Today’s guest post is by Breena Fain.
As someone who loves a good story, I’ve always been an advocate for content driving an organization’s public relations efforts.
There is no better way to connect with an audience than engaging them through illustrative, relevant content that drives home the importance of your product or service.
When our blog was in need of a boost, our team sat down and analyzed our current traffic and our top performing posts.
We also spoke with our customers, then set out a strategy that was sure to be successful.
And it worked. We grew our traffic by 107 percent from 2011 to 2012, bringing in more than 60,000 more visits to the blog.
It was definitely a learning experience, but here are some of the things we found most successful in using content to increase blog traffic.
Establish a Routine and Stick to it
Often times, establishing a scheduled routine can be a lofty goal. Things come up, people get distracted, and ultimately, your content publishing suffers. As difficult as it may be, you need to do what you can to stick to your content calendar. Whether it’s every day or three times a week, set content goals for your team and revisit them time and time again.
Meet with your team on a monthly basis and plan content for the next 30-60 days. Once you establish that, be deliberate and intentional about getting those posts out. Once you pass that 30-60 day mark, it’ll become second nature to publish content frequently.
Rely on Your Team for Content
This was the most challenging, yet most successful tactic we implemented. We needed to drive ourselves to publish a post every, single day. Considering we weren’t planning on hiring any additional resources or writers, we had to rely on our internal team.
However, this allowed a variety of different writers to blog about their varied skill sets and knowledge. From support specialists to web developers, everyone has a different area of expertise. As the PR specialist or the copywriter, it might feel like you are responsible for all of the content published on your blog. However, by giving other employees the pen (or, um, keyboard), your blog can be more well rounded and your workload a little lighter.
Give Your Blog a New Look
Halfway through 2012, I realized one of the biggest problems with our blog was the way it looked. It hadn’t been updated in a few years, and it needed a fresher, cleaner look to go with the amped up content. So my team set aside a few weeks, and our web designer overhauled the page. The navigation was cleaned up and we added a “popular posts” sidebar and an easier way to share our content on social media.
While you personally might not be an expert in HTML and CSS, there are easier ways to freshen the look of your blog. If you use a WordPress blog, consider upgrading to a premium plan, or build your blog using a user-friendly site builder such as Weebly.
Implement a Visual Content Strategy
You might have a wonderful blog with impeccable content, but it’s not going to get traffic if you don’t promote it. One way we promoted our daily posts was with strong or fun images. As part of our website overhaul, we added a “featured image” capability to each post, which showed up in any thumbnail pics associated with the post. This is a really easy way to boost SEO, because those photos will show up in any Google image search associated with keywords from your blog.
Next time you publish a blog post, try promoting the post with a photo on your company’s Facebook page. Upload an image relevant to your post and add a brief summary and a shortened link to the post in the photo’s description. When your update shows up in users’ newsfeeds, the photo will capture their attention more than a few lines of text.
Partner and Guest Posts
Remember what I said earlier about sharing the writing responsibility with your co-workers?
Another easy way to diversify your blog content is by asking partners or other professionals to guest write for your blog. It’s a great partnership opportunity: They write for your blog and get exposure to your regular readers, and your company benefits because they will most likely share their guest post on their social media accounts, exposing your brand to their followers.
Identify five to 10 company partners or professionals who are well versed in your industry and shoot them a quick email asking if they are interested in writing for your company blog. Most likely, they will be interested, and then you can factor their posts into your monthly content calendar.
Although it took us a lot of trial and error to bring about this growth in 2012, these tips were essential in bringing traffic to our blog. While every industry is different, if your team focuses on producing consistent and relevant content, readers will find your blog.
Has your company experienced a growth in blog traffic recently? What tips do you have for promoting and growing your blog’s readership?
Breena Fain is the marketing manager at Formstack, an Indianapolis-based tech company. Breena is passionate about producing intentional, product-focused content that promotes Formstack as a leader in the form building and data collection industries. When she isn’t bragging about forms, you can find her initiating spontaneous dance parties or laughing over bad puns.