Let’s talk about how to generate traffic for your blog. But before you go run off and start implementing a bunch of traffic generation tactics that you heard about somewhere, you should keep one thing in mind. You have got to remember that not all traffic is created equal. There is good traffic and there is useless traffic.
Useless traffic is the kind of traffic where people really aren’t interested one bit in what your site is about. Those visitors are not in your target audience. The aren’t the type of person you were hoping to get to come to your site.
Even if you make the most awesome site, there will still be a percentage of traffic that is simply useless and uninterested in your site. Maybe they arrived at your site accidentally somehow. Maybe they came there because they did a Google image search and came across an image that you included in one of your posts. Maybe they landed on your site expecting to see something totally different than what is there. Maybe they are slightly interested in the topic but not interested enough to read deeply into it. Maybe they are there for some other reason.
I bring this up because when you are analyzing your traffic stats and your conversion percentages and your bounce rates and things like that, you tend to assume that the traffic you are getting is traffic from people who are at least a little bit interested in your website. But, you might be getting traffic from people you didn’t intend to get to come to your site. In other words you could be getting non-targeted traffic which is pretty much useless.
If you just wanted to get lots of traffic to your site, you could run around placing banner ads that say you have nude photos of various celebrities. Maybe you have seen that traffic tactic used? But unless your site actually has those photos on there, people are going to just click away from your site and probably never return to it. That traffic isn’t going to buy your products or click on your advertisements. If they do happen to click on your advertisements, they probably won’t convert for that advertiser anyway. That is why you should pay strong attention to the kind of traffic you are getting.
The only kind of traffic that really matters for your website is targeted traffic from people in your target audience. Targeted traffic means they are the type of visitor you were hoping to attract to your website. They are people who are actually interested in what your site offers them. That is the kind of traffic that buys products, clicks on affiliate links and clicks on advertisements. That is the kind of traffic that will get you paid.
What Are The Best Methods For Generating Targeted Traffic
SEO – The single best method I have found for generating highly targeted traffic is using search engine optimization. There are already a good number of people out there somewhere who are using the internet to do research about the information, products and services you offer on your website. If you can figure out what phrases those people are typing into search engines, then you can get your site so that it ranks high for those phrases.
The great thing about SEO is that people will then discover your website on their own. There is a funny thing about people who discover your website on their own. When they do that, they enter your site with a more open mind than they otherwise might. Think about it this way.
If you see one stranger recommending another stranger’s product, you will often times have an inherent suspicion about why that one person is recommending the other one. You will wonder if they are friends or if the one person is the other person’s affiliate or something. There is often this aura of suspicion.
When someone finds your site ranking high in the search results naturally, they aren’t going to enter your site with that suspicious tendency. Instead they come there with an open mind. That increases their trust level ever so slightly which can make the difference between a conversion or not.
The other great thing about SEO is the power of the long tail. When a person searches using a long keyword phrase, they are at a point mentally where they are much closer to making a final buying decision. When a person first starts looking for a car she might search for “used cars”. But when she has done enough research and is much closer to actually buying something she will search for a much more specific term like “best price on a Volkswagen Jetta” or “used 2012 Jetta for sale” or something else specific like that. Do you get what I mean?
Long tail keyword searches bring in the best converting traffic if you are targeting the right keywords. If you target bad keywords, then the traffic can be useless. People who don’t believe SEO is a good source of targeted traffic have probably never targeted the right keywords. If they had, they would realize that well targeted SEO traffic converts extremely well.
Referrals – The second best method of generating targeted traffic for your blog is going to be focusing on getting referrals.
For my sites, I want referrals no matter where they come from so long as they are positive referrals. I want people to recommend my sites wherever they get together with their friends and colleagues. I don’t care if it is on social media networks, in forums, on blogs, via email, over the telephone or face to face. I like to encourage all forms of it. There are ways you can do that.
One of the easiest ways is to ask for them. If you give away a free tool or free report or free guide or free whatever to your audience, then be sure to ask people and remind people to tell their friends about it. Another way you can encourage referrals is to add social media shortcuts to the bottom of each page on your site. Then it is relatively painless for them to just click a Twitter or Facebook icon to share it. The other way that you get more referrals is by really trying hard to give your audience what they are really looking for. If your website truly hits the mark, you will get plenty of referrals.
