Why is getting visitors to your blog such a difficult task?
If your task is getting visitors to a low-ranking company site or blog, then you have a job that’s more demanding than what India’s master batsman Virat Kohli has taken on. Virat (derived from the Sanskrit viraat meaning huge or massive) has single-handedly carried the Indian cricket team on his shoulders in recent years, much to the delight of Indian fans and the consternation of his opponents. Yet, your job is pitiable as you wage a constant battle to be placed in the opening pages of the search engines. With over a billion websites and mobile apps competing for attention, only a handful of them can claim to have regular visitors in the thousands. The rest scrounge for scraps. Yes, the responsibility of gaining visitors to a perennially weak-ranking site or blog is one of the most frustrating tasks that one can be assigned to.
If your unique page views have been low and regular monitoring of your Google Analytics data confirm this, you may now need to bat like Virat — having the massive task of getting visitors to notice your site (halting the batting slide) and further read its content (chasing down the opponent’s score).
“People come to your site because they are looking for something. They want to do more, have more, be more”, says Jeni Eliott, a blogger.
One good technique to satisfy them is to follow the 5 point checklist laid out by Ahava Leibtag of the Content Marketing Institute. According to Ahava, valuable content should be:
If your new site is ranked by Alexa (or SiteCatalyst or Compete or Similarweb) in the top 1,000,000 globally or 50,000 in a country such as India, it can be considered a good start.
So how does Alexa determine the rankings of various websites?
From the Alexa website:
Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel, which is a sample of all internet users.
Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling 3 month period. Traffic Ranks are updated daily. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of Unique Visitors and Pageviews. Unique Visitors are determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single Pageview. The site with the highest combination of unique visitors and pageviews is ranked #1.
So, first off the bat, get your site to appear correctly in the top search engines right? Absolutely right, but which one? Since Google is the king of search engines with nearly 70% market share, getting your site noticed by Google is a necessity to ensure that visitors find your website, if they were to search with the right keywords that fit your website.
Whatever be your target audience, here’s how to satisfy Google as per a study conducted by the students of the State University of New York, Plattsburgh:
- Google likes text
- Google likes formatting
- Google likes freshness
- Google likes accessibility
- Google likes outbound hyperlinks
- Googlebot isn’t psychic, so remember to link your pages
- Google likes you to tell it where you are
- Google likes experts
There is a catch, however. Chitika Insights, an Online Ad Network published a report in 2013 which magnified the difficulty that sites face in getting visitors. The report derived from the internet habits of over 8 million visitors found a staggering 88% difference between visitors to the 1st page and the 2nd page of Google. While 94% were more prone to click on any of the first 10 links that Google provides on page 1, less than 6% went to page 2 and hardly any clicked beyond page 5.
So what happens to pages 6–1.0 million? These pages will still get views, but Darwin’s laws of evolution will possibly come into play. Only the fittest survive. Google slowly starts pushing the not-so-good or inappropriate content down the ranking list until they just fall off the surface of the earth.
Evolve or the web pages cease to exist — Google.
Hopefully this starkly brings forth the importance of ranking high on any search engine. In fact, we can make a case for batting harder on Bing and Yahoo to make up for the difficulties of ranking high on Google.
In essence, with all your hard work, you could still have only a very small audience that is directed to your site via the search engine route. The good part is that this core group votes for the party, irrespective of the candidate. They will probably forgive you for transgressions like the odd typo, spelling error or even a lackadaisical article. You also have a chance to experiment with your writing style and tweak the topics of interest. The worrisome part is that the small audience may drift away before your writing has a chance to grow roots and embed itself in the reader’s consciousness. So building a good base of users that stick with you long, will stand you in good stead.
Finally in conclusion, don’t let yourself be like the one-man army Kohli in the Indian batting order.
- Strengthen your team for the page-rank battle by unearthing decent writers within your company.
Businesses that blog ≥ 20 times/month get 5x more traffic than those who blog ≤ 4 times/month. (Source: Hubspot)
- Arm your writers with good SEO and blogging tools to make their job easier.
There are a lot of good keyword planner tools. Check them all and find one that fits your budget or is free for limited use.
- Obtain quality content from guest writers; Experiment with a podcast or vlog.
- Give away a free template or software trial to entice the reticent reader.
- Seek ideas from your committed readers and give them what they are looking for. See what’s trending on buzzsumo and make a note of it.
- Look beyond Facebook and your website/blog; try other media like Medium (which I highly recommend) or YouTube.
What do you think? Do let me know what techniques worked for you as a newbie blogger or content writer to reel in that loyal audience.
If you are interested in a Blogging workshop for your content writing team, email email@example.com. If you want to buy or gift a copy of my latest book for bloggers, here’s a link to the Amazon store — “Business Blogging for Beginners: Six Steps to Success”. If you want quality content written for your blog or site, visit blogsandcourses.com.
Keep writing while watching those exquisite cover drives by you know who.