100+ Best Tips to Increase Blog Reach in 2019
In the SEO world increasing website traffic and blog reach is not an easy task. This blog covers the 100+ key success factors and tips to Increase Blog Reach.
What is Paid search traffic?
If you are looking for the answer to a question, what do you do? You google it! If the question you ask yourself connects to a potential purchase of a product or a service, then you are a potential buyer for an e-commerce site.
This Paid Search traffic is often referred to as “Search Engine Marketing” (SEM) while the techniques to rank high in the organic (not paid) search are referred to as “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO.)
Paid Search traffic actually stands for 96% of Google’s income and is used by 1.2 million website owners worldwide. The services are so popular among business owners, because:
You can measure the results of every penny When properly done, it’s inexpensive No entry barriers (with as low as a $1 budget) and gain customers the first day
Increase Blog Reach Tip 1:
Use “match types” to avoid cold traffic
Increase Blog Reach Tip 2:
Carefully evaluate the best campaign structure
Find more tips about how to effectively structure your account via AdWords’ support pages. The key success factor is to really think this through and adapt what is most logical for your specific market and product, before launching thousands of keywords.
Optimize the ad design
When managing your keywords effectively, you enable your ads to show up with the right search queries for the right audience. The next step is to make that audience click on your ad (given that they are potential customers = hot traffic) and come to your landing page where they can make a conversion, which means generate income for you.
The key question is: How to write the optimal text ad?
The answer: You don’t need to know how!
You can apply a simple “trial and error” technique called A/B-tests. Since Google AdWords enables you to have several ads connected to the same Ad Group you can:
1. Make two ads with different features (which would be split 50/50) for the users who see the ad.
2. Then you can compare which ad has the highest performance, for example, measured as the CTR = “Click-through rate” or in other words, how many times the ad was clicked in relation to how often it was displayed.)
Increase Blog Reach Tip 3:
Create separate ads and landing pages for each strategic keyword
How many landing pages you use and how you connect them via links are also key success factors for Organic search traffic. In the next blog, this will be discussed in detail.
Click through rate (CTR) does not tell the whole story. It merely shows how much traffic comes to your site in relation to how often your ad is shown. It does not tell whether this traffic actually converts into an income for you.
The good news is that this can easily be tracked! Insert a few lines of code provided by Google AdWords on your landing pages, and you will be able to see which traffic actually converted, (e.g., made blogging, purchased a product or anything similar.)
This enables you to follow up with some useful metrics (per ad, ad group, keyword, etc.)
Click conversion rate = What is the percentage of clicks that actually generates a conversion
Cost/ conversation = Total ad cost divided by the number of conversions
Return on Marketing = Generated income/ total ad cost
By focusing on conversion rates, not only clicks, you get the full picture and can compare how much money you actually spend to generate each sale.
Let’s go through a small exercise to exemplify this:
Let’s say you are selling a product online for $30.
Your direct cost to buy or produce for this product is $12.
This means that for each sale of this product, you get a “gross margin” of 30 - 12 = $18.
You use Google AdWords to get traffic to the site where you sell this product and your average cost per click (CPC) is $0.10. (It does not sound like much, right?)
Competition gets harder and you raise the bid to $0.20, still not so much?
But if only 1% of the users that click on your ad actually complete the desired action, your cost per conversion would go from (0,10/ 0,01 = ) $10 to (0,20/0,01=) $20 per conversion.
Since your gross margin per product is $18, the conclusion is that instead of making 18 - 10 = $8 per conversion, you are now losing 18 - 20 = -$2 per conversion.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 4:
Use ad extensions to facilitate conversions
Different ad extensions obviously work best for different types of business models and situations, but most likely at least one of the above will be attractive for you to experiment with.
Successful bidding strategies
The goal of using Google AdWords is to maximize the net profit by generating as much “hot traffic” as possible with as little advertising cost and time management as possible.
