website traffic

How to double your web traffic in 10 easy steps

Are you feeling frustrated because you’re not getting enough traffic to your blog?

Over the past 12 months parenting blogger Jenni Fuchs has seen her web traffic increase by almost 50% - because she is doing many things I would recommend to attract visitors to your website, encourage them to stick around - and come back for more.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the ten most important things you should be doing to build an audience for your blog (with examples from Jenni’s excellent blog The Bear and The Fox).

1. Create a content calendar

Jenni has a content calendar and plans her blog posts months ahead of publication, so she knows exactly what she is going to publish, where, and when. This allows her to approach her blog like a magazine with regular features like her picture book round-ups which are always published on Fridays.

This not only helps her save time, and stay organised, it allows her to plan timely, seasonal content, such as five happy hoppy books for Easter, Halloween pumpkin window pictures and our top five Christmas movies for kids.

Seasonal content is engaging because not only does it feel relevant (and people generally only consume content that is relevant to them,) it also often solves an immediate problem for your audience.

2. Treat your blog like a magazine (and act like a journalist)

Journalists don’t publish content whenever they feel like it. They publish content on specific days or specific times - never missing a deadline.

This creates dependability - and/when people depend on you as their key source of information/news on a particular topic, they’ll keep coming back for more (and make referrals to others). This creates brand loyalty, which is crucial when it comes to building an audience.

Jenni posts content on her blog twice a week - and never misses a deadline. She also constantly asks herself the question journalists ask themselves before publishing any piece of content: ‘why do people need to hear about this now (or on x date)?’

Treating her blog like a magazine helps Jenni keep her content relevant and timely for her audience. For example, when she noticed in my Media Diary that it was Hedgehog Day - and it happened to fall on a Friday - she did a round-up of hedgehog picture books.

You don’t have to publish twice a week to build an audience for your blog, but you do need to be consistent, relevant and timely.

3. Write blog posts that solve your audience’s problems

Jenni's content solves her readers' problems. For example:

As Jenni explains:

When I first started the blog, I was writing about everything and anything. Now I ask myself, ‘Is this relevant to families?’ For example, I used to blog about all my recipes, but now I only make those that were a success with my kids in to blog posts. Because no matter how tasty, why would I recommend a recipe on a family lifestyle blog that even my own kids won’t eat? I used to write about all my travels, including work-related trips. Now I only focus on those that are relevant to families. People often ask me how I manage to be so consistent and/or never run out of ideas.  My number one tip for staying consistent is to always remind yourself who your audience is.

Drawing on your own personal experiences can be another great way to create compelling blog content - providing that content is relevant to your audience and solves a problem for them.

Jenni writes reviews of places she’s visited with her children - like this post on Edinburgh Castle with kids - including her own personal photos.

She has also used my Media Diary to generate timely, seasonal content ideas. One of her most popular posts - about raising bilingual children - was inspired by a date she found in the diary: International Mother Language Day.

Jenni says:

“I hadn’t heard of it [International Mother Language Day] before, so when I spotted it in the Media Diary I immediately knew I’d have to think of something for that since it was so spot on for our bilingual family. I’d written about raising bilingual kids before, so this pushed me to come up with a new angle.’

4. Create both evergreen and seasonal content

Creating evergreen blog posts (i.e. those that don’t date or become irrelevant) can give your content a much longer shelf life. Unsurprisingly, Jenni’s most popular blog posts are all evergreen pieces of content.

For example how to upcycle daddy’s old shirt to make a kids’ doctor coat costume is not only her most popular blog post ever - it’s also been the most popular blog post every month in 2018 (apart from August). This post also appears on the first page of Google (for the search term ‘DIY doctors’ coat).

Jenni’s second most popular post is on how to decorate a cake  in the style of the popular children’s book Hooray For Hat. This post comes up first on the first page of Google for the search term ‘hooray for hat cake.’

5. Use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website

Jenni also uses Pinterest to drive traffic to her website creating Pinterest friendly images for each blog post (Pinterest favours long, tall images).

Unsurprisingly - her top-performing blog posts are her most popular pins on Pinterest.

6. Share your content on social media

Jenni is also consistent when it comes to sharing her content on social media -  mostly on Twitter and Instagram. And she doesn’t just share new content, she promotes content from her archives too. It’s important to remember that not everyone will see everything you post the first, second or third time….so don’t be afraid to promote new content multiple times and keep doing it.

