Well, you have just started your really cool new blog or website and waiting for visitors.
But they are not coming.
Your friends and family have already seen it (which was a nice, warming spike in the first few days or weeks), but now the situation just seems tragic.
You are not alone. We have recently analyzed 690.000 new websites and have found that 86.7% of them have less than 10 visitors per day!
And though we really don’t want to make you feel even worse about it, we have to tell you it’s not gonna change with time. I mean, it will. It will get worse. Unless you do something about it, and that’s what this post is all about!
Let’s face the problem
Making the link between your content and your readers is the hardest part of launching a new website or blog these days. We have made a poll asking for the biggest challenges of new website owners and 56% of them said that getting visitors was there greatest challenge.
Just to show you the magnitude of this problem, second place challenge was creating content with only 14% of the votes, while 3rd place was the technical challenge of creating the site itself with 12% of the votes.
Getting visible online is becoming extremely hard these days and now most top bloggers say that you should apply the 20-80 rule meaning that you should spend about only 20% of your time creating your content and 80% promoting it.
The inevitable shift in mindset
First of all you have to see that it’s not gonna change without hard work. Many people dream about launching a website that just goes viral somehow, but it almost has the same chance as winning the lottery.
You will have to work hard to change those numbers and it’s not gonna be easy at all. You will find thousands of posts online telling you that it’s easy, but let’s be honest, who would click on an article saying “Get 100 visitors a day with blood, sweat and tears”?
No, people will always click the “This is how my blog went viral in 7 days and you can do it, too” articles. So that’s why all of the headlines on Google’s first page are like that.
So how can you get more visitors?
Besides getting extremely lucky you will have to work for your visitors. The bad news is that it takes time and effort. The good news: these efforts will add up over time.
If you just take a small step every day, placing a link here and there, fine tuning your site, getting your hands dirty, it will give you results and it may easily lead to a snowball effect. Getting more visitors will bring you even more visitors who will attract even more visitors like a chain reaction.
But you have to start somewhere. Like in business, getting your first million is the hardest, similarly, getting your first 10.000 visitors is the hardest.
So we have created you a list that may help you achieve your goals.
Our unique list of attracting more visitors to your new website
Probably you have already searched for the term “how to get more visitors” and you have found countless “definitive guides” and “top 43 ideas” and “101 ways that are still working in 2018” posts. With ideas like “Go to public television” and “Interview 5 influencers” and “Create a podcast”.
Well, there may be a reason why you start a blog and not a Youtube channel. You may not want to see yourself on the screen, or maybe your English is not good enough to do that. If you are located in India, Turkey, Morocco or Brasil most of these advices are pretty useless.
We have created a list that focuses on the most effective ways that still work and will gain your blog or website visibility in the ocean of blogs and websites.
1. Go social!
This should be the very first step right after creating your site. Make it shareable on social media! There is simply no reason not to do it. If you are using WordPress you have lots of options, check out our 11 essential wordpress plugins article to get some inspiration.
It takes only 5 minutes to download and configure Social Pug for example and voilá, your site is immediately attached to the most basic social media platforms.
Just imagine your very first visitor liking your very first post. Will he or she be able to share it on Facebook? Have you given the chance to his 900 friends to also see, read and share your article? Don’t miss this chance!
2. Collect subscribers
Though I believe the importance of having subscribers will decrease in the future (as Gmail has just started to filter out newsletters from people’s inboxes which is quite a disgusting move, I mean they have subscribed to get your content and updates and they can unsubscribe any time, so why cut them off from what you have to offer them?), but anyway, you should make it possible for people liking your site to subscribe.
Once again, if you are using WordPress you can download and configure a relevant plugin (like the Newsletter plugin) in almost no time. In just 10 minutes you can have a complete system for subscribing, unsubscribing, sending out newsletters, viewing statistics and so on.
It’s pretty cool, don’t give the chance to losing even one person who would be interested in what you have to say in the future. Even if they bookmark you, how often do you visit your bookmarks? I think you get it.
I know that it costs money, but there are actually two good reasons why I recommend you to advertise your site (on Google, Bing, Facebook, or any other platforms).
First, because you can have more visitors of course. Is it worth paying for visitors this way? I think that unless you run some very serious affiliate site the answer is no. Each click will cost you anywhere between a few cents to a dollar or more, but this money is wasted most of the time.
But! When you run your first ad campaign you will be enlightened. As soon as you create your first ads, choose your ad keywords and write your ad text you will see why your site will fail and how it could succeed. Is it worth paying let’s say $25-$100 for this experience? I truly believe it’s worth it.
