Not getting enough traffic to your blog? Chances are, you're probably chasing traffic instead of staying ahead of it. In this post, we'll answer "Why is my blog traffic not increasing?" (and share the solution).
Did you know that over 4 million of blog posts appear on the web every single day?
With all that competition, it’s easy to become a slave to your content… constantly writing posts to attract attention for all of 2 seconds before moving on to the next post, and so on.
The good news is, there’s a simple fix. If you’re wondering why your blog traffic isn’t increasing, it’s probably just because you are focusing on the wrong type of content.
You see, there are many different types of blog posts that get tons of traffic. But– not all of these posts attract stable traffic over time.
If you’re creating the wrong type of content, you are probably seeing short-lived traffic spikes, but your blog isn’t steadily increasing from 1K, to 5K, to 10K views per month and beyond.
The truth is, you shouldn’t have to chase traffic by writing blog posts all the time. Instead, every blog post you write should be an investmentwhich continues to yield results over the weeks, months, and years to come.
Ready to learn what you’re doing wrong, and how to fix it?
Good. Let’s dig deeper into the types of blog posts that you need to build a steadily increasing traffic flow…
How to Increase Blog Traffic (for Free)
Most free (unpaid) traffic can be divided into two major categories:
- Social media traffic
- Search engine traffic
The first type–social media traffic–breaks out and fades away fast. The other–search engine traffic–builds more slowly, but continuously increases over time.
You can do a quick analysis of your traffic with Google Analytics. Just go to Acquisition » Overview to see where your blog traffic is coming from:
Social traffic is great to have, but if you want your traffic to steadily increase then your “top channel” should be organic search (traffic from Google). If not, then you are probably chasing the rise and fall of social media traffic.
The first thing you need to do to increase your organic search traffic is to focus on creating evergreen blog posts.
Evergreen blog posts are like those trees that stay green all year long: they have a stable graph of traffic through the years. That’s because the information such posts contain is always relevant to readers and never gets outdated.
Just take a look at the traffic graph for this post from SmashingMagazine.com. Their article was published back in 2009, and since then it’s had a constant traffic flow (regardless of some minor falls from time to time):
Unlike newsy articles and seasonal posts that go viral on social media, evergreen content doesn’t rely on time and urgency. You cannot consider the following pieces as evergreen:
- News stories
- Seasonal and holiday-related posts
- Updates and revisions reports
- Trend predictions
All these types of blog posts depend on the time/season when they are posted, and usually will result in a drop of traffic within weeks of publishing.
Evergreen topics include:
- How-to Posts – These useful posts are a perfect way of establishing authority and offer the readers reliable sources of information (exactly the type of content Google loves to feature).
- List Posts – These are the most popular pieces of content, and they are often the easiest ones to create. (But, don’t fall into the temptation of dropping a bunch of shallow articles– offer your readers only high-quality lists with a well-researched information on each point.)
- Case Studies & Expert Opinions – These articles offer unique information and practical advice that can’t be found anywhere else. (If you cannot be considered as an expert in your niche yet, you can always reach out to those who can, and ask their advice. Then arrange their answers in a big article and post it to your blog.)
- FAQ-like Articles – Hardly any product or service can function without any issues. Gather the most popular questions from your customers and create an FAQ-like article that covers their major issues.
- Success Stories – People love motivational stories that give them hope to achieve something. Moreover, high-quality success stories usually have useful tips on how to get that success. Well researched and written, these kinds of posts can drive huge search traffic (and tons of social shares too!).
How to Get Steady Traffic to Your Blog with “Evergreen” Content
Creating evergreen content usually requires more time and effort up front, but the investment is totally worth it.
First, before you write a single word, you’ll need to do some deeper research.
1. Find out your audience’s needs
When we talk about getting steady traffic to your articles, we are interested only in relevant traffic from your target audience. Creating an article for “clickbait” may attract a huge amount of traffic, but it may also result in a high bounce rate (i.e., people won’t stick around to read it). Plus, it won’t attract an audience that will convert into subscribers and customers.
Learning your audience’s interests and predicting their Google searches is critical. This is called keyword research: you’ll learn what exact terms people use when searching for a particular topic.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when conducting your keyword research:
- What questions do you get most often?
- What questions are being asked in forums and Facebook communitiesin your niche?
- What questions come up for your niche in a keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner?