7. Add value with content upgrades

Jenni also adds value for her audience by offering free downloads (often referred to as ‘content upgrades’). Her autumn wish list blog post is one of her most popular this year and came with a free checklist to help readers to create their own autumn checklist.

Pro tip: Jenni could build her audience more quickly if she asked her readers to input their email address to receive the checklist.

Listen: How to get started with email marketing

8. Create guest content

Creating guest content in the form of podcast interviews, guest blogs and press coverage can be a great way to get your content in front of new and bigger audiences.

Jenni has been featured on a number of guest blogs and podcasts this year including:

Living with kids  Design Mom

The Dejlige Days podcast

She has also joined some Facebook groups where bloggers collaborate on round-up posts with the aim of getting their content in front of new and/or bigger audiences. For example: 10 amazing apple recipes.

Collaborating with other bloggers also has the added benefit of growing your social media following, as they’ll also share that content with their own followers - introducing you and your work to new audiences.

9. Repurpose your content

Jenni repurposes her blog photographs on social media and on Pinterest - making every piece of content go further.

She points out, however, that not every piece of content will work for every platform.

Jenni says:

I always ask myself which platform my content is best suited to. Whilst everything can be content (my kids are used to the fact mummy always has to photograph everything we eat, do etc), it’s not always necessarily suited to the blog, so some things just end up on social media instead. It’s helped me to narrow down my blog content and categories, and to keep the quality on the blog at a high standard.

10. Track your numbers

This is SO important.

Jenni uses Google Analytics to track key metrics such as where her readers are coming from, how long they are staying on the site and what they are looking at while they’re there (are they looking at multiple pages or just leaving after one, for example).

This allows her to tweak what she is doing to get better results. For example, she has recently learned that 41% of her traffic is coming from referrals (37% of those are social media) and a whopping 68% are coming from Pinterest - which suggests she should be investing more time on that platform.  Her organic traffic was just 3% which suggests she could be doing much more to help readers find her through Google search.

Further recommendations

Although Jenni is doing brilliantly with her content planning - and is reaping the rewards - there are many more things she could be doing to attract traffic to her website.

  • Do keyword research to find out what her ideal readers are searching for in Google (and improve her organic search). She could use: Answer the Public, Keyword Finder or LSI Graph to help with this
  • Add more internal links in her blog posts (i.e. links to other relevant blogs she has created)
  • Revive her monthly newsletter so she can let her subscribers know about her content
  • Create more content upgrades (like her autumn checklist) to add new subscribers to her list
  • Use Yoast on her website to improve her SEO

Need help with your content planning? Order your copy of the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner.

 

 

[328] The three numbers you should focus on in your business in 2019

Want to make more money in your business in 2019? Then you need to start tracking key marketing metrics in your business. But which numbers should you be monitoring and how often?

In this podcast episode, I share the three numbers you must focus on to grow your business in 2019.

{Click on the player below to listen to the podcast episode or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}

1.Your email subscribers

First off...a reality check.

While you may make the odd sale on social media, the majority of sales will happen in your inbox. Which is why building your email list is the single most important thing you can do in your business.

But here’s the thing.

The average conversion rate for online sales is 1-2%.

Which means for every 100 people on your email list, only a small number will actually buy from you.

If you’re a coach selling 1-2-1 coaching and need 20 clients a year, you may only need a thousand or so on your email list.

If you sell low-priced products or online courses/memberships you’ll almost certainly need to shoot for 10k or beyond.

When you get more experienced at email marketing, your conversion rates may improve. For example, my Media Diary converts at around 7%. This is great, but it still means the majority of people I’m marketing to are either saying ‘no’ or completely ignoring me.

So whatever it is you’re selling…you need a much bigger email list than you think.

The trouble is, most people don’t give away their email address without a good reason. Which is why you need to create a ‘lead magnet’ to encourage them to join your list.

A lead magnet is a resource/offer you create to encourage people to join your email list. A great lead magnet solves a specific problem for a specific type of ideal client/customer and gives them a quick win.

My audience calculator which tells you how many email subscribers you need to reach your sales targets - is a good example of an effective lead magnet. 

My marketing checklist - which set out the marketing activities you need to do to achieve key income goals in your business (1k, 2k, 5k and 10k a month) is another good example. At the time of writing, it’s added around 1700 new subscribers to my list - in just a few months.

Lead magnet ideas for product-based businesses

If you have a product-based business, you may think offering discount codes is the only way to add subscribers to your email list. But while this can work well initially, you may find people unsubscribe from your list as soon as they’ve used their discount code. This is why creating an information product can be a much better long-term strategy.

