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3 Content Tweaks to Increase Your Blog Traffic without Spending a Penny

Simple content tweaks to drive traffic to your blog (and they don't cost a thing!) / problogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.

Who doesn’t like more traffic?

Not matter how many monthly blog visitors you have, you still want more. Because more traffic means more opportunities to build relationships, generate leads, close deals and make money.

However, the problem with most of the conventional traffic generation advice is that it’s either too expensive or it’s just simply outdated, ineffective and useless.

Writing high quality content, guest blogging and blogger outreach are all great tips for a long-term traffic strategy. But what if you need something to create an immediate impact?

In this post, I’ll share three changes you can make to your existing and future blog content, without spending tons of money, to immediately start getting more traffic from search engines and social media websites.

Use Relevant Long-tail Keywords

You must’ve seen bloggers who aggressively advocate the concept of “writing for humans” not search engines. I’m all for it, but so is Google.

Over the last few years Google has been making regular changes to its algorithms all aimed at making its search results more natural and user friendly. SEO is not what it once used to be. You can’t stuff your articles and blog posts with keywords, create unnatural backlinks and expect to rank higher in search results.

Things have changed.

So, in a way, writing for humans and writing for search engines are similar concepts now (if not the same). To rank higher in search results you need to write for humans.

But there’s a twist.

You still need to use smart tactics, which are in line with Google’s recommendations, to beat the competition for the first page.

So when you write your next bog post, focus as much on long-tail keywords as the high competition head keywords. To make this work effectively, go to your Google Webmaster Tools account and select Search Queries (under Search Traffic).

Note: You first need to configure Google Analytics for your blog, and integrate it with Google Webmaster Tools.

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You’ll find the list of keywords that are sending you traffic, along with your average ranking for each keyword. Copy a keyword from this list, from example “freelance blogging”, and search for it on Google.

When I did this for my own blog, I was nowhere near the first page of Google on this keyword since it’s so competitive. It has a lot of traffic and competition. But if you scroll down to the related search area, you’ll see several long-tail keywords.

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These are the long-tail keywords that Google finds relevant to the keyword “freelance blogging”. And here’s your opportunity, since these keywords are not as competitive as the main keyword, but are closely related to it.

Copy these long-tail keywords and use them, in a natural way, throughout the body content of your post. Try using different variations of these keywords as well. This will improve your rankings not only on the long-tail keywords but also on the main keyword, since Google considers all of them closely linked with each other.

Neil Patel shared his case study where he was able to increase his monthly search engine traffic by 50,000 using this technique.

You can apply this on your archive content as well. Just pick up your main keyword, and use the related long-tail keywords throughout your content in a natural way.

Create Longer and More In-Depth Blog Content

Another way to attract much more traffic to your blog content, and generate more social shares, is to write longer, in-depth and epic content. I know these have become buzzwords, but let me quantify this for you so that it’s easier to understand.

Research after research confirms that search engines love longer content. Kevan Lee discussed the ideal content length in this truly epic post on the Buffer blog. Neil Patel has also discussed the ideal length of blog posts in detail on his blog.

There’s clear consensus that posts longer than 2000 words rank much higher than say 1200-1500 word posts. And this study by SerpIQ provides further proof of this fact.

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Longer posts also tend to get much more social shares which suggests that readers also prefer more in-depth blog posts.

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All this means that you need to make your blog posts more in-depth and valuable. So the next time you’re writing a 1000-1200 word blog post, try expanding it by using more examples, stats, references and studies. Make it as comprehensive and as detailed as possible.

But don’t add words just for the sake of it. Make sure every word in your post provides value to the readers. I personally use forums and platforms like Quora and MyBlogU when I need more in-depth knowledge on a topic. MyBlogU is particularly useful since it’s a dedicated platform for bloggers and content marketers where they can discuss and brainstorm ideas, seek advice and even hire freelancers to help with content creation.

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Intelligently Promote and Amplify Existing Blog Content

It’s easy to focus too much on creating new blog posts for traffic generation, while completely ignoring the existing content on your blog. Every piece of content on your blog, no matter how old, is an asset and can be used to bring more traffic and boost conversions.

