Creating Blog Content That Drives Traffic to Your Site
Use these three steps to increase the number of visitors to your website.
If you own a fitness website, chances are you write a fitness blog and post it on the site. This is crucial for gaining new followers, new prospective customers and, eventually, new paying clients who will help your business grow.
Blogging is a good strategy, but there’s one problem with it: Most fitness bloggers get very little, if any, traffic to their blog posts, no matter how much they write. They invest a lot of time creating content without ever seeing any return on investment. Is that the case for you? Is anyone reading the content you work so hard to prepare? In this article, you’ll find important dos and don’ts for writing blog posts and you’ll learn a strategic process to successfully move people to your fitness website.
What’s Wrong with Your Content?
A few years ago I created two pieces of content within a few weeks of each other. The first was a blog post about why willpower isn’t strong enough to build new habits. It was an interesting piece that got great feedback when I posted it on Facebook. People liked it. But beyond my family and friends, the article brought almost zero traffic to my website. Nobody ever reads it.
The second piece of content was a blog post about morning exercise. This article also received positive feedback when I posted it socially, but the results afterward are what is really exciting. This one blog post has brought 230,000 visitors to my website!
Two similar blog posts got completely different results. So what was the difference between the two pieces of content? The answer is simple. I wrote the first post because I was interested in the topic and thought it would be useful to my followers. I created the second post much differently. It was a strategic post built with organic search traffic in mind. It has all the elements Google and the other search engines need in order to send thousands of viewers to it each month.
If you’re not getting any viewers to your blog, I suspect you’re creating content the way I did with my first post. You’re guessing what people want to read about. You’re not being strategic. If you’re going to invest your time in blogging, make sure your content is going to be seen. Here’s how to make sure that happens.
A Three-Step Process: Creating Content That Gets Noticed
To create content that will bring hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of new fans and potential customers to your website, start by answering three simple questions.
Question #1. What Are People Searching For?
Imagine you needed help keeping track of the finances related to your business, so you turned to Google to find the perfect service provider. What would you search for?
- “small business accountant”
- “bookkeeper near me”
- “personal trainer accountant”
All of these Google searches accurately describe your need, but each one will likely return different results. The exact words you search for in Google determine exactly what results you get.
Now think about yourself from the other side. You run a fitness business, and you want prospective clients to find you. What are they searching for? Your blog content could be exactly the solution they need, but if the words or phrases you use are different from the ones those prospective clients use, there is little chance they’ll find you. You need to speak their searching language.
You can use many tools to find out what people are searching for, but one of my favorites is Answer The Public (free).
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Go to Answer The Public.
- Enter a keyword (i.e., a word or phrase people might be interested in) that is relevant to your target clients.
- See the questions real people are asking that are related to that keyword.
As an example, try entering “weight loss” in the search bar. Very few real people are actually going to search for “weight loss,” just as you wouldn’t search for “finances help” if you needed to get your business’s finances in order. People will likely be more specific about what they want. Answer The Public returns hundreds of questions about “weight loss” that real people want answered. So instead of creating content about “weight loss,” you might write an article about “Will weight loss reduce PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)?”
Finding out what people are searching for gives you specific topics that allow you to provide needed solutions.
Question #2. What Is Already Out There?
Figuring out what people are searching for is important, but it’s not going to be helpful if you choose to create content on a topic that has already been written about many times. For example, “Which weight loss shake is best?” is a question you might have found in question #2. While you could write a great piece on this topic, you’d be competing with some top-notch content that has been online for a while. Google isn’t likely to send you much traffic when it has already found reliable content to answer this question.
How do you know which keywords are already spoken for? How can you find keywords that still need high-quality answers? Again, there are many different tools that will help you assess the competition level of a given phrase or word, but the one I prefer is Moz Keyword Explorer (free).
Here’s how you can use it:
- Go to Moz Keyword Explorer and create a free account.
- In the search bar, enter the question you found on Answer The Public.
- Examine the “difficulty” to see if this keyword or phrase is one that isn’t already saturated with content.
Going back to our previous example, let’s use this question: “Will weight loss reduce PCOS?” Entering it into the Moz search bar returns a difficulty score of 27. “Difficulty” is a rating on a scale of 1–100, with 1 being a keyword that is wide open (i.e., nobody has created good content about this topic) and 100 is fiercely competitive (i.e., there is a ton of great content about this topic). As you can guess, the lower the difficulty score, the better. In this case, a score of 27 tells us that there isn’t a lot of great content on this topic; therefore, it’s possible to create a blog post that Google would send traffic to. Your content could easily be the best out there!
Question #3. What Related Ideas Should Be Included?
At this point you could begin creating content about weight loss and its impact on PCOS, or whatever topic you’ve identified as a winner using the previous two steps. However, you can get even more traffic when you add this final question.
The keyword you’ve chosen, known as a “seed keyword,” is your primary target in Google. When someone searches that keyword, you want to be the first option returned to that person. But, there are likely many other keywords that are very close to your seed keyword. These are known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, and they can bring your website a lot more traffic if you use them correctly.
Here’s how to harness the power of LSI keywords:
- Go to Keyword.io (free).
- Enter your seed keyword in the search bar.
- Of the LSI keywords that the tool identifies as being closely related to what you plan to write about, make a list of the top 10–15.
These LSI keywords may not be as popular as your seed keyword, but that’s okay. Even if only a handful of people search for each of these in a given month, including them in your content can bring you hundreds of prospective clients that you would have otherwise missed out on.
Putting It All Together
Here’s what you should have by now:
- a seed keyword that you know real people are searching for
- confidence that you can create a top resource for this topic
- a list of LSI keywords that will lead even more people to your content
Now, it’s time to write a piece of content that deserves to be Google’s go-to choice when people search your selected topic. When creating content, keep the following tips in mind regarding your seed keyword:
- Use it in the title of your post.
- Use it word-for-word in the “slug” of your post. A slug is the string of words, each separated by a hyphen, that appears in the URL for your blog post. For example, my blog post about visceral fat uses the slug “how-to-reduce-visceral-fat” because “how to reduce visceral fat” is my seed keyword.
- Include it in the first paragraph of your text.
- Use it in at least one heading within your post.
- Use it as the alt description for at least one image. An alt description (or “alternate” description) is a typed description explaining what a particular image represents. Since search engines can’t “see” images, using alt descriptions helps them better understand what your content is about.
Now, sprinkle your LSI keywords throughout your post, making sure they fit naturally so they don’t disrupt the flow of your content. Your work is done! You’ve created a blog post that is sure to bring ongoing traffic—and, more importantly, prospective clients—to your website without any cost to you.
Creating a blog post that brings ongoing traffic and prospective clients to your website isn’t magic, but it does require a step-by-step approach. Arm yourself with the methods and web tools listed above, and you’ll be on your way to increased hits on your site.