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 Tips – Be Selfish and Help Someone
Wednesday: Blogtrepreneur – What is Your Best Source of Web Traffic?
Thursday: Super Blogging – Be Community Involved to Get More Traffic
Friday: SiteFever – Drive 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 sent visitors to 65 different pages on my site.
- The most common were:
- Customize Your Own WordPress Theme – 171 visitors.
- Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website – 103 visitors.
- List of Free CSS Navigation Menus – 31 visitors.
- 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.
- Google sent visitors to 110 different pages on my site.
- The most common were:
- Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website – 488 visitors.
- Customize Your Own WordPress Theme – 392 visitors.
- New WordPress Blogs: 12 Steps to Set Up for Success – 137 visitors.
- Effectively Testing Your Website in Multiple Browsers – 103 visitors.
- 30 Keyword Tools to Use for Your Website – 97 visitors.
- 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 Steven Snell