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How To Get More Traffic To Your Blogs & Website In 2020

 

You want more traffic to your blogs and website, understandable, so follow this guide on how to up your existing blog game.

So, you’ve had a look at your numbers, you’ve had a look at your search rankings, and have decided you could do with more traffic to your website. We understand! Not to mention that the content world had a bit of a shake-up towards the end of last year with Google’s BERT update. And, with all that’s going on in 2020… how do you increase blog traffic in 2020? 

The best way to get a quick boost is to refresh old content on your blog. Creating new, great quality blog content can be time-intensive; so, instead of spending all of your time writing new content, leave some time to update your blog content and make sure it still answers people’s questions. This will help you in search results.

This process is often known as historical optimisation.

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How To Get More Traffic To Your Blogs & Website In 2020

You want more traffic to your blogs and website, understandable, so follow this guide on how to up your existing blog game.

So, you’ve had a look at your numbers, you’ve had a look at your search rankings, and have decided you could do with more traffic to your website. We understand! Not to mention that the content world had a bit of a shake-up towards the end of last year with Google’s BERT update. And, with all that’s going on in 2020… how do you increase blog traffic in 2020? 

The best way to get a quick boost is to refresh old content on your blog. Creating new, great quality blog content can be time-intensive; so, instead of spending all of your time writing new content, leave some time to update your blog content and make sure it still answers people’s questions. This will help you in search results.

This process is often known as historical optimisation.

Why does refreshing blog content generate more traffic?

Out of its many ranking factors, freshness is high on the list of what Google looks for when it decides quality. This makes sense; what matters most with the BERT update is how well your content answers a user’s query. So if you wrote about something three years ago, then some things in the post are likely to be outdated now. So, it’s time to blow off the dust and give it a (soon-to-be) spring clean.

That said, you’ll find that often what you were fundamentally talking about remains the same – it’s just a few of the details that have changed. So a real benefit here is that you don’t need to spend a huge amount of time updating posts to ensure you still have great content.

The other main reason why refreshing content is a great idea is that you have much more data on older posts – you can use this data to avoid the time-consuming guesswork you’d otherwise have to do with new content.

Older blog posts, just through having been live for longer, have more search authority. This means that comparatively smaller changes on these posts can have more of an effect in the short term than writing new posts. 

It often helps to think of this through the analogy of housekeeping: if you’ve already gone through the time, effort, and expense of building your ‘house’, then it’s a huge waste if you let it fall apart.

 

What content should you choose to refresh?

So, you have your pile of old content, but where do you start with the refresh? If you haphazardly go into different articles and change things without a plan – you’re unlikely to see any positive results.

Firstly, you need to collate a list of the older posts on your blog so you can create a strategy for revising them. You need to use this in order to decide where you’re going to see the greatest return on time investment. A post getting 20k clicks a month may seem great, but if you can spend a few hours getting a 2% increase on this then it’ll be a much more profitable increase than seeing a 200% rise on a 200-click-a-month post.

In short, start with your old highest-performing posts and see what changes can be made there.

The best way to check this is by utilising your Analytics software: in Google Analytics simply go to “Behaviour > Overview”, click ‘view full report’ at the bottom, show the max amount of rows and export to whichever format you prefer.

Now, search volume and click-throughs may not be the most important metric for you to measure success by. So use this exported file to filter your data based on what’s valuable to you. You may, for example, get a steady 1k click-throughs per blog post, but some posts may have much higher email signups; if that’s what’s important to you, then clearly you need to optimise your content for this.

These high-performing posts are also the ones your competitors are going to be most likely to imitate. So be proactive and make sure they comprehensively answer what your readers need answering.

Considering the amount of content that’s published every day, competition for those top spots is fierce. Spending time revisiting content (even using some free tools along the way) is going to give you a great shot of driving more traffic.

So how do you actually refresh your blog content?

Take a look at the sections below where we explore ten ways to refresh your blog content.

1. Optimise for the search terms that people are already using 💻

The best thing about older posts is that you can see how people have actually found them, regardless of which keywords you think people were using.

For a social media perspective, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo to track your most-shared posts, as well as see how people are talking about them. You might realise that people refer to your products or services in a much different way than you think.

A great, free, way to check how people are landing on your pages is to use Google Search Console. Get together a list of the keywords people are actually using to reach your pages and optimise for them. The more topically relevant pages that are bringing in traffic, the better! 

That said, be careful of overly-broad keywords or phrases. A digital marketer trying to optimise for ‘ad manager’, for example, may think they’re competing against other ad management services rather than the more likely option – Facebook.

Remember to use the exact keyphrases you found in Search Console in your CTAs – if that’s what people were using to find your site, then that’s what they’ll click on.

