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    100 Steps To More Website Visitors

    Hi I'm Amanda Cookson. As a wedding advice blogger , it’s vital my website is found by as many brides-to-be as possible. That way - I can help more of them!

    Last month I decided to undertake a bit of a personal challenge, and get 6,500 visitors to my website. Then in late May, fate intervened. I came across this post of 100 little things to pump up your online business by Katrina Ward in the Network NZ Bloggers group. The post really resonated with me, and I realised I could use a similar strategy to Katrina, to work on my goal. The only difference is that instead of doing it over 100 days (and doing one task a day), I decided to try get all 100 tasks done within a month, since I knew it was a quiet month work-wise for me.

    Getting 100 ideas was hard. I had to jot down things I thought might not work, or I was uncomfortable doing - because otherwise I wouldn’t get to 100 ideas! This took me way out of my comfort zone. One of the big themes for me was that I need to get myself out there more. You can’t be afraid of sharing your message with people.

    Before you begin devouring the list, please note that lots of items on this list are quite long term tasks. They are things that will improve your website's ranking in search engines - which does take time. Don’t be discouraged though, all good things take time and if you don’t hit your traffic goal in the first 100 days, maybe you’ll have a better chance of getting there in the next 100 days!

    A big chunk of the strategy I have used is SEO - or Search Engine Optimisation. Good old Google uses traffic to your website as a way to determine how useful it is. So the more traffic you get, the more likely you are to turn up in search results. Hence why I wanted to get a healthy injection of traffic to my site, and why I’ve focused a lot on keeping Mr Google happy with good SEO practice.

    The advice and suggestions in this post will help anyone who has an online presence, so don’t be put off if you don’t have a blog - you might just have to think about how you can apply those ideas to your own circumstances. Note, I use Wordpress for my site, so some of the site optimisation things are Wordpress-specific, however you shouldn’t be put off if you’re on something different as I’m sure there’s applicable alternatives for you. If there’s not, change! SEO is THAT important.

    If you haven’t got Google Analytics (GA) installed already, task zero of this list is to install it on your site. Lots of the suggestions rely on having data about your website, and GA is a really powerful tool for this. When I reference a “popular post” or similar, I know it’s popular because it gets the most visitors, not because I am proud of it, or because it *seems* popular.

    Deep breath - here we go!

    General Social Networking

    1.  Make sure all your social media profiles are fresh and include links to your website (include any profiles you don’t regularly use including Google+, LinkedIn etc).

    2.  Post funny and relevant memes to social media (I save them to my phone as I come across them) - include a link to a relevant post in the text area

    3.  Create your own memes and share on social media - make sure your website is on the picture and in the description

    4.  Find other people who are in your niche and swap shoutouts/posts on social media or to their email list. Network NZ is a great place to make connections like this.

    Utilise Your Network NZ Membership

    5.  Participate in and share your latest posts in the Network NZ Facebook groups.

    6.  Complete your Network NZ Directory Listing - or give it a refresh if it has been a while.

    7.  Add the NNZ Foundation Member logo as a link on your site (log in at www.networknz.nz to view and download).

    8.  Adding an offer for members only on the Network NZ website (log in to the members area to view and create offers).

    9.  Join the Network NZ Bloggers group and post your blog, get feedback and learn/

    10. Write a guest post for the Network NZ blog!

    Facebook

    11. Participate in comment swaps in blogging Facebook groups - great way to meet other bloggers and read different types of posts for ideas.

    12. Post blog posts to your business Facebook page when published.

    13. Schedule blog posts to my business Facebook page for a couple of weeks after publishing (not everyone will see it the first time you post it).

    14. Post newly published blog posts to your private Facebook group.

    15. Ask people in the private Facebook group what they want me to write about.

    16. Comment with a link to your blog post if someone asks a relevant question in a private Facebook group.

    17. Find new relevant Facebook groups and introduce yourself, posting a link to your website (make sure it’s within the rules first and be helpful, not spammy).

    18. Create a Facebook offer for free stuff and use your website as the base for them to visit to claim the offer.

    19. Share links from your other Facebook pages (or hit up friends who run pages to share for you)

    20. Try a Facebook Live video to promote a topical blog post. I tracked it by sharing a unique website address when I did a quick 2 minute video in my private Facebook community. I got 24 visits to my website. Now I just need to have the confidence to do more!

    21. Encourage social shares - enlist friends and your network to share your website.

    Instagram

    22. Make sure you promote your latest blog post on Instagram, and include a direct link in your bio.

    23. Use HashMe app to find different hashtags to use (get more exposure = get more traffic).

    24. Nominate yourself as a Girlboss on Instagram

    25. Post an intro post and link to my About page on Instagram.

    Pinterest

    26. Add a Pinnable image to your most popular posts. Pinnable images are tall, high quality images that suit Pinterest’s format. See this one of mine for example (it has been repinned nearly 600 times).

