By Kenneth Hitchner
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is one of the most well-known philosophy questions. For some reason, it makes me ponder this question: If you’re not generating blog traffic, did that blog make an impact? Perhaps it’s not as profound as the philosophical question and the analogy is a bit of a stretch, but hopefully it got you thinking.
My point is that you can have great blog content. However, if no one or very few of your target audience is seeing it, you’re not only wasting your time and money, but you won’t get results and achieve your content marketing objectives.
According to Hubspot, generating traffic and leads is a top marketing challenge, followed by providing ROI of marketing activities.
Here are proven ways to get traffic to your blog and generate leads:
Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is vital to how your blogs will rank. Begin by identifying top keywords to incorporate into your blog. Then, use Google to search for phrases that rank highly for a keyword(s) on the search engine results page.
Here’s an example of search results, when I typed in the keyword “blogging:”
Searches related to blogging
blogging for beginners
blogging for money
blogging tips 2018
best blogging platform
blogging for fun
There also are keyword tools that can assist you with this process including:
- Google Keyword Planner – Although it’s geared toward advertising, marketers also can use it to search for words or phrases related to products or services.
- SEMRush – Helps to find the right keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, as well as gathers phrase matches and related keywords and long tail keywords, which are two or more words that contain specific keyword phrases.
Deliver High-Quality Content
Fifty-five percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. Every blog you publish must consist of high-quality content to improve your blog traffic strategy. Blogs also need a strong call-to-action to generate leads. The reward is an increase in organic traffic, which is the opposite of paid traffic.
Moreover, you can repurpose blogs to expand your reach to a wider audience, increase your online presence and diversify your content.
One of the ways you can create high-quality content is to think like the customer and ask yourself the following questions:
- How can I answer a question that my target audience is asking?
- How can I provide a solution for a problem that frustrates my target audience?
- What task does your target audience want to complete?
- What goal does your target audience want to achieve?
CMA used this approach for a content marketing campaign it built for Amerlux, a B2B LED lighting manufacturer, to generate more sales leads for its interior and exterior product lines.
Through a lead-generation program with content in a variety of formats, including blogs, CMA created a path to drive prospects down the sales funnel. Because this campaign was focused on moving prospects down the funnel, compared to general brand awareness campaigns, CMA developed a content creation plan that would frame portions of the content in a manner that would mimic a buyer’s journey and executed it.
Topline results included driving 14,508 unique visitors to Amerlux.com, as well as 9,838 individuals to the “Locate Your Sales Rep” page on the Amerlux site. Additionally, 348 people provided their email address as part of the lead generation campaign.
In an effort to increase referral traffic and generate more leads, add influencer marketing to the mix by building relationships with top influencers in your industry. Cite them in your blogs and reach out to them after your blog is published to build relationships and encourage social shares.
Other ways to build relationships is to comment on other blogs, regularly, to build recognition with influencers and other targets. Also, look for guest post opportunities on sites that are relevant to your industry and ones that have a large and engaged audience. When you submit a guest blog, the rules are the same as your own blog posts—it needs to consist of high-quality content, have no grammatical errors and include links to credible sources.
These all are effective ways to be seen as a thought leader in your industry, increase different types of traffic to your blog and encourage link building.
Share Your Post on Social Media
Speaking of social shares on social networks, another way to take advantage of this strategy and drive traffic to your blog is to share your blog posts on your own social media channels. This is one of the best ways to get traffic to your blog because you control what is being posted, to whom, when and how often.
Send Personalized Emails
Email marketing is one of the best ways to communicate with your target audience. The same is true for helping to boost blog traffic. This tactic also increases the probability of a blog article being clicked on.
Start with a targeted and current email list. When you build an email list, you have control over who will get which blogs and can segment it based on interest and industry. You also have the opportunity to personalize the email, which accompanies a blog article, using names and words like “me” and “you.” In addition, include a short, personal message and mention why you believe the blog would be of interest to that person. A Ragan’s PR Daily infographic shows that personalized messaging boosts click-through rate by almost 15 percent and conversions by 10 percent.
As with any campaign, it’s key to analyze results and measure marketing ROI. A good way to track blog traffic is through the free web tool, Google Analytics.
Your content marketing plan needs to include how to get traffic to your blog and generate leads. In addition to increased sales and awareness, blogs are a gift that keeps on giving. Years after you’ve put time and money into writing a specific blog, you’ll have new traffic coming to your site from that same “evergreen” blog. To improve the chances of your blog posts ranking higher in search engines, write more “evergreen” content that holds its value for years to come, according to Constant Contact.
Do you have a plan to get traffic to your blog? Contact us today, to get the conversation started.
Kenneth Hitchner is the Content Strategy Director of CMA, a full-service communications, marketing and association management firm, which has provided its clients with award-winning and proven results for more than 30 years.