This trade-off can, to a big extent, be affected by external factors, such as bid competition of different search terms, user behavior (if somebody searches for the term or not) and changes made by Google. But there are also several factors you can influence by applying a solid bid strategy and thereby, avoid costly mistakes.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 5:
Experiment with Remarketing campaigns
Technically, Remarketing campaigns work just like conversion tracking. You add short snippets of codes on your landing pages, and Google will then know if somebody who searches for your chosen keywords has been on your site before.
You can then reach this specific target group with additional keywords, adjusted bids (affecting the position and CTR) and decide to activate the display network only for these users (avoiding the typical pitfalls of Display networks.) You can also adjust the ad design and write a specific message (e.g., special promotions/ “Call to actions”) that is only visible to them.
There are many blogs online that explain the mechanics and techniques of remarketing in more detail. For further reading, please see the footnote.
Besides optimizing the financial effect of using Google AdWords, you also have your own time and effort to consider. One of the best developments available by Google, in my opinion, is the “automatic rules” function. Basically, there are five main automatic rules you can activate:
1. Change daily budget when…
2. Pause campaigns when…
3. Enable campaigns when…
4. Send email when…
5. Create the rule for ad groups, keywords or ads
Personally, I have had great success in the creation of specific rules regarding the bid for each keyword. By tracking the actual cost per conversion, not only cost per click, I discovered that a viable bidding strategy for Online School is to be in the third position of the inorganic search result.
The reason for not being in the top 1 or 2 is that you then tend to get many clicks from people who don’t read the ad so carefully (cold traffic!). At the same time, if you are on place 5-10, you get much fewer clicks since people go to another site before reading your ad. And if you are not on the first page at all, you typically don’t get any traffic at all.
You cannot force Google to place you in the position you want to be. You can only influence the platform’s decision by how much you bid (max CPC,) and this changes all the time (since other advertisers are bidding for the same keywords.)
It would, hence, take constant updates of your bids if you want to optimize and stay in position 3 (or any other performance metric) for each keyword. But by using the following automated rules, the system will handle this automatically:
The logic behind these rules is:
1. The first rule increases the bid for each keyword that has dropped to a position below 5.
2. The second rule decreases the bid for each keyword that has a better position than 3.
How much to increase/decrease the bids calls for some experimentation. It is also wise to set a cap (maximum bid) you are willing to pay (based on your break-even cost per conversion) and hence, keywords that are too expensive at the moment will automatically not show.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 6:
Put on the Autopilot bidding per keyword to save lots of time
Whether you apply the Autopilot based on position or any other metric (e.g., average CPC) depends on your business model, and it needs to be analyzed. Either way, placing your bid choices on autopilot is a great way to daily optimize your campaigns that do not need your constant attention.
Remember what we discussed earlier of how to conclude your maximum CPC based on what gross margin you get from each sale. By applying your maximum CPC in autopilot mode, you don’t need to worry so much about exceeding your daily budget.
It is instead better to put a high daily budget and let the maximum CPC for each keyword set the cap. This way you don’t risk losing any potential customers since your ads stop showing once your daily budget is reached.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 7:
Release the budget once the business case is proven
Increase Blog Reach Tip 8:
Automatically transfer your Google campaign to Bing/Yahoo
Google AdWords and Bing Ads are not corresponding 100%, but still, you can sync both systems at least 90% automatically! This means that you can start up a Bing Ads account and have all your Google ads showing on Bing/Yahoo directly.
This will enable you to reach approximately 10% more audience which will vary according to market shares per country and will enable lower bids for the same positions (because of less competition) hence, lower cost per conversion compared to Google.
Even though Google today has over 80% market share, this has not always been the case, and it has varied a lot among different markets. For example, Yahoo has traditionally had a much bigger market share in the USA than in Europe. Emerging markets, like Russia and China, have alternative search engines challenging Google domestically.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 9:
Stay up to date with search market shares and trends while you grow
This means that it makes sense to stay up-to-date with search engine trends and market shares while you grow, i.e., with new markets. It can also be worth it to investigate the position of the local yellow pages’ companies in your specific market.
