Driving Search Engine Traffic to a New Blog

This week I am happy to be participating in a five-day series of posts about growing your blog. This post is the 1st and each of the next 4 days there will be posts by other bloggers on their own blogs. Each of the bloggers involved in this project has been experiencing growth and all have valuable information to share that will help you with your own blog. I personally subscribe to all of the blogs in this project and I highly recommend that you do the same. Here are the participants in the series:

Monday: Vandelay Website Design
Tuesday: Blogging TipsBe Selfish and Help Someone
Wednesday: BlogtrepreneurWhat is Your Best Source of Web Traffic?
Thursday: Super BloggingBe Community Involved to Get More Traffic
Friday: SiteFeverDrive Traffic By Commenting First

Be sure to subscribe to each one to learn about strategies that are working for other bloggers.

New bloggers and website owners can easily get frustrated with the lack of search engine traffic that they are receiving. Typically, search engines take several months before they will show new sites very prominently in the SERPs (search engine results pages). If your website or blog falls into a very competitive market (like this one does) the situation can be even worse.

From the time period between July 1 and August 31, I experienced a substantial growth in search engine traffic, especially from Google, and I’d like to share the results and my conclusions with you. I think this information will encourage you and show you some ways that you can increase search engine traffic to your own blog.

To start with, here are my stats from July:

  • 587 visitors from search engines
  • 563 visitors from Google (#4 traffic source)

To give you some background information, this website was launched in February and the blog was posted on very sporadically from then until June. Traffic was very low and little time and effort was devoted to the site. The first week of July two different posts had a great deal of success with delicious and StumbleUpon (16,252 visitors came from StumbleUpon during July). That traffic helped bring some links, which wound up influencing search engine rankings.

As you can see from the stats above, search engine traffic in July wasn’t non-existent, but it also wasn’t substantial.

Here are the stats from August:

  • 2,217 from search engines
  • 2,173 from Google (#2 traffic source)

From July to August there was a 286% increase in traffic from Google searches, and a 278% increase in total search engine traffic. The graph below shows the visitors sent by Google from July 1 to August 31.

Google traffic graph

In July:

  • Google sent visitors to 65 different pages on my site.
  • The most common were:
  • Only 2 visitors came directly to my homepage (which is not the blog homepage) through a Google search.
  • 62 different pages had anywhere from 1 visitor to 29 visitors from a Google search.

In August:

  • Only 14 visits came directly to my homepage through a Google search.
  • 106 different pages had anywhere from 1 visitor to 99 visitors from Google.

The lack of search traffic to my homepage isn’t surprising since there is so much competition for website design and my site is still relatively new. Despite traffic to the homepage still being low, search engine traffic overall grew by almost 300%.

These traffic results show that creating content on your website or blog is extremely important. Although my homepage competes directly with thousands of more established websites for phrases like “web design” and “custom website design,” each blog post has its own keywords and phrases that have far less competition and they are much more likely to be highly ranked by search engines. Of course, these pages are still on topic since they relate to some specific aspect of website design and development, blog development, or internet marketing.

The reality is that most of your visitors will not come to your site through the homepage. Every time you write a blog post on a different subject you are creating a page that will compete for search engine traffic from different keywords. As a result, the more posts you create (assuming they have quality content) the more chances you have to draw search engine traffic.

Say for example you have 10 pages on your website and each one draws 10 visitors from search engines each day. In this situation you would have 100 visitors each day that come from search engines. Now assume that you start a blog and for 1 year you add 5 new posts per week. With 50 weeks in the year (to use a round number) that would mean 250 new pages that were created through your blog. Now you have 260 pages on the site and if each one draws 10 visitors a day from search engines that would total 2,600 visitors each day.

Obviously, these numbers are fictional, but it shows the significance of creating new content in order to draw visitors from search engines.

How Can New Blogs Increase the Amount of Traffic They Receive from Search Engines?

1. Start with a solid, SEO-friendly blog structure. Search engine optimization was not something I focused on in the last few months, but rather when I created the site and started the blog. (For more information on this topic see SEO Basics for Blogs.) WordPress users have access to a wide variety of plugins that will enhance the search engine-friendliness of your blog – see our list of the top 10 SEO-related plugins.

2. Post Frequently. I saw an increase in the number of pages that received traffic from Google searches (from 65 to 110 pages) primarily due to new content being added. I expect this to continue as new content is consistently being published. The new pages may not be indexed instantly, but with blogs it may only take days or hours.

3. Get links from other websites and blogs. Most of the pages on my website that drew significant traffic from Google are also among the pages on my site with the most external links. For example, Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website had the most Google traffic in August and it also has the most external links of any page on the website (According to Google Webmaster Tools it has 3,310 links. The homepage in comparison has only 2,169 and the blog front page has only 600.)

To start getting some links you can submit your posts to blog carnivals, find reciprocal link partners, or comment on blogs that have removed the nofollow tags (like this one). You can find a list of “DoFollow” blogs at Courtney Tuttle’s D-List. Another way to draw links is to develop posts that become popular with social media, which is another topic altogether (stay tuned, I think Adnan from Blogtrepreneur has more on this subject on Wednesday).

