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How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7 million per month

How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7 million per month

The HubSpot Blog is one of the largest and most visited B2B sites on the internet. Want to know how we did it? Well, I’ve got good news. The answer isn’t just more blogging.

In this article, I’m going to talk to you How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7 million per month through some of the techniques HubSpot uses to earn organic blog traffic that top seven million views month after month. 

If you’re reading this article, you probably already understand the importance of blogging to your inbound marketing strategy. A high performing blog brings traffic to your business, establishes authority with potential customers, and drives leads that can turn into real dollars.

And this isn’t monopoly money, because if it was, I’d be rich. But blog traffic doesn’t appear overnight. Even HubSpot started from scratch, posting consistent content since before we even had a product to sell.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t to make your blog a success. So if you’ve been blogging for a while and you’re having a hard time getting to that next level, we have some strategies that will work.

And if you’re new to the blogging game, consider what I’m about to teach you to be a shortcut that will help you catch the competition in no time. The strategy I’m going to explain can be divided into four tactics–

1.pillar-cluster construction,

2.organic-first content,

3.optimizing for search engine results page, or SERP, and

4.historical optimization.

These methods can all be applied to your existing blog practice. You don’t have to do any additional blogging. How do we know it works? Because we used these methods to revive the our Blog.

Let’s go back to the year of 2017, before Dogecoin was a thing. After a decade of steady growth, the HubSpot Blog hit a slump. Suddenly traffic was not just plateauing but actually declining. Oh no. And it wasn’t just the HubSpot Blog.

Blogs across the internet were losing steam as conversational search evolved, SERP pages changed, and social media algorithms began to favor more native content.

How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7million per month

What were the hardworking bloggers of the internet to do? At HubSpot, we got busy figuring out solutions, and they’re still working today. The first step is organizing your blog into a pillar-cluster model.

Pillar-Cluster Model

In a pillar-cluster model, your blog is organized into a collection of pillar-content around which clusters of related posts are written. 

For example, you might have a pillar topic like Instagram marketing. So you have a page with a really clear URL path, like /instagram-marketing. This pillar page offers a broad overview of the topic.

Next, write a cluster of related blog posts that take deeper dives into specific parts of the pillar topic. Things like,

“The Anatomy of Perfect Instagram Profile,”

”  How to Write A Good Instagram Captions,”

“8 Bookmarkable Tips for Perfecting Your Copy,” and,

“How to Use Instagram Stories– A Simple Guide for Marketers.”

As you’re writing these cluster pages, you want to create hyperlinks between each blog post in the pillar page as well as between the cluster pages themselves.

When you’re done, you’ll have created an elaborate web of information that captures the attention of your users and the search engine bots. Yeah, I feel like they should call this, like, the webslinging method, right?

It was staring them in the face, and they fumbled that one. Not only does the pillar-content model create a great user experience that works well with search, it’s also a convenient way to plan content in the future.

HubSpot Blog has over 10,000 posts and They’re still finding pillars and clusters to create every quarter. If your blog is new, you might wonder how many pillars you should start with.

How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7million per month

Honestly, it depends on your business. One way to think about it is every product or service you provide should have at least two topic pillars. Or think about it as one topic pillar per feature.

So if your product is, say a fitness app, your blog should have at least two pillars– one about exercise and one about diet. In truth, you’d probably want to break it down into dozens of pillars, like strength, cardio, recovery, carbs, hydration, recipes, so on and so forth.

Any subject that you could write multiple articles about from different angles deserves its own pillar. Consider any topic gap or something that is interesting to your audience and relevant to your product as a potential content pillar for your blog.

organic-first content

With so much potential material, you might need help deciding what topics to focus on each month. The answer is the same no matter how big or how small your blog is. It’s called organic-first content.

Organic-first content means selecting your content based primarily on how it will perform in search, either now or in the future. Most blogs chase traffic based on trending topics.

Instead, we focus on content that will draw eyeballs over the long term. Long-term eyeballs. That can mean researching relevant topics that might not have high search volume now but will in the coming months and years.

