Hacks To Increase Website Traffic

Juli 10, 2013 7 mins to read

Almost everyone wants to increase website traffic, unless your site is called Quicksprout or Zenhabits. You simply can’t have enough traffic when you want to be successful with your business.

More traffic usually means more attention to your site and to your products and thus more revenue – though you’ll want to have targeted traffic as well.

I published the first article on this blog at March 28th about my goals in internet business (actually it could be time for the first review). Since then this blog grew to 350-400 daily unique visitors, several #1 and #2 rankings in Google, and for July I’m approaching 12,000+ pageviews. Hooray!

When you take a look at my Google Analytics you’ll see that I managed to constantly increase website traffic.

My Hacks To Increase Website Traffic

Keyword Selection

Optimizing your posts and pages for keywords isn’t only important for niche sites! You can also increase website traffic on blogs, online shops, or personal websites with this technique. I’m getting at least 60% of my daily traffic from Google searches. That were 226 unique visitors on July 9th 2013!

This means that I’m doing a pretty good job on search engine optimization. I wrote an in-depth article on creating content for niche sites and as a blogger you can use those principles as well to increase website traffic.

Now it’s time to share the methods and hacks that I’ve used to manage the search engine optimization for this blog, so that you can grow your blog as well!

Those techniques are only white-hat, which means that I’m using no stuff that betrays Google or could potentially damage the rankings of my site. This is very important, since this blog is part of my business and I need to make a living from it.

Let me share the process how I do keyword research:

Most times I already have an idea of the topic I want to write about. This functions like a seed keyword. I’m opening the free Google Keywords Tool and enter some possible names for my topic as seed keywords. Those will be the foundation for the next phases.

The filter I’m using for my blog keywords are at least 2,000 local searches in the US and a CPC > $2. Since I get most of my traffic from the US, it makes sense to focus on that country. Google will display different results for different countries, so you’ll want to care about your country when you’re using keywords to increase website traffic!

After I found keywords in the Google Keyword Tool I export them to a textfile and import them in Long Tail Pro. You can analyze the competition within the Google Keyword Tool as well and waive Long Tail Pro. Though this is a complex process with a high likelyhood to make wrong decisions – that’s why I recommend using Long Tail Pro.

When I start the keyword research it’s incredibly easy to decide on which keyword will help to increase website traffic. When you’re using the Platinum Edition of Long Tail Pro (it’s $19 per month) you can calculate the Keyword Competitiveness. The software aggregates all SEO relevant data of the top ten pages ranking for your keyword and comes up with one single number showing you, if you can outrank those sites easily.

I’m only targeting keywords with a keyword competitiveness less than 25 – 30.

The reason why I use both the Google Keyword Tool and Long Tail Pro is, that it’s likely to happen that those two show different results for local search volume and CPC. If you want to increase website traffic with keywords, you need to make sure that you have enough monthly local searches. Don’t rely on global searches, just focus on local searches for the country you’re most popular in.

You’re on safe when you first use the Google Keyword Tool, compare the local search volume to the results of Long Tail Pro for the same keyword, and then calculate the keyword competetiveness with Long Tail Pro.

Unfortunately I made some bad experiences with selected keywords, so please follow this process!

WordPress SEO Optimization

When I’ve selected a keyword that I want to target with a post, it’s time to create the content and optimize it for the search engines. There are several criteria you need to fulfill to increase website traffic with On-Site SEO, but luckily there are WordPress plugins to help you with that 🙂

Basically there are two free SEO plugins for WordPress that are really high quality. It comes close to the discussion whether you like Apple or Microsoft when you take a look at the conversations. Their names are All in One SEO and WordPress SEO by YoaST. Both are awesome helpers to increase website traffic – my personal favourite is the YoaST plugin. You can read my tutorial on how to use it here.

To increase website traffic it is incredibly important to consider the On-Site SEO. The YoaST plugin guides you to the right keyword density, links, length of the posts, alt-tags for images, and lots of more stuff that Google loves.

Those are the most important factors: keyword density; mentioning the keyword in headlines, meta description, title, and URL; links; images; ease of read.

Besides optimizing your content for keywords you should speed up your website. Google likes fast websites, that’s why I use the WordPress plugin Use Google Libraries on every site I own.

Another great way to boost the speed of your website is to use caching plugins. Again, there are two plugins sharing the market between themselves: WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. I’m using WP Super Cache, but I also have used W3 Total Cache before and was totally happy with it. Though you have to be careful with the minify settings, those can break badly coded themes!

