8 Reasons why you Should NOT Start your own Business
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August 10, 2017

This is how I Grew my Traffic by Almost 200% in Just 30 Days

Hi, in this post I have to share some exciting news and amazing results I got from my blog. You have read the headline right,  I grew my traffic by almost 200% in just 30 days. Read on to find out how.

One of the best things of online business is the ability to work with and for amazing people around the world. Being an online business consultant, I was able to meet and help small business owners grow their online business by developing and optimizing their web sites and harnessing the potential of social media presence.

Through my career, working with different types of businesses helped me learn so much, and I am grateful for that.

But, you know how it is, working with clients and concentrating on their websites, blogs, traffic, social media, strategies, and tactics, leaves us less time to devote to our own business. Now let me get to the point.

This is how I Grew my Traffic by Almost 200% in 30 Days

Short recap

I started my blog in 2015 as a hobby and casually published content in my free time. Most of the content was rubbish and during 2016 I published just a couple of posts and I was more concentrated on my freelancing web design business.

So for most of 2016, I published almost nothing and my blog died, my traffic went down.

In the beginning of 2017, actually, in February, I started publishing and writing content with more determination and I decided to write and publish at least once per week.

Those posts were mostly how to’s, top 10-top 20 posts, that were not engaging enough.

In June 2017 I shifted my content focus from casual web design related stuff to write more about my personalized experience and insights of running and growing a small business.

My focus and strategy are to publish content and share my experience regarding small business and online business. That includes topics like starting and running a blog, growing traffic, social media marketing, website optimization and similar.

Changing my focus changed my own idea about my blog. I realized that my blog is not only some content I put out there.

Rather it is the core of my online business, it is an integral part of my business and long term strategy. After realizing that, I changed my content strategy for next eighteen months, and I have titles for my next blog posts.

I used to write time-related content so after month or two, when the buzz words are out of fashion the content was not relevant anymore.

Now I changed my content strategy and to write content which will be more evergreen. I started writing more strategically and in more structured way. This resulted in more traffic and more visitors, plus a much better CTR.

In the last thirty days, three blog posts that I wrote and published got more traffic and more visitors than my previous twenty blog posts. These are the three posts that got me the most traffic:

  1. This is my Story I Invite You to be Part of my Business Journey
  2. This is what I am up to next [Instead of a blog post]
  3. 8 Reasons why you Should NOT Start your own Business

Now let’s see what things I changed that helped me grow my traffic. I’ll share things that I did, maybe these are familiar to you but for me, these were eye openers.

For more experienced bloggers this is probably something you do daily, but for me, it was really really something new. This also changed my way how I think about my blog and how I write and promote content.

1. Website Redesign

The first thing I did is I redesign my complete website. Before I started publishing my blog posts regularly, the old posts were just an addition to my web design business.

Therefore, the theme and design of the website was more a corporate style website and not really optimized for blogging.

The first thing I did was to change my WordPress theme. I completely overhauled the look and the feel and the user experience of the website, and I used the BeTheme for that. The theme is really amazing, and it has a lot of features you can use to make your website even more awesome.

On the homepage, I left only one CTA button and posts slider. I also want to redesign the appearance of the blog page and changed the layout and format for every single post.

2. Got rid of too many ads

Another thing that I did was to remove nasty ads. I have a free plugin installed that’s called Ads Inserter. It was setup so that three ads show up in every post.

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That looked horrible, especially on shorter posts. Now I reduced the inline ad just to one.

Some posts that have six hundred to one thousand words were just crowded with those ads.

The content was barely visible, and it looked so unprofessional and ugly.

3. Optimized Related Posts

Moving forward. I also added and redesign the Inline Related Posts plugin. It is also free. Which also resulted in more page views.

The plugin actually just inserts related posts within a post. You can configure it to use posts from the same posts category or based on tags that you added to those posts.

This is how the plugin looks in action:

Inline Related Posts Plugin

4. Font Optimization

One tiny trick I used helped me get more mobile traffic. What I did is, I simply changed theme font from Lato to Raleway.  In addition to that, I increased the line size, which made the text easier to read. And finally, I changed the font size to 16px.

You know that sometimes when the WordPress theme scales down to mobile-view, the text becomes smaller. Some themes resize and shrink the text size for mobile user, tablets, and smartphones.

Well, I changed that in my theme through CSS so the size of the text is the same for mobile users. I personally have trouble reading text on small screens on my smartphone so the bigger the text on your smartphone it’s easier to read and also depending on line size makes the text easier to read.

I personally have trouble reading text on small screens like on my smartphone. Therefore the bigger the text on your smartphone the easier it is to read. Also, a bigger line size makes the text easier to read, but don’t over do it.

All of that resulted in mobile visitors was increased by 33,5%, and now my mobile visitors make 55,71% of total sessions. Tablet and mobile traffic combined is at 60,07%.

Mobile Traffic Preview

5. The good old SEO and some Cleanup

The next thing to do was updating my content do some SEO and Keywords optimization.

There were a lot of my old posts that had nothing to do with my current blog strategy and were also outdated, so I deleted them. Most of them, those that were under six hundred words.

Following that, I went updating tags on my WordPress posts manually, one by one.

Then I changed the keywords to better correlate with my blog topics. I did some 301 redirect on some older posts which had some organic traffic.

I know deleting content it’s not a good thing but those posts are really bad and had nothing to do with my current blogs strategy. They were outdated, they were about things that happened in that year and kind of really obsolete.

6. Open Graph Optimization

Next thing I did is open graph optimization. Open Graph is basically a meta tag that allows you to control what content you want to present on social media when you share your posts.