    27. Pin each of your post’s images to Pinterest. Use Tailwind to bulk schedule pins from your website. Tailwind is a tool that helps you pin in bulk and spreads them out to the optimal time. (Get a $15 credit if you use this affiliate link).

    28. Pin your post’s best images to Pinterest group boards - this will expose your pins to a wider audience. Find & join some relevant group boards.

    29. Install a Pin Hover button - encourages more people to Pin your images

    30. Repin older pins from your website to encourage new shares. You can see all the pins from your website by typing in https://nz.pinterest.com/source/(your website address)

    Lesser used Social Media and Websites

    31. Post on LinkedIn’s platform, “Pulse” and link through to your website (I wrote about the lost art of the thank you note here)

    32. Create a slideshare presentation for one of your more popular posts, especially if it’s a how-to or DIY style post.

    33. Find question on Quora and post answers with a link to relevant blog posts

    34. Submit to StumbleUpon (install the toolbar to make this easy) - I received an extra 200 visitors over the month from doing this.

    35. Google “[your industry] directory” or similar, and add your website to free directories.

    36. Enter blogging competitions - like the monthly competitions on the Network NZ Bloggers Facebook group. Get great feedback and maybe win a prize!

    Networking via Blogs

    37. Comment on other relevant blogs with useful thoughts (don’t spam - try to establish a relationship).

    38. Respond to the comments that you receive on your blog posts. It makes your commenters feel appreciated when you take the time to reply and they may come back and visit again.

    39. Participate in Link Parties - for example on a Friday visit the Happy Mum Happy Child website and add a relevant blog post.

    Use What You Have

    40. Refresh older guest posts with a new intro, imagery and republish. Let the original author know it’s been republished - they may share it again on their social media.

    41. Install Revive Old Post to regularly share your older posts with Twitter and LinkedIn (can also set up to share to Facebook, but I prefer to do this myself).

    42. Record videos and upload to Youtube. Include a short description about the video and a link to your blog post in the description.

    43. Embed the youtube video on the blog post (people will watch, keeping them on your site for longer - good for SEO).

    44. You can upload these videos to Facebook too! Make sure to add a link to the post.

    45. Upload short versions of your video to Instagram.

    46. If you have another website/business that you’re running, be sure to include a link between the two in a natural way.

    47. Run a giveaway hosted on your website (ask people to leave a comment, run a treasure hunt)

    48. Check Google Analytics for your “Referrers” - other websites who are already sending traffic to your website. Promote them on social media or by linking on your website, where possible (more traffic to them means more traffic to you - “a rising tide raises all ships”)

    Optimise Your Website

    49. Use https://tools.pingdom.com/ to determine how fast your website is going currently.

    50. Make things go faster - I installed “WP Smush” and compressed my images to make my website run faster.

    51. Freshen up your Wordpress site by installing and running “WP-Optimize”.

    52. Add a “Related Content Plugin” at the bottom of blog posts - more visits to different pages.

    53. Deactivate any unused Wordpress plugins.

    54. Test your website again at https://tools.pingdom.com/ (thanks Leah Harold from Little Biz Online, Word Press Network NZ Expert for suggesting deactivating unused plugins & the website to test for speed).

    55. Create a “Start Here” page on your main menu, so newbies can learn more about your website and direct them to introductory posts or your popular articles.

    56. Update your About page and include links to relevant blog posts.

    57. Link top posts into a sidebar widget (if you run Jetpack, they have a widget that can do this dynamically for you).

    58. Identify posts with the highest bounce rates in Google Analytics and add relevant internal links to retain traffic. A high bounce rate tells Google that page may not be high quality, so we want to get people staying on your site for a while once they’ve arrived.

    59. Crosslink your blog posts (go back and see what pages and blog posts have a natural link to each other and make sure there’s an internal connection).

    Paid Advertising

    60. Run paid Facebook ads to your most popular blog posts (if you’ve got it set up, use retargeting to exclude people who’ve already visited your website).

    61. Run ad to sign up for freebie on your website (capture emails for your email list too - so you can email them your new posts).

    62. Utilise Facebook remarketing for new posts (use retargeting to stop the ad displaying for people who’ve already read the article - or get Facebook to show your new posts to regular readers who aren’t likers).

    63. Set up Google Adwords and send traffic to popular posts (especially ones where people sign up to your email list and/or spend a lot of time and visit other pages).

    64. Check site has been submitted to Yahoo/Bing.

    65. A couple of days after you submit your website to Bing, they may send you a $100 voucher for paid advertising on Bing. Use it :) I got another 90 visitors this way.

