Anyone reading this blog knows that I won’t keep a tight lip for one second about the importance of maintaining a weekly (at least) blog to the benefit of your website’s SEO and Social Media performances. If you’ve found this most recent edition then it seems you indeed are doing so and for that you receive my applause. However many of you are frustrated with the lack of success of your blog when it comes to referral traffic metrics. You may very well be penning engaging and informative (and even search engine optimized) articles for the masses yet the masses are not finding them as quickly as you would like. Fret not because the solution can be found from the moment that you hit publish on your blog post. Follow the 5 steps below the minute after you have published your most recent article and the referral traffic will arrive.
Boost Referral Traffic to Your Business’ Blog with These Five Post-Publishing Steps
1. Distribute on LinkedIn Before Other Networks (B2B)
If you are a B2B then the first thing you should do is distribute the newly published post to your LinkedIn network. As a B2B it is assumed that you have your current and prospective customers connected to you (either person-to-person or via your company page) so they need to see this post above and beyond everyone else in the social stratosphere. Taking these best practices for businesses on LinkedIn into consideration post an update to LinkedIn using your personal profile, then using your company page, and then subsequently have employees (those that have opted-in to posting on behalf of the business) like/share the post. For a B2B LinkedIn offers access to a highly qualified referral traffic source – use it to your advantage. For those businesses that are B2C you should still consider LinkedIn as an important blog post distribution channel, but it will need to relate to the audience in some way so that the post is not spammy. In this scenario (B2C) you will need to append a comment to the update that provides a reason as to why you felt sharing the blog post would be of benefit to them and/or their own customers.
2. Schedule 5 Tweets Per Day for the Week of the Newly Published Post
The next thing you should do is hit your HootSuite account to schedule distribution of your new blog post on Twitter. Depending upon your target market the tweets should be spread out evenly throughout the day when your audience is listening. B2B’s should take advantage of the AM widow (one at 7:30 AM and one at 8:30 AM), lunch-hour (one at 12:30 PM), and at the end of the business day (one at 4:30 PM and one at 5:30 PM). Once again this time frame of distribution depends upon the nature of your business. If your customer base makes purchase decisions in the early evening (for dining, travel, etc…) then you should concentrate your tweets during the leisure hours of the day. If your blog is published once per week then maintain this schedule to distribute the newly published post for the entire duration between one article and the next. Remember, these tweets should not be your only ones in that 18 hour (or so) per-day window, the remaining three to six tweets for the day should be used to better engage your audience in other ways (contests, etc…).
3. Distribute the Blog Post Once on Your Facebook Page at the Optimal Time
It’s time to hop on your Facebook Page. Now if you were to Google “best times of the week to post on facebook” you will find a slew of “scientific” studies that absolutely contradict one another. It is truly irritating how industry experts have failed you so. Go through your Page’s News Feed timeline to identify patterns for when your audience engagement was highest. Look at the “This post was served to ## people” number. The higher this is the greater the accounting of likes, shares, and comments attached to each post likely are. This is the only way to truly gauge the best time of the day to distribute your most recent blog article and garner referral traffic from Facebook. Experts be damned. If your business is relatively new on Facebook, or has had little success with it, then you can use the common sense approach (which is backed by more than a few of these expert studies) that dictates that you should be posting on Facebook to encourage engagement (and thus referral traffic) towards the end of the work week when consumers have already mentally “checked-out” and pass the time with a visit to their News Feeds. Thursday and Friday afternoons simply make sense for all brand offerings (B2B and B2C), but is especially true if your business appeals to a leisure audience in any way.
4. Post the Blog Post’s Featured Image on Pinterest and Tumblr
First, make sure that you are using photos to complement your articles and even inspire your blog posts. By using rich-media you not only add SEO and readership value to your posts you open access to very important social networks that can bring in additional referral traffic – Pinterest and Tumblr. Install the Pin It button to your laptop/mobile so that you can pin the post’s eye-catching featured image to your Pinterest board which will automatically link it back to your website. Once you’ve distributed the work on Pinterest head on over to Tumblr and post the original image to your Tumblr page. Use the linking tool found when hovering over the top right-hand corner of the image you are about to post AND write an engaging comment in the allotted area which allows for another linking opportunity. Tumblr posts are also more successful when using well-placed hashtags. If you are reading this and you do not have a Pinterest or Tumblr account…then you know what to do.
5. Find Forum Discussions that Your Newly Published Blog Post Can Add Value To
Finally, comb the web for forum discussions on the topic/s that your recently published blog articles address. Set up Google Alerts for various topics that relate to your business to help follow these discussions. Also visit Reddit frequently to observe these conversations. When questions are posed within any of these forums where the contents of your blog article directly answers or adds value as a response then you are justified by providing the link. However, don’t just drop the link in there in the hopes that users will click on it, as in “visit (link) to view the answer…” as you’ll likely get flagged for spamming. Instead, answer the query in a succinct manner within in your comment and THEN encourage readers to click through to learn more, as in “I hope the above answered your question, however if you wish to gain further insight the complete article can be found here (link)“. This tactic can be VERY effective in brining your blog referral traffic.
Keep the above 5-step process in mind after you’ve hit that “publish” button on your blog and you’ll reap the benefits of referral traffic in no time at all.