In this post I’m going to show you how to get more traffic to your website using a simple 4-step formula.
You’ll also see real life examples of how I used this formula to take Backlinko to 119k unique visitors per month.
Let’s dive right in…
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The #1 Struggle Online Business Owners Face Today…
When you sign up for the Backlinko newsletter for the first time, you get this email from me:
As you can see, the first thing I ask is:
“What’s the #1 thing you’re struggling with?”
To date, I’ve asked over 57,000 new subscribers this question…
…and have received thousands of replies.
And I tend to get the same response again and again:
“How can I increase my website traffic?”
In fact, here’s a reply I got the other day from Christine:
Christine is absolutely right. Traffic is a common problem…
The Truth About Driving Traffic to Your Website in 2017 (and Beyond)
I probably don’t need to tell you that traffic is the lifeblood of any online business.
No traffic, no leads.
No leads, no sales.
No sales, no business.
Despite the fact that targeted traffic is so important, when most people log into Google Analytics, they see something like this:
Flat as a pancake.
If so, I want you to know that you’re far from alone.
Today there are 164 million blogs online…
…71% get fewer than 5,000 visitors per month.
That’s less than 200 visits per day.
Unless you’re a conversion Jedi, it’s almost impossible to turn 200 daily visitors into a thriving online business.
Even if you already get “enough” traffic, I can guarantee you that you have the potential to boost your traffic by 2x, 3x, or even 10x from where it is today.
Well that’s the 4-step process I’ll go over later in today’s post.
Why People Struggle to Generate Traffic…and Convert That Traffic Into Customers
Here’s the deal:
Backlinko may generate over 100,00 unique monthly visitors today, but this success came after I struggled for YEARS.
In fact, the first site that I launched in 2008 was in the nutrition space. And it failed.
On paper this site should have been a home run for me.
After all, I had a Masters Degree in nutrition from Tufts University and a solid year of clinical experience under my belt (here’s me at graduation with my Dad):
My credentials meant I could produce “great content” that cited research studies. I could also use real world examples from my time working in hospitals and clinics in Boston.
And that’s exactly what happened:
I published some of the best nutrition content online at the time.
I mean, who else was taking scientific research and translating it into bite-sized nutrition tips?
There was only one problem:
No one cared.
Was I publishing “great content”? Sure.
Did I promote it? You bet.
Was my blog updated at least once per week? Like clockwork.
What was the problem?
The fact that I didn’t publish the RIGHT CONTENT.
What is The Right Content, you ask?
The Right Content is:
Content that generates traffic, leads and (most importantly) sales.
Content that gets you traffic from Google.
Content that establishes YOU as an expert (and someone people want to buy from).
In other words, rock solid content that you can build a business on top of.
Because when you do that, everything changes…
How I Went From “Oh Crap!” to “Hell Yeah!”
Since I discovered how to create The Right Content, everything in my life and business changed.
Now, instead that sinking feeling in my stomach that I used to get when I logged into Google Analytics, I get butterflies.
Here are Backlinko’s traffic stats from last month:
But keep this in mind:
These aren’t 151,749 tire kickers. A good chunk of these people are interested in my products and services.
In fact, even though enrollment for SEO That Works only open two or three times a year, I get emails like this every week:
Because I attract people that want to invest in my training products, I’ve quickly turned Backlinko from a blank WordPress installation into a highly profitable business.
And that luxury gives me the opportunity to live my life on my own terms.
At the drop of a hat, I can go skiing in Canada or in Japan.
Or strap on a Speedo and sit on a beach in Thailand.
(I’m kidding about the Speedo…or am I? 🙂 )
In fact, a few months ago my girlfriend turned to me and said: “Honey, let’s go to Italy”.
So we packed our bags and took off. No arrangements. No phone calls with clients. We just went.
We saw the sights, ate lots of gluten…and I grew a beard:
Whether you own an ecommerce site, run a digital marketing agency, sell software, or are a full time blogger, you need content that brings in targeted traffic.
In other words, traffic that converts into leads and sales.
To do that, you need to rank for keywords that your customers search for every day.
Here’s the 4-step process to do just that…
Use This 4-Step Process to Get More Targeted Traffic, Leads and Sales From SEO
There’s no other way to say this:
Most content published today isn’t designed to maximize shares, traffic and customers.
And, yes, that even includes most “great content”.
Because there’s a BIG difference between “great content” and The Right Content.
