Let’s be real: sometimes figuring out how to get traffic to your website can seem downright impossible. You spent a lot of time (or money) on your website; on making it look good, work correctly, and help sell your products or services.
You might have even started a blog and busted your ass writing blog posts on every topic you could think of. Things surrounding what you do, touching on your life, or explaining complicated processes that people really do need to know.
It might all be great content, but is it what people are searching for? If you aren’t getting the traffic you want to your site, maybe not. Of course, the problem might not be your content at all, but the way you’re promoting it—but one thing at a time here.
How to Get Traffic to Your Website Like Bees Swarming Honey
There are a couple of steps to this process, and you’ll have to take them in order for it to work, so don’t lose patience with me. I swear this is the exact method I used when revamping my blog a few weeks ago, and my traffic has already more than doubled. And it just keeps growing.
Let’s dig in, because I want you to benefit like I have.
The Content Brainstorm
After writing a post a couple weeks ago about how a writing challenge changed my blogging strategy, I got a couple questions about how I came up with my content ideas. The answer is surprisingly simple: I just started writing them down.
In one of my design classes in college, my instructor taught us a trick to coming up with really creative logo ideas. It basically goes like this:
>>Sketch out everything that comes to you. The really obvious ideas, the stupid and cliched ideas, the already-been-done ideas, the insane ideas, and the bored-to-tears ideas. When you have all those out on the paper, start pushing for more. Force yourself to keep sketching more and more concepts, whether good or bad. Some will be embarrassingly bad. Some will be surprisingly good. And then, suddenly, out will pop the unbelievably creative and exciting concepts. They’re hiding inside of you, locked behind the obvious and the bad. Only when you feel completely drained of new concepts should you move onto the next step.<<
This same process works for brainstorming blog post topics. You’ll write down things everyone in your niche creates; things only the “out there” people come up with; and things that will prove to be amazing.
Let me walk you through my list, so you can get an idea of how it goes. I started with Branding. I wrote down everything I could think of to write about with regards to branding. Everything.
Some were really stupid, like ‘how your brand is like a dog’ or ‘when branding meets exercise, you get The Skinny’ (a reference to my basic branding package). Looking back at them now, I have no idea what my thought process was. But with a little creativity, I could make them work for my blog. (Ya’ll, don’t steal those—I’m totes gonna write ‘em!)
Some ideas were great, and have already been created—like How a Cohesive Brand Look Improves Your Success. And others, which were mediocre, have the opportunity to be great with a little love and affection.
That’s why I say write down everything. Because you’ll be surprised at what turns into a good idea when you thought it was a terrible one.
When I exhausted everything I could think of about branding, I came at it from a different angle. I thought about my ideal clients—photographers, writers, artists, coaches, etc—and what would specifically help them with their brands. That gave birth to 5 Secrets to Awesome Photographer Branding, and more like it, tailored for my different types of clients. And those posts are where I’m getting a boatload of my traffic now.
I followed this same process for all the topics I talk about: branding, websites, WordPress, inspiration, business, lifestyle, marketing, funnels, sales, writing—you name it. And I have a list of blog posts topics that’ll last me for a year and a half, currently. I’m pretty psyched about it. And more than a little impressed with myself.
But before you run off and start writing out your list, I should tell you—that’s just the easy part. The real trick to it all comes next!
The Keyword Search
Get your moaning and groaning out now—I’ll wait…
Done? Good. Now let’s get down to business.
The Google Keyword Planner is maybe one of the best free resources in the whole of the internet. Yep, I said it.
If you’re already using this tool, you rock. If not, let me introduce you to some dang magic.
The Google Keyword Planner is part of Google Adwords. You have to create a Google Adwords account and set up a campaign to use it. But don’t worry! You can pause the campaign immediately after setup, and you won’t be charged anything.
Once you’re in (and your campaign is paused), you go to Tools in the top menu, and select Keyword Planner. BAM! You’re ready to start planning your keywords!
Now you’ll see a screen that asks you what you want to do; you’re going to select ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.’ This will drop down a menu where you select the particulars about your blog posts.
Let’s use the post you’re reading now as an example. When I first brainstormed this blog post, I listed it as ‘creating content that draws people to your site.’ Sounded like a pretty solid title, but I wanted to make sure that it would actually get people’s attention because they were searching for the subject.
I plugged the whole title into the Keyword Planner and got no hits. Clearly, that title wouldn’t get me organic traffic. I then tried shorter variations such as ‘website content,’ ‘custom website content,’ and ‘get people to website.’ None of them had the high levels of searches I prefer for my keywords (usually 1K+).
But then, I adjusted my last search to ‘get traffic to website’ and hit the motherload, so to speak. 10K–100K monthly searches for related terms, and specifically, how to get traffic to your website, with 1K–10K searches in the last month. Bingo.
Based on those results, I opted for this post’s keyword string (a string being more than a single word, which is more effective) to be how to get traffic to your website.
Sounds fantastic, right? The Keyword Planner really is the key (pun intended) to getting people to take notice of your website. But guess what? We’re still not done!
The Spice of Life
Everything we’ve covered so far has been about content and logistics, but now we’re going to talk about an added trick you can use to add a little punch to your blog post titles. Because as we all know from personal experience, it’s the emotional and intriguing that gets us to click through to read something.
So how do you judge your post title?
As I’ve already said, I’m using how to get traffic to your website as my keyword (and therefore in my post title), but that’s pretty vague, isn’t it? It doesn’t really pull at you to read it RIGHT NOW. It’s just not good clickbait.
My favorite free blog-related tool is CoSchedule’s Free Headline Analyzer. It lets you type in your headline, and scores it based on word balance, length, keywords, and more. The score ranges from 1–100, and it’s colored red (bad), yellow (ok), and green (good). You should try to always get a green score (70+). That’s not always possible with your keyword string, but with a few adjustments here and there, you should be able to get it to at least 65.
Now my chosen keyword string for this post actually scores pretty high: 74. But because of everything I’ve studied and read, I know that it’s still not emotionally enticing, and a lot of people would just pass it over. So instead, I’m going to play with it a bit to see if I can squeeze some emotion in there.
First, I want to give an indication about what I talk about in my post. So I’m going to add ‘using custom blog content’ to the end of my title. But that drops my score to a 65, because it’s just too long. Plus, it still doesn’t have any emotional oomph to it.
I knew I needed to add a power word to my post to boost the emotional response. Handily for you and me, I happened to have this list of 317 Power Words from Smart Blogger bookmarked. I’ve used it a couple of times now, and it’s helped immensely.
To shorten my headline up and add that desired emotion, I tried shortening it to how to get traffic to your website with awesome content. And whamo! A score of 76. Higher than the original.
Except that I remembered I just used awesome for my photographer branding post title. I hate being repetitive in my vocabulary (I’m kind of a word snob tbh). So I needed a word to replace awesome.
Epic. That was the winner. It brought my score down a point to 75, but it balanced out in my mind because it shortened my headline a bit. Besides, the word ‘epic’ is totally in right now, and there’s something to be said for following trends.
And there you have it. That’s how I brainstorm my content, determined the keywords for this post, and refined its title to be emotional clickbait-esque. That’s my exact process for every blog post I write, and since I started using this strategy, my blog traffic has doubled. In a month.
I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a successful strategy. Should it change, or I come up with something even better, I’ll keep you updated!
What about you? Do you have a successful strategy you use? Teach us in the comments!