7 Actions that Increase Blog Traffic by 25.3% [Traffic & Conversion #1]

How to Increase Blog TrafficWe all want to increase blog traffic.

And we all would like to make more money.

That’s why it’s important to take a strategic approach for growing our blogs.

Starting last month (September) I made the commitment to focus on increasing readership for the Steve Scott Site.

My goal is simple:  Get more blog traffic and convert readers into ‘action takers.’

In addition, I’m also implementing the same strategic approach with my niche affiliate sites.

The end result is a series called Traffic and Conversion.

Each month, I’ll test something new with my sites.

Then I’ll report back the results.

The idea here is to provide YOU with specific actions for expanding your Internet business.

I’m pretty excited about this series.  I think you’ll learn a lot from it!

To get things going, I’d like to talk about something that’s important to any blogger…

Increase Blog Traffic in September

Increasing blog traffic starts with a solid foundation.  You want to establish a routine that slowly grows the reach of your site.

As an example, in late August I create an aggressive content-marketing strategy.  The result?  I increased my blog traffic by 25.3% in one month.

Here are my stats for the month of August:

Blog Traffic Stats - August 2011

There are three important metrics here:

  1. 14,219 Visits
  2. 80.60% Bounce Rate
  3. 1:21 Time on Site

Moving forward, my goal is it to improve upon these three numbers.

Now let’s take a look at the stats for the month of September:

Blog Traffic Stats - September 2011

Did my site grow?  Here are the results:

  1. 17,827 Visits (+25.3% increase)
  2. 77.95% Bounce Rate (-2.6% decrease)  <— A lower bounce rate is good.
  3. 1:43 Time on Site (+27.1% increase)

I’ll admit it…  These numbers aren’t earth-shattering.  But I’m really happy with them.  Why? Because I’ve been at a plateau for the last year.  These show that blog traffic has significantly grown in the last month.

The best part?  I increased traffic to my blog because of 7 specific actions that rely on a fairly aggressive content marketing strategy:

#1 – Focused on Creating Great Content

We all know that “Content is king.”  Truth is, increasing blog traffic starts with exceptional content.  In September, I wrote four “Massive Valuable Posts” (MVPs) that go beyond a standard blog article:

The idea here is to create a great impression with blog readers.  These posts are designed to attract new traffic and maintain the interest of past readers.

Any “blog traffic strategy” should revolve around providing excellent content.  In other words, give people a reason why they should come back.

#2 – Improved Reader Experience

Some of my posts are 3,000+ words in length.  That’s a lot of text to read!

That’s why I’ve made two tweaks to improve reader experience for my blog posts.

First, I now use images that act as section breaks.  (You can see an example at the start of this section.)

Has this helped increase blog traffic?   I don’t think it makes a difference in the short term.  But these section breaks make it easier to read my posts.  Ultimately this will keep people coming back for more!

Sidebar:  I’m thinking about creating a post showing how to create these section breaks.  But I’m not sure if it’s something people want.  So please let me know (in the comment section) if you’d like to learn more about this technique.

Next, I’ve made the posts easier to scan

Most people don’t read everything word-for-word.  Instead they look at the “attention-grabbers” (headlines, bullet points, bolded text, etc.)

I now write my posts for the people who like to scan.  I use short text, lots of bolding and indent some areas.

Again, I feel this is a way to make posts easier to read.  In the long term, this should increase repeat blog traffic

#3 – Commented on Other Blogs

Blog commenting is a traffic tactic we all use.  The trick to making it work is to have a system.

First off I comment on every site that leaves one on mine.  Usually I’ll add to the discussion and point out stuff that’s been personally helpful to me.  The idea here is to increase value to what’s been written.

Next I visit 10 to 20 new sites a week.  Usually I’ll go to sites I’ve discovered in the Make Money Online / Lifestyle Design niche.  My goal is to start conversations and network with new people.

Finally I recently installed the Comment Luv premium plugin{Not an affiliate link}

This provides a great one-two punch if you have a Do-Follow blog.  (Like mine.) Not only does this tool encourage people to leave comments; it provides an incentive to share my posts through social media.

Blog commenting has gotten a lot of flak lately.  Many feel it’s not a viable way to increase blog traffic.  My opinion is it still works.  Just be consistent and you’ll get results!

#4 – Improved Twitter Activities

Twitter has always scared me a little. Why?  I’ve always had the fear that it kills my productivity.

This changed when I figured out how to blend automation with being a real person.

To start, I use Market Me to schedule a series of posts.  So every day, my Twitter stream includes:

That’s it for the automation.  What’s cool is my followers get six high-quality Tweets – No matter what I’m doing that day.

Next, I spend about 10 minutes each day going through my Twitter lists.  Here are a few ways I add personality to my Twitter actions:

1)      Thank anyone who  re-Tweeted one of my posts

2)      Respond to any questions or comments

3)      Re-Tweet content from other bloggers that’s interesting and useful

4)      Reach out to people who have taught me an important technique

5)      Post an update that’s related to what I’m doing with my business

Frankly, I don’t consider myself a Twitter expert.  However I typically pull 100-200 visitors a day using these steps.  Not too bad if you ask me.

