While bloggers strive to get traffic from search engines, other blogs and the top social media sites; it's hard to deny that a lot of the best quality traffic out there still comes via search. And, if you want to increase your search engine traffic, there are three simple ways for that to happen.
The first is that you add more content to your site and hope to get more traffic that way. The second is that you leave things as they are and hope an increasing internet population will mean increased visitors. And finally, the third is that you start to increase the rankings of your (old) posts to get more eyeballs on your content.
There are literally tons of ways to increase your blog traffic, but today I want to focus on increasing the traffic to your old blog posts via search engines - something that all bloggers can benefit from. I have used the following methods on a number of blog posts, and from just a few hours work I'm enjoying an extra few thousand search engine referrals per month.
One blog post I wrote about motivational techniques was at the bottom of page two in Google, and with a little work I now get around 50 visitors per day for that phrase after gaining the no.1 spot. This is just one example, and I'm sure you can use the following methods to help your own traffic even more.
Identify the Posts You Want to Work On
Before you start trying to increase the rankings of just any old blog post, make sure you identify posts that would benefit from an increased results position. Trawl through your archives and try to pick out some keywords and phrases that look like they might get a lot of search traffic.
As an example, I wouldn't want to focus on getting more traffic to a post thanking my readers after I had reached 1,000 subscribers. Instead, you want to focus on blog posts that provide value, and hopefully already have some decent on-page SEO around certain phrases or keywords.
I ran 'motivational techniques' through the Google keyword research tool as I had written a blog post on it. The result was that there are 1,600 exact searches per month, so I decided to work on increasing that.
Additionally, look through your analytics to see blog posts that are already getting search traffic and then check their rankings. Chances are that if you're getting a decent amount of search traffic and that post isn't on the first page in Google for the search terms then it would be beneficial to work on increasing the rankings.
Now that you know which posts would benefit from links, let's look at how to get them shall we?
1. Get Links Within Guest Posts
I intentionally nofollowed the link to my motivational techniques post above because I don't think it's right to write about a tactic that I would have been doing so blatantly. Guest posts for my newest blog have turned out to be an excellent source of traffic with low bounce rates and high visitor staying times.
Of course, guest posts don't just send traffic, you get links. There are tons of high quality blogs out there looking for help with content, so if you have a way with words then make a pitch. Of course, don't go overboard with links to your own site and only link back to yourself in the content (besides the bio) if it would be relevant to do so.
I have been able to reach and audience of over 500,000 feed subscribers through guest posting and that means links from sites with a lot of authority.
2. Build Links via Article Directories
I'm not really a fan of all the article marketers out there and the thousands of people slaving away writing 300 articles per month for some Clickbank earnings. However, the reason people do article marketing is quite simple...it works. While I'm not talking about going to the extremes here, you can get a lot more links to certain blog posts by writing about a similar topic or even the same from a different angle.
Sites like EzineArticles and GoArticles have a huge amount of authority in the search engines and their new pages get indexed in seconds. You can write a 400 word piece on a relevant topic and submit it to these sites with a custom anchor-text link back to your site. This does take a bit of effort but it means the backlinks can be highly targeted and of your choosing.
3. Re-Publish the Post
If you're trying to increase the rankings of a blog post that is more than a year old, consider republishing it. What I mean by that is that you change the date in WordPress or whatever blog platform you use so that it shows up as new content to your RSS readers whenever you choose and gets some time on your blog homepage.
Alternatively you could also update the blog post with more information and then make it live again to ensure you don't annoy any of your readers. The benefit of this, clearly, is that you can let the natural effect of readers linking to quality blog posts take its course.
4. Use PPC and Clear Bookmarking Links
This idea behind this is pretty simple. Social media is a great way to get in front of the 'linkerati' who can send links to your awesome content. The only problem is that once a blog post is old, it's unlikely that anybody is stopping by to see it.
In order to get yourself a boost, try to send some targeted PPC traffic to your page. Also make sure that you have very clear links to sites like StumbleUpon and especially sites like Delicious that you want your visitors to use.
5. Create a Video Version of the Post
Another option to increase backlinks to your site isn't so much text based, but taking advantage of video. With this option you can offer a better experience for your own visitors, and also leverage the audience of some hugely trafficked websites.
For videos I use Camtasia and they basically allow you to record what is on screen. If your content isn't computer related or written practically, you could record a power point presentation basically re-iterating the points that you have made.
Blip.tv, Viddler and other video sites allow dofollow links so you can get some link-juice back to those hard-to-rank blog posts.
If you have other tips on building backlinks to old blog posts, I would love to hear them in the comments.