As a general rule, the more “local” your business is, the more interesting it can be to use search engine marketing from yellow pages companies.
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The most important factor is to have trustworthy websites linking to you. Note that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to links.
If you could get one website with a high Page Authority (e.g., 70) to link to your site while not linking to many other sites, this would be worth much more than hundreds of links from sites with low Page Authority and many outgoing links.
So how to get quality links? First of all, there are many websites with high Page Authority where you can be in control of putting a link to your website. Most obvious ones are company pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are also many niche platforms with similar logic. For example, Online School has supported Loans that change lives for a long time. (Kiva is a micro-loans platform for small entrepreneurs in developing countries.) A positive side effect of this is that we have an ongoing link to our team site from there.
Another thing to consider is if you might have additional websites within your network? For instance, maybe you or some of your friends have blogs or their own websites where you can place a link?
Or maybe it is worthwhile to create a separate website which will be easier to get PR links to? You can then transfer most of the Page Authority from this website to your main website (by only having outgoing links to this).
Increase Blog Reach Tip 10:
Post your URL on websites you have direct access to
Thousands of “Open directories” websites exist where you can insert a link to your website manually. Although it is an easy way to get many links, these links tend to have very low value since there are so many outgoing links sharing the “voting.” You also need to consider there is a fine line between an “open directory” and a “link farm.”
We don’t know which websites have been blacklisted by Google but for sure you will come across a few if you use this technique widely. Hence this technique shall either be avoided or only used on websites you are sure to be trustworthy.
Another medium where you can manually insert links is in the comment fields on blogs and forums. This has so far not been considered by Google as something which shall be punished. However, you will most likely be banned by the blog or forum moderators and get a negative impact of your brand if you just push your website without adding any relevant content to the discussion.
The above techniques are all examples of where you can be in control of manually creating links to your website The next level of link generation is to take an active approach in exchanging links with other websites. You start by creating a long list of websites which have both high value (high page rank but low outgoing links) and high probability to get a link from.
One of the best tips to evaluate the “probability” is to check who is linking to your competitors. For example, try the help of Moz's Link Building Research Tool. You then contact the website asking to exchange links. If you have had a website up and running for some time, I am sure you have received an e-mail at some point from a webmaster of another site asking to trade links?
Increase Blog Reach Tip 11:
Actively manage a Link exchange program
Just note there is a fine balance to “manipulate” your incoming links. During recent years Google has created many refinements in their algorithm which affect how high they rank different websites.
One example is that Google now rates how related the content is on the website that links to you is to your content. This means that it is OK to conduct some link exchanges and get links from forums and directories if the sites where the links come from are trustworthy and have relevant content for your website.
Another update in Google’s algorithm is that they today look for and punish websites with “unnatural link patterns.” I had a tough experience with Online School regarding this. Just over a few days, our organic search traffic from Google dropped 30%.
This update downgraded some of the links we got and instead favored competition. Hence, a few of our most strategic keywords dropped below Top10 which had a 30% impact on total organic traffic.
Before the Google update, I had worked actively with tip 15 and tip 16 above. To optimize the values of each link I had used anchor texts (the “clickable” text in the link) which corresponded to our strategic keywords.
For example, almost all links to our top domain had the anchor text “Online camp” while a link to the landing page for Online Camp Algarve had the anchor text “Online camp Algarve.”
The update in Google’s algorithm started to look for what they call “unnatural link patterns”, to be able to discover websites that had manipulated (too much) to gain their incoming links.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 12:
Make sure you have a natural link pattern
Today the SEO community discusses “white hat” vs. “black hat” techniques, where black hat refers to overdoing link exchange, building up link farms, overstuffing links and websites with keywords. The common view is that the days of “black hat” are over and instead website owners need to focus on “white hat” techniques, meaning building fresh quality content and working with PR.
The core concept of “white hat” is to get your website mentioned in articles, blogs and in other online media. This can happen by itself.