3. Update your older posts’ titles and meta descriptions for SEO 🕵️‍♀️

You do need to grab people’s attention. But try to avoid overly-clickbaity language because it rings false: if everyone is offering ‘REAL business changes that convert’ then people quickly stop believing you. 

Keep your titles between 50-60 characters, use your keywords, and use emotive language that encourages people to feel a certain way. You don’t need to deceive people, you just need to let them know why you matter.

5. Check for any knowledge or information deficits in older posts ✅

Times change. Older posts you’ve written may suggest using best practices that are now outdated or recommend methods and tools that you no longer use.

As you learn more, you realise that a lot of what you used to know is no longer all that relevant. Make sure you reflect this in your blog posts so you’re not sending your readers to 404 pages or inefficient tools.

7. Update your blog contents publishing date or make a note 📅

If you’ve made a substantial change to your blog post, then it could quite naturally be considered ‘newly published’, so it’s worth updating your publication date. Google will see this as fresh content and users will likely think of it as more relevant to them now.

And if you’re conscious of having been the first to say something, just add an ‘originally published’ note at the end of the post!

9. Invest in visuals for your blog content 📸

After all this, you could have the most well-written content in the world, but if your site looks and feels low quality then people are going to assume the content is too. Ultimately, this is going to result in a higher bounce rate and, subsequently, lower ranking.

Invest in the look and feel of your site. Great infographics, beautiful imagery, and cross-platform video content go a long way to keeping people engaged.

Pro tip: repurpose your refreshed content into multimedia formats.

Different people like to digest information in different ways – so if you convert your blog content into a YouTube video or a Spotify podcast, then it gives you more general reach across social networks and allows people to engage however they wish.

2. Make your content more relevant, more accurate, and more comprehensive 🧠

If you’re wanting to promote it as such on social channels, you need to make enough of a substantial update to a blog post to justify ‘publishing as new’. This doesn’t have to take forever!

Once you’ve checked that your content is really up to date, be sure to take some simple steps to improve readability. The easier your content is for users to digest, the more they’ll stick around, and the more Google will see this as a signal that your content is great!

Format your lines to be roughly 50-75 characters across and ensure your paragraphs are economic. Aim for around 2-to-4 sentences (5-6 lines) per paragraph – make it varied. Say what you need to say and grab your audience without resorting to 1-line-at-a-time gimmicks or overly-clickbaity language.

However… 

4. Weave your internal links to help the spiders (and readers) 👓

As you write more content for your blog, you likely explore some topics in much more in-depth ways than you did in your older posts. So, as you go through your older posts, make sure you link to more in-depth recent content. This helps the search engine bots find your content more easily and helps your readers gain a more comprehensive knowledge of whatever it is they’re searching for.

Internal links also aren’t very obtrusive. Readers can choose to follow them or not, at their own pace. So using them in ways that provide sources for information or provide more information is a great way for readers to want to stay on your site.

6. Check your internal and external links and react accordingly 🔗

Not only should you check the links you’re offering out to people (as well as other pages on your site), but you should check the links that your site is receiving. 

You may have moved a page and forgotten to set up a redirect, or someone else may be linking to a now-outdated page of yours. Google has always thought of backlinks as a significant quality indicator; so conducting a backlink analysis and contacting relevant webmasters to let them know about your newly-spruced content can be a great way to give a quick boost.

8. Proofread your blog content! 📚

This should go without saying, but proofread your blog posts as you go.

When you’re in the writing zone, it’s easy to pass over grammar and spelling mistakes because you know what you intended with a piece of writing. With that bit of time and your fresh eyes, however, you can much more easily spot things you didn’t before.

As we said already, there is a lot of competition, so you need to make sure that your content is the best it can be.

10. Let your email lists know about your ‘new’ content 📧

People on your email lists have signed up because they liked something of yours at some point. If someone found value from older blog content of yours, they’re likely to be open to the value of an updated blog. 

So let them know. Tell them that you’ve updated your blog content and there’s a good chance that they’ll not only go to it, but they’ll recommend it to other people – and boost traffic to your site.

1. Optimise for the search terms that people are already using 💻

The best thing about older posts is that you can see how people have actually found them, regardless of which keywords you think people were using.

For a social media perspective, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo to track your most-shared posts, as well as see how people are talking about them. You might realise that people refer to your products or services in a much different way than you think.

A great, free, way to check how people are landing on your pages is to use Google Search Console. Get together a list of the keywords people are actually using to reach your pages and optimise for them. The more topically relevant pages that are bringing in traffic, the better! 

That said, be careful of overly-broad keywords or phrases. A digital marketer trying to optimise for ‘ad manager’, for example, may think they’re competing against other ad management services rather than the more likely option – Facebook.