4. Choose keywords wisely. Each of your blog posts can target different keywords and phrases, which will help you to show up in a greater variety of searches. A collection of valuable keyword tools can be found at 30 Keyword Tools for Your Website. The are a variety of tools listed, many are free, that will help you to find the right words and phrases to target.

I hope that by taking a look at some of these examples you have seen some ways that you can grow search engine traffic to your own blog, particularly if it has just recently been launched. Try applying some of these conclusions to your own blog and see how it affects your traffic.

Published September 9th, 2007 by

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53 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Tay, September 10, 2007

    Steven,

    This was a magnificent article! I’m still not achieving very high search engine traffic to my blog at all but I need to do work on using keywords and such. This was a great read and opened my eyes to a lot of things about SE traffic.

    I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts in this series, and I cannot wait to write mine either (I will get on that so I’ll have it done beforehand). Thanks again for the opportunity!

    Happy blogging,

    Tay :)

  • DerekBeau, September 10, 2007

    Interesting read. It always frustrates me how long it takes before Google starts sending decent traffic to a new website. There is always that beginning stage when Google loves your website because it is new, then it seems to drop from the listings for months.

  • Adnan, September 10, 2007

    Great article Steven – and yeah I just find that creating content for readers rather than search engines, can help you get more traffic from search engines anyway.

    I can’t wait to write my article in the series, I might focus on Social Media as a whole if this is OK?

  • Average Joe Blogger, September 10, 2007

    Great set of tips. I’ve found that the All-in-One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress seems to really help.

    I look forward to reading the rest of the articles.

  • life.strikes, September 10, 2007

    I founf you blog from list of Top 100 Money Make Blogs list. Im new to blogging and still in learning phase. I’m using blogger to get used to blogging. All the tips and tools list you are providing is very useful. I havent explored SEO till date. But, now I found enough resources from this blog to explore new area.

  • website design company, September 10, 2007

    Great article search engine optimization is becoming an essential blog do. It’s good to have the people who are looking to find your blog capable of finding your blog.

  • Vandelay Design, September 10, 2007

    Tay,
    Thanks for your comments. I’m looking forward to seeing your article in a few days.

    Derek,
    Thanks for visiting. I have read some of your stuff on your blog and read more about you at other places, like eMonitized, so it’s nice to see you here.

    Adnan,
    You have a good point about creating content for readers. That’s what I have focused on more so than SEO, and things are improving.

    Avg Joe,
    Thanks for your feedback about the All-in-One SEO Pack, it is definitely one of the best plugins for SEO.

    life.strikes,
    Thanks for visiting and for letting me know how you found the blog. I’m glad you are finding information here that you can use.

    website design company,
    Yes, with all of the blogs that are starting up every day, SEO is pretty much a necessity to compete. Thanks for your feedback.

  • GnomeyNewt, September 10, 2007

    Cool series to come and I look forward to learning from all the post in this series. My top sender of visitors is still stumbleupon but I want it to be the SERPS which I’m working toward slowly and is the #2 sender for me currently. Those are some awesome stats you are bringing in from the search engines, wowers!

  • pablopabla, September 11, 2007

    I agree with you Steven.

    My food recipe blog has been getting almost 40% of its traffic through searches on recipes (which I am fortunate to have them on my site), 40% through referral sites and 40% direct (probably RSS or bookmarked by readers).

    My blog on blogging, however, does not fare as well for searches probably because the topic I blog about are less searched for by readers compared to say, your topics – which are good self-help articles.

    I suppose the niche of one’s blog and the contents itself are the key to driving search engine traffic.

  • Roy Van Rivero, September 11, 2007

    Hi! Good day!

    It is very nice to get new ideas on how to drive search engine traffic to my blog. You’ve emphasized the importance of article content and the numbers of topics that must be written. Yes, I agree, the more your blog is updated with significant content the more traffic could be generated. I have also realized that blog should have a great number of links so that it performs with more power. How nice to read a blog like this. It is really very informative and I am very much excited to read another yet substantial information—like this—from you. And now, I have to start working hard for my site—with great content and substantial numbers of article.

    Have a nice day and more power!

  • Vandelay Design, September 11, 2007

    I just wanted to let everyone know that Kevin’s article Be Selfish and Help Someone has been posted at Blogging Tips. He’s got some great advice that you won’t want to miss. Check out the article and leave any comments that you might have. Thanks!

  • Vandelay Design, September 11, 2007

    GnomeyNewt,
    Yeah, StumbleUpon is still the top for me (especially after today – it was my record for a single day). Hope you found some info here that you can use.

    pablopabla,
    You’re definitely right. I’m sure the recipes are great for searches with the right keywords. Keep adding content to the other blog and it should improve. Thanks for your comment.

    Roy,
    Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to seeing you here again.

  • Paul, September 11, 2007

    This is helpful, especially the do follow link. I think it’s important for bloggers to help each other out and allow this link. I know spam is a problem, but there are filters on WordPress for the obvious. Good job!

  • Vandelay Design, September 11, 2007

    Paul,
    Thanks for your comment (and I hope the do follow link helps you). I think spam will be a problem regardless of do follow or no follow. I started using do follow about a month ago and I haven’t noticed that much more spam. I have gotten more legitimate and significant comments though, and that’s what counts.