You can also use Content Delivery Networks to increase website traffic, a good example for this is the LifestyleEntrepreneurBlog run by my friends Jesse Krieger and Navid Moazzez. Since their content is awesome they have to prepare for a TON of hits and with using a CDN they will be able to manage lots of visitors – I’m talking of 50 visit per minute and more, you can do the math what that means for daily visits!

Commenting On Other Blogs

You have to build relationships with other bloggers nowadays to increase website traffic. You can start by connecting to other bloggers in your market on social media and by commenting on their blog posts.

No, it’s NOT about getting backlinks! Most of them are no-follow links anyway. It’s about getting in touch with others.

When you regularly leave useful comments that enrich the discussion, you’ll start getting feedback. Connecting with bloggers will create a multiplier effect for your content, since those bloggers will start sharing your content with their own network when it’s useful.

And of course comments on other blogs increase website traffic by driving the readers of other those blogs to your site (I’m getting almost 50 daily visitors from Webmasternerd!) – though that’s not the primary intention but rather a welcome side benefit!

You can also submit guest posts to other blogs. It’s heavily discussed whether guest blogging is Google’s next target or not. What I’ve experienced is that the success of guest blogging totally depends on the traffic from the other blog. I submitted one single guest post to Webmasternerd and I guess that this drives some traffic to my site (not only the comments), but I also submitted guest posts to other blogs and get 1 visitor per month from them.

Anyway, see guest blogging as way to build a strong relationship with the host of the other blog. It’s a token of appreciation to the host and thus most likely increases sympathy on both sides.

That’s it. Those are my hacks to increase website traffic on this blog.

I hope you’ve learned something new and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this post!

So go out and increase website traffic 😉


24 Comments on “Hacks To Increase Website Traffic”

  1. Navid Moazzez
    Juli 10, 2013

    Hi Jan,

    This is an awesome post, thanks for sharing!

    I really like that you share the different strategies you used to grow your site and drive traffic to it. What I have used so far myself is blog commenting and sharing my posts on social media and different forums, and that’s also the reason why I get so many comments on my blog even though it’s very new and I don’t have a lot of traffic at the moment. I will get more into SEO and Keyword Research as well for future blog posts, and this post really shows the importance they can have together if you do them all.

    Also I have to thank you for mentioning me and Jesse in this post, really appreciate it 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    – Navid

    1. Jan
      Juli 10, 2013

      Hi Navid,
      I’m glad that commenting on other blogs and social media work for you.
      Those are extremely strong tools to build relationships and also to make yourself known as an expert in your field!
      The next step would be to start using free tools like the mentioned Google Keyword Tool to get some feeling for keywords. Together with the SEO plugins in WordPress you’ll be optimizing your posts pretty quickly 🙂

      Jesse and you are doing an awesome job on your blog and also on your personal sites! I really enjoy reading those 🙂

      Best regards,

  2. Bryan Knowlton
    Juli 10, 2013

    Another great post Jan. I really need to get in to guest posting. What do you think your number 1 increase in traffic was from? Organic Search or Guest Blogging? I have also heard google is going to target guest blogging. I really wonder how they are going to do that and why they would in the first place. I imagine they will be targeting ‚guest blogging networks‘.

    Thanks again for the post!


    1. Jan
      Juli 11, 2013

      thanks for your kind words.
      My most important method to increase website traffic was the efficient keyword research.
      I’m getting most of my traffic from Google, since I’ve found a short keyword phrase that allows me to rank for longer phrases containing this short phrase.
      I agree, that Google has to take action on guest blogging networks and on those bloggers who overplay. But I don’t think that publishing 3 guest posts a month will hurt any site in the future – it’s natural behaviour.

      Best regards,

  3. Carlie Hamilton
    Juli 21, 2013

    At the moment if I’m honest I’m not getting much traffic. Getting sick this month has prevented me from really promoting my website. But slowly over time I have been growing my audience slowly but surely.

    I do a bit of keyword research, and I do on-page SEO naturally as part of my blogging process (I am now starting to see some good traffic coming from search). I haven’t had any guest posts published this month (yet?) but I have written 3 and have 4 more to go, so I am hoping that will give me some exposure in August. And, I have let down the ball a bit with commenting this month too, but it is something I enjoy doing and gets a bit of traffic back to my site.

    Every website may be slightly different, but I think you have to get these core basics down pat first and people will start seeing results.

    1. Jan
      Juli 22, 2013

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Carlie!

