So you started a new blog, set everything up, read every advice there is on how to blog and what content to put on your blog. You’ve been doing this for a while and now it’s time you address that elephant in the room: Why am I not getting blog traffic?
Too many an enthusiastic blogger has started their blog only to get burned out, discouraged and watch it crash and burn.
The quest for answering the question is to recount the story of the whole SEO industry which would not be exactly productive for our purposes and what I am trying to teach you in this article.
Instead, we are going to answer a couple of crucial principles regarding blog traffic in particular.
First of all, we need to get one thing straight right off the bat:
Also, just having a blog doesn’t mean that you will instantly notice a change in traffic all of a sudden, in fact, an increase traffic may never happen at all.
People assume that as soon as they start their blog the following will happen:
The fact of the matter is that the above rarely happens.
It is important you understand that you don’t need just any kind of traffic, you need the right kind of traffic.
As is often the case for most things in life when you are trying to start from scratch with a business you have to go back to basics.
Ask yourself, why do you THINK you need the blog in the first place?
A blog needs to be a tool that helps you achieve a higher cause – marketing, brand visibility, more clients, higher conversions, etc. – not a purpose unto itself.
At the end of the day, a blog’s true purpose is to create conversions, pure and simple. Those conversions will hopefully result in revenue.
Having traffic is simply an indication that you are on the right track.
However, as I mentioned before, gaining traffic, any kind of traffic is not all that well if you are getting it from the wrong sources.
Traffic is not going to convert unless it’s coming from your target audience and your blog will essentially be useless.
Let’s look into some of the usual suspects when it comes to traffic being absent from your blog.
1. You aren’t sharing it socially
We live in an era where if you are not visible and active on some of the most popular social media channels you practically don’t exist; you might as well stop blogging right now.
The Internet is a place of social interaction and collaboration and if you don’t participate you will fall back.
As of January 2014, 74% of online adult Americans use social networking sites:
When people go online they usually tend to do several things, among which you can be sure that they check their email and social media.
And when they to read an article they found interesting, they are more likely than not to comment on it and share it on their social networks.
Consequentially, not being a part of this movement means that your blog is missing out on the vast and viral potential of the social web.
2. Your blog is under a subdomain, instead of a subdirectory structure
Look at the URL structure of your blog. Does it look like the following:
- http://blog.website.com (subdomain structure)
- http://www.website.com/blog (subdirectory or subfolder structure)
In case your blog looks like the URL under the example number 1. that could be one of the main reasons why you are not getting desired traffic.
When your entire blog rests under a subdomain like in our example 1, search engines will treat it as an entirely separate website. This will, in turn, hurt your brand authority.
But, as you might expect, that convenience comes at a price.
There are two things you need to keep in mind:
- Subdomains SOMETIMES inherit and pass link/trust/quality/ranking metrics between one another
- Subfolders ALWAYS inherit and pass link/trust/quality/ranking metrics across the same subdomain
For best possible results, steer clear of subdomains.
3. Your blog is poorly designed
Just like every other page on your website, your blog needs to have an engaging design, fast loading times and solid usability.
All these factors are an important part of user experience. In fact, these trump all other marketing techniques and stand as the chief methodology for gaining and retaining customers.
If the design is awful, then your users will not engage with the blog increasing your bounce rate.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that click on a link in the search engine results page (SERP), see that the website isn’t what they’re looking for, and quickly return to the SERP.
There are a number of ways you can optimize your blog’s design.
Use the following:
- Blog snippets on your main vlog page: these are brief excerpts of the main article that people can skim through at a glance.
- Headers and short paragraphs to break up the content.
- Plenty of images.
- Bullet points and easy vocabulary
These are just a couple things you can do to improve both readability and engagement. And that will reflect well on your rankings and traffic.
4. Weak writing
You are writing articles that people find boring or irrelevant, i.e. low-quality content.
Ask yourself: when a member of your audience visits and reads your blog, does it satisfy his needs? Does it help him solve a problem?
Is your article easy to read and does it meet your audience’s expectations?
Start by making sure you are using proper grammar, strong action words and of course correct spelling. If you have already done this and find that your blog is still underperforming, you may want to consider a complete stylistic overhaul of your writing.
When it’s time to change something as crucial as this-it’s best to start fresh. This approach could also serve as A/B testing platform that could yield interesting results.
Sometimes the best way is the easiest way.
Remember that here you are aiming to connect with your audience, so mixing a few things like this could be beneficial.
Listen to your audience and help them solve their problems. Only high-quality content can get you the ranking improvement that will yield higher traffic results.
If you want your blog to survive you may need to include some of the aforementioned improvements.
The reasons your blog is not getting traffic are pretty evident, luckily there are some immediate and simple solutions.
Perhaps the most important advice of all is: be patient!
Content marketing isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon, and the traffic will come in due time.