How I Increased My WordPress Blog Traffic By 28% in 48 Days

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Increase WordPress Blog Traffic
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One of the ways by which you can evaluate your blog growth is by the number of visitors you are getting (Use Google Analytics to keep track of your blog visits). But, just the visits are not enough to measure the growth, as the traffic has to be targeted.

Therefore, to increase the targeted traffic to my blog, I have burned the midnight oil in the past 48 days.

There are various ways by which one can drive traffic to their blog, and I’m a firm believer of growth hacking. With growth hacking, one can use existing content and start getting more traffic to their blog.

Many of you might be aware of the fact that my blog was hit by Google Panda algorithm in 2011, and this was the time when I realized the importance of SEO. I spent months on learning SEO  and practising it to recover from Google Panda

(For new readers, you can read all about my recovery process over here). Panda recovery was a big relief as for once I almost lost faith and thought my blogging career is over.

During my process of learning about SEO, I realized that the Search Engine is nothing but a set of codes/algorithm, and we just need to make sure that our WordPress blog meets their requirement.

One of the biggest misconceptions with search engine optimization is that one needs to do some shady techniques to rank higher in the search engine.

But, the fact is SEO is first about readers and a bit of technical tweaking to make it search engine friendly. No website can be ranked higher for long without quality content and which is not giving great user experience.

increase WordPress traffic
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In the case study, I will share exactly what all I did which helped me to increase my traffic by 28% in just 48 days.

I’m sure there will be a lot to learn for you as well, and my suggestion would be to take action right away and not just to read whatever is written.

If you can’t take action now, you should rather bookmark this article now, and come back later when you are ready to take action.

Case-Study: What All I did to increase my Blog traffic in 48 days

How it all started:

Well, I was sailing on a smooth boat, and I was least worried about increasing traffic. My focus was to constantly produce new content to keep regular readers engaged, and it was not a bad approach, but I was kind of ignoring the importance of those readers who were coming from search engine and landing on old posts.

While writing new articles, it’s also important to work on your old blog posts and improve them.

You should read this detailed guide on why you should edit your blog posts and how to recycle old blog posts for traffic and exposure.

Anyhow a few weeks back, I got to know about LinkPatrol plugin that I reviewed and installed it on my blog to fix my old links. You can read more about LinkPatrol plugin here. With that, I started auditing all my posts, and that gave me a completely new perspective about the conversions.

I also managed to earn an extra $1200+. If you are interested in knowing how this plugin helped me to make money, you should check out this detailed video guide over here.

Let’s look at the steps I took which helped me to improve the traffic drastically, and it’s been improving since then.

Moving Non-relevant article to other blogs:

If you are a new reader of ShoutMeLoud, you should start with reading this personal story of my blogging journey, and you would know that ShoutMeLoud was started as a tech blog and later on it found the niche as you know of today.

I had almost 50+ quality technical posts written in around 2010-2012, and I had to get rid of them. They were not low-quality content, but they were not adding value to my current niche of the blog.

What I did was; I moved all the posts from ShoutMeLoud (SML) to ShoutMeTech ( SMT- My Tech Blog) and here is the process that I followed:

  • I made the list of all the tech posts that I wanted to move from ShoutMeLoud to ShoutMeTech.
  • I checked the post in Google search for any duplication. Since many lame newbies copy content from this blog to theirs, I filed DMCA complaint against them and got rid of all the duplicate content. This was a necessary step, else If I would have directly posted the content on ShoutMeTech; it would have been treated as a duplicate content.
  • Now moving posts from ShoutMeLoud to ShoutMetech was a task and manually moving images was time-consuming. I found this useful plugin call Archive remote images, which automatically saves images. After copying the content from ShoutMeLoud to ShoutMeTech, I deleted the content from ShoutMeLoud and added a request from Google Webmaster tool to remove it from Web-index.
  • Once the post was gone from the search index, I published the post on ShoutMetech and added a 301 redirection from SML post to SMT.

And guess what even deleting many traffic-driving non-relevant articles didn’t affect ShoutMeLoud traffic, instead traffic keeps increasing over time. Notice the graph below:

Post removal effect on ShoutMeLoud
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This entire process took some time, but it was necessary to make all the content of ShoutMeLoud relevant and remove those who don’t align with the goals of our blog.