These are all great topics for blog posts.
2. Dig deeper into the keywords
After you come up with a topic idea, dive deeper to find out what additional keywords to optimize your blog post for.
The best way is to start with a broad topic idea, and then collect a set of related keywords that describe the same topic in different ways.
There easiest way to find related keywords is to simply search for your main topic on Google, and check out the “related searches” section:
You can also search Google trends to find out the popularity of your topic through the years. Explore popular searches that have no seasonal or timing fluctuations and show steady graphs during a few years.
Then you can use those trending keywords as “seed” keywords for further research with a help of your favorite keyword tools. For example, you may drop the keyword into Ahrefs and see keyword suggestions based on related terms or their phrase match.
Another great way to find related keywords is to research your competitors and see what keywords they are ranking for. Just do a Google search for the topic you are planning to cover, and then drop the resulting article URLs into Ahref’s site explorer to see what other keywords they are ranking for. You can filter out the keywords by position from 1 to 10 to see only the Google Top10 results:
Using these suggestions, you can then create an outline and write a thorough guide covering your topic from every angle.
Bonus Tip: Don’t look for keywords with a high search volume only – these are way too difficult to rank for. Instead, pay attention to these other characteristics:
- Keyword Difficulty – Keyword difficulty shows how difficult it will be for your post to rank in Google Top10. It also shows the approximate number of backlinks you may need to reach the top.
- Estimated Click Through Rate (CTR) – Some keywords get higher click through rates than others. For example, Google now includes something called a “featured snippet” for the top search result in some cases, which can sometimes lead to decreased traffic for that result.
3. Write the best content you can
To increase your blog traffic through the years, you should offer your readers thorough articles with information that can’t be found anywhere else. But, you should also keep it simple and stick to popular themes that are always in demand. Don’t bother describing some specific functionality or rarely used techniques– focus on questions your ideal readers keep asking over and over.
While being thorough, keep your content to the point. You don’t want to create another shallow how-to article. Dig deeper into the process, and offer advice and steps no one usually bothers describing. Research similar content from others and try to fill any potential gaps they leave in their articles.
Make your blog post relevant to user’s searches. It seems that Google treats high relevancy of the content as one of its ranking factors. Thus, the more specific your post is – the higher it may get in the search results.
4. Update regularly
Even evergreen topics should be revised from time to time to stay on top. Some sections may become outdated in the light of the latest research, or some new stats may appear that better support your statements.
Moreover, even minor facelifts to your content may send a signal to Google bots to re-crawl your content! Adding new images and making small tweaks here and there may improve the rankings of blog posts that start losing their positions a bit.
These are some steps to take when updating your blog posts:
- Revise the keywords you use for the article (you can check them out in your Google Analytics account and then make deeper research with your favorite keyword tool). Then infuse the best keywords into your text.
- Revise the title and META data of your post. Experiment with the headline and subtitles, and try to make them more catchy. (Note:NEVER change the URL for your article since it may affect your rankings in a negative way.)
- Set up a new promo campaign for the updated article. Share it to your social media accounts and send it to your email subscribers.
- Even if you’ve got nothing to change, try to re-post the article with a fresh publishing date. Even this tiny trick may push Google crawlers to check out your article again and set it higher in search results.
Even seasonal or holiday-related posts can be updated and republished each year with new data, stats, listed items, etc. For example, an article with ideas for Christmas decorations can be updated with new tips, photos, and videos and re-posted a few weeks before Christmas when people start searching for it.
These updated articles won’t bring you stable traffic throughout the year, but they can certainly be repurposed and reused for a yearly traffic boost.
In this post, we answered the question: “Why is my blog traffic not increasing?”. We also showed you how to get traffic to your blog for free using evergreen content.
Evergreen content requires more up front research, and takes longer to start generating traffic. However, one of these blog posts is worth more traffic in the long run than 10 trendy articles that fade fast.
Begin by researching the questions that your audience is asking on Google search. Then, create well-researched blog posts that answer those exact questions in depth. Do this, and you’ll start seeing a steady increase in your monthly visitors.
Stop chasing short-term traffic and start investing in organic search traffic. When you do, your blog traffic will skyrocket!
Helen is a content marketer at Ahrefs. She explores new things every day to impress her readers with catchy stories. Apart from all that marketing stuff, Helen loves listening to rock music, reading and traveling. A lot!