digital Strategist, “Message boards are old-school social media channels, but they’re still one of, if not the most popular place to ask questions and get answers.”
In order to succeed at forum marketing and generate referral traffic to your new post, you need to follow the guidelines. The guidelines apply to everyone who wants to get the best out of the platform.
One of the discussion boards I frequent most is Inbound.org. In the screenshot below, you’ll see a new post from a blogger who expects to create engagement with his post and hopefully, drive traffic to his blog.
Although you can’t shamelessly link to your page and expect results, if you provide a rich answer to a debatable question—you’ll be seen as a go-to expert in that field—and this would result in 50, 100, or even 1000+ new readers to your blog.
After answering a question, you can drop your new post as an additional resource where the members can learn more.
As time goes by, the more clicks on your link and referral traffic to your website, the better your chance of ranking in Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for your targeted keyword.
4). Reverse-engineer organic traffic from your top pages
When it comes to generating traffic to your new post and, in turn, getting these visitors to become leads, you need to think out-of-the-box.
Traffic is just the by-product of promoting your blog. What you should pay attention to is the number of leads you’re getting. For better clarity, I have a question for you.
What’s happening on your website right now?
Don’t be confused, I’m talking about the interactions going on and which pages are performing better than the other pages on the same website.
Any of your pages that are currently driving organic traffic is a goldmine—don’t ignore it. Whenever you publish a new post, before you share it on social media, or even implement the other steps as listed here, do this first:
Find your top pages.
It’s damn easy if you know your way around Google Analytics. Once you’re logged in, follow this path to find these top pages:
BEHAVIOR => Site Content => All Pages:
Having found your top pages, you’re good to go.
Quickly edit each of these pages and add a sentence with a call-to-action that leads to your new post. Here’s a perfect example:
Listen up: If you can add a sentence at the beginning of your popular pages that are already doing well organically, you’ll start to funnel more organic traffic to your new post. Why?
Because users will read the sentence, and click-through to your new post, it could be out of curiosity or purpose.
5). Create the pre-publish buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and more
We need visitors. Because more visitors means more conversions and the possibility of building a successful business. God’s truth!
Content marketers work hard to get the right eyeballs on their posts. We’re utilizing social media, search engines, and email marketing as our 3 key tools for getting traffic.
In all, social media is promising because millions of users are waiting for you to send the right signal or message. According to CMO Survey, “the number of global social media users is projected to increase from 2.1 billion last year to 2.5 billion by 2018, and 41.5% of businesses have proven its impact quantitatively.”
Social media is powerful enough to grow your business, but unless you have a staff managing your social campaigns, social media marketing can be difficult to scale.
Of course, there are several tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, IFTTT, and so on, but without the right application, your efforts will be wasted.
More so, you don’t want to appear as a spammer on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on. KISSmetrics uses social media to promote their new posts and they haven’t received any complaints yet.
However, I strongly believe that instead of promoting a new post, you should build buzz around your upcoming post. This is what professional bloggers like Pat Flynn and Marie Forleo do well—and it works.
To be on the smarter end, ask your fans to share their opinions, tips, suggestions, data (if any), and sign up to get notified when the post goes live.
At the end of the day, the social signals your post gets can impact organic search rankings. And these are sustainable rankings that aren’t likely to be affected by the next Google algorithm update.
6). Quickly answer relevant questions and Quora and cite your new post
Your new post needs a home. Quora can deliver a highly-targeted audience that are desperate to read “that” your post. With over 190 million users as of April 2017 and 400,000 topics, Quora is a solid user base to promote your content.
Without a doubt, search engines also love Quora.
Did you ever observe that when you begin a search in Google with either “what is,” “how is,” “When do,”….
The most results that Google serves are usually from Quora.
Let’s see this example:
The keyword phrase “how do I attract my first subscribers for a website?” shows a Quora listing.
You should leverage Quora’s power to build your personal brand and promote your best content.
Though, before you start answering questions, make sure that your Quora summary (which is your bio) is compelling and highlights your key expertise, achievements, and a link to your website (landing page preferably).
Here’s a good example:
Note: You should use your real photo.
With that out of the way, you need to find the areas where your strength (skills, knowledge) lies. For example, if you’re a digital marketer, you might want to contribute to digital marketing questions, such as Blogging, Marketing, Social Media, etc.
To find questions that are relevant to topics you know very well, use the Quora search box. Enter the keyword and you’ll find topical questions.
For example, if I published a new post on “SEO,” I’ll look for SEO-related questions on Quora and provide the most useful answer.
The rule is simple: Provide the best answer to your chosen question. Then if you feel that users would learn more when they visit your page, you can naturally cite it.
Here’s a good example from a Quora user:
7). Use guest blogging to borrow traffic from bigger sites
It’s a powerful tool for building strong relationships with influencers and industry bloggers. In summary, guest blogging helps you to:
- Earn/build quality backlinks to your pages
- Drive targeted traffic to your posts
- Be seen as an expert
- Attract clients for your services’ business (e.g., if you’re a freelancer)
…And much more.
More importantly, you can build a sustainable business through guest blogging.
When GrooveHQ was launched in 2014, the founder and CEO, Alex Turnbull tried several content marketing strategies to drive users and customers to their Customer Helpdesk Solution.
Of course, these strategies worked but the results will take more time to grow a profitable business.
Then, something magical happened. Alex discovered guest blogging, approached it wholeheartedly and reached more than 1 million people. Isn’t it impressive?
As I write this post, GrooveHQ (the company) has 6,000+ paying customers and more than 25 million tickets have been generated.
The beauty of guest blogging is that you don’t have to pitch editors directly, you can build a relationship with contributors to mention your new posts, or use your exclusive data on their articles.
This relationship can result in quality inbound links and spikes of free organic traffic from bigger sites.
There you’ve it, the seven strategic steps you can take to drive more organic traffic to your new blog post.
Caution: It would be far too much if you try to implement every step at once. You’ll be overwhelmed!
Better yet, get started with the action item that best suits you—and remember to test and track your results before moving on to the next.
In what other ways can you boost visibility to a new blog post?