Remember to use the exact keyphrases you found in Search Console in your CTAs – if that’s what people were using to find your site, then that’s what they’ll click on.

2. Make your content more relevant, more accurate, and more comprehensive 🧠

If you’re wanting to promote it as such on social channels, you need to make enough of a substantial update to a blog post to justify ‘publishing as new’. This doesn’t have to take forever!

Once you’ve checked that your content is really up to date, be sure to take some simple steps to improve readability. The easier your content is for users to digest, the more they’ll stick around, and the more Google will see this as a signal that your content is great!

Format your lines to be roughly 50-75 characters across and ensure your paragraphs are economic. Aim for around 2-to-4 sentences (5-6 lines) per paragraph – make it varied. Say what you need to say and grab your audience without resorting to 1-line-at-a-time gimmicks or overly-clickbaity language.

However… 

3. Update your older posts’ titles and meta descriptions for SEO 🕵️‍♀️

You do need to grab people’s attention. But try to avoid overly-clickbaity language because it rings false: if everyone is offering ‘REAL business changes that convert’ then people quickly stop believing you. 

Keep your titles between 50-60 characters, use your keywords, and use emotive language that encourages people to feel a certain way. You don’t need to deceive people, you just need to let them know why you matter.

4. Weave your internal links to help the spiders (and readers) 👓

As you write more content for your blog, you likely explore some topics in much more in-depth ways than you did in your older posts. So, as you go through your older posts, make sure you link to more in-depth recent content. This helps the search engine bots find your content more easily and helps your readers gain a more comprehensive knowledge of whatever it is they’re searching for.

Internal links also aren’t very obtrusive. Readers can choose to follow them or not, at their own pace. So using them in ways that provide sources for information or provide more information is a great way for readers to want to stay on your site.

5. Check for any knowledge or information deficits in older posts ✅

Times change. Older posts you’ve written may suggest using best practices that are now outdated or recommend methods and tools that you no longer use.

As you learn more, you realise that a lot of what you used to know is no longer all that relevant. Make sure you reflect this in your blog posts so you’re not sending your readers to 404 pages or inefficient tools.

6. Check your internal and external links and react accordingly 🔗

Not only should you check the links you’re offering out to people (as well as other pages on your site), but you should check the links that your site is receiving. 

You may have moved a page and forgotten to set up a redirect, or someone else may be linking to a now-outdated page of yours. Google has always thought of backlinks as a significant quality indicator; so conducting a backlink analysis and contacting relevant webmasters to let them know about your newly-spruced content can be a great way to give a quick boost.

7. Update your blog contents publishing date or make a note 📅

If you’ve made a substantial change to your blog post, then it could quite naturally be considered ‘newly published’, so it’s worth updating your publication date. Google will see this as fresh content and users will likely think of it as more relevant to them now.

And if you’re conscious of having been the first to say something, just add an ‘originally published’ note at the end of the post!

8. Proofread your blog content! 📚

This should go without saying, but proofread your blog posts as you go.

When you’re in the writing zone, it’s easy to pass over grammar and spelling mistakes because you know what you intended with a piece of writing. With that bit of time and your fresh eyes, however, you can much more easily spot things you didn’t before.

As we said already, there is a lot of competition, so you need to make sure that your content is the best it can be.

9. Invest in visuals for your blog content 📸

After all this, you could have the most well-written content in the world, but if your site looks and feels low quality then people are going to assume the content is too. Ultimately, this is going to result in a higher bounce rate and, subsequently, lower ranking.

Invest in the look and feel of your site. Great infographics, beautiful imagery, and cross-platform video content go a long way to keeping people engaged.

Pro tip: repurpose your refreshed content into multimedia formats.

Different people like to digest information in different ways – so if you convert your blog content into a YouTube video or a Spotify podcast, then it gives you more general reach across social networks and allows people to engage however they wish.

10. Let your email lists know about your ‘new’ content 📧

People on your email lists have signed up because they liked something of yours at some point. If someone found value from older blog content of yours, they’re likely to be open to the value of an updated blog. 

So let them know. Tell them that you’ve updated your blog content and there’s a good chance that they’ll not only go to it, but they’ll recommend it to other people – and boost traffic to your site.

Use this strategy as a parallel to new content

It might be easy as a content marketer to think that you can just revise your old content and rest on your laurels. Unfortunately, this needs to still be parallel to writing new content. The world is always changing, so you need to keep up, but it’s easier to keep up when you have a good foundation to run on!

The key takeaway here is that you can be spending less effort revising older content so that you can use your saved time writing even better new content. So go forth and give your blogs some much-needed new life!

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