Once you are over your first ad campaign, you will never operate your site like you have done it before.
4. Choose your niche and topics wisely
You may think that you are already over this part, but (specially if you have run an ad campaign and see where your site is failing) you still can and should fine tune what you have to offer to your readers. If you have a small blog about “Car audio and multimedia”, you can still fine tune it and be more specific, like “Android car stereo head units for Audi A6”. If you have a blog about “Recipes”, you can quickly turn it to “Vegetarian Italian pasta recipes”. At first it may seem that you have just excluded a large part of your audience, but actually you just made your blog more unique and visible on the internet.
5. Write good content
As they say content is king. Most of the time it’s damn hard writing content which is good, but it has several benefits that you just can’t ignore.
As soon as you start publishing articles you will see that even if someone finds them they will spend only about 5-8 seconds “reading them”. If your content is not interesting, compelling, intriguing enough to catch your readers’ attention they will just leave and usually they do it very quick.
So your content should be informative, relevant and useful for the audience that you are targetting.
If your content is poor then people will just leave your site and never come back. But if they find your content interesting it’s much more likely that they will share it, bookmark it or read more articles on your site which will improve your ranking in search engines which will bring you even more visitors.
6. Understand your audience
A research showed that people have three main motivations when browsing the web. They either want to solve a problem, find information or have fun. Does your content resonate with any of these three? If not, your site will probably fail badly.
Your site should be helpful to other people by helping them solve their problems, helping them find the information they are looking for or helping them feel good.
So, going back to our simple examples above you can start a website about “how to install your new car audio” to solve a problem, “what are the best car audios out there” to give information or “funniest/scariest moments ever recorded by a dash cam” to make it fun.
And actually it’s the same with every topic, you should sit down and think about it: why would people want to visit (and re-visit!) your site from time to time? If there is no good reason, you should work to find one.
7. Do care about SEO
SEO is a very broad topic and we will discuss it in another article. But shortly: you should care about the basics and SEO trends. 10-20 years ago you could just write a decent article and get tons of attention because there was no real competition back in the days. But times have changed.
Currently many researches have been made on this topic and you just can’t ignore their findings.
In a nutshell: your articles will get much more attention if they are long (2000 words at least), well organized, if you have a few keywords in mind that you use in a clever way in the text and headers. You should operate with many images, charts, infographics, you should make it readable with several headers, paragraphs.
8. Comment on forums or posts
I believe it will never go out of fashion. Find forums that are relevant to your niche or site and place valuable comments that are truly useful for those reading it. Simply spamming any forum is not very useful, believe me, noone will click on a spammy link, they will just ban you in no time. But adding valuable pieces of information may spark interest in what else you have and people will click a link that is placed wisely with some kind of clever bait for clicking.
Commenting under a good post can also be useful as long as you really have something to add besides your link. If your comment is good enough website owners will leave your link in it, but if it screams “I’m a spam” they will just remove, it’s quite easy to strip links.
9. Answer questions on sites like Quora
It’s pretty much overused these days and every new site owner just rushes to Quora to answer questions because Quora is mentioned in almost every list like this. But it’s for a reason, because it’s still effective.
Just register, it’s very easy and open up a couple of questions that are related to your niche or topics. Based on your profile and search history Quora will intelligently filter and send you new questions daily that are related to your interest. For this reason, try to avoid using it for personal interests.
Any other similar sites are good, if your site is related to IT just go to Stackoverflow and help out other people. As long as your answers are genuinely helpful you may get the best targeted audience to your site.
10. Write guest articles and invite guest bloggers
You may want to look for sites that are similar to yours. On one hand they are your competitors, but on the other they can become your partners. You can target strong, authoritative blogs and hope that they will like your content and publish on their site, or contact similar sized blogs and ask for a partnership.
Always remember, behind most of the websites, be it small or huge there are real, mostly kind and nice people who will be willing to help you most of the time. Of course the same applies here as with commenting, you do have to add some value to them, you can’s just beg for links.
Once your site has reached a certain level you can also offer to accept guest articles.
11. Use more images
Using images is very important for several different reasons.
First, your site will look much much better. People are very visual and images will add a lot to the look and feel of your website. We have already published an article about the importance of images and where you can find great, legal pictures for free.
Second, people are often looking for images in search engines. If you have the chance to not only use, but create a new image that looks good or is helpful to someone then you may win a lot of visitors in return. Have you ever wanted to buy a certain type of glass or kitchen item whose name was just too general to get a quality hit? Then you go to Google’s image search and look for the glass which is the closest to what you had in mind.