SEO and Referrals are the two methods I rely on primarily for generating traffic for my sites. There are other ways you can get in front of your audience using the internet too, which don’t require the help of anyone else or any experts. You can do these things all on your own.
Other Methods For Generating Traffic That is Targeted
Stop for a second and ask yourself where your target audience is right now. Where do people in your target audience get together to talk about your industry. Find those places.
Then go there and just talk to people or find other creative ways of getting them to notice you and your site. That is the quickest way to generate interest in your site immediately.
Look around the internet for existing websites where people are already talking about the topic related to your blog. Look for places where people are asking and answering each others’ questions. Here are some possible places:
Forums – Suppose you run some kind of health blog that focuses specifically on losing weight through low-carb dieting. There are some forums online that are dedicated specifically to low-carb dieters. Your target audience is already there. You could create an account on a few of those forums. Use a handle (account username) that people would easily identify with your website. Talk to the people on there and be as helpful as possible. If any of the forums allow it, you should add a link into your signature as well as a crafty offer to try to get people to visit your website. You could advertise a free recipe eBook with your ten favorite low carb dinners as an example. That would get a lot of those people to come to your site.
Blog Strategy 1 – Seek out some blogs that discuss topics as closely related to your topic as you can find. Look for blogs where lots of people are commenting. Then start conversations with those bloggers and their readers by leaving comments on those blog posts. Instead of just praising the blogger for writing a useful blog post, you should come right out and ask those other people questions publicly on the blog. Ask the blogger a question or ask one of the other commenters a question. It forces them to become engaged with you. Naturally those people are going to want to go check out your website. Plus you will build some friendships and respect from your peers in the process.
Blog Strategy 2 – Seek out some of the more popular bloggers in your niche or a closely related one. Subscribe to their blog feed and read every post they publish over the next couple months. During that time you should comment on any post wherever you can and really try to get the blogger’s attention. Try to ask them questions and ask for clarification about something that he or she wrote in a post. This gets that blogger engaged with you. It makes them notice you. If they notice you are a regular follower who is very much interested in their writing, then doors will open up where you can get them to mention your site in a post or maybe let you publish a guest post.
Blog Strategy 3 – Satellite blogs – Find the top ten questions that people are asking about that relate to your niche. Write an article that answers each one of those questions. Go to a free website like Blogger.com and register a new blog. Publish all of your articles on that blog. Pick one of those articles that you feel has the best chance to generate traffic for you.
Then go add a link to every other article on that blog so that each post has one link back to that most important article. You should also link back to one of your articles on your core website. Visit some comment friendly blogs (like blogs that use Comentluv or Keywordluv) and leave some comments that link back to your satellite blog.
Launch a second and third satellite blog using the same concepts on other free blog sites like WordPress.com or Blog.com or Tumblr.com. Write new articles for each blog that are based on the same group of questions you answered in your first satellite blog. Each one of these satellite blogs will be like a little traffic generator of its own. Plus the links back to your primary authority site will help your site rank higher in the search engines.
Video Traffic – Did you know that people use YouTube just like a search engine? Along the same lines as writing ten articles about the ten most common questions in your niche, you could do the same thing with videos on YouTube. Record a series of short videos where each video answers one of those questions. Then publish them all on YouTube with a link in the description pointing back to your primary authority site.
There is a ton of traffic to be siphoned from YouTube. The great thing about this method is that your videos can keep bringing you traffic for years to come.
What About Manually Chasing After Traffic From Social Media Networks Like Facebook and Twitter
I personally don’t recommend chasing after tons of traffic specifically from social media networks for two reasons. 1) The traffic generally doesn’t convert as well unless one person is honestly recommending you to a friend because they know that, right now, their friend is looking for what you have to offer. 2) Building serious traffic through one or more of those sites requires constant effort in my experience.
Some people work wonders with social media networks and I applaud them. The primary downside is that those social media accounts require regular maintenance in order to maintain active relationships with the people in your network and with new people who enter your network. Using social media like that can work, but I think there are more efficient ways of generating traffic.
The more efficient way in my opinion is to seek referrals from wherever your visitor happens to hang out whether that is some social media network or not. Instead of focusing in on one or two social media channels, just focus on doing things that would get anyone to refer your site to another person no matter where they are talking. Who cares where that referral originates from?
If you prefer chasing social media traffic specifically, then by all means be my guest. It’s just not something that I prefer to use as a primary method. My experiences taught me that there are better ways to invest my time and energy.