And once you know what that difference is, and how to leverage it, you’ll be ahead of 90% of your competitors.
With that, let’s jump into the 4-step process for creating The Right Content.
Step #1: Find Influential People In Your Niche
This traffic tip is HUGE.
Unless you describe your target customers as “influential bloggers and journalists”, your target audience isn’t going to share your content.
And if they don’t share your content, you’re not going to increase traffic to your website.
There’s a simple reason for that:
Your target customers don’t run websites in your niche!
The content on my old nutrition site was aimed at people looking to lose weight.
My target audience? They loved it.
Unfortunately, the influencers in my niche — like health and fitness bloggers — thought my content was way too basic and “rapid fire”.
These influential people share in-depth articles.
That’s one of the reasons Steve Kamb at NerdFitness succeeded where I failed.
His in-depth, 3,000-word blog posts…
….like his Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting)…
….attracts links from influential health and fitness bloggers with ease. Not to mention thousands of shares on social media.
Bottom line: Publishing content that appeals to your target customer isn’t enough. You need content that your influencers want to share with their audience.
But to create content that appeals to influencers, you need to find out who they are.
Once you’ve identified the influential people in your industry, it’s time for step #2…
Step #2: Find Out What Your Influencers Care About
After you know exactly who the influencers in your space are, it’s time to figure out what they care about.
Because once you understand which topics push their buttons, you can create content that appeals to them.
A few years ago I created an infographic for a client in the investing niche.
Even though that niche is far from “interesting”, our infographic went viral. We’re talking thousands of targeted visits in the first two days.
Here’s the infographic:
Now there are dozens of reasons this infographic did so well, from the design to the content promotion campaign.
But a good chunk of its success was due to one simple thing:
It appealed to the influencers in the personal finance space.
I noticed that a lot of high-powered financial bloggers were up in arms about inflation:
So I decided to create an infographic that highlighted the problem they cared so much about.
And it worked GREAT.
Bottom line: If you want influential people to share your content, you need to know what topics they care about most.
Step #3: Create Content On That Topic
Once you have a topic that your influencers care about, it’s time roll up your sleeves and create content around that topic.
Here’s an example from real life:
A few months ago I published a post called 21 SEO Techniques You Can Use Today to Get More Search Engine Traffic:
The post was a huge hit. To date its generated over 113,000 organic search engine visitors.
(Not to mention and 2,136 new email subscribers)
Like the infographic I mentioned earlier, there was a lot that went into this post’s success (including the Share Triggers I’ll cover in a minute).
But the post did well largely because it covered topics influencers in my niche cared about.
For example, I couldn’t help but notice that more and more bloggers in the SEO space were talking about broken link building.
So I led off the post with a few advanced broken link building tips:
Even though a good chunk of my target audience hadn’t ever heard of broken link building, my influencers had.
So I put that tip first.
Bottom line: When you create content, it needs to appeal to the influential people in your niche.
Once you’ve finished the first draft of your content, it’s time for the most important step….
Step #4: Finally, Add Share Triggers (This Is the Secret Sauce)
In my experience, content largely succeeds or fails based on one factor:
Whether or not the content has Share Triggers.
What are Share Triggers?
They’re scientifically-backed psychological principles that — when embedded in your content — encourage people to share and link.
Also, Share Triggers give your content that “WOW!” factor that turns cold traffic into leads and customers.
A lot of these principles were first discovered by behavioral scientists like Dr. Jonah Berger, Dr. Katherine Milkman and Jure Leskovec.
And they’ve proven in the lab what I discovered through trial-and-error:
When you include Share Triggers in your content, people are significantly more likely to link and share it.
One of the most powerful Share Triggers is Social Currency.
Social Currency is the idea that we share things that make us look good. And this Share Trigger is a large part of the reason that the Shrinking Dollar infographic did so well.
Yes, the infographic was on a topic was near and dear to hearts of personal finance bloggers (inflation).
But more important than that, the infographic confirmed what they were already saying: inflation is a big problem.
Specifically, my content backed up their rants with meaty data:
Every time an influencer shared my infographic with their audience, it boosted their Social Currency.
So they shared it. Again and again.
It even got included in Google News thanks to a feature in The Christian Post.
All because I strategically added the Social Currency Share Trigger into my content.
Bottom Line: Including Share Triggers in your content significantly boosts the odds that it will generate shares, backlinks and traffic.
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