      I agree with you, that you’ve mentioned some of the most basic techniques to increase website traffic.
      When it comes to guest posts, it’s crucial to publish them on sites with an engaged audience. I published some myself and only one single blog drives good traffic back to my blog.
      I think it’s a good idea to check the traffic stats from the blog you want to publish guest posts on instead of posting them on random blogs.

      I’m sure you will see increasing traffic when you continue with this basics!


  4. Theodore Nwangene
    Juli 22, 2013

    This is my first visit to your blog Jan,
    And, i must confess that I’m blown away by what i see here, you have a very awesome blog man and i like your theme. What theme is this?

    Keyword research is really a very essential part of blogging and if you really want to be getting search traffics then, you must never ignore it for any reason.

    Long Tail Pro really does the job for me accurately too but, I’ve also used the free Adword tool and i must say that its really awesome, the only different it has with LTP is that LTP does it faster and easier.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with us Jan and, have a great week.

    1. Jan
      Juli 23, 2013

      Hi Theodore,
      I really appreciate your kind words, thanks!
      The theme is TrustMe, I found it on Themeforest.

      I love Long Tail Pro, though what I’m experiencing is, that the local search volume is not equal to the local search volume in Google’s Keyword Tool. I use Long Tail Pro first for competition analysis and then check the search volume with Google’s Keyword Tool. But I agree that the competition analysis is amazingly easy and fast with LTP.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy your week too!
      It’s 32° in Germany, I’m glad that I don’t have to work physically 😉


  5. Sergio Felix
    Juli 23, 2013

    Hey Jan, really thorough analysis on how you do SEO on your site man.

    I own both LTP and Market Samurai as well, the reason I decided to invest in these tools was mainly because one day (I think it was Ed Dale) I learned that everyone else was using the Google Keyword Tool so I was going to get the same exact results than everybody else from my research.

    Obviously I didn’t like that and my thought process for keyword research is basically really similar to yours, I first throw my seed words into Google, then take those to MS or LTP and fine tune everything from there with filters.

    My traffic comes from several places but I have to say I pay close attention in the traffic I generate from social media platforms because I have found that kind of traffic is the one that actually converts.

    If a person came from YouTube, I know for sure that person is highly interested in learning more about me or about the video they were watching on YouTube and the same goes for Twitter and Facebook.

    Having links from other blogs is cool and it definitely helps in ranking but I do not get obsessed about it. I try to focus on really caring about other fellow marketing colleagues and for me, that’s free on-page links whenever they feel like giving a bit back, I obviously do the same and reciprocate (just like you did with SproutSpire here).

    I think you did a wonderful job explaining keyword research and competition here man and thanks for the reminder as well that I do need to get back to invest a little bit more of time on my headlines, urls and some basic keyword research (I stopped doing keyword research for my own blog -long story- but I obviously do not recommend this).

    Take care and talk soon Jan!


    1. Jan
      Juli 24, 2013

      Hi Sergio,
      thank you for your awesome comment!

      Your traffic strategy is really good, it’s highly dangerous to rely just on one single source. Knowing where your visitors come from helps a lot to publish the content they’re potentially looking for.

      I agree on your opinion about linking to other blogs. It’s not about pure backlinks, it’s about building a relationship. That’s why I just comment on blogs that I’m really interested in and I only comment when I’ve got something helpful to say. Twitter is another great tool to build relationships, though I’m not getting reasonable traffic from it (yet).

      Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad that you liked this explanation!

      All the best

  6. Linda
    Juli 30, 2013

    Hi Jan,

    Congrats on your blog growth – that is awesome!! Traffic is often the hardest people for many people, myself included. But, I am learning other ways to do just that.

    As far as WP SEO plugins – I tried yoast and it kept messing up my site (not a blog). I guess it didn’t work with my theme and had to get rid of it. Then I found WordPress Seo and this one works out really well for me. I tried the Yoast and a different blog and had similar problems…so now it’s WP SEO. I have used the All in One too, but I finally found one I like, so I am sticking to it 🙂

    Blog hopping is both beneficial and fun – learn from other, gain new friends and of course more traffic 🙂

    Anyway, found you on Sergio’s site.

    Hope to talk with you again!

    1. Jan
      Juli 31, 2013

      Hi Linda,
      thank you very much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂
      There are lots of great SEO plugins for WordPress and for some people it’s kind of a religion which one to use.
      I’ve seen discussions that reach the level of Apple versus Microsoft, but I think you can’t go wrong when you stick to the top three: YoaST, WP SEO, and All in One SEO.

