When looking to increase traffic to our blogs (and aren't we all looking for that?) we tend to look at external ways to bring visitors to our site. But here's another idea: how about increasing the number of pageviews once on our site?
If you go to all the trouble to get people to your site, you might as well maximize the number of pageviews while they're there! A great way to do this is by creating a series of posts. You can promote each post in the series the way you normally do - social media, link-ups, etc. - and then once the visitors arrive on your site they'll have loads of other content to check out.
Since creating a series can be a bit of work, here are a few tips to help streamline the process as well as maximize the benefits.
Build Series-Worthy ContentNo matter your niche, you can come up with an idea for a series! Just follow these tips:
- Make sure you have enough content for at least three posts. A two-part series just doesn't have the same ring to it and doesn't allow for as much cross-traffic.
- Maximize efficiency when generating the content by working on the same part of each post at one time. For example, if you're doing a series on pumpkin recipes, you can break it down into a few sessions: recipe creation, photo editing, writing the posts, formatting the posts, optimizing the posts.
- Write a brief introduction for each post describing the series, and add your keywords (naturally) to the text. Part of the text can be the same for each post - the part describing the overall series - but the rest should describe how each part of the series is different. For example, "To celebrate autumn, I'm sharing one pumpkin recipe each week. This week's recipe is Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake." The first sentence is the same for each post, the second sentence is unique, and you have keywords - pumpkin and recipe - in several natural places.
- Include a strong call-to-action at the end of your post. Remember, this may be the first post a new reader sees so make sure you're encouraging them to take the action you want them to take on your site. For my site, my goal would be for readers to buy my book, so I might put a banner at the end of the post with a link to buy my book or read more about it. Yours could be a list of your top posts, links to buy your products, newsletter sign-up, etc.
- After your series is done, do a round-up post so that readers can access all the info in one place. You don't want to duplicate the content, just mention what all the content in the series is. You can do this via a list, teaser text, collage - just be sure to link to each post in the series.
Cross-Link Like CrazyOnce you've created great content, you want to maximize its exposure on your blog. Try the following:
- Within the text of each post, link to other posts on your blog where relevant. For example, in my "Paris A to Z" series, my post on Sacre Coeur references two other posts in the series, one on Notre Dame and one on a fondue restaurant. This easily provides two opportunities for additional pageviews on my site. You can of course link to other posts that aren't in the series, where relevant.
- At the end of post, list and link to all the other posts in the series. Make it easy for your readers to discover all the series content!
- Tease the next post in the series, then go back and update the link once it's live. For my "Paris A to Z" series, I ended each post with "Check back tomorrow to see what ____ is for!" Then, once "_____" went live, I'd go back through all the posts and add the link. I admit it took time to back through all the posts each day, but it'll boost traffic, and it's really just a quick copy and paste job.
Unify Your ImagesImages are key when promoting your posts on social media. When doing a series, you'll want to have some unity to your images. You can do one of the following:
- Create one image to be used in all posts, like "Perfectly Pumpkin: Pumpkin Recipes to Celebrate Autumn" with a photo of a pumpkin.
- Create a unique image for each post, but have a unifying element. For my "Tiny Apartment Series" I used the same style and font for each image but just changed the text depending on which room was being featured. People love collections so when they see a bunch of similar images, they're naturally inclined to click through to all of them.
Optimize for SEOLast but not least, you'll want to optimize your posts for SEO to capitalize on all your hard work. I suggest you:
- Vary your text so that not all copy/images/links in the series have the exact same words/phrases. As I mention above, you can use some of the same language in your intro but it's better if you can change at least part of it for each post. If you use the same image in all your posts, be sure the alt and title text of the image is unique for each post.
- Brainstorm keywords before choosing your series title so that you ensure the title is really optimized for your site. For my "Paris A to Z" series, I added "The Sassy Guide to the City of Light" as a subtitle to include more keywords ("guide", "city of light") besides just "Paris". You may be tempted to do a cutesy title like "Sumptuous Seasonal Sweets and Savories" but you'd probably be better off with "Perfectly Pumpkin: Pumpkin Recipes to Celebrate Autumn" because it has more keywords in it. You'll be using this phrase in a lot of places (post title, intro text, one image per post) so you want to be sure you've optimized it.