Here are some easy tips on free ways to increase blog traffic to your site. They can all be done quickly and, yes, for free.
The following tasks are easy to implement on any website or blog.
Spending a few minutes thinking about how you can increase your social sharing and search engine indexing potential for your posts is very often more important than the excellent blog posts you write.
Let’s get started on making it easier for you to get more unique visitors, better search results, and more page views.
Simple actions to improve your blog
You don’t need to be an expert to enhance your blog and learn how to increase blog traffic for free.
The following ideas are all very easy to implement.
You can think about using these for new posts as well as a way to improve your existing posts.
1. Use a high-quality image
Why do you need an image? There are two reasons.
One is that sharing on social networks is by far the quickest and easiest way to increase blog traffic.
But without an image, your shared post will only appear as a line or two of text. Text posts will not bring much traffic to your website.
On Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and especially Pinterest, your post’s main or featured image is what will attract clicks from Internet users and help your blog traffic statistics.
The other reason is that search engines could index your image.
It’s an opportunity to generate targeted web traffic from people who use Google Image search. However, it will serve no use unless you prepare your image file correctly.
To ensure your image will be indexed, change the file name to words or a phrase similar to your post title. Or, if it is too long, to a couple of the keywords from your post title.
So if your image file is 675_9d7.jpg, rename it to myblogposttitle.jpg. Well, to words that appear in your blog post title.
When you add it to your post, make sure the image title is similar to your post title, and also add your image title to the alt text field.
Now search engines will be able to index your images, along with your blog content.
You should get better search results from the longtail keywords you used in your blog post title, as well as your image.
Social sharing is one part of content marketing and can deliver considerable spikes in web traffic.
But it may come as a surprise to you that one of the best social sites for delivering readers is Flipboard.
It is an app that is very popular on iPads and smartphones, so it is an ideal platform for people looking for quick reads.
I get a lot of traffic from Flipboard, and on occasions, huge numbers. It is one of my top referring sites.
If you get lucky, and your post is selected by Flipboard to feature in its Cover Stories, expect a big boost in blog traffic.
When you publish a post, always share your great content on as many social media networks as you possibly can. Facebook and Twitter, of course, but don’t forget Linkedin and Pinterest.
Another good way to promote your blog is to re-publish your blog post in Medium. I get a small but steady stream of traffic from it.
Not every post takes off, but some will do well and help you get more referral traffic to your blog.
But remember, as mentioned above, always have an eye-catching image to get people clicking.
If you don’t have social sharing buttons, get them. Sharing is a great traffic strategy.
You are missing a huge opportunity if your blog doesn’t give your visitors an easy way to share your content.
Make sure you have at least the main four; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to help you get more traffic to your site.
You don’t need to use a sophisticated plugin to add social sharing buttons to your site.
But if you can link your buttons to Google Analytics, it is then possible to see how many shares you receive each day.
Remember, every time a visitor shares your post, you are gaining exposure to totally new sources of blog traffic.
If a visitor shares your post and has a large following, it can only have a positive effect and help increase your traffic.
If you get a new visitor to your blog, you don’t want them to disappear after reading only one of your posts.
This is one of the easiest free ways to increase blog traffic.
To encourage them to read more and increase your page per visit views, include one or two internal links in your text that will link to another one of your posts.
It works best when your post link is from one of your popular posts to a newer post.
It also works from your advertising pages or landing pages.
However, make sure your links are inviting.
Never add an internal text link saying, click here, as it will not attract any reader interest or help in Google indexing.
Always add a link to a useful phrase where you use highly informative words.
On all blogging platforms, there is a link button.
But the key here is to link back to your posts using an embedded text link and make sure the link does not open in a new tab or window.
By doing this, you keep your visitor on your site.
In WordPress, it is very easy to find content to use as an internal link.
For example, I’ll stay on the subject of embedded links, and I want to create an internal link.
All I need to do is highlight the text I want to use as a link. The enter a search word or phrase, and WordPress will find my associated posts.
If you now click on my new internal link, embedded links, it will take you to a new page on this blog.
But if you click the link above, please hit your back button to return here to read the rest of this post.
The link text gives a clear sense as to what you are directing them to.
So the reader will be attracted and then interested in your other post. This will help to increase the average visit duration over the long term.
Tip! You can keep track of your internal links and traffic data by using Google Analytics.
All you need to do is check all your external links in your posts and make sure you set them to open in a new tab. Why?
Because if a reader clicks on an external link in your post, and it opens in the same window, you have lost your blog visitor. It is especially the case for smartphone users.
5. Always research your blog post title
Whatever topic you are writing about, do some basic keyword research on Google.