      I’m glad that you found me on Sergio’s site, he’s a really awesome guy!

      Your blog looks really interesting, I’ll definitely check that out in the future!

      All the best,

  7. Dee Ann Rice
    Juli 31, 2013


    I think I am doing most of what you talk about.

    I am not using the Long Tail Pro that costs $19 per month because of the cost. I can see how that would be really handy though. I will have to keep that in mind when I have a little more money to spend.

    I am also going to have to get the Yoast plugin. I know people who use that and have read about it in several different posts lately. In fact I think I am going to go over and get it as soon as I am done writing this comment. I try to limit my plugins due to the fact that they slow down the site. I think that plugin sounds like it is worth having.

    I think commenting is the one most valuable thing you can do to increase web traffic to your blog. It is free and works miracles as far as I am concerned.

    Thank you for the great information.

    Dee Ann

    1. Jan
      Juli 31, 2013

      Hi DeeAnn,

      I think you should definitely use a SEO plugin for WordPress, regardless whether YoaST, WP SEO or All in One SEO. Those are my three favourites, you can’t go wrong with one of those.

      Long Tail Pro Platinum is a very good choice if you can spend the money. After I introduced Adsense to this blog it payed off within a few days.
      Knowing the Keyword Competitiveness is really helpful when you try to rank in the top three in Google. Otherwise it’s easy to target too competitive keywords.
      The monthly fee is because Long Tail Pro aggregates values from Moz, which Spencer Haws has to pay for himself. I talked to him about the fee and it’s mostly to pay his own costs rather than to make more money.

      Let me know if you have any further questions regarding Long Tail Pro Platinum, I’d be happy to help you 🙂

      Best regards,

  8. Victor Björklund
    August 13, 2013

    Hi Jan,

    Great post! I really like that you do keyword research before each article to see what you can rank for! I have tried LTP but I’ll wait with buying it since Google is closing down the keyword tool. Will be interesting to see if LTP or Market Samurai will develop the best solution after the closing of Google Keyword tool!

    Victor Björklund

    1. Jan
      August 13, 2013

      Hi Victor,

      thanks for sharing your concerns, I’m sure lots of people have this question.
      You can purchase LTP without any problem, they switched to the Google Keyword Planner in their latest update. They already adapted Googles change, so there is no problem.

      It has the benefit that you don’t need to switch between exact, broad and phrase search mode – the Google Keyword Planner only supports exact searches.
      This has the benefit that you only get EXACT searches and not all the possible combinations of the single keywords (which results in massive variations in the search volume!).

      Right now I’m working on a new blogpost where I describe how I use the latest LTP Platinum for my next four niche websites.

      I’d be happy to show you the latest LTP update via Teamviewer, so that you can see what you get (just shoot me an email) 🙂

      All the best!

  9. Fusion
    September 2, 2013

    Nice post! I really like the fact that you only concentrated on these two aspects of traffic building. Sometimes, we do too much at a time and they all become in effective. The truth is, to be successful in anything, it needs consistent, quality, patience, dedication and more. And when you do too many things at a time, you end up doing none of them well. And i have never tried All in One SEO. I am more familiar with WordPress SEO by YoaST and it is a damn good plugin.

    1. Jan
      September 2, 2013

      Thank you for your kind words!
      I agree that consistency is crucial for SEO. Since I want my post to be easily replicable, I thought that those two methods are more than enough to get the first results.

      Best regards,

      P.S.: Please leave your real name in the next comment, otherwise I might not approve it.

  10. Rich
    September 30, 2013

    Jan, this is an excellent post for anyone starting out. I’d be interested to see an update – maybe you could include traffic stats when you do your earnings reports? Hope it continues going well for you.

    1. Jan
      September 30, 2013

      Thanks Rich!

      Actually this month was pretty interesting when it comes to visitors, because at September 4th there was another Google update which directly affected this site.
      I’ll include traffic stats in the income report for this month, great advice 🙂

      Have a great day!

  11. Tay Han Meng
    Oktober 18, 2013

    Someone necessarily help to make severely posts I
    would state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish amazing.
    Fantastic process!

    1. Jan
      Oktober 19, 2013

      Thanks for leaving your comment Tay!
      I’m so happy that you like my content and I’m doing my best to keep the high quality!

      Best regards,

  12. Chichi
    April 3, 2014

    Very insightful post. Thanks for sharing

    1. Jan Koch
      April 3, 2014

      You’re welcome Chichi!

      If you implement any of the shared methods, please let me know how they work for you. I’d love to hear back from you 🙂


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