There are several ways you can do that.

  • Promote Archive Content on Social Media

You need to aggressively promote your older content on social media to attract regular traffic. You can use social media management tools like Oktopost to schedule weekly or monthly social updates. I particularly like the Evergreen Post Tweeter plugin that automatically Tweets your archive content on a set criteria.

  • Optimize Conversion Routes

Visitors come to your website from numerous different routes. But certain routes have higher conversion rates as compared to others. You can use TrenDemon to identify the most profitable and high conversion routes to your website. After identifying these high conversion routes, TrenDemon brings more of your traffic onto these routes using personalized content recommendations and calls to action.

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This not only boosts conversions on your website, but also helps you identify the top performing content, the ideal length and the best platforms where you can promote your content for more traffic.

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  • Link Back to Your Older Content Using Natural Anchors

To leverage your older content, you need to regularly link back to it in your new blog posts. With the new Google algorithm changes, however, you need to be careful while choosing the anchor text on your internal and external backlinks. Don’t use keyword based anchors. Instead, go for natural anchor text like, Click Here, Read This, Read More. You can also use longer phrases for linking back to your content.

Every blog needs regular and high converting traffic to survive and grow. But you don’t always need to create something new or spend extra money to get traffic. You can boost your traffic numbers, and conversion rates, by making the right changes to your SEO, back linking and content promotion strategies.

I’ve discussed three techniques that I’ve personally found very effective. But I’d love to hear how you attract more traffic to your blog. See you in the comments.

Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blogWriting My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Thanks, great info.
    I’ll try to start making longer posts and wait for results

  2. Great information Jawad. You have describe wonderful information. I am going to use your tips. One more, how long do you support social media traffic? As how much they have been potential. Have you ever tried?

    • I am a hobby blogger, but also a perfectionist, so this is very helpful. If I’m going to do something I like to do it well.

  3. Really a great information Jawad.. I’m also gonna use this information too. Thanks !!!!

  4. I think that keywords are the most important aspect for the traffic to any website as in most cases majority of visitors is from search engines.Can you give me some tips to find right and most searched keywords for blog posts and thanks a lot for these tips.

  5. Just cleaning up the backend does wonders. I went through one of my old sites prior to this last Google update, and got everything working smoothly–did wonders to the organic reach of that website.

    Haven’t messed with TrenDemon before, looks potentially interesting.


  6. Thank you, Jawad for a great article! As you recommend Oktopost I have one question about tools for sharing blog content on social sites, especially on Facebook. When I posted something via 3rd party software (I used Hootsuite a lot) on Facebook, I have got much lower reach in comparision with the situation I posted directly from Facebook site. Do you see the same thing? How do you fight with it?

    • Hey Petr,

      I think it depends on the timing of your posts. When scheduling social media content, make sure you’re posting in the peak hours of your target audience.

      Personally I haven’t encountered the problem that you’ve mentioned.

      Thanks for reading :)

      • Hi Jawad,

        thank you for your reply!

        I have done some (short) research over the web and I founded for example this: “Using third-party services. Using scheduling services such as Hootsuite, Viral Heat, or Sprout Social to schedule your Facebook posts will gain you only one thing: an even lower reach. That’s because Facebook recognizes, and penalizes these third-party apps, giving them less credibility than posts made directly on Facebook. This is true for businesses that push their Twitter feed through Facebook as well. Note: Historically, Facebook has denied this correlation, however studies on Facebook reach as well as analyzing our own data has suggested there is a direct relationship between Facebook reach and use of third-party services.” (source: https://www.facebook.com/notes/hike-those-likes-market-place/10-practices-to-avoid-that-facebook-will-penalize-your-business-page-for/602406719808660)

        I still see this correlation on my FB pages. But on the other side – since we are able to set up date and time for publishing on Facebook itself, 3rd party service is not so important to use in the case of FB.

        And yes, timing is also crucial.

        Have a great day!