#5 – Implemented a Blog Post Promotion Plan

I follow a simple plan after every blog post.  This helps me leverage existing assets and immediately let people know about content I’ve just created.  (Plus I get a few extra backlinks to the article!)

Here what I do to promote most of my blog posts:

  1. Email my “Steve Scott Site” list subscribers
  2. Email my Affiliate Marketing without the Bulls**t customers (Only if the article is related to affiliate marketing.)
  3. Schedule 5 to 7 promotional Tweets for the upcoming week
  4. Add a link and description to my Google + account
  5. Ping the post using sites like Pingomatic and Pingler
  6. Post it on Blog Engage
  7. Post it on Stumble Upon
  8. Post it on Blokube
  9. Post it on Amplify
  10. Post it on 3 of the following sites (always mix it up): Blink, Social Adr, ShetoldME, Best-reviewer, InfoPirate, Faves, Jumptags, Delicious, URL.org, MysiteVote, Stumpedia, Mister Wong, Redgage, Social Marker
  11. Comment on a few Do-Follow blogs using the primary keyword as an anchor tag.

This is a pretty basic plan.  The idea here is to create an immediate bump in traffic a few minutes after I hit the Publish button.

#6 – Networked with Other Bloggers

Networking with other bloggers is a technique that has a lot of long-term value.  In addition, this action can also generate lots of daily blog traffic.

As an example, I included a number of bloggers on my 68 Free eBook Post.  Some were people I knew.  Others were bloggers I admired, but never spoke with before.

After publishing this post; I sent each person a Tweet like this:

Twitter Networking with Bloggers

I’ll admit it was a bit spammy.  That’s why I didn’t ask for anything in return.  Instead I simply said I included their report and told them where to find the link.  That’s it!

The result? 

I made a few connections with people who have a lot of reach.  Plus I generated a lot of extra traffic because many promoted this post over Twitter:

68 Free eBook Downloads Blog Plost Stats

What’s interesting about this metric is the average reader spent almost SIX minutes reading this article.

That’s a lot of time for a blog post!

#7– Created High-Value Pages  

The one thing that bothers me about my traffic rates is my bounce rate.  This is the percentage of people who come to my site and leave after reading one page.  In other words, this figure shows how many don’t stick around to read more articles.

For August my bounce rate was 80.60%.  Not good.

For September my bounce rate was 77.95%.  Still not good.

I can make excuses for why this number is so high.  (Like how I get a lot of “junk traffic” from people using Google Images.)  But there are also a number of ways I can improve upon the bounce rate.

One thing I’m doing is creating what I call Most Wanted Result (MWR) Pages.  These act like mini-wikis where I educate and focus on increasing list subscriber numbers.

My goal is to create dozens of these pages.  Then I’ll link these on the blog posts that get lots of search engine traffic.  Ultimately I think they’ll decrease bounce rates while creating repeat blog traffic.

Coming Soon: Traffic and Conversion #2

That’s it for this month’s installment of Traffic & Conversion.

In the next thirty days (and beyond), I’ll test a LOT of things:

  • How to turn “junk traffic” into loyal readers
  • How to decrease my overall bounce rate
  • How to increase search engine optimization
  • How to increase on-page optimization
  • How to quickly build profitable niche affiliate websites
  • How to improve sales page conversions for my two information products
  • How to increase opt-in rates on my squeeze pages

Right now, I can’t predict what I’ll talk about in next the part of this series.  What I can guarantee is I’ll only talk about something that has proven to improve my traffic and conversion rates.

Questions?  Comments?  Please respond below…

Take Action. Get Results.

124 thoughts on “7 Actions that Increase Blog Traffic by 25.3% [Traffic & Conversion #1]”

  1. Amazing list and I can’t wait to try these strategies! I would like a tutorial on how to do the section break, and I think you found a valuable way to hold readers’ attention. If you are a visual learner like myself, it helps to have that in the course of the article. Of course, after reading your post I’m more aware than ever of all the things I need to learn, so I’ll have to take it step by step. Thanks for structuring it that way, because it will be much easier to implement.

  2. I’m sort of in the same boat with bounce ratio at 71.84% and would love to bring that number down. I just recently started blog commenting after spending the past 3 years concentrating on forum posting. Good tips here.

  3. Thanks for the valuable info. I’m looking forward to your Traffic and Conversions series. This first post was easy to read and kept my attention. I would like to learn how to create section breaks, I think they do help break up a page, making it easier to read, as well as provide guidance in terms of navigating and scanning the post. Again, thank you!

  4. Hey Steve great work on your increase in traffic. I’ve lost all interest in follow analytics over the past few years. I don’t know why I use to be right into it. Your tips for increasing traffic are spot on and I say this with experience seeing I’ve been goring blog engage very year in a positive direction. Lately I’ve been putting a lot more work into Twitter and it’s been paying off big time. I’ve also been trying to comment more but that part is hard because it takes time and real thought.

    • Thanks for dropping by and commenting Brian!

      I know what you mean about taking time to comment. Is spend about two hours a day (or more) on commenting, it can be pain. (though you also can learn good stuff). Sometimes you even read the entire article. Like it. But really don’t have anything to say. Frustrating. LOL.

      Anyhow, thanks for dropping by and leaving the comment! 😉

  5. Wow, you surprised me with this post man!

    It sounds like a lot of work just to increase the traffic to your site a little bit. But I agree with you Steve, it needs to be done for long term benefits. You’re making it very clear here what you did and how you did it. I like it as I love to do my daily tasks in a systematic way as well 🙂

    One thing I just want to ask you is the “Bounce rate” statistic as this one confuses me a lot. What could be an “acceptable” number here? On my site, I’m having around 71% bounce rate with the average time on site is more than 2 minutes. Is is OK?

    Thanks again Steve. You’re over delivering again man.

    Have a nice day.


    • Duy,

      It is a lot of hard work. No doubt about it. There are shortcuts for sure, but those also bring risks of Google penalties that can screw a site over.

      As for bounce rate. It is so hard to say. I heard once that any having a site (that gets some traffic) it is just about impossible to get lower then 40% bounce rate. At THAT time my BR was right around there. Since then it has climbed. I think the metric is variable. Look at where your traffic comes from. If you get a lot of Stumble upon traffic, that slants the results SU traffic is notoriously high. Blogs that get a lot of recurring traffic (repeat visitors) can also actually get a slightly higher bounce. (they read the article they haven’t yet read and split). So a lot depends on your site.

      Now for your specific site. My guess (without seeing data) is a mixed message. SInce I am assuming you are talking about the gaming site 2 minutes average time is awesome. 71% I think could possibly be improved somewhat. But it could just be the fact that it is niche site and some people might land there that see that it is just not what they were looking for. I would try a few things for improvement and see if they lower it over time. If you try and fail, you will know that is about normal for the niche. But two minutes average time is good!

  6. Connecting with other people is the best way to improve your traffic. Nothing can really beat the word of mouth and being active to other social networking sites is the best way to increase your traffic without any cost. Though it can be time consuming, the effort will surely be awarded if strategies are done right.

  7. You just described how to get free traffic better than any paid for ebook, but like you mentioned in your report you got to put something together that you could surely charge for and then give it away FREE 🙂

    And as for improving Twitter activities, I came across the perfect tool which is in my lastest blog post…

  8. Steve:
    Researching an ebook about how articles marketing can increase your blog traffic so I read this feature.

    Didn’t help my ebook, but did give me concrete ideas on how to tweak blog traffic and some idea of how persistent one has to be to increase traffic.

    Thanks for sharing this useful info.
    Myrna Greenhut

  9. Some great advice here. I need to try to work on the blog commenting and networking. I downloaded that program “Market Me” and that seems like it will be helping for scheduling my Tweets and searching for people related to my topics. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Wow, there is a lot of information here to digest. I have similar issues with my blogs in that readers comment on adding pictures and many people today find it a chore to assimilate written information.

    This may be a little out of context but online SEO is very important of increasing traffic. The h1 and h2 category key words and long tail key words. Defining your category placement with a combination of higher traffic keywords. I add the category keywords to the alt text on my main picture. These keywords should be added in both h1 and h2 titles and in the first paragraphs.
    Another trick is to use on page links, both internal and external (no follow) that add authority to your category keywords.
    I now use this tool to fine tune my blogs.

  11. Great tips! I also just bought the CL premium and I’m hoping I see a difference in both my blog and niche sites. And thanks for the tip about Market Me! I just started on Twitter last week for my blog and I think the main reason I didn’t want to initially is because I already waste enough time on Facebook.

  12. Great tips Steve. I lag behind when it comes to twitter and I think its because of the same reason you were not using it for a long time (fear of losing productivity). But with a plan like yours, I don’t think I can go wrong.

    I have one quick question; when you say “…Add a link and description to my Google + account…”, what do you mean by that? Do you mean you Google+ your post or do you actually add every new post to your profile?…

    Thanks in advance Steve.

    • No, not adding it to profile. Just sending out the link to all followers with a unique description. (I hate duplicate content even if it is only a blurb on Google +) Nothing fancy here.

  13. This is one of the best ever post that I love Steve. You surely am a man to consult with when it comes from generating traffic to our blog. I’ve been reading some of your wonderful post and I’m proud to say that It was your idea that make me want to start blogging. Happy New Year to you and look forward for more.

  14. Great post. I am looking to increase my blog traffic and am going to try out your blog promotion plan. You recommended lots of good social media sites along with several I had never tried before. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the assist.

  15. Those tips actually do work. But people still need to know how crucial paid advertising is, or free blogging privileges on sites like seomoz and increasetraffictomyblog.com. Let’s face it, the internet is wrapped up and even with the best seo, you have to spend money or write high quality content. It is what it is.

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