Things like artificial intelligence and blockchain. Could also mean identifying gaps in content where there is already interest in a topic but nobody is adequately covering it.

How to Grow Your Blog traffic to 7million per month

They’re playing checkers while we’re over here playing chess. It’s not even regular chess, it’s 4D chess. Chess through space-time. That’s a checkmate in the past. Google that.

HubSpot’s organic-first method starts with something we like to call the “Blog Insights Report.” The “Blog Insights Report” is a document we use to identify what we should be blogging about each quarter based on opportunities for organic search.

Our team does this systematically by identifying SEO-friendly keywords based on metrics like monthly search volume, MSV, and keyword difficulty. And the “Blog Insights Report” doesn’t just focus on keywords that are popular now.

It helps identify search queries that will be more popular in the future, helping you get ahead of the competition in the race for that number one search engine result. Now, the question is how effective is the “Blog Insights Report.” Since we started using it in 2018 to plan our content, the organic keywords we rank for on page one of Google have grown substantially.

That is incredible growth for a blog that was losing traffic just one year earlier. If you’re ready to try your hand at creating your own “Blog Insights Report,” Once you’re creating organic-first content focused on SEO, you want to format that content to maximize stickiness on Google search engine result page.

It used to be that the first page for any query contain 10 results, with possibly an ad or two at the top. All you had to do was get your content into the top few results using traditional SEO practices, and you were guaranteed traffic.

Yeah, it ain’t really like that anymore. In recent years, Google has been adding features that take up space and attention that would otherwise go to your content.

 SEO Tips For Your Website

Tools like featured snippet, related questions, and image packs all push organic results farther down the page. And they even reduce the number of organic search results that appear on the first page.

According to one study, the number of organic listings displayed on the first Google results page was reduced from 10 to 7 on more than 18% of searches.

That’s an overall reduction in organic search results of 5.5%, which makes some SEO marketers more than a little nervous. Personally, I’m paralyzed with fear.

SERP Tools

Good news is we have figured out how to take advantage of these new SERP tools to actually increase your organic reach. Start by taking a look at featured snippets as well as related questions, which are actually just a series of featured snippets.

The function of the featured snippet is to give users quick answers to their questions without having to leave Google. This was first implemented so that voice assistance devices like Google Home could function properly.

Hey Google, what is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts the customers by creating a valuable content and experiences tailored to them.

Featured snippets were later integrated into desktop and mobile search, and to everyone’s surprise, the snippets actually increased the click-through rate by an average of 114%. Dang. That means capturing the featured snippets lot can be a big way to drive traffic to your blog.

That’s why we created the Featured Snippet module as part of the HubSpot CMS. Just format the headline of the module as a question and make the answer 54 to 58 words long.

How to Create Backlinks Using HARO ?

Even if you don’t use the HubSpot CMS– which you should consider doing– applying best practices for headings and paragraph tags will greatly increase your chances of earning that coveted featured snippets spot.

Another best practice that too many bloggers skip is properly tagging images to get into the SERP image pack. So make sure that the images in your blog posts have descriptive filenames and clear Alt text.

That provides both context and clarity to the image. You can try including keywords but don’t force it or Google could actually end up penalizing you.

Every technique we’ve talked about so far is designed to help you make your new content more effective. But what if I told you there’s something you can do to improve your blog traffic that doesn’t involve writing new posts at all?

Historical Optimization

I’m talking about historical optimization. Historical optimization is a process by which you revisit your old blog content, updating it to improve both traffic and lead generation based on the data.

We started doing historical optimization on the HubSpot Blog as part of the overall growth strategy, and the results were genuinely jaw dropping. Leads generated by the freshly optimized content more than doubled, and organic search views on that historical content grew by 104%.

To conduct your own historical organization, start by reviewing your high-intent, high-lead generating posts to make sure the content remains relevant.

You can also identify falling traffic posts and identify them to stay competitive in SERP. When updating a post, be sure to do the following– add fresh content and make sure that all existing content is still relevant, check that any data is high quality and no more than two years old, update images and make sure they’re optimized for the SERPs, and make sure all links are still working.

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