  7. Content is still king. If you write good and quality content people will return to your blog and will share it with their friends. Also using long tail keywords is very effective.

  8. Thank you for this insightful article. I’ve been picking up the need to use “Long-tail” keywords in other articles… but the writer always assumes I know what that is. Your examples not only explained the term to me, but you demonstrated how to use it to my advantage. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and my earlier posts, for the most part, are the ones that drive the most search engine traffic. At some point along the way I changed my SEO plugin to “WordPress SEO” (Yoast) from the standard “All in One SEO Pack.” In order to get the “green light” in the Yoast SEO, I think I’ve done myself a disservice. This is an area I have much to learn.

    Also… it is my very long posts that receive the most traffic… I hadn’t made the correlation. I’m always thinking I need to be brief.

    Your article is epic for me. I’m so glad I decided to read it. Thank you! Off to “pin it” now.

    • Hey Diane,

      So glad I could help.

      I had the same problem when starting out a few years back – too many technical jargons with too little explanation. So I thought I’d save others from the misery :)

      Jawad Khan

  9. Brilliant post Jawad with great advice! I wanted to say that, as a relative beginner with very little SEO knowledge, this is the first post I’ve read about using long tail keywords that actually makes sense. Straight forward and practical – I love it!

  10. Really helpful tips for newbie bloggers. I’m not a old one in blogging, i was blogging since 6 month. Yes !! long tile keyword are really gives good results.

  11. There are lot of content about “how Increase Your Blog Traffic” Thanks for sharing specific 3 Content that’s really makes value.

    Longer and More In-Depth Blog Content really helpful for visitors and search engines.

    First time i was unable to make more pageviews because of my short articles. I got more traffic and more pageviews by Longer and More In-Depth Blog Content.

    Thanks again for great resource :)

  12. Hi Jawad,
    This post is really great and this post is really helpful for me.
    i learned a lot of things about blogging from your post i will try your tips,
    thank you for sharing this post.

  13. A very thoughtful article that provides much new information on blogging traffic. This is the issue with most bloggers, not getting enough traffic to the blogs and even on a consistent basis. So any information that can help with new insights is always welcome. I would just like to point out as well that the length of the blog post has an impact on the readership. The shorter the post, is the more persons will read it and benefit from what might be communicated. On the other hand, the longer the post, persons just read a third of it and skim over the rest, so the essence of the post has not been grasped but I noticed you are advocating for longer posts, not so sure about that one. However, I enjoyed the post and thanks for sharing your thoughts


  14. Really thoughtful article Jawad, yes promotional campaign only for competitive keyword could be a tough task but long tail keywords are the powerful choice for everyone. I’ve also realised that lengthy content are ranked well comparatively to small ones, thanks for reminding me these foundational steps for my blogging career.

  15. Thank you Jawad. This was a great article (even for a newbie like me). I especially liked your comments regarding post length – I’ve always been told to keep them short but I think you made some valid points. Thanks again.

  16. Excellent tips. Long tail keywords are essential to build a persistent traffic stream. However, opting for long form of content really depends on your target audience. I believe one should write for the people, not for the search engines.

    Great post. Keep them coming.

    • Hey David,

      You’re absolutely right.

      It really depends on your audience, but research shows that most readers like in-depth and well explained content. So I guess longer would still work for most niches.

      Jawad Khan

  17. Thanks Jawad Khan – and Darren Rowse for having him write this article – for such an awesome post!

    As I’ve read above, this is one of the first posts that really explain long-tail keyword research in an easily digestible and applicable way. Let me say it another way, THANKS!

    You mention that longer posts also get more shares. Do you think this is possibly because people share it to appear as if they read the whole post? It’s a cynical attitude to take I know, but if I can read short, concise posts versus skimming a longer post, I’ll read the short one but have found myself sharing longer ones. Am I the only one that does that, I wonder.

    Thanks again for an awesome article, really looking forward to more.

    • Hey David,

      Great point.

      I think the higher number of shares is usually because of the usefulness of the content.