I created an information product as a lead magnet for my 2019 Media Diary - a downloadable media calendar you can use to plan out your content for the coming year and includes key awareness days/dates for January.  Essentially, it's a DIY version of the diary - which gives people a taste of what it might be like to use the diary for content planning.

Check out my 2019 Media Calendar. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, remember that you don’t just sell products, you’re an expert in what you sell. 

So if you sell coffee pods, you’re an expert in coffee. Which means you could create a downloadable guide on the best coffee pod machines, how to recycle coffee pods or a gift guide for coffee lovers, for example. 

If you sell handmade children’s clothing, you’re an expert in making children’s clothes. This means you could create a downloadable guide on how to source handmade children’s clothing, how to sell second-hand children’s clothing or even give away some of your sewing patterns (you may think this sounds counterintuitive, but most people will try to follow your patterns, then realise it’s easier to outsource it - and who is the first person they’ll think of?).

If you sell dog coats for whippets like Debbie Humphrey, founder of Redhound for Dogs, you’re probably an expert in All Things Whippet Related. Which means you could create a guide on how to measure your dog for a new coat, give away recipes for whippets or even a gift guide for dog lovers.

Learn how to get started with email marketing.

2. Your website traffic

The second number you need to be tracking in your business is your website traffic. But before you start monitoring the metrics, you must first understand how to drive traffic to your website.

You do this by publishing regular, high-quality content on your website that solves your ideal customers’ problems - on topics they are actually searching for in Google.

For example, my blog post on how to write an effective press release for your small business appears on the first page of Google. Despite being a few years old (I recently updated the post) it sends hundreds of visitors to my website every single week. Not only has this helped me build my email list, it’s also helped me make tons of sales.

Start with keyword research: It’s not enough to publish a weekly blog post on something that’s grabbed your interest. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to be strategic about it - creating content around the keywords your customers are actually searching for in Google.

There are many resources out there to help you with keyword research, but my personal favourites are:

KW Finder

Google KeyWord Planner

LSI Graph

Answer The Public

Publish high-quality content weekly: When I look at the people in my industry (marketing and business) with large audiences - for example Andrew and Pete, Chris Ducker and Jessica Lorimer - they all have one thing in common. They publish consistent, high-quality content - week in, week out - and have been doing so for years.

Over the past five years I’ve been building my own online audience, I’ve published over 300 podcasts and hundreds of blog posts and published a book (plus run dozens of free webinars and challenges) - all addressing my ideal customers/clients concerns. Which is how I’ve managed to build my audience - and crucially, my email list.

If you want to attract traffic to your website, I recommend publishing at least one high-quality piece of content on your website every week.

Grow your social media following: Publishing regular social media content will help drive traffic to your website - and your lead magnet - which will help you grow your email subscribers.

Create guest content: Giving podcast interviews and/or collaborating on guest blogs can be a great way to get in front of new audiences and drive traffic back to your website. Learn how to land guest podcast interviews. 

Use Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual search engine that will help drive more traffic to your site. Pinning your own content - and other peoples’ - could have a big impact on your web traffic. Mine has increased 500% since I started using it regularly. Learn why you should be using Pinterest in 2019. 

Be patient: It’s worth pointing out that nobody wakes up being a brilliant podcaster, YouTuber or blogger. You have to learn your craft, and you have to learn through experience.

The key thing is to solve your customers’ problems - and you don’t need to have tons of followers to start making an impact. For example, I bought the t-shirt I’m wearing in the video below after seeing Mama Love London founder Beth Campagna’s video on what to wear with a pleated skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own – because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with different outfits not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it. I bought a hoodie and another t-shirt after watching some of her other videos.

I share this because when you start out with blogging/vlogging, it’s easy to get frustrated because you don’t have millions of followers/likes/views.

But if you keep showing up, creating valuable content - and focus on creating the best possible content in your industry/space  - you WILL start to build your audience.

How to track your web traffic 

It’s easy to get bogged down in tracking page views and visits, but I think it's more important to look at behaviour i.e. what pages are people visiting most/least, which pages are they arriving on/leaving from, how long are they spending on the site (and on particular pages). This will allow you to do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t.

To that end, these are the key metrics you should track every week using Google Analytics.

  • Mobile usage (Google indexes this first)
  • Time on site
  • Landing page/exit pages
  • Popular pages/posts
  • Bounce rate

3. Your social media followers

First off, I want to dispel the myth that it doesn’t matter how many social media followers you have.

Actually it does matter - a lot.

