attracting blog readers

By Ian Cleary, {grow} Contributing Columnist

It is not difficult to drive traffic to your site but what’s the point if visitors don’t stay around and read your blog post, sign up to your email list or buy your product or service?

We’re all familiar with the following saying:

“Traffic is Vanity, Conversion is Sanity!”

Well, maybe you’re not familiar with that saying because I just made it up.  But it does make sense!

Let’s look at five great social media tools to ensure you attract a relevant audience to your blog posts.

1. Tweet at the Optimal Times using SocialBro 

The people that follow you on Twitter are some of the most likely targets for your blog post but you need to have a strategy for reaching them.  One part of this is timing the delivery of your posts to try and get the attention of the majority of your followers.

SocialBro is a social media management tool.  One key feature is that it works out when your followers are online.  This is not going to be 100% accurate but gives you a good idea of the best times to tweet.

SocialBro

At 8am only 31% of my followers are actively tweeting but over 77% are active at 3pm in the afternoon.

I’m based in Europe but focus on the US so it makes sense that more of my followers are online in my afternoon which is the morning in the US.  It also makes sense to tweet at 8am and at 3pm because I want to attract the attention of my European followers also.

Action:  Consider SocialBro or similar tools to work out the best time to tweet

2. Target People Who Know You Using Google Author

When you are searching through Google for content you often see the authors picture displayed in the search results:

Amy Porterfield

The person in the picture is Amy Porterfield.  As I know Amy and value her as an expert in her field I am more likely to click on this post in the search results.

Getting your picture displayed as part of the search results is called Google Author and can help to not only get people to read your post, but it also helps readers to connect and become more familiar with you so that they will recognize your posts immediately going forward.

Action: Set up Google Author.  Follow this link to read step-by-step instructions on setting this up How to setup Google Author Rich Snippets

3.  Promote Your Post Using WiseStamp

Most of the people you are emailing on a daily basis are potential subscribers to your blog.  Encourage them to read your latest blog post by including a link to your latest post in every e-mail you send.

wisestamp

Action: Add your latest blog post to your signature using Wisestamp or similar tool.

4.  Encourage Your Readers to Share

By attracting a relevant audience it is more likely that their network would also be a relevant audience.  Encourage your readers to share out your content to their followers.

I use the WordPress plugin DiggDigg The reason I like it is that when readers are scrolling down through the blog post it automatically moves with the reader so there’s always the option to share at any point.

DiggDigg

Action: Make sure that you actively promote the option for social sharing.  It’s not enough just having it at the very top of a post.  How else can you encourage people to share?

5.  Find Relevant Keywords Using Google Keyword Tool

One of the most important elements of optimizing your blog post for Google is the Title Tag.  This is not visible on the page but it’s something that Google reads when it is figuring out how to index your content.

If a librarian thinks a history book belongs in the Geography section then how will the historians have a chance of finding it!

So help Google index your content correctly by doing some keyword research using Google Keyword Tool and ensure you give Google sufficient clues regarding what your content is about.

The following shows a search for ‘social media strategy’.  In the Global monthly searches column Google shows you the average searches per month over the last 12 months.  It also shows a list of similar keywords with the number of monthly searches.

Google keyword tool

Google also looks for a description which is not used for indexing but is displayed in search results.  It’s also very important to include the correct description to ensure you are only attracting people that are relevant.

Action:  Perform keyword research for every post and ensure you have the option for configuring the page title as part of your content management system.

Summary

We get caught up too much with numbers.  How many visitors you have, how many fans on Facebook, how many Twitter followers?  But it’s not all about volume. How many relevant followers to you have?  How many relevant readers are you interacting with?

What are your tips and tools for attracting a relevant audience?  We would really love to hear your thoughts.

Ian Cleary is a Social Media Tools Specialist. He is the founder of Razorsocial, a website that provides sharp insights on social media tools. Follow Ian on twitter @ianmcleary

Illustration courtesy BigStock.com

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