Have you been struggling to get the traffic you feel you deserve on your content? Join the club: that is one of the most common complaints from content creators. They spend hours crafting the perfect piece to go on their site, or to promote their brand. They begin to market it on their social media profiles. Yet the results are disappointing, and nothing seems to work.
Having faced this problem myself for many years, I have learned some super-tips along the way. Most are common sense, but if you take them seriously, you should see your traffic increasing consistently.
Pushing more traffic to your site takes time and effort, but content is always your best bet. These tactics will give your content more oomph, and so make it work harder for you.
Just remember the most important rule of all: be consistent and patient; success doesn’t happen overnight.
Traffic Driving Content Tips
Keep Content Timely
This has been a staple of content providers for years, and rightly so. Posting regular, time sensitive content is a great way to boost traffic and build an audience… granted it is only half the battle (you want to make them a returning audience, which takes more work).
I generally recommend people do one timely story, such as based around an industry event or relevant piece of news, once for every five pieces of content. That way the time sensitive piece brings new traffic, and the evergreen content keeps them coming.
Go With Lists
This has been the common wisdom for ages, and it is as true today as it was five years ago. People love lists, hence why you are reading this now instead of a complicated, dry case study. It breaks down topics into manageable bites that are easy to skim, read and digest. Chances are lists will become your most popular pieces.
That doesn’t mean you should only do them. Like I suggest one out of every five should be timely, I think two out of every five should be list based. It will diversify your content, while giving people what they probably want most of the time.
Branch Out To Different Content Styles
People don’t always want to read. They want other forms of content that appeal to them in different ways. Likewise, some audiences respond better to visual or audio content, and you should try to cater to them, as well.
Podcasts, videos, infographics, charts, comics and visual quotes are some examples of ways you can venture out into other styles and net a wider audience. Since they tend to be harder and take longer, you may want to sprinkle them in here or there rather than make them a constant feature.
Alternatively, you can cycle out what kinds you do, and present one a week. So one week you release an infographic, one week a video tutorial, another a slideshow, etc.
Utilize Expert Advice With Roundup Posts
This type I like to do once a month because too many can be overwhelming.
When done well, expert interviews are so helpful, fun to put together, and attract a lot of attention. An expert roundup is when you ask various industry experts a single question, and then present them all in a single post.
What I tend to do is make a list of twenty or so experts per question, for around ten questions, and send messages to each asking them for an answer. Most will be experts I know personally, some will be those who I have never met. Most will respond, as it is a quick and easy way for them to get a link back to their blog.
By sending out so many questions I can be prepared for weeks in advance.
Invest In Some Evergreen Guides
Guides are tough, because they are so very long. They take a time and energy investment that just isn’t feasible for regular publication. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creating them every so often.
The best part about using these forms of content is that they spread like wildfire, and you can present them as an incentive for things like subscribing to emails. It counts as additional and advanced content. Consider releasing one a few times a year, and you will reap the benefits.
Make Topic-Based Master Lists
This is another one I just do every so often, usually every one to three months depending on how many categories I can put together at any given time. Master lists interlink within your site to direct users to other pieces they are likely to enjoy.
Each list takes minimal effort, and introduces new readers to articles they might have otherwise missed. So you can bring old posts back to the forefront, no matter how long it has been.
Use The Right Tools
Now that you know how to create the content, you need to know what topics to take advantage of. You can get help using the right tools, which will tell you what topics are currently popular within your industry.
I personally love Buzzsumo, which is a pretty great way to hunt through multiple sources. You can look at both common industry topics, and competitors.
Speaking of competitors, one of my favorite tools is SERPstat: It shows keyword sets your competitors are ranking high for but you are not. It’s a great source of content inspiration and nothing I have ever seen in other tools:
Google Keyword Planner is also good, if more broad. You can see patterns in popular topics by search, and set your dashboard to watch them over time. Any of their Webmaster tools can be helpful, including analytics allowing you to see what topics tend to get the most attention.
Hunt Topics On Social Media
Social media is another way to find out what people are talking about and interested in. It takes some time to filter, but with a social dashboard in place you can watch keywords and catch them as they get hot. I use Cyfe to curate and archive multiple sources including Twitter search results and any number of RSS feeds.
What I like about social relevant topics is that they are easy to talk about more in depth.
Focusing on Traffic Only Means Missing Out
Content is the foundation of a solid traffic generation strategy but it doesn’t mean traffic is all it’s good for. Robert Tadros explains how content marketing should be used to grow brand awareness, building loyalty and ultimately increasing conversions, and I am 100 percent behind this. Limiting your goals to merely traffic generation means missing out on more important goals, so make sure your content strategy is comprehensive and multi-purpose.
Have any tips to give? Let us know in the comments!
Traffic Light Photo via Shutterstock