Stephanie Ogozaly is a digital marketing professional living in Phoenixville, PA. When she’s not working on web content she’s hanging out with her rescue dog and collecting vinyl records. You can find her on her website, or tweet her @sogozaly.
Driving traffic to a blog can be a challenging process, but the reward of a strong, engaged audience makes the effort well worth it. A flourishing blog depends heavily on one thing: content. By mastering content creation, bloggers will be better positioned to boost their traffic.
Here are five tips for creating better content and growing a blog’s traffic.
Put yourself in a “quality” mindset.
In Japan there are two words for quality. “Atarimae Hinshitsu” is the idea that something should work as it is meant to. For example, a pen should write. It is the functional requirement of a product to work. “Miryokuteki Hinshitsu” is the idea that things should have aesthetic qualities that add value. In this example, the pen should write smoothly and please the writer using it. It is about appreciating the small details. A marriage between these two concepts is essential for delivering the optimal customer experience. What does this have to do with blogging? Consider a blog that covers the auto industry. Functionally (atarimae hinshitsu) the blog deliver auto industry news, maybe posting new press releases each day. Readers looking for auto industry information are getting what they want, but there is no added value (miryokuteki hinshitsu). The auto blog could branch out to creating more remarkable content, including stunning infographics and more original content. All blogs, no matter the industry or topic, should focus on creating timely, relevant, and engaging content that consistently offers the reader more.
Speaking of more… Blog more.
According to HubSpot, 92% of companies that blogged several times per day acquired a customer through their blog. In addition to gaining customers, companies that blog more often also have a better chance of dominating their market. In January marketer and author of “Social Media Explained” and “Return On Influence” Mark Schaefer introduced the theory of “content shock,” which stated that the supply of content has outpaced consumers’ demand for it. This, Schaefer said, has made it impossible for people to consume all this content in the finite amount of time they have in a day. Schaefer suggested that content creators could rise above “content shock” by flooding the market with their own content. By blogging more often companies are crowding their competitors out of the space and boosting traffic to their articles instead. (The tactic is especially effective in niche industries where competition is already low.)
Many companies are trying to reach younger customers. Millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000, are extremely appealing to marketers in a multitude of industries. These customers in particular want to get personal with brands – a 2012 study from Bazaar Voice found that Millennials trust people more than they trust brands. Blogs should be personal. Readers should be able to put a face and a name to any content that’s posted. Companies can also look internally for personal stories. Look to employees and successful customers for interesting and intimate stories to tell.
Use more visual elements.
Images, infographics and other visual elements help to catch a reader’s eye. Data visualizations like infographics are especially great because they also help the viewer to more quickly understand and digest information. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have some tips for making visual elements more memorable. Their research found that “human-centric images” and faces are easier for people to remember while generic images such as landscapes are not. Colorful and dense elements are also memorable, as are unusual chart types like tree diagrams (versus more conventional pie charts and bar graphs).
Write for people… but don’t forget about the search engines.
One of the most important things to remember when blogging is to write for a human audience. Be conversational and engaging. After all, people are the ones that will be buying products or engaging with the company in other ways, not the Google spiders. With that said, however, it is still important to write headlines and blog copy that appeal to people and search engines. Writing for search engines will be more literal and keyword-rich, but it shouldn’t be a creativity killer. With practice content creators will find a balance that allows them to accomplish both goals. Companies that employ this tactic will see steady search engine traffic increases over time.
Superior content with a comprehensive strategy behind it is a winning way to boost traffic to any blog. What methods have you used to grow your blog’s traffic?