- Doubling Blog Traffic: The Story of a Small Start-up - June 29, 2015
Tips for Doubling Blog Traffic: You can do it!
In the past two months the traffic to Ri Web’s website has doubled and our sales have steadily increased. The blog is not new. It has been around now for well over a year, trundling along with an average but by no means overwhelming readership. So why the change? In these transformative two months we didn’t change our writing style, what we were writing about or who was writing the blogs. If anything, over these two months, we spent less time actually writing the content. Instead, we decided to spend some more time taking a few risks and enacting some of the following points. They may not be revolutionary ideas but we hope they’ll help other start-ups looking to emulate our success:
- Get More Social Savvy
Prior to our blogs upgrade our articles were shared on Twitter and Facebook alone. This wasn’t ideal as most of you can imagine, but it came down to not having the time to promote the content. Realising our mistake as we attempted to grow the company we decided to analyse how to improve the blog. What we found was that a picture of us on our weekly run or holding a cute puppy tended to generate more engagement than a carefully crafted blog post. The problem was that our Facebook audience especially wasn’t interested in viewing a blog. Effectively, we needed to carve out a new audience that would be.
So we started to analyse which other social media platforms might provide an engaged audience for our content. To surmise, we found the highly variable demographics between differing social media platforms telling. So we turned our attention to Google + due to its demographic who engage most with tech, sciences and engineering and started ceding our blogs across relevant communities. This proved very fruitful and Google Plus now contributes double the referral traffic compared to Facebook. Why? Because on G+ our audience is composed of people who follow us simply for our blog posts and this ensures a consistent level of engagement, including a wealth of comments, shares and 1+s. Building on this initial success we started to cede to cede the blogs out further afield, to other networks such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Growth Hacker and Inbound.org too. While none replicated the level of success we enjoy on Google +. Over time we have seen the benefits of diversifying our editorial content and the sites we share this work across.
We don’t only write blogs nowadays. On Pinterest for example we’ve started to create Infographics for the blog. The reasons for this are manifold, but effectively research shows that infographics are the most shared form of content of any. Couple this with the fact that a Pinterest posts half-life is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook one and suddenly you begin to understand the benefits of the site. At the same time we began optimising our existing profiles. We used Facebook advertising to promote each blog and studied ways to increase organic reach on the platform.
We found that by utilising interest targeting and analysing when the highest amount of our fans were online we could help negate the crippling effects of Facebook posts only reaching 16% of your online fans. This ensured that each post started reaching at least double the amount of fans it previously had with the additional benefit of increased engagement resulting in more exposure. By promoting select posts using Facebook Advertising we also saw increased engagement. We decided to target those who had visited our site in the past month in a bid to create a core audience of dedicated followers. This meant that the same audience was receiving around 2-4 Ads from Ri Web each month. But instead of getting tired of us something interesting happened- the engagement on such Ads actually increased throughout the month. We put this down to familiarity. Those targeted began to understand, or possibly already understood, our brand and our blog’s value and we believe this is why they engaged without scepticism.
Effectively, by getting smarter on current platforms and expanding our reach to new frontiers we enjoyed benefits.
- Engaging Influencers
All of our articles contain statistics and regularly reference influencers. So I started mentioning to these people that I was showing them some ‘blog love’. Some responded and retweeted my work and others did not. But the increased exposure and credibility their tweets and engagement brought was welcome to say the least. And how those influencers who followed me must have come to regret it! After all, ever since they followed me I’ve utilised direct messaging to interview them and let them know they’re featured in my latest article.
Whether they’re simply humouring me with a retweet and an answer to my questions I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure their help is invaluable to the blog in terms of traffic and credibility.
The blog began to get noticed slightly more…
We were approached for partnerships with relevant companies who operated in similar -but not the same- fields and often on different continents. One notable example, was a company from Australia who offer training courses in Digital Marketing. Logic would suggest our readers that use our blog to facilitate a DIY approach to web design and digital marketing might be interested in a course that further educates them in this respect.
Just as our partner’s readership might see the course syllabus and prefer to use a professional outfit -such as ourselves- to cover their web design and digital marketing needs instead of doing it themselves. By writing informative posts for each other, we each managed to capture a part of the other’s audience for a post; boosting traffic and exposure to potential clients. Interestingly, the post our partners wrote for us is currently our second highest performing post on site.
Now, if you’ve read this far, you may put this down to my writing. But I’d prefer to think of it as proof that partnerships can be very lucrative in regard to creating traffic as they are ceded out to two audiences instead of one.
- Employee Advocacy
Much the same as increasing your luck surface area by ceding out your content across multiple social media platforms, your employees are a brilliant way to offer further exposure to that content. I am one such employee. When my boss told me to up my game on my feeble Twitter account I had very little to lose.
In two weeks I gained over 200 new followers by tweeting my blogs old and new. These followers weren’t people I knew and actually included influencers and authority figures within the digital marketing sphere- who I could then direct message for quotes to use in my articles. This has enabled me to create high performing, influencer based articles – The one linked to included 5 top digital marketing experts who had a combined Twitter following in excess of one million.
Such influencers then tweeted to this multitude of followers, gaining Ri Web great exposure:
- Guest Posting
Guest posting on sites increases your exposure immeasurably. You open yourself up to a new audience of potential clients by doing so. If you can appear an authority in your field, the likelihood people will seek you out to carry out tasks for them.
At Ri Web we target start-up blogs and offer advice on web design and digital marketing- our specialities. This increases our traffic and exposes us to readerships that include new and existing businesses who might be interested in our services.
- Keep Learning
The idea of guest posting leads nicely into our sixth point: keep learning. For a recent article, we interviewed five top digital marketers to discern how they stay ahead of the latest developments in the field. The answers they provided had one theme in common- learning. They each suggested the best way to stay ahead was to immerse yourself in your subject and keep learning and reading reputable articles. Our success thus far has been brought about by reading a diverse array of content and executing the ideas within this content.
So keep studying relevant insights and soon you might have a few of your own to share.
- Take A Risk
Send out emails, tweet people, direct message them, write guest posts, approach other blogs for a partnership; just start to take some risks. We’re just starting to take these risks and so far it’s paying off. If you don’t ask you don’t get and as you learn new tips and tricks from the experts start trying to put them into practice. You haven’t got anything to lose and if certain things don’t work then cut them out and streamline your strategy to only include the elements that derive results.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Ri Web offer a comprehensive digital marketing package. If you are interested in any of our services including: blogging, email marketing, social media optimisation or online advertising feel free to get in touch for advice or a quote.