If you’ve ever been the lucky recipient of a major traffic increase on your blog, then you’ve surely wondered how to make the most of all that traffic.
A post that goes viral is a magic thing. Sometimes that magic lasts a couple of hours and sometimes it’s the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re wondering what constitutes a spike in blog traffic, well here are some examples:
- Tina from Life Without Pink saw her Angry Birds pumpkin carving tutorial get seven times her daily traffic. It was mainly due to people searching on Google.
- Lolli from Better in Bulk was amazed when her post about Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties got between 1,000 and 6,500 daily views from StumbleUpon over a three-week period. In fact, it was stumbled over 29,000 times in one month!
- Jessica from Found the Marbles got four times her daily traffic on her blog post about a Groupon fail.
- Christine from From Dates to Diapers had a guest poster shoot her traffic up to over 25,000 visits with his post 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters. That post has gotten her about four times her daily traffic ever since (with one day getting 39,000 visits)!
- Roo from Nice Girl Notes had her post on magnets stumbled over 132,000 times in a year.
- Jennifer from MommyB Knows Best saw traffic increased over 1000% in one night because she wrote about a relevant topic that no one else was blogging about (What happened to Marina from Fresh Beats band?). Her traffic is still up four months later.
While your spike in traffic may not be as drastic as these, consider a spike as any boost in traffic that gets you shouting for someone, ANYONE to “Come HERE– look what’s happening with this post!” If you haven’t had this happen yet then no worries, you’ll know what to do when your time comes.
So how do you make the most of a major traffic increase?
1. Optimize Your Photos.
Huge traffic spikes are often from people either randomly stumbling on your post through StumbleUpon and Pinterest, both of which feed on great photos, or from people coming from search engines. If you can, move a key photo to the top of your post so it immediately catches attention. I did this for my Easy Homemade Ornaments for Kids post on Adventuroo.
Also, add alt tags to your photos using keywords so that search engines can find them easier. Alt tags are alternative text that tells search engines what the photo is (since they can’t actually “see” the photo).
And consider re-uploading your photos with a watermark on them while you’re at it (just be sure to keep the file name the same). I’ve seen lots of bloggers not being credited properly for their photos on Pinterest.
2. Interlink Your Post.
If you’re getting a big traffic increase, you certainly don’t want to get a high bounce rate from people leaving your site after just visiting that page. While it’s inevitable to get some bounces, you can minimize the impact by linking to other posts of yours within your post. The best way is to do this naturally in a sentence. For more tips on interlinking, you should read my post on interlinking and how to use anchor text.
3. Add a Call to Action.
A call to action is a request of your reader. If could be to subscribe to your blog, fan your blog on Facebook, tweet your post, etc. If possible, make the call to action center around the place traffic is coming from. For example, if it’s a traffic increase from Facebook, ask people to like your Facebook fan page or share the post.
Be sure to keep the call to action simple. If you ask people to subscribe, tweet, vote for you and stumble all in one breath, you won’t get nearly the same response.
4. Study it.
What made this highly-trafficked post so special? Is it seasonal? Is it timely? Is it a tutorial? Recipe? List? If people are coming from search engines, what keywords are getting people to your post?
Dig into your analytics a bit and take notes about this traffic increase. You can learn a lot. You may want to write a post about a similar topic in the future. If traffic is coming from Pinterest, you could add a Pin It button so it’s easy to share. You may see that certain keywords are driving traffic so you can optimize similar posts you wrote based on that keyword. You get the picture.
5. Don’t disappear.
The worst thing you can do after a big spike is not to post for days. While some people may never return, there will be some who do. Keep the momentum by writing some more killer content.
Even if the post that’s getting the traffic increase is an older post, this is still important since the next place someone might go is to your homepage to see what other good stuff you’ve written.
6. Monetize it.
Don’t be afraid to add some RELEVANT affiliate links in there! For example, if you wrote a craft tutorial, link to places people can buy them. Readers will appreciate not having to scour the net to find the supplies themselves. The easiest way to find out in a company has an affiliate program is to either go to their website and scroll to their site map (most will have this) or Google the company name plus “affiliate.” You can read more about this on my post about using affiliate links in your blog posts. And just be sure to disclose properly.
Yes, enjoy it! Bask in it. Tweet about it. Tell your friends (well, the ones that actually get what blogging is). It feels pretty fabulous to have a post go viral so you deserve to savor the moment.
Speaking of call to actions, I just released a free mini-ebook of resources I use to run Momcomm. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get a link to download that bad boy.
Have you ever had a post go viral?