I was enjoying decent traffic when my blog stats took a nosedive. I wasn’t sure what the cause was, but I was heartened to find that other bloggers were experiencing this same drop in traffic. Holly Homer of Kids Activities Blog:
“Last year at this time, FB was extremely generous with traffic. Pinterest was playing nicely too. We were even in Google’s good graces. Fast forward 10 months…A page view is hard to come by!”
I think for me that recent changes to Google algorithm seem to have affected my blog with less referral traffic than usual. I researched ways to grow blog traffic for myself and wanted to share it as well.
- Blog speed. I always start with blog loading speed. I use Pingdom to check.
- If blog speed is your issue, don’t use Related Posts plugins which slow your site down, hurting your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Link relevant posts within your blog post instead of relying on Related Posts plugins.
- My SEO consultant recently emailed me about a major Google change:”Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.”
What Google isn’t telling you is when you switch to HTTPS you will lose all social shares. This is because your URL is changing from HTTP to HTTPS. It’s no longer the same URL. Here’s what HTTPS is.
- Make sure your blog theme is responsive so it’s mobile phone friendly.
- Join communities in your blog niche. They might be on Facebook or bloggers that you meet at conferences.
- Create community — guest post for other bloggers and accept blog posts that make sense for what you cover.
- Ask for retweets and shares, especially for a post that bears sharing.
- Do giveaways which are easy to promote and might cross-pollinate beyond your typical readers.
- Participate in Link Ups/Linky Parties. Find Linkys that cover your blog niche but branch out as well. Here’s a list of Linky Parties from Girl On the Move.
- Optimize for SEO: use headers, word/phrase tags, permalink with relevant text, SEO plugins.
- Join Pinterest group boards. The first person on a group board owns the board. Check their blog for their email and ask them to join. Include the email that you used to set up your Pinterest account, and your Pinterest URL which they need to invite you to join their board.
- Use relevant hashtags on social media.
- Make sure your blog doesn’t have broken links. I use the plugin Broken Link Checker for that.
- Use a plugin to map your blog to Google. I use Google XML Sitemap Generator.
- Promote your most popular posts from your archives in your social media.
- Editorial Calendar: Create a series of posts or a regular feature on your blog and/or do a series with another blogger.
How about you? What tips can you share about how to grow your blog traffic? At the end of the day, I think we can all view blog traffic like a bell curve. If Google and Facebook are doling out punishment equally, then our blog traffic goes down in lockstep. Just adjust your perspective to your new numbers and keep on plugging away.
Google is like that: it gives and it takes away. It sucks when it’s taking away, but eventually, the tide will turn. Focus instead on other measurements, perhaps affiliate sales? Or engagement via comments? Find something positive to focus on. Your blog is great and we are all better for you to continue doing your thing. Google will eventually figure that out!