The most effective technique is hence to work proactively with PR, either on your own or by engaging a PR-agency. This is often referred to as content marketing and is based on three main tactics you (or your agency) can apply:
1. Create your own articles and blogs related to your business - When the content you write can answer questions that people are looking for you will surely get natural links from other blogs and websites.
2. Engage bloggers to write about you - Or offer to write a guest blog at their website (with a link to you) which must be a “win-win.” Possibly cover the same topics as suggested in the first point, but the content is published on an external site and the link to your website is in the text.
3. Position yourself as an expert in your niche - One great free resource is HARO, Help a reporter out, where you can register as a subject matter expert and be automatically contacted when a reporter is looking for expertise you possess. You can also go one step further and use a PR-agency to write articles about, you which are then offered to a magazine as a freelance article.
Here is a Top 10 example of topics for articles and blogs.
In-depth advice connected with your offering - Additional travel tips when visiting Japan
“How-to” guides - How Online can train their skills even when there are no waves
. Interviews with a celebrity in your niche - Interviews with the Online coach of the national team
Test pilot - Online on an artificial wave in the desert of Dubai
Common “mistakes to be avoided” - Why many Engineers fail to develop their Online skills
News summary - Online news highlights of 2015
Historic event - How the first Online board was invented
Statistics - How many shark attacks on Online occur each year
Case studies - How a student association learned how to Online and party during spring break
Clarifications - Glossary of terms being used in Online and what they actually mean
Note that all of the above topics can be explored fairly easy by yourself if you just make some background check and start building a network in your niche. Neither do they require that you visit different industry events nor that you will be the first one to report on the subject?
Just be sure that you write unique content and just don’t “copy-paste” texts from other websites, as this kind of duplicate content is downgraded by Google.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 13:
Work proactively with PR, to get the most valuable links
Besides producing “text content” in articles and blogs, you can also create more advanced content that will be engaging for people to interact with. For example:
1. Launch a competition
2. Create a free tool, game or plug-in for download
3. Make a quiz or voting poll
4. Create smart Infographics
5. Make a Funny video
All the above can be perceived as valuable to many people and could trigger natural links and social media mentions.
There are many free tools available where you can track how your brand name and website are being mentioned (with and without proper links) on websites and in social media. Test some tools such as Google Alerts or Media Monitoring For Marketers | Influencer Marketing Platform.
Just remember to have an “online” perspective on your PR activities. It is not enough that your company is being mentioned in the article or blog; your target is to get a link (with suitable anchor text!) to your website.
If you are mentioned in an article without a link, it still has some value of brand recognition for the people reading the article. It is also some help for your SEO since Google will associate your brand name with relevant content and trustworthiness; however, it would be much more beneficial for you if there also is a link to your website.
If there is no link, it can be worth it to contact the article author and ask if they will include a link to your website. Accomplish this to increase the value and make more sense for the article readers. Besides receiving links to your website, it has during recent years also become important to get “social endorsements” to rank high on search engines.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 14:
Use social endorsement buttons
In a similar way, your ranking for a specific user can also be influenced by “local factors.” If you have listed the address of your store locations properly on Google My Business, you will rank higher for somebody in close geographic distance to your physical location.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 16:
Use local search ranking factors (listing correct store locations, etc.)
It can also affect the appearance and hence the “clickability” of your search result by showing a Google map with your location directly in the search result.
In summary, having many qualitative incoming links and social endorsements will improve your general ranking. But even if your competitors have higher general page authority, you can still outrank them for specific keywords, if you have better keyword relevance on that specific landing page.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 17:
Avoid duplicate content
It is therefore of great importance that you have as much unique text and pictures on each landing page as possible. Of course, there may be a trade-off between usability and site structure. But it can still be worth it to not use the same generic content on several pages unless they are adding value to the sales funnel.
This also means that you need to choose the most strategic keywords in your organic search effort since it will be very hard to build and manage hundreds of landing pages with totally unique content.
This is the same logic tip 6 - to create separate ads and landing pages for each strategic keyword. In this blog (Organic traffic) we motivate it by choosing the keywords we can get the most “free of charge” traffic for and therefore is worth the effort to create unique content for.