    Content Creation

    66. Go to Google Webmaster Tools, then click Search Traffic - Search Analytics. Note down the most popular queries that come up. This is what people are clicking on your website to find it.

    67. Do these phrases apply to current blog post? If not, it’s an opportunity for a blog post topic.

    68. Use Keyword Planner to research more ideas for blog posts and useful keywords.

    69. Use Google trends to come up with more ideas for posts.

    70. Get ideas for headlines and descriptions from the AdWords ads or “related searches” at the bottom of the page, when you search for your latest blog topic in Google.

    71. Add alternative phrases and keywords you’ve researched into existing content. For example, instead of repeating the same phrase 5 times in one blog post, have it in there three times, and an alternative phrase twice.

    72. Search Google for a keyword you tend to use (say, “wedding planning to do list”. Scroll to the bottom and see the list of different search terms Google has for that search term: “wedding planning checklist”, “list of things you need for a wedding” etc. These are all different keywords/terms you can either add into existing content - or create new content around that term.

    73. Search Buzzsumo for popular posts in your niche, and figure out how you could write a better post (so if the top post was “10 wedding favour ideas”, write a post called ”65 wedding favour ideas”).

    74. While you’re there, Buzzsumo is also good way to find other people’s articles to share on social media (the more interaction you get on social media, the more your posts will be seen by others - we are playing the long game here, it’s okay not to send every single click to your website).

    75. Search Buzzsumo for your website’s 5 most popular posts (good way to find out if you are not Analytics-savvy - although I have found the posts I get the most traffic from don’t get mentioned by Buzzsumo at all!).

    76. Use Winmill Creative’s 13 content ideas to help brainstorm topics - use the topics for blog posts, not just Facebook posts!

    77. Brainstorm some different angles you could take on your top performing posts.

    78. Use these angles to pitch a guest blog for someone else’s website, and link it back to your website or a freebie where possible.

    79. Post more frequently (use some of the content ideas we’ve brainstormed above). You can’t get people to your website more than once by sharing the same old blog post every day, you need new, awesome content.

    Email Lists

    80. On email thank you page, rather than referring them off site (with link to join to your Facebook Group for example), list the top 5 blog posts they might want to read/

    81. Update email autoresponders - I’m adding in a few more relevant links to blog posts I’ve written since I first wrote the autoresponder series. If you don’t have one, create one!

    82. Send your new posts to your email list.

    83. Add to the bottom of your emails “If you’ve enjoyed this, please forward to a friend who will find it useful”.

    84. Run a survey and embed the survey form on your website, so people have to go to your site to enter it. Also a good way to get more content ideas (I’m allll about the content!)

    SEO

    85. Do a SEMRush site audit and see what improvements you could make.

    86. Check SEO for free and see what improvements you could make.

    87. Opensite Explorer and look at where your main competitors getting links from. Good way of figuring out who to potentially approach for guest posting opportunities.

    88. Check site has been submitted to Google.

    89. In Google Search console, go to Search Traffic, Search Analytics and tick “Position”. Note down pages that are ranked between 11-30 (especially those with high impressions) - these are mid-ranked pages.

    90. Look for pages that are ranked between 1-10 with high impressions (there is probably not as many) - these are high-ranked pages.

    91. Add links to mid-ranked pages from high-ranked pages where relevant.

    92. Rename images to reflect the actual content of the images so Google knows what they are.

    93. Use headings and format with H2-H4 tags throughout your posts.

    94. Complete the meta description for each blog post.

    95. Add links to external websites within your blog posts to establish credibility and back up what you are saying.

    In Person Networking

    96. Become your own biggest fan - mention what you do and hand out your business card whenever you talk to someone (I tend to avoid talking about what I do so this will be hard).

    97. Do some in-person networking and share your website.

    98.Sponsor something - give away a prize to a charity event in return for marketing.

    99. Look for an opportunity to write a press release - get some free publicity.

    Establish Good Habits

    100. Take what has worked and develop a standard set of tasks to do each time you publish a blog post, so you establish good blog-post-promo habits.

    Summary

    Phew! Still with me? Good! I know there is a lot there, but if you challenge yourself to try one thing a day, you will find it a lot easier. The next step (task 101, if you will, is to pick what worked best for getting more traffic (Facebook, Pinterest, emails, writing more content) and brainstorm 100 new ways to improve that aspect for another set of 100 days. For example, if you found Pinterest seemed to work well for traffic (personally, it’s my best traffic source) - then think of 100 ways that you can improve your Pinterest.

    And about my challenge - I missed my goal, but only just. I got 6,300 visitors which is over 1,000 more than I had the month prior - so I’d say this experiment was a success.

    Good luck!

    This blog was written by Amanda Cookson from Southern Bride. You can find her on both Instagram and Facebook

    What do you think of this awesome list? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Please add them in the comments below.