Alice Elliott
May 6, 2021
How to get more web traffic

Today we are examining whether you think socially about web traffic.

And the first thing we need to get straight is what you envisage is web traffic. Do you consider getting a high number of visits to your website as successful? Do stats like 200,000+ a month get your juices flowing?

Sure, these kinds of numbers look really good in the report you give to your boss. Your blog or website looks like it’s really going places with these results.

But think again. What impact did these 200,000+ visitors have on your website? Were you inundated with orders? Was your email jammed by the equivalent number of requests for more information?

You see, you really need to think about which kind of web traffic is more beneficial to you. Empty numbers followed by minimal action? Or a few, loyal visitors who regularly return to participate in what you have to offer?

Are You Blinded By Web Traffic Statistics?

One of my competitors I keep an eye on has huge numbers of visits as web traffic to his blog. One look at these stats and you’d be ready to hang up the towel and retire to the country to grow radishes.

My lowly little blog just cannot compete. So I don’t. It’s true that I would always like to have more readers, but at the end of the day, if I get enough comments on my posts to prove I’ve written sense, then I’m happy.

My competitor also enjoys a lively commenting scene. It’s not surprising with the number of people who visit his blog. He will always have a goodly number of replies to whatever he writes. He doesn’t need to think socially with his reputation, his web traffic gives him more than enough.

But in my case, I relish the quality of comments I get. And this is possible because I understand who most of my commenters are. They also know if they wish for their contributions to get published, a suitable amount of effort on their part is needed.

How Much Do You Know Your Visitors?

The answer is to accrue regular returners to your blog. My web traffic stats may not be something to write home about, but it is my readers who I am most proud of.

It’s all about the need to think socially when writing your posts and replying to your comments. Blogs were created to be two-way, a medium for dialogue, with comments allowing a connection with whoever reads what you write. People who turn off their commenting facilities are failing to think socially or satisfy their readers’ needs.

You may not be getting hundreds of thousands of people visiting your blog every month. But if you had to try to get to know all of these, this obviously would be impossible. Be content with those who do, and encourage them to return and comment again. These visitors are the life-blood of your blog, and should be treated as such.

Avoid falling into the trap of thinking that high numbers for web traffic are valid, necessary, and your only objective. Many bloggers are programmed into thinking like this. But the result is an empty, faceless, fleeting, and anonymous visitor-set who mostly do nothing for your blog.

Adapt Your Mindset To Start To Think Socially

Now that you’ve come to terms with the fact you might not achieve those lofty heights in visitor numbers, it’s time to start thinking socially whenever you write, both posts and comment replies. In fact, this is exactly what successful bloggers have been doing for years!

And look at all those influencers! Their popularity has been achieved not only through their broadcasts, but with the conversations they have with their fans afterwards. Without this repartee going on in the comments, their community will not achieve the sense of belonging which so many of them crave.

These celebrities do get hundreds of thousands of people trying to communicate with them. Hard work for their teams to cope (you didn’t expect them to answer each comment personally, did you?). But the result is huge amounts of web traffic because they think socially.

These visitor stats are not empty. Very rarely do they suffer from high bounce rates. But there is the added problem of trolls and other unsuitable miscreants who are out to cause mischief. Popularity does have its downsides.

What Does Thinking Socially Involve?

Basically, thinking socially is focusing on others, rather than on yourself. A good commenter will direct what they say to the author of the post and their readers. They will keep to the subject, show appreciation, be kind and forthcoming, and write in a conversational style.

Another aspect is making sense of what is happening, in this case, the post’s content, and thinking accordingly. There is no reference to themselves or their business, especially in the form of including a link. The comment’s purpose is to add value and be either interesting or helpful, such as offering a solution to a problem.

The idea is to encourage a reply in return. The best method to achieve this is by asking a question. Not only does this show an interest in the post and its subject, but few people can resist answering it!

And the writing style should concentrate on making the reader feel comfortable. If they are able to relate to the author, feel a connection to the subject, and sense an affinity with the situation, they are more likely to respond.

Take a look at the infographic below:

Commenting think socially

So How Does This Relate To More Web Traffic?