As an example, the landing page structure on Online School is based on the structure:
“Online camp <camp-name>”, for example, “Online campJapan” or “Online camp Mexico”.
There is no unique landing page which has “Online holidayJapan” or “learns to OnlineJapan” as the main keyword since it would be too much effort to create a unique structure (without duplicate data) for these secondary keywords.
This is based on the conclusion that “Online camp” is a more strategic keyword than “Online holiday” and “learn to Online,” based on market size and competition,
The term “Online schoolJapan” (along with the same logic for the remaining 24 Online camps) looks more interesting. Maybe it would be worth the effort to build unique landing pages for it? On the other hand, it can still be targeted as a long tail keyword for the landing page for “Online campJapan” and via paid search traffic.
One common pitfall regarding duplicate content is that your website can be accessed both with and without the www- prefix. The funny thing is that Google and other search engines then consider this as two different websites with the exact duplicate content! Therefore you shall decide which one is the master and use a “301 redirect link” from the second option.
Another way to handle this and other duplication errors that could occur (especially if your site has a search function for several dimensions) is to use what Google calls “canonical” tagging. This means that even if the same content could appear on several pages, you clearly markup which one is the “master page” that the specific content belongs to.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 18:
Use your blog to target additional “long tail” keywords
If the blog post appears to “spammy,” Google could downgrade not only the blog post but your whole domain.
Also, consider that there are three different “objectives” to choose from when writing a blog post:
To get natural links
To capture potential customers searching for “niche keywords”
To use the blog post as endorsements to motivate customers to make a conversion
Besides your landing pages (which are always a target for one main keyword and 3-7 long tail keywords), you would typically have several other pages in your site hierarchy which you do not want to optimize. This can, for example, be in lower hierarchy pages such as in the “about us”-section such as company history or your payment process.
These pages need to exist from a usability point of view but not from a search engine point of view. The risk is that they include some of the keywords from your landing pages (cannibalization) and hence affect the ranking of these landing pages negatively (especially if they are on a lower hierarchy level.)
Increase Blog Reach Tip 19:
Actively manage what sites NOT to be indexed as well
The best way to handle this is to minimize internal links to “non-landing pages” and place the following meta tag into the head section of the page NOT to be indexed: meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”
Things to remember:
Understand what is the size of potential traffic for each keyword Understand how strong the competition is for each keyword
Conclude a site structure based on landing pages which each target 1 strategic keyword and 3-7 long tail keywords
Build and optimize keyword dense landing pages in this structure, avoiding duplicate content
Consider using blog posts to target additional keywords, which are not covered on any landing page
Keep in mind that there will always be a trade-off between user-friendliness and the keyword-driven website structure
Increase Blog Reach Tip 20:
The third main factor affecting how well you rank on Google and other search engines is the site performance. This means how easy and safe it is to access and use your website. The first hygienic factor is to make sure that there are no errors on the website and that you follow the very latest HTML standards.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 21:
Follow the latest HTML standards
This can be easily checked by logging into Google Webmaster Tools. This is free of charge tool that can give you many insights into how your website is being perceived by Google and if there are any issues to be addressed. If you have any issues you will get excellent guidance on how to restore them by following the instructions on Google support pages.
In the last few years, the graphic design and functionality of websites have become more advanced and sophisticated, which increases loading times. In order to address this issue, Google has started to discredit sites that have long loading times.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 22:
Enable high-security level
In July 2018, Google announced that they will place higher and higher weight on security in the organic ranking factor. Specifically, they mentioned that the implementation of basic encryption of the data using HTTPS (instead of HTTP) will affect ranking more and more.
Another factor of your site performance is that it is working well on different platforms, including smartphones and tablets with various screen sizes. This can have a big effect on your conversion rate for these devices.
So, you have been successful in optimizing the equation: Page Rank x Keyword Relevance x Site Performance.
Chances are high that you have outperformed enough competitors to appear on Google’s first page (Top10). Congratulations!
