1. Start with Proper ResearchWell, this point is not related to the blog promotion itself, however, on its basis, you will be able to introduce appropriate marketing campaigns. If you want to achieve great success with your blog and simply make it read by your target audience, you won't do much without proper keyword research and competition analysis. That should always be the starting point before you get down to creating blog content.
Competition AnalysisAsk yourself these simple questions: what makes your blog stand out from your competitors? What are its strong and weak points? What should you improve or focus more attention on? If you don't have the answers to these questions, then check which blogs from your industry are ranked highest on Google and have the greatest web traffic. When conducting a competitive analysis for your blog, keep the following in mind:
- which content topics they choose - you can create interesting content on a similar or even the same topic, add something unique to it, something that your competitors overlooked or neglected, just fill a knowledge gap;
- on which type of content they focus - you can insert videos or infographics to accompany your article;
- which topics they haven't covered yet - if you write about something as first, you have a better chance of attracting users' attention.
Keyword ResearchIf you are not a newcomer in content marketing, you probably already know that it's extremely challenging to rank high in the search results on single-word keywords. Unfortunately, they are too competitive so my advice is not to concentrate on them. By choosing the right keywords, you maximize your chances of getting found. There are plenty of tools that will allow you to determine which keywords are most frequently searched by users and on this basis, you will be able to determine whether a given topic attracts users' interest and gives you a potential opportunity to increase blog traffic. For a start, I recommend these tools:
- SEMrush - use the Keyword Magic Tool to check the search volume of a given keyword, I chose “blog promotion” and here are the results:
- Ahrefs - in the Top pages section, you can analyze any page to discover which pages have the highest traffic and what is their top keyword.
- AnswerThePublic - this easy-to-use tool will give you a hint as to which questions users are asking about your topic.
2. Optimize Your ContentIf you want Google to love your blog and reward it with high positions in the search results, then you have to ensure that it is properly optimized. This gives you a better chance to increase your organic traffic. If you want to do on-page optimization on your own, here are the things you need to keep in mind:
- don't over-optimize your blog - the times when keyword stuffing was approved by Google are already gone; today, this strategy is penalized by the search engine (if you want to discover why a website may get a Google penalty, check out my article about it) which is why you should ensure that your content is optimized in a natural way;
- provide an SEO-friendly title tag - this is one of the most important SEO elements on the page, you have 70 characters to briefly describe your article, remember to use the most important keyword here,
- come up with a catchy meta description - even though this element doesn't have a huge impact on SEO, it may encourage users to visit your blog, using an interesting CTA phrase can do a lot here,
- provide internal linking - add links to your other articles, it will give you a great opportunity to promote your other content additionally,
- take care of the heading structure - show Google and users which elements of your content are more or less important.
3. Promote Your Content in Social MediaYear after year, the power of social media is constantly increasing, with an estimated 3.8 billion people worldwide using various social media platforms in early 2020 (source: wearesocial.com). Active promotion of both your brand and your blog in social media can contribute significantly to brand awareness among your target audience and then to their trust in your company. So if you ignore promotion in social media so far, it's high time to change it. And no, I don't mean just Facebook, but other platforms too! So how to use social media to effectively promote your blog? I will introduce you to 3 most popular social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. However, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok are also worth taking into account. Of course, you don't need to be active on all of them, but it's worth investing your time and energy in constant presence on at least 2 of them. Your choice should depend above all on the business sector and target audience. Below you can see what users expect from each of the most popular social media channels. [caption id="attachment_31135" align="aligncenter" width="602"] source: blog.hootsuite.com[/caption]
- join groups of your niche: start interacting with other users, gain their trust and promote on the group those posts that are relevant and related to the topic of the group,
- set up a business page: include all the necessary information about your brand and blog, don't forget to insert a link to the main page of your blog,
- start your own Facebook group: build your community and share your content with them,
- respond to comments on posts: comments are a great signal to other users that your blog is attracting interest, respond to comments very quickly, and who knows, maybe it will lead to a discussion.
- make the most of your bio: Instagram doesn’t give the option of adding links in posts or stories so bio may be a great place to do it,
- use stories to inform about your new content: have you heard of the "Swipe up" option? it allows users to be redirected to your blog,
- engage with other users: build relationships with them, comment, and follow their accounts.
