Are you stuck? Is your website traffic not improving despite writing quality content week in and week out? If yes, then this article might just help you.
Quality content with a good frequency is the best way to achieve success in blogging. But sometimes it happens so that even after giving it your best in terms of content creation, your website traffic seems to be non-improving or very little seems to be happening.
I was in a similar situation a few months back. I manage ciphertrick.com where I write stuff about programming. I love doing it, so content creation has never been a problem but for some reason, after growing well my website traffic seemed stuck.
I looked around the web, discussed it with a few bloggers and then finally decided it was time to make few changes to my blog setup.
The changes I made worked and I saw immediate results. Although, I can't be as to which exact change had what exact impact. But It WORKED!! My page views grew by a whopping 40%.
Today I decide to share with you guys all the tinkering I did step by step. So that it may be of help to you as well.
Before we go any further, let me stop and mentions the end-result of these upgrades which indirectly led to the increase in my page views.
It boils down to two things.
- Significantly improved performance.
- Better engagement strategy.
Hosting (Digital Ocean)
I had my website hosted on Godaddy shared hosting. With resource level 3 (upgraded to maximum). It cost me a bit above 10$/MO. I did always felt my website took a bit of time to load at first. And when this happened I knew straight away I had to try something else.
A bit of study, comparisons and I decided to switch to Digital Ocean. And since I'm a developer myself I could have easily set it up for myself. DO also offers great plans that are ideal for bloggers like us. I went with a 10$ droplet.
I would recommend you guys to try it out and if you have a problem setting it up you can always use a bit of assistance from one of you developer friend :)
Web server (Nginx)
Moving to cloud allowed me to have my own server setup. I moved to Nginx, which is known for its awesome caching and speedy delivery. More performance gains. :)
Added a CDN (Cloudflare)
I also added a cdn(Content delivery Network) from more caching and speedier content delivery. Going with CloudFlare was a no brainer, it is free but at the same time a well-established player.
Google's Matched Content
I use Google Adsense to generate some revenue from my blog. Recently a few months back Google came up with a new type of unit. They call it Matched Content.
Matched Content basically promotes articles from your own website that are closely related to the current page. This improves your site's page views, reader loyalty, the time spent on your site, ad impressions, and also the ad revenue.
Google says that its experiment shows that Matched content increases the number of page views by 9% and time spent on the site by 10%.
Smart Internal linking
I have seen bloggers focus on gaining backlinks in order to increase domain authority. But while doing so, they forget the value of internal links. Internal links can be an effective way to keep your audience on your website longer, increase engagement and ultimately page view.
- Also see: How to reduce your website load time.
The above link is a smartly placed internal link. It's related to the current topic and might interest the audience thereby making them click. (Unrelated topics won't work)
I placed these on all of my articles where ever it was suitable.
Automated Content Sharing
Content sharing on social media was a problem for me, and I never enjoyed doing it manually. So we decided to build a tool that will automate this. We named it Spark.
Spark helps me to automatically share my old articles on facebook pages and also on twitter. This drives traffic to older posts from social media and also improves social media engagement.
We have made Spark available as a service. It's free and it's in beta. Get started with it right now.
These were the major steps I took which I believe were pivotal in increasing my website performance, engagement and thereby page views.
Apart from these, I did a few more things which I'll list below. But I can't say with assurance how effective were these in terms of increasing the page views.
Plugins slow down the website. I removed the unwanted ones. Trimmed down to 10 from 19.
It is said that the shorter the URL the better. I had my blog hosted on a sub-domain, code.ciphertrick.com. I moved it to the main domain viz. ciphertrick.com
So this was a summary of the things I did which helped me increase engagement and page views. The content was always there but there was a huge gap to capitalize on via performance gains and better engagement strategy. Not to mention this also led to an increased Adsense revenue. Try these out on your blogs, I'm sure it will benefit you.
One of the key things in improving the load times is reduced TTFB(Time to first Byte). My friend Shahid Shaikh who is also a blogger helped me lower it. We will shortly have a separate article on how we can reduce it and how it helps to improve website performance. Stay Tuned!