However, it is not enough to be visible on Top10 organic search list; potential customers must also choose to click on your listing (and not a competitor’s) to actually come to your site and make a conversion. Hence, the fourth important factor to consider is “clickability”.
What makes you click on a search result? Using common sense, it shall be a clear title and description to confirm that the site contains what you are looking for.
However, there may be a trade-off between making a website “clickable” and optimizing it to rank high on Google. So, if you are “too strategic” when inserting your keywords (e.g., the title and meta description of the landing pages) this will make much more sense for the search engine, than for a human who prefers that which does not feel contrived.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 23:
Find the best trade-off between writing headline and intro for Robots vs. Real users
The good news is that Google also takes the click-through rate (CTR) into considerations in the rankings. This means that if you get many people to click on your listing, it will over time appear higher in the search result.
A best practice is to include a “unique selling point” (USP) in the meta description. Here are a few examples:
Travel insurance - Get a price quote in 30 seconds!
Design cufflinks - Free delivery worldwide!
Ergonomic pillows - 100% money back guarantee the first year!
Google also considers the “dwell time,” meaning how long time an average visitor spends on your site before going back to the search result. It is hence very important that you keep “the promise” you make in the search result.
One factor that has been sort of a revolution for “clickability” is rich snippets.
Increase Blog Reach Tip 24:
START WITH FB ADS
A good performance for a like campaign will be the U.S. likes for under $.25 per like, and international English-speaking countries at under $.10 per like, with everyone else performing under $.05 per like. If your like campaigns are not performing at these numbers, continue testing new ads until you find the perfect ads for your business.
Then it is good to run ads to your fans and friends of fans with a very low or free offer they might be interested in. A low offer could be something for free, or a very low priced offer with a huge benefit.
Again, test to find out what is working for your business and try to scale the successes and learn from the failures. The more interested the people are in your offers, the more likely they will be to sign up to your email list and take further action with your business.
Use retargeting ads through Facebook to give a secondary offer, if the first offer was looked at but not signed up for. Keep this window narrow, as you do not want to be wasting money after 10 days if they have not taken action with your offers yet. After the sign-up to the first offer, start advertising your next offer in the sequence, perhaps a free workshop or another action that you want the prospect to take.
Note: at this point, it is a good idea to start qualifying leads with scorecards or questionnaires. You do not want to continue spending money in advertising and nurturing the lead if they are the wrong prospect for your business.
This is an excellent time to remind you that we have training on ScaleUP Academy where we show you exactly what is working right now in our business, and we have free workshops that you or your employees can attend online to learn how to master Facebook ads for your company.
I always ask new clients, “Which social media platform do you want to be the best at?”
Often I hear the response, “All of them. I want to have more followers than my competition.”
Although I love ambition, we need to find a place to start. And I recommend Facebook. Become the best at Facebook and all the other profiles can follow. This is not to say that you will not be posting anywhere else, no. Just focus your concentration mostly on Facebook to start, set up Facebook Ads for success and then move onto the next platform.
Why Facebook? Because Facebook has access to an extremely large audience and the ad network is very easy to master, once you know the expert secrets to master Facebook ads. You can find our strategies all at ScaleUP Academy. Also, Facebook is excellent for video, which can be a huge asset to your business in the future.
If you are not currently leveraging video in your business, you need to get started ASAP. The video is an excellent way to educate, inspire and sell to your potential buyers. We have people finding our videos every day and buying products from us, and you can set up the same systems for your company too.
Some businesses can find massive success through Facebook and YouTube, while Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be working better in other industries. Regardless of your business, take a look at what your competition is doing and identify opportunities to prospect for new leads through each platform.
Take massive action and test everything! Come up with new ideas and never rule out something just after testing once.
Fact is, I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising over the years, and I have learned what works and doesn’t work. However, sometimes I am surprised when I would think something is guaranteed to perform well, but somehow it fails.
After spending all this money, I am still just making educated guesses, and I am testing theories that I believe will work. You can do the same thing, and with time and experience, you will be able to become a master in advertising just like so many others across the world.