12. Encourage commenting
Have you already published a couple of posts or articles? What was the last sentence of those posts? If you are not trying to engage your readers at the end of a post then you are making a huge mistake. Just ask them about their opinions or experiences or ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Many times people will respond well and if you are genuinely interested about their opinion they will spend some time telling you what they had in mind. And it is very beneficial on so many different levels, because you not only get a chance to understand your readers more, but they will also spend a couple more minutes on your site (which search engines will register and add to your site’s authority rank) and may also come back later to see your response.
13. Use links
There are two types of links, external and internal which both may add a lot to the value of your site.
Internal links are pointing to your own content. In this article we have already linked a couple of our other articles that are relevant to this post. It’s a good practice from SEO point of view (helps search engines crawl your content much faster) and may also keep visitors on your site and decrease your bounce rate. Google will register that people spend more time on your site and will give you a better place in search results.
External links point to other sites. Linking to reputable sites may increase the value of your own blog (it’s also noticed by search engines), while linking to your fellow sites may let them notice you and may spark some kind of partnership, guest blogging or offers, opportunities.
In addition to this, always make sure you include related articles at the bottom of your posts. If you are using WordPress just find a good plugin which will do it for you.
14. Speed up your site
According to recent studies most people will just close your site if it doesn’t load in 3-5 seconds. Specially if they have never visited it before. They may have found an article of yours in Google or one that is shared on Facebook, it sparked some interest and they clicked the link, but it is just too slow to load. Everyone has a different tolerance level, but you can be sure that every single second counts and the slower your site loads the more visitors you will loose.
So try to avoid huge images and slow scripts on every page of yours where you expect most of your visitors to land (eg. your homepage or promoted articles).
In our Site Checker Tool we have a link to Google Speed Test, just enter your domain name and our script will create the link for you.
15. Optimize for mobile devices
If you use WordPress it’s kind of automatic, but still you may want to check from time to time how your site looks on mobile devices and at different resolutions. It’s just amazing how many different devices are used to open your site. Here is a chart about the different resolutions that are used when visiting Brand New Blogs:
Even the most commonly used screen resolution is only used once out every four visits.
Also, the browsers, operating systems and devices show the same kind of diversity. Make sure your site looks good or at least acceptable at every different resolutions. You may just lose visitors if your site looks crappy on a mobile screen.
16. Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Google have some amazing tools when it comes to analytics and you no longer have to guess the strength and weaknesses of your site. We have already published a post about the advantages of these tools and a guide on submitting your site, make sure you check it out.
But in short, Google provides excellent statistics and insights about every different aspect of your site. You can check your bounce rate, how much time people spend on your site, when they visit, what articles they read, from which countries, how your site appears in searches and exactly which searches, what keywords you qualify for and how you rank.
These information are invaluable and you just can’t afford not having them.
17. Use catchy headlines and write list posts
As we have already discussed it’s basic human nature that everyone is addicted to top lists and catchy headlines. Every time you write an article make sure you give it a title which sparks interest. There are a ton of resources on how to do that, but in short just make sure your headline is not boring.
Just imagine your post appearing in a Google search result page. Would you want to click on it, or click the other 9 results? People usually just scan through quickly and open two or three of what they consider to be the best fit for their search. Even if your post is their most awesome and 100% relevant hit they will never click it if the headline doesn’t sell it.
Also, make sure you install the Yoast SEO plugin and properly edit and design the snippet for your most important articles. This is how your post will show on Google, this little snippet is the “face” of your content and it should be good. Otherwise Google will just pick any line to represent your post which can be a hit or miss.
18. Publish viral content
It is very hard to tell why any content would or would not go viral, but you can ask yourself the question: would you share this post if you just bumped into it online? People share many kinds of stuff, but they tend to share some articles more than others. If your post is (or looks) high quality, informative or funny then they may be willing to share it. And every share is free traffic for you. Not to mention the social proof as it gets shared and commented more and more. So make sure that your content is unique and interesting in some way and let people do the job for you.
19. Join our Partner program
We are trying to help new sites and blogs to gain a bit more visibility, so we have created a Partner Program. It’s basically a link exchange. In return for placing one of our logos on your site we will help you gain more visitors and authority by adding your site to our Partners page.
As we have many partners we can’t guarantee that all of our visitors will check out your page, but some of them will and at the same time you win a valuable backlink that will count when you are trying to rank for any keywords in Google.