This is a guest post on improving blog traffic from Courtney Tuttle. Courtney writes about marketing online at Court’s Internet Marketing School.
1. Create link clusters within your blog
A link cluster is a group of links that you can point at a post or page to improve its search engine ranking. Let’s say you have a post that’s ranked for ‘stupid business ideas’. Edit 10 of your other posts to create links (using ‘stupid business ideas’ as the anchor text) to the ‘stupid business ideas’ post and you will surely move up in Google for that keyword. This process can be implemented in about 10 minutes and can be used for any keyword your site ranks for or is trying to rank for.
2. Rework HTML title tags of trafficked posts
By watching your stats, you can often identify posts that get search traffic from a keyword, even though the keyword isn’t listed in the HTML title of the post. By editing your posts’ HTML titles to add the keywords they cover, you can strengthen the rankings and therefore the traffic that the post generates. You can easily make a difference with this method in less than 20 minutes. This method combines very well with #1.
3. Invite your readers to connect with you on StumbleUpon and Facebook
You can never ever have too many friends on SU and Facebook. Inviting existing readers to find you on these services with a post should take less than 20 minutes.
4. Save your best posts for the best times of the week
Writing a home-run post on a Saturday afternoon will probably happen from time to time. However, does your blog have good traffic on Saturdays? Analyzing your blog’s stats to determine when it naturally has the most traffic can get more eyes on a great post, which will translate to more social votes and more links. If you have created the post of your life, wait for a good day to publish – it will cost you about 1 minute on a later date to put it up.
5. Edit your post one more time
How can you improve your title? How can you improve your first paragraph? Small details in your post, especially in the beginning of your post, can make an enormous difference in its ability to draw social traffic and links. You can definitely improve your title, first paragraph, formatting, and grammar within 30 minutes.
6. Stop writing about yourself. Start solving problems
Surfers become readers when a blog provides something that is wanted. A casual visitor may read your blog because they find training, answers to problems, entertainment, or something else they want. This more than likely will mean that they won’t want to read about you, your girlfriend, your cats, your kids, or your catastrophes (unless you have a personal blog that your friends read). Discontinuing the off-topic posts will help you to develop more repeat traffic and takes exactly 0 minutes to implement.
7. Subscribe to the feeds of your industry’s major players
That way, you won’t miss important news releases. When news breaks in your industry, there will be a lot of extra traffic searching for information on the event. Adding your thoughts will almost always generate extra traffic. Subscribing to the feeds of your industry’s top sites should take no more than 15 minutes.
8. Give a great post to a prominent blog
Let’s say that you took the time to write something great. Donating your post to a great blogger can help you to create a win-win. The great blogger gets a great piece of content that will bring him social traffic and links and you can create exposure for your name and brand. Emailing your post to a great blogger or blog takes less than 10 minutes.
9. Go to the store
Look at magazines. Pay special attention to the types of titles that are used on the covers. Write down the most interesting titles and think about what makes them interesting. In order to generate buzz around a post, a great title is an absolute necessity. More on this topic here: The Cosmo Headline Technique for Blogging Inspiration. You should be able to find some good title ideas in about 30 minutes.
10. Answer your email and comment questions
Nothing will show a reader that you care more than answering an question (even if you have already answered that question 100 times on your site). Why do people read your blog? Because you solve their problems. Why will they come back again and again to your blog? Because you solve their problems. Answering a person’s email or comment question should take less than 5 minutes.