- use hashtags: their power on Twitter is simply enormous, hashtags increase user engagement,
- include visual content: add videos or images to your posts,
- use ClicktoTweet: it's a completely free way proposed by Twitter to easily promote and share content, it allows you to tweet fragments of your article directly from your blog.
4. Email Marketing - a Great Way to Win Loyal ReadersEmail marketing is a strategy that is neglected by many as they associate it with spam. Well, nobody likes spam, but if you give your readers a newsletter that is not intrusive and annoying, you can really gain a lot. To prove my words, here are some statistics showing that email marketing has really great power and can be a great idea for promotion:
- The number of email users is constantly growing - in 2019 it amounted to 3.9 billion people, it is estimated that it will increase to 2023 up to 4.3 billion (source: statista.com). The numbers are really impressive!
- As many as 87% of marketers consider email to be a great way of content distribution, only social media (91%) are considered to be a more effective strategy (source: contentmarketinginstitute.com).
- More and more often automation tools are introduced to e-mail marketing strategies. 26% of automated emails are related to blog updates (source: snov.io).
- if you want to build your subscriber list in an easy and effective way, just put a signup form within your posts or include such an option already during registration,
- create a catchy CTA button to encourage users to subscribe to the subscriber list,
- plan your email content: personalize your message, go straight to the point, use bullet points and paragraphs,
- promote various types of content: new blog posts, additional offering (ebook or tools), videos,
- make your emails visually appealing,
- give the possibility to unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.
5. Want Quick Results? Paid Promotion is a Must!As I have already mentioned, it is currently becoming more and more challenging to get high organic traffic through social media, which is why many brands, seeking to achieve fast results, are opting for paid ads both in social media and in search engines. The choice is quite large, you can decide on: Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords), Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads - just to name a few of the most popular. Do you want, for example, one of the articles to be specially promoted and get easily found by users? Facebook Ads offers a "boost post" option - you can choose a recommended audience, the total budget you want to spend on promotion, and duration. LinkedIn, on the other hand, offers two separate ways of promoting: through content that appears in the newsfeed or on the right-hand side of the LinkedIn page.
6. Guest posting - Reach the Relevant PeopleHave you ever heard of referral traffic? This is actually a gold mine for bloggers. It's the traffic on your site gained from references from another site. Believe me, this kind of web traffic is worth fighting for! You can achieve this mainly through guest posting on well-known and reputable blogs within your industry. This strategy has two different ways: you can contact other bloggers with an offer of creating content on their blog in exchange for an author box with a link to your blog or do something quite the opposite - let other authors create content on your blog. Both options are powerful for you - you not only gain referral traffic but also build relationships with other relevant people in your industry. How to get it right?
- make a list of potential blogs you want to start working with and set some goals,
- as this will influence link building, you need to have backlinks from high-quality domains, pay attention to such parameters as Domain Authority (MOZ), Domain Rating (Ahrefs) or estimated web traffic (SEMrush),
- contact bloggers with your offer - don't write vague, only precise information, already at this stage, you can suggest a topic for the article,
- create high-quality content - remember that you don't write this article just to get a backlink to your blog, but to add valuable content to their blog and in this way to encourage readers to visit your site,
- promote - tell your readers about the article you wrote on another blog, promote not only yourself but also the blogger you collaborate with; after all, guest posting is a two-way street!
7. Analyze and MeasureHave you already implemented the above-described strategies (or at least some of them)? It is high time to check the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns. Do it on a regular basis to see which promotional channels work best and contribute most to increasing blog traffic. There are many tools that will help you get lots of useful data for analysis. And here are the most important metrics that you should always check once you have introduced the blog promotion campaign
Total number of visits and channelsIf you have a Google Analytics account (and I hope you do), you can easily check traffic on your blog and the most powerful channels. Where to find all the information you need? Go to Acquisition → All Traffic → Channels. As simple as that! Now you can see which campaign brings you the greatest profits. While analyzing, I suggest to focus mainly on 5 channels:
- organic search - visits your website from search engines (Google, Bing, etc.),
- social - visits to the site from various social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- referral - visits your website from other sites by clicking on a link (see: guest posting)
- paid search - visits to the website from paid ads (Google Ads)
- email - visits to your website from email marketing campaigns, e.g. links to an article in a newsletter.