Try to discover specific keywords or long-tail keywords that you can include in your title that will help more people find your post.
While this site focuses on publishing advice, attracting readers from outside my target audience helps increase my search volumes and blog traffic.
While they may not be interested in publishing per se, they may be interested in some of the advice articles on blogging, writing, or online promotion.
Also, think about answering questions people may search for in your topic area. This approach can often help improve the number of blog comments you get.
For this post, I wanted to write about ways of getting more readers to author blogs.
After analyzing a few Google search results, I decided that the words, increase, and blog traffic were much more searchable than boost traffic and blog visitors.
You can do basic keyword research for free using Google.
Another alternative is to use Ubersuggest for your keyword research. With a free account, you can access top ranking keywords for and competitive sites.
Content marketing is keyword driven on top of writing great content.
Generally, keywords are either adjective-noun or imperative verb-adjective-noun.
Prepositions, auxiliaries, pronouns, and alike are not keywords.
For example, a blog title such as, I want to tell you how to buy cheap shoes, contains one keyword phrase. It is, buy cheap shoes.
If you have a blog post with a title, I just wrote a book about Caribbean pirates; then Caribbean pirates is the keyword.
Once you identify your keywords, all you need to do is use them (exactly) four or five times in your blog post.
Your keywords must be in your blog post title, in the first sentence, or paragraph at least, and then perhaps once or twice in the body text.
Keywords tell search engines exactly what your blog post is about by repeating them a few times, and makes it easier to index and rank.
6. Use H2 and H3 paragraph headings
You may not be familiar with, or even need to know how Google and Bing index a page. But one element is vitally important.
Search engines do not see a text as humans do. They only look at the code.
The most important parts of a text page code are heading tags. The most common are H1, H2, H3. and H4.
Search engines see these tags as the sense of order in a text.
H1 is always the title of the post and is almost always set automatically by whatever blog platform you use.
Then the indexing robot will check for H2, H3, and H4 tags and understand that these are important and ordered words for indexing.
You will never need to set an H1 tag. But for H2 and H3, you will have to set them manually.
H2 is almost always applied to the sub-heading. This says that these are the most important words, after the title.
For all subsequent paragraph headings, they should be H3, and therefore of equal importance.
You can easily apply these settings in your blog editor. The setting is usually in the formatting or style menus.
Applying H tags to your posts will increase your search index rankings, which, of course, helps in gaining more organic traffic.
Look at your blog sidebar and decide which widgets you really need.
A good rule is that if they don’t have the aim of keeping a reader on your site or don’t make money for you, remove them.
Image links to your books make money.
Related posts potentially keep a reader on your site, and social sharing buttons can help.
But what does a long list of external blog links or a weather report do to bring traffic to your site?
Answer: One click on your blogroll or the weather forecast, and your blog reader has disappeared to another site. What a waste of the great post you wrote.
On top of that, mobile users don’t see the sidebar content until after all the main content.
So it serves no real purpose and certainly won’t help your conversion rates.
Another reason to ditch sidebar widgets is that they are bandwidth-hungry and slow your site down.
Google and Bing like fast sites, and site speed is now a ranking factor. So the more sidebar widgets you have, the slower your website will be.
You can use GTmetrix to check your site speed for free. If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you really need to do some urgent blog spring cleaning.
Google Analytics also collects results for your site speed along with a lot of other data about traffic to your website.
8. Update your old posts and articles
This is one of the easiest content strategies and such an effective way to get more targeted traffic to your site.
Again, Google and Bing have a huge preference for new, fresh, long-form, and updated content.
But what is not understood by many bloggers is that by making just a few edits or improvements to an old blog post, and then re-publishing, it will be recognized by search engines as updated, and therefore, fresh content.
Another idea is to re-write your old post to make it more evergreen content. It’s a good idea to also change the image.
You can even do this to a guest post, but you should ask the writer first if you accept guest blogging.
Don’t forget to change the publishing date in your blog settings before you re-publish. It will give your old post from 2010 more recency.
What you MUST NOT change, however, is your post title and URL.
If it is already indexed by Google and Bing, changing your URL will mean that you will lose your existing backlinks, search listing, ranking, and web traffic.
Make sure you share your updated content on your social networks to give it a boost.
All of these tips about free ways to increase blog traffic are quick and easy to implement and need no technical expertise.
If you get into the habit of applying them to all of your posts, you will get an increase in blog traffic very quickly.
Applying simple SEO practices is the best way to get more traffic to your blog.
Remember, however, that content is forever king, so nothing is better than excellent easy to read writing.
A long-form, well-written, informative, or entertaining post on a well-designed blog will always attract and retain many more loyal readers.