You meant quality web traffic, right? Of course you did. Plenty of people regularly return to your blog, and are willing to engage by commenting on what you write.

And you know what? The method I’m going to suggest probably won’t cost as much as hiring someone to do SEO or PPC advertising. All you need is a focused mindset, an enthusiasm to communicate, an interest in your readers, and an ability to write excellent comments yourself.

Yes, you need to put in the effort – especially when it comes to getting recognised within your niche, allowing people to get to know, like, and trust you, and being appreciated for your writing skills. And this means getting out into the blogosphere and commenting on other blogs.

It’s all about giving before you start to receive. Show your interest in others. Find out more about them by asking questions. Solve their problems by freely helping them. Adding value to your comments could make a difference to someone’s day. In other words, think socially when commenting.

Get Noticed To Get More Web Traffic

This isn’t a matter of being everywhere, it’s what you do once you’ve shown up. It’s all too easy to reduce your activities to ‘dumping and disappearing’, which is posting a link to your latest post on social media in the vain attempt for someone to click on it, but then not sticking around to see what engagement you get (if any).

Whereas if you were to accompany your notification with an introduction or explanation, along with a tantalising image, and then add the link into your first comment below, not only will you get more reach from the algorithms, but people will be more interested in reading it as well. This is not just another dumped link, this could be something worthwhile to read.

And then you need to hang around, or set up notifications to alert you of any activity, so you can respond within a reasonable amount of time. It is this awareness, rather than abandonment, which could make all the difference to getting noticed, forming social relationships through commenting, and ultimately getting clicks as web traffic back to your blog.

It’s the same with blog commenting. Drawing attention to yourself by writing appropriate responses to people’s posts will get you noticed. If you can create a rapport with the blog’s author through commenting, the resulting conversations may be interesting to other readers. And if what you write creates a good enough impression, people may be compelled to click on your name to visit your blog to find out more.

Communities Provide Both Web Traffic And How To Think Socially

Participation is a great tool to encourage a community. This is something you should encourage your readers to do naturally. Commenting needs to be a method of two-way interaction between the blogger and those who read their content. Readers need to feel comfortable enough to want to have their say, and even regularly return to do this.

It’s all about communication. Think about who you are talking to, and write content that they can relate to. Give them a reason to connect with your conversational style. Understand your readers fully so that you can provide the content they want. Ask for feedback and showing appreciation by reacting and acknowledging it.

A lively community of readers will not just comment, but may share your content around their own social profiles. Recommendations, along with Word of Mouth, are powerful marketing tactics. People value, as well as notice, what other people think or say, as this is usually delivered in a far more relatable format than from the original source.

Other marketing methods such as UGC (user-generated content) will help to generate more web traffic from your loyal readers. Setting up contests also encourages more participation, especially when incentivised to tell others about it to receive more votes. Roundup posts will result in more interest from respected experts in your field, not to mention views from their fans and readers.

Start Increasing Your Commenting Activity

Hands up if you didn’t consider commenting as a method to get more web traffic? Go on, you won’t be alone. Neither, I suspect, did you think about using think socially tactics within your comments.

Hopefully, this post will have opened your eyes to a myriad of new possibilities. Accruing a high volume of visits doesn’t necessarily mean similar rates of engagement and interaction. So you need to work at this by doing more yourself. Getting noticed and making social relationships is a great way of increasing web traffic back to your blog or website.

You could continue to waste your money on expensive SEO or PPC tactics, or you could go down the social route and start being nice to everybody within the blogosphere! It does require effort, it may not be something you could delegate, but the results are definitely more fulfilling!

It’s quite easy to find out more about how to do this through my courses. Alternatively, you could just click on my name in the bio below to ask me a question, or let me know what you thought about this post in the comments below. I would be very interested to receive your opinions on this subject.

 

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Featured image: Allice Elliott

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Alice Elliott (aka Fairy Blog Mother) is an award winning blogging consultant who has been "explaining things really simply" about WordPress to bloggers since 2006. She has twice been recognised as a WordPress influencer for 2019. She is also founder of The Commenting Club created to educate the benefits of commenting to individuals and businesses.