If you want to learn more about this ideology of mine, you should read my article on Single-niche Vs. Multi-Niche blog, where I have shared my observations and viewpoints regarding the same. If you are wondering what happened to my traffic on ShoutMetech, check below graph:

301 redirection effect
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Optimizing Posts for Keyword Ranking:

I’m a big fan of SEMRUSH tool as it offers everything you need for my blog such as  Trackbacks, Keyword search, Keyword ranking to name a few. This is an ongoing process, and what I do here is, I use SEMRUSH to find all pages that are ranking for a particular keyword in page-2 or more of Google search and optimize them for the particular keyword.

SEMRUSH Keyword ranking
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I have shared the complete process earlier here, and you can take a test drive of SEMRUSH for free using this promo link.

Repurposing the content:

This is the most recommended strategy for getting traffic, as you don’t need to work a lot, and you can get more done in less time. What I did is hired freelancers on ODesk to create slides from my existing blog post. I uploaded those slides to Slideshare, and that helped a lot in getting traffic and branding the blog.

I’m still in the process of optimizing my slides to drive traffic to my blog, but for the starter, you should read this guide on using Slideshare for driving traffic. I will share my experience and results when I have more data to share with you.

Overall, Slides is a completely new addition to my blog promotion techniques, and it is working. If you are in a tight budget, you can start creating slides by yourself which should not take much time. You should read this awesome guide from Outbrain on 23 tools to repurpose the content.

Upgraded ShoutMeLoud theme to responsive and Mobile site:

ShoutMeLoud was running on an outdated version of Thesis theme and in July first week we migrated to the latest version of Genesis WordPress theme.

2020 update: Astra theme is better to use in 2020.

Moreover, I also added a mobile-specific site that helped me to increase the traffic from the mobile search engine. Nonetheless, moving from Thesis to Genesis improved the overall performance of my site.

The improved loading time of the site:

Upgrading to Genesis theme already improved the loading time of my site by 300%, and I further optimized it to using Cloudflare free CDN. ShoutMeLoud is hosted on HHVM based WordPress hosting on Kinsta, and with this ShoutMeLoud is now loading in less than 2 seconds.

Blog loading time
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Improved related posts:

Earlier I was using related posts via custom code, and I was not happy with the relevancy of related content shown after the post. Related content works way better, only if the related posts are shown in the series format.

I removed the custom code and added related posts plugin by Zemanta, which let me edit the related posts and select which posts I want to show.

Editing related posts Zementa plugin
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Just to give you an idea, it automatically shows the related content from your blog, and you have the capability to edit the related content and pick content manually for each post.

This work is still in progress, and I’m hoping to notice a significant improvement in the bounce rate of the blog.

Removed broken links and irrelevant links:

This step I would recommend to you to do it immediately as broken links are really bad for overall SEO score of your blog. You can use a WordPress plugin called Linkwhisper or desktop tool call Integrity to find all broken link on your blog.

If you are using any SEO tool like SEMRush, SiteBulb, they also have a feature to find broken links.

These are not notable changes that I have done in the last couple of weeks and traffic has improved for the blog, and I would recommend you to try making these changes to your blog, and it might have an improved traffic effect on your blog.

One thing which I want you to read before you drop a comment is: How not to write meaningless content for utter success, as if you understand this Mantra, your blog will grow faster than you can imagine.

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Increase WordPress Blog Traffic
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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

46 thoughts on “How I Increased My WordPress Blog Traffic By 28% in 48 Days”

  1. supreeth bharadwaj

    really impressed Harsh
    actually i am new to wordpress and i bet these tools can help me increase upto 60% of my traffic,earlier i was using hootsuit,analytics also twitter analytics helps me a lot in getting more RTS and followers
    thanks for such an awesome post

  2. Md. Hamim Mondal

    Hi Harsh,
    Many new things you have done to increase your blog traffic. I think blog loading time and android app done the trick. Seriously Harsh bro shoutmeload now loading blazing fast ( almost within 1 Sec).

    As a reader of your blog I always love to see your blog growth and love to learn new tips from you.

    Have a nice day.

    Regards,
    Md. Hamim Mondal

  3. Aditya Nath Jha

    A nice article with detailed information on how to make a targeted increase in traffic by following such best practices. Nice work with the Android app, all the best for the future! 🙂

  4. Jotpreet Singh

    Dear harsh,

    The strategies you covered here are excellent. many thought of, but not acted upon. Seeing the results is way more awesome.

    yet, I wanted to ask you if forums were also a great way of generating traffic and also more about paid advertisements, Are they worth it ?