      Longer and in-depth content usually explains the subject matter more comprehensively and makes it easier for anyone to grasp the topic.

      I don’t think most people read it completly, but they skim through to the parts they find relevant.

      But again, that’s my assumption.

      I’ll try digging more into this.

      Jawad Khan

  18. Smart tips Jawad! I am doing 2 things right now; crunching all of my blog images to speed up my site, to boost traffic, and I also am linking in like mad to boost traffic. Ties in to the idea you share of promoting blog content, OLD content, that is. I figure if I have 100 posts and 25 eBooks to share I should be linking freely to drive traffic, right? Get that evergreen juice going and you’ll need not promote old posts aggressively through other channels. Work with what you have to blog intelligently.

    I also love blog commenting. Offsite stuff I know but it doesn’t cost you a penny and more than that, you’ll build prospering bonds and boost traffic through this approach.

    As for onsite, think of Wikipedia. Simple linking in to relevant content aggressively helped the site dominate Google for a sick amount of keywords. If you stay relevant and link in to value you’ll keep folks on your site and boost that good old blog traffic, a powerful 1-2 post accelerating your blogging success. No need to spend big money – or any really – to get that traffic flowing. Work with what you have to prosper online and to free your audience.

    Thanks Jawad!


    • Hey Ryan,

      Yea linking to older content certainly is useful.

      With your commenting frequency, traffic is guaranteed :)

  19. I love your work. You inspire and educate us on your blog about these 3 Content Tweaks to Increase Your Blog Traffic without Spending a Penny. You can really help a lot. Great blogs!

  20. Great tips here. Thanks
    I don’t think any of us can succeed alone. We need ideas from other people in order to write the longer posts we all know we should be writing.
    I also use MyBlogU for inspiration, brainstorms and interviews. I love the brainstorm feature , especially, both participating in others’ and gaining ideas from my own.

  21. I use the related keywords in Google quite often for article ideas. It makes it much easier to come up with some interesting headings and points.

    I also use MyBlogU. Your point about creating long content using the platform is dead on. You can do interviews as well as brainstorming, and just today I posted an article with 8 interview responses I had received from MyBlogU. The article was already up to 1391 words with just the interview responses. All of those responses were unique, relative to the article, interesting, and pretty damn easy to incorporate into the article!

  22. Hello Darren, Thanks for your this great article. I was just checking your Facebook Page and got your this article. Really Good one indeed. By reading your this article just learn the points to drive more traffic for my blog. I am going to open my new brand blog. I will lunch soon. I will follow your these tips for my brand blog.

    Happy Blogging. Have a Good Week End

  23. Wow, what a great article. Lots of great tips for newbies and experienced bloggers.

  24. Hi Jawad,

    I find your post to be absolute truth, it takes time but definitely pays. I will be dedicating my enitre time of doing exactly the mentioned tips to improve my blog traffic. Especially the Long-tail Keywords. I love that trick.


  25. Great advice, Jawad! I’m a big fan of My Blog U as well :)

  26. Definitely agree. My longer posts (3000+ words) pack more of a punch with google and tend to get linked to more often from other sites. Revisiting old content has also helped immensely. Since my site has been around for 8 years, I have regularly gone back to update old content, republish it and share it all over again. Has helped build new traffic to old posts.

  27. Great article Jawad, as well as the valuable information you have provided, I discovered MyBlogU

    I had never heard of it, (I live under a rock) but have now subscribed and will be spending some time over there later today.

    As for blog post length – do you recommend writing long (2000 word+) articles for every post, or to change it up with varying lengths post to post

    • Hey Paul,

      Yea MyBlogU is a useful forum.

      You’re spot on about the article length. I think you need to mix it up a bit. You can’t create a 2000+ word post every time.

      By longer posts, I meant putting more meat into your posts like examples, statistics, more detailed explanation, step by step guidelines.

      Narrow down on one topic and try making each post as comprehensive as possible.

      But don’t add unnecessary words just fill up space.