While quality is always better than quantity, the more social media followers you have (providing they are your ideal customers/clients) the more traffic you’ll be able to send over to your website. This traffic can be converted into email subscribers and sales.

Don't try to build your social media following on every platform though - at least not at the same time. If you've done your research, you should know which platform(s) your ideal customers/clients are hanging out on. So if you know they’re over on Twitter and LinkedIn, it's better for you to really focus solely on those platforms. In fact, it can be a good idea to focus on one platform at a time. When you get really good at sending traffic to your website from one social media platform, you can generally replicate your best strategies on another.

I wish I could tell you there was one magic strategy that would help you grow your following on every social media platform. 

Sadly I can’t.

But what I can share is strategies that typically work on most social media platforms.

These are:

  • Creating engaging content that solves your customers' problems
  • Asking questions and starting conversations (rather than broadcasting)
  • Using closed questions e.g. ‘yes or no’, ‘agree or disagree’, ‘blue, yellow or pink’
  • Automate posts but don’t just ‘set and forget’ (you need to schedule time to respond to comments)

Learn three types of social media content that will make you sales. 

The best tip I can give you is this: focus on becoming the best content creator in your space.

If you do this, you will naturally also start to get curious about how to promote that content.

For example Andrew and Pete are brilliant on YouTube. But they didn't just wake up one morning and create amazing YouTube videos that got tons of views. They learn over time by experimenting: monitoring the ‘watch time’ of their videos and experimenting with different episode lengths, questions, graphics polls, playlists (and more) to find out what was working best for them.  

There's no getting away from it: building your audience is hard. Particularly building your email list. In the short-term it can feel painful - like you're adding one subscriber at a time. But in the long term this is the thing that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line of your business.

Podcast shownotes

  • Some of the changes I will be making in 2019 (0:45)
  • Details on an exciting product / resource I’m launching this week (3:28)
  • Why you need to keep an eye on your audience numbers (8:40)
  • Why you need to focus on your email list (15:16)
  • Why the ‘magic number’ is different for everyone (18:35)
  • The importance of having a good lead magnet (and how to create one that converts) (21:41)
  • Why you need to track the traffic to your website (and how you can increase it) (30:10)
  • How to create content that people are searching for (37:00)
  • How to increase your following on social media (38:40)
  • Why collaborating will help build your audience (40:16)
  • How to use Google Analytics to analyse your own content (and find out what you should be creating more of) (43:50)
  • Why you need to focus on one social media platform at a time (51:40)

Resources

[321] How to get people to actually read your blog with Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina is an experienced content and ethical digital marketing expert who has helped thousands of businesses get better results online.  In this episode he shares his top tips on getting more people to read your blog, how to make your content rank higher in search engines and why collaboration is the key to growing your audience.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Andy’s business story (2:52)
  • How to plan content that will get engagement (4:40)
  • How to make your content visible in search rankings and build up your website's authority (7:20)
  • What you need to know about no-follow and do-follow links (14:20)
  • Why creating a niche headline (and content) will give you more chance of ranking high on Google (17:01)
  • Why you should include quotes from other people within your content (23:48)
  • How to include video in your blog content (25:10)
  • How to build your audience online (28:42)

Resources

Andy’s website: Orbit Media

Andy on Twitter and LinkedIn

Andy’s Book: Content Chemistry

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

[319] Why you should be using Pinterest in 2019 (plus how to do it)

Pinterest is the second biggest search engine after Google. Which means,  if used correctly, it can be a massive game changer when it comes to getting more eyes on your content.  In this episode Eve Tokens shares practical tips on how to use Pinterest for your business including how she has helped me improve traffic to my website by 1000% in just over a month.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Eve’s business story (3:33)
  • What is Pinterest? (5:02)
  • What is SEO and how to use it on Pinterest (6:30)
  • How to create ‘boards’ for your Pinterest (12:20)
  • What people mean by the term ‘pin’ (and how to create more effective pins) (16:50)
  • How you can increase your traffic with minimal images (21:16)
  • Where to place the wording on your graphic (and why it matters) (23:39)
  • How to convert your views into sales on Pinterest (25:25)
  • How to track whether Pinterest is driving traffic to your content (26:45)
  • How to outsource Pinterest (or learn to do it yourself) (31:19)

Resources

Eve Tokens’ Website

Eve Tokens on Pinterest and Facebook

Janet Murray on Pinterest

Google Analytics

Tailwind

Episode 167: SEO made simple with Martin Huntbach

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook