How can you boost blog traffic to your site?
There is not a lot of use slaving away on your blog if no one reads it. Every blogger would like to increase blog traffic, but where do you begin?
While attracting subscriptions to a blog’s RSS feeds is still considered one of the best ways to keep your readers, times are changing. More and more blog readers are coming from referrals, searches and links. The best resource to use to analyse your blog traffic is Google Analytics. It’s a ‘must have’ tool. A check on my own blog’s traffic sources for the last six months led me to some interesting information.
By far the largest source of visitors was from Stumbleupon. Nearly 30% of overall visits. This sounds fantastic, but it must be tempered because these visitors also spent the least time on average on my blog. But at around 10,000 visits per month averaging 1.5 page views, it clearly attracted new readers.
The next biggest traffic source was a surprise. Direct. This means visitors arrived at my blog via a browser bookmark or by knowing my URL. Each visit averaged over a minute and two page views. So perhaps, ‘Bookmark This Page’ is not so old fashioned after all.
Coming in third were hits from referrals, which for my site came mostly from Twitter, plus some from Facebook and Google+. While not the largest number of visitors, the time on the site and page views were much better the first two sources.
Because Twitter uses so many short URL services, the referrals listed in Google Analytics are listed by each service, so a bit of basic arithmetic is needed to calculate the true traffic total generated by Twitter.
Search came in next on my list. Whether from Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines, the key to attracting search traffic is good keywords and tagging. If you have a WordPress blog, a good SEO plugin is worth its weight in gold to build this traffic source. For these visitors, a well-designed blog is essential to get their attention in the first few seconds.
The last major traffic source was, of course, RSS feeds and email subscribers. No surprises to learn that these had the longest on site time and page views per visit.
Of the remaining traffic sources, which in my case numbered over 500, most were back links. These are worth their weight in gold. Often they are links on other blogs and websites to my blog, or perhaps web directories. Although individually they may only bring the odd visit or two, collectively they contribute to a huge amount of traffic.
Clearly, blog traffic can be increased by using the above sources intelligently. Regularly bookmarking on Stumbleupon, posting on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and making your blog attractive, interesting and entertaining for new visitors. Plus, don’t forget to continue working on building your backlinks and improving your blog’s SEO.