  28. Another big tip that I have been noticing is just finding ways to increase CTR. When looking at webmaster tools for some clients I noticed their CTR rates were really low and after examination they were focusing way too much on keywords in meta titles and descriptions. By writing the title and descriptions for humans (while being mindful of keywords) I was able to raise CTR’s by 1% sometimes 2% thus increasing their traffic significantly.

  29. Thanks for including MyBlogU.com into this awesome article, Jawad! We are truly honored!

  30. Hi, Jawad:

    Longer posts is something I definitely need to work on and agree that research maintains they tend to get more engagement. So that’s something on my blogging improvement to do list. I did want to point out that the WordPress plugin you mentioned above (is no longer being supported, according to the homepage of the plugin) Evergreen Post Tweeter. Instead they recommend we try Tweet Old Post.

    But your article has great advice – thank you so much for the tips. :)

    Musings from Chicago

  31. I’ve used the google long tail suggestion keyword trick in the past, and that is a good one, but I was rather creating a post for each suggestion. It did not worked, and I guess it was due to the length of the posts I was creating. I will definitely give it another try using your technique
    thanks for sharing

  32. thanks for this informative and clear article. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the tools you recommend and trying some of the strategies out.
    I’m already using myblogu and find it a great way to inspire ideas and get interviews for my blog.
    I’ve also used the long tail keywords tip for ideas to blog about.

  33. I love all of these tips especially the third which is an area that I have been spending more time doing by doing more internal links and social media shares. I have also started using Squirrly which works with Yoast to give better tips on making the keyword technique work better.

  34. Here very useful information and i like your post. Whenever we update or post any think on social media for gain traffic then we never think about these tips next time when we share then follow your tips and thanks for sharing.

  35. Great blog post. I am using the strategy of long tail keywords both for my blog and for niche sites and it works like a charm. Actually from my main keywords I receive little traffic compared to the HUGE amount of visits through unpredictable long tail keywords. Whenever blog posts are longer than 3.000 words, there is a high possibility that this post ranks high in google for many long tail keywords.

    What I really don´t do is using existing content. It looks like a great chance to get new traffic with already done material.
    Thanks for the tips! :)

  36. Here very useful information and i like your post. Whenever we update or post any think on social media for gain traffic then we never think about these tips next time when we share then follow your tips and thanks for sharing.

  37. Hi Jawad ,

    First of all I would like to congratulate that you have put very valid points here. I have also using this technique since two years and getting good traffic. There is one thing I would like to ask you that do you still focus on keyword density or just write a long content with semantic searches ?


  38. Nice tips. I knew about the longer content piece and lnterlinking strategies. I will definitely look into finding more related keywords to target. When you write a lot of content, it’s harder to focus on each and every article to improve it. But I think it’s necessary to boost rankings in the long term and show up for lots of lower traffic but wide open keywords.

  39. Great post. There are many components that go into an awesome blog. Performing SEO is great and should be utilized by all bloggers. You want a steady flow of traffic. Long-Tail Keywords are the way to go to generate targeted organic traffic. If you have a website you should utilize any SEO techniques you can. People enjoy content. Having a good mix of content and pictures can go a long way.

  40. Great blog post. I am using the strategy of long tail keywords both for my blog and for niche sites and it works like a charm. Actually from my main keywords I receive little traffic compared to the HUGE amount of visits through unpredictable long tail keywords. Whenever blog posts are longer than 3.000 words, there is a high possibility that this post ranks high in google for many long tail keywords.
    thanks for the information

  41. Good content matters a lot in the eyes of google and also building quality backlinks can increase ones ranking in Google.

  42. This is a very useful post for all the bloggers. Keep posting valuable content like this. Thank you

  43. Thank you for the useful tips about using long-tail keywords in our content. And also I appreciated how to promote older content with Oktopost. I will use this tool to bring more traffic to my website.

  44. Great Tips Darren!

    Targeting long tail keywords is must to get better rankings in this industry with some much of competition in every niche.

    I do agree with all the points that you shared and I really appreciate your taking time to share this informative tips.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  45. Very informative article for all beginners and those who fail to generate traffic.

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