  • Vandelay Design, September 13, 2007

    Adnan’s post for the series is up – What is Your Best Source of Web Traffic?

    And so is Tay’s – Be Community Involved to Get More Traffic.

    Please visit their blogs and get involved in the conversations.

  • Vandelay Design, September 14, 2007

    The final article of the series is now up at SiteFever – Drive Traffic by Commenting First. John’s got some great information that you really should see for yourself.

  • Michael Weir, October 16, 2007

    Thank you for this article. It’s always nice to stumble upon a blog with quality content that can be put to good use.

  • tonilah, October 20, 2007

    thank you for this great post, it is very useful!

    i know it can get very frustrating for new blog owners to wait for that flow of traffic to come, but i think the biggest thing to remember is to be patient.

    to many people give up on their blogs. thousands of websites/blogs are created everyday..how many people give up on their blogs? How many people are willing to stick it out 3, 6, or 9 months?

    The longer you’re out there contributing, the better. I think of getting traffic to a blog/site the way somebody tries to loose weight/get fit. When somebody works out or goes on a diet, they don’t see results right a way. But after an accumulation of hard work, eating right, lifting weights…..they might start to see visible results.

    same with blog owners. What you write today might not net a whole lot of traffic that instant…but who knows how many people that article will reach 3 months from now.

  • Vandelay Design, October 21, 2007

    Tonilah,
    You’re right, the benefits are usually delayed for new bloggers, and many people don’t wait long enough. I think it’s also a matter of perspective. If you know going in that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to take time, you’re more likely to last.

  • Nathan Ketsdever, December 1, 2007

    That post is sick!!! Great job!!!

  • Free Web Traffic Guy, December 16, 2007

    I like your policy and comment about dofollow
    comments policy.

    It really helps the whole blogging community.
    Another day i installed a plugin for WordPress,
    which helps to enforce the dofollow policy but
    also helps to change any link/comment to nofollow
    if it seems that some bot is posting spam comment LOL.

    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Best
    Traffic Guy

  • internet marketing pr, January 1, 2008

    Great article, this is such an important concept. the many pages besides the homepage is the advantage of a blog. When each page gets a couple of views it starts to ad up and your web page gets the traffic.

  • GrotoMoffsoda, February 16, 2008

    Waiting. Fine. You’ll have your money.

  • NetDr, February 19, 2008

    Thanks for the informative seo tips! but what for blogger blogs abt seo plugins?

  • eyes on here!, March 13, 2008

    Have you seen the Easy Viral Traffic blog yet? They provide some pretty cool information about how to get free website traffic… check it out http://www.easy-viral-traffic.com/blog/

  • Malshi, May 8, 2008

    This is very useful.

    Malshi.

    Wow, check out this site called http://www.fluc.com
    . Free SMS and free mobile ads!! Its fantastic

  • Muscle Post, May 21, 2008

    This is a terrific post! I started my first blog over a month ago and am just starting to see a few visits per day from search engines. It’s a great feeling, and I’ve been posting very frequently so hopefully it continues and grows.

    Check out my site if you are interested in building muscle and gaining strength.

  • skins for bebo, October 19, 2008

    nioce article but im frustrated as i can not get any traffic for my site which is a higher pr than the websites im competing with.

  • MySpace Design, December 17, 2008

    So helpful! Thank you!

  • Aim 168, December 20, 2008

    I am trying to promote my own discussion forum on my own domain, I have started optimizing for search engines lately for different sections of my site. Need to know how long do you think it takes for in-bound links to take their effect.
    Cheers.

  • Darkdeeds, December 27, 2008

    This article is very impressive. It does a really great job of outlining some of the things I was interested in understanding.

    I recently started my on blog/viral video site and have been having traffic issues. This actually gives me a very good starting ground to work with.

  • Jeremy, January 15, 2009

    This is wicked! Thanks! I just started a design blog and this should really help since we are SOOO GREEEEN! We have wicked content though so I know we just need people to click through.

    Check us out: we’re alternative design at it’s best!

  • Car Lazar, February 15, 2009

    Now I se that frequent posting is important, and backlinks… my blog is 2 months old, but have only about 10 visits from all sources, which is pretty low…

  • nicky, May 13, 2009

    yes, we can easily drive traffic to new blog by using unique content and frequently posting where we can increase visitors to our blog.

  • 4design, May 26, 2009

    My blog is made for WordPress, I can say that the main traffic comes from Google. But there is one detail – is necessary to prescribe alt tags for all images in the blog that the traffic was still with Google Images.

  • Carson Shold, July 23, 2009

    Thanks for the post! I have started a personal website (http://www.carsonshold.com) and a blog/portfolio site for a client not too long ago, and their search rankings are great so far.
    An even more recent blog I’ve helped start, The Happiness Machine (click on my name to check it out) is having a harder time getting up no the search pages. Hopefully some of your tips help us out!

    Cheers

  • amit, October 27, 2010

    What i understood from this article is that you need to active on internet to spider your web site by blogging etc.