As we drafts our blog posts, many of us envision our captivated and loyal audience who hangs on each word we type like it is their lifeblood. I hate to break it to you but that is usually not the case. Most of your blog traffic, no matter the industry or purpose, is coming from search engines and/or they are first time visitors.
A survey done by Compendium says:
- Three quarters of B2Cs surveyed said over 80% of their traffic are first time visitors and
- 64% of B2Bs said that between 61 and 100 percent of visitors were first time visitors
Having this information is empowering and should actually help you put your content together so that you are marketing to these readers effectively.
The first thing I would recommend is seeing exactly what is happening with your site. Go into your website’s Analytics and if you haven’t already, set up a Blog Only filter so you can see your blog stats without the rest of your site. Once you have that filtered out, you can look to see exactly where your blog’s traffic is coming from. Take note of how many visitors are new versus returning. Then look at how many are coming from Search. From there you can see what terms people searched for to get to your blog.
Now that you have an idea of how many of your blog visitors are new and how they are getting to your site, you can start to optimize your blog for these new visitors.
- Tell them who you are quickly – Since this reader hasn’t been there before, let them know right off the bat who you are and what you do. The most obvious place to do this is in the header but another great place for a little bit more of an explanation is in a sidebar.
- Convert them – When a new visitor comes to your blog, know what you want them to do next and make it very clear to them. Whether you want them to subscribe to your blog, contact you, connect with you on a social network or download more information – make that piece very clear on every blog page. New visitors aren’t mind readers. Let them know the next steps they should take if they enjoyed your content.
- Show them similar content – If this new visitor got here for this post’s content in particular, maybe they would like other content around the same topic? Think about adding Related Posts to the end of your blog entries. You can do this manually or find a variety of different plugins that could do this automatically for you.
- Optimize for mobile browsers – Since we know more and more people are reaching your website from mobile devices, you want to make sure your blog is easy to read when visitors are on the go. Make sure you know how your blog looks on multiple different mobile platforms and if you are receiving a good amount of mobile traffic to your blog, you may want to consider a mobile theme.
- Let them know you know who they are – I have some colleagues that have had great success with a greeting box when someone new comes to their site. One example is WP (WordPress) Greet Box plugin. This neat plugin makes a note of how the user got to your blog and has a custom greeting for them depending on how they got there. For example if someone came to your blog after clicking on a link on Twitter, they will see a message encouraging to Tweet your post and to follow you on Twitter.
Now that you know how many of your blog visitors are new, you can really start focusing on making them subscribers, connections and leads! Good luck and let us know any tricks you have for connecting with new visitors too! We love to hear them!