For example, if you share it on Facebook and you want your image to be shown for that post. You want a nice headline to be shown and you want to change the excerpt or the intro for that post.

The main OG meta tags are:

  • og:title
  • og:site_name
  • og:description
  • og:type,
  • og:image and
  • og:url

So to make things shorter open graph actually controls how your posts are displayed on social media when you share them or if somebody shares them.

I did not give too much attention into this but when I saw how my posts look when somebody shares those well I was a little bit concerned.

I use automated sharing and scheduling posts so I noticed some of my posts are not presented a nice way on social media.

They used to look like this:

Open Graph Bad

And after the change they are looking like this:

Open Graph Good

Better right?

What I did is I went on updating SEO titles, changed the meta except for some posts, changed featured image for some posts. The plugin I used for that is the Smart Crawl plugin from WPMU DEV.

It was a lot of work but it was worth it. Now when my posts are shared on Facebook and other social media, they look much better and the featured image is not missing which looks really nice.

7. Content Recycling

As I don’t publish a lot of content, I publish once a week. I need the way to drive more traffic to my website. Sharing the same single post for the next seven days until I publish next one seems like a bad idea.

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That strategy is also dangerous and could kill your social media engagement. So I was looking a way to find a solution to this. The best way that I thought about in this situation is to recycle my old posts.

So I went and implemented this idea. That is the reason I deleted my completely obsolete posts. Since resharing them and recycling the posts that are not relevant today could be a bad idea.

I bought the Pro version of the Revive Old Posts plugin, it was previously called Revive Old Tweet. There is a free version, you can download it here. The Free version has the limit of sharing on only one social media platform eg. Twitter.

The Pro version allows you to share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, XING and Tumblr.

The installation and setup process is pretty easy.  You go and install the plugin to your WordPress website, add the social media you want to share and you are set. The only technical thing you need to do is to create an App for every platform you want to share on, eg. for LinkedIn you need to add the API Key and Secret Key. With the plugin instructions that is pretty easy to do.

Revive Old Post Settings

I went and set the plugin to share every 24 hours on my Facebook and my Twitter accounts. For now, it shows good results and I got a fair share of traffic for those posts and I also have more engagement on Facebook and Twitter.

8. Post Headlines

Another thing that I did is,  I changed the blog posts headlines and the way I write headlines.

Great article published in BuzzSumo Blog inspired me to do this. You can read the article here.

It was a great idea to try it, and I went on changing the headlines of my blogs that I wrote and shared in July. I did not update headlines for old posts, just a few of them. For my posts in July, I used the tactic mentioned in the BuzzSumo article.

At the end that proved as a great thing to do. I saw an amazing growth of visitors from social media 253% increase over this change. The majority of social media traffic was from the posts with the new headline tactic.

I also saw increased engagement on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn too with the new headlines. Until July LinkedIn was my main source of traffic, now Twitter and Facebook are keeping up with LinkedIn.

9. Featured image Redesign

The last thing I change is to redesign my featured images. My old blog posts had awful featured images, they were really ugly. I used cheap Stock photos with ugly fonts.

I am scared to even show you how they used to look. This is how they look now:

New Blog Featured Images

They have the same layout, same ratio, same size and same font.

Conclusion

This was a lot of work. I designed and redesigned thousands of websites for my clients but after doing it for my own website and updating all of the content I can say it sucks. It took so much time and energy but it was worth it. After all, the work is not finished. I have a lot of things to do in out coming months. I’ll keep on testing and be redesigning the UX and appearance on my blog.

A good thing is that all that work redesigning and all resulted in my users increase 217%, my sessions increased by nearly 200% (192.90% exact),  and my page views increase by 121,00%.

Session Increase

New Visitors vs Returning Vistors previe June and July:

New Visitor vs Returning Visitor

Those are the good things, the bad things well there are a few. Sadly I’m not sure why, not yet, but I will find out.

My bounce rate went up by 23%, my page views per sessions went down to 1.44% which is a -24,55% decrease.

Bounce Rate

Thank you for reading and I’m looking forward to reading your comments on this topic and see what tactics and strategy you use to increase your blog traffic.

What do you think about these tactics? Can you use some of them on your own blog? If you found value please share and comment.

Thank you for reading.

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Salim Šabić
Salim Šabić
Hi, my name is Salim Šabić. Thanks for visiting my website. How can I help You? WHAT I DO: I help you grow your business online by developing and optimizing amazing business websites and applications. I can help you promote your business and reach more customers online easy! I am a certified web developer and eLearning consultant offering over 10 years of experience on both client and server sides.

9 Comments

  1. David Braun says:

    Great read, Salim. I really liked it. What software did you use for Book Cover’s design? Photoshop or something special? Did you use some templates?

  2. That’s a lot of work but I’m glad you got the results for your efforts. I’m going to check out that Inline Related Posts plugin, even though I usually do it on my own.

    By the way, either you’re missing social share buttons or they didn’t come up because I did something wrong… which I’m not buying. lol That could help you increase your traffic even more. 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment, Mitch. Glad you liked the article, hope that you can use some tactics.

      The Social share buttons should usually appear on the left side of the article. 🙂

  3. Hi Salim,

    I saw you tweeting about digitalmarketing and thought you might be interested in my new plugin WP Social Traffic PRO.

    With WP Social Traffic PRO you can get 100% FREE Fully AUTOMATED traffic from Facebook to any webite you want!
    Trust me! 100% REAL Visitors on AUTOPILOT…

    See how it works wp-social-traffic.com

    Keep making great stuff!

  4. Sylvie Hanes says:

    Wow – as a starting blogger in the travel niche, I found so many good ideas in this post. Thanks for sharing!

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