    And, I’m looking forward to setting up my blog on blogger, how would you recommend related posts on there ??

    just curious and thanks ?/

  5. I should prioritize the speed of my website, it’s on my to-do list for a while now. Thanks for the tips! Btw, I wonder what’s your post editor looks like now? With all of the plugins you have installed.

  6. Great achievement harsh and yes by tweaking and constantly trying to improve our blog performance is very essential and we must regularly check our broken links which can boost the traffic if it’s upto date So we must always try to make our blog better then what is it today

    Cheers
    Rohit Singh

    1. @Rohit
      Thanks for your comment and yes indeed it’s a great idea to constantly upgrade your blog and existing content to keep them fresh.

  7. Harsh, these steps are indeed really helpful for increasing blog traffic. Specially re-using the same content through different slide sharing networks. Optimizing the wordpress theme for responsive layout is another milestone.

    However choosing the right web hosting powered by lightspeed web server instead of Apache web server also helps to gain more traffic with minimum resources.

  8. Great post Harsh.
    As you do I am also a big fan of Semrush tool. It’s great. It can defeat any of the keyword research tools easily. Importing Semrush data to Keyword planner is of a great deal.

    I am also a great lover of content repurposing. Creating slides, slides to infographics and videos. This sequence works great for me.

    Harsh, you follow internal link strategy very seriously. When I visit SML, I didn’t remember a day on which I bounced away. Internal links, tempt me to explore further.
    REALLY!

    Cheers,
    Akshay Hallur.

  9. Nice, over 10k UV a day, some says with 10k UV a day from top countries you earn a living and much much more.

    Creating genuine backlinks also contribute to constant growth of ShoutMeLoud.

  10. Hi Harsh I have been an avid reader and follower of your blog shoutmeloud.com and I constantly follow you Google+ page as well
    recently in one of your posts on Google+ you mentioned about Varnish Cache, my question to you is this: can we use Varnish Caches on static html sites as well or is it only useful with cms solutions like wordpress.

    1. @Ankit
      You can use Varnish on any kind of site and especially it works great with Static HTML sites, as content doesn’t change and you don’t have to flush the cache.

  11. Hi Harsh,

    I’ve been meaning to drop by your blog because I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you so I’m really glad I stopped by and read this particular post.

    Wow, that’s very impressive but your traffic stats are very impressive anyway. My goodness.

    I have a question for you though. I have a LOT of older posts that are not only not relevant to my blog but in a totally different niche now. I’ve changed directions three times since starting mine but the reason I’ve left them there is because I teach people about blogging so they are my proof that I totally sucked when I started but there is hope for everyone. I really hate to take them down because people can see my progress. I’ve been told that if they are not hurting my traffic or opt-in subscribers then to leave them. Do you still suggest the same thing? Just curious, not sure what I should do actually.

    I haven’t really paid much attention to older posts because what I write about it constantly changing and I don’t want to rehash old topics a lot. My blog is five years old so I would probably never get much else written if I spent that kind of time.

    I post twice a week but have just backed down to only once a week starting this month because I’m in the middle of creating a product and I just need that time to focus. Once it’s out next month I’ll go back to posting more often, I love blogging.

    Thanks so much for sharing your stats with us and again, very impressive.

    ~Adrienne

    1. @Adrienne
      Thanks for dropping by and regarding your question:

      Well if you want to keep those posts and they are not relevant, you can use no-index tag and use URL removal tool by Google to remove it from Web-index. Though a better idea would be move it to other domain, and when you have to tell people this is how I started, you can point to that domain and mention I removed those posts there to maintain the quality of your website which you have learned after blogging for years. Choice is simple, it’s just you need to make up your heart to start doing it.

      Do let me know what you did and what was the end result.

  12. That was an excellent information on increasing traffic for a newbie like me,Please suggest me some good online SEO tutoring institutes.

  13. Hi,
    I have a question regarging this advice:

    After copying the content from ShoutMeLoud to ShoutMeTech, I deleted the content from ShoutMeLoud and added a request from Google Webmaster tool to remove it from Web-index.
    Once the post was gone from search index, I published the post on ShoutMetech and added a 301 redirection from SML post to SMT.

    Why do you wait with the publishment on the other website? You mentioned already that there are copycats, while doing this you gave them the chance to outrank your own article.

    1. @Olaf
      That’s the point of filing the DMCA and getting rid of all those web pages who have copied content. I actually realised I made a mistake here, I first file DMCA complaint, and once that was gone, after that I deleted the post from SML and moved to SMT. Thanks for pointing it out. Silly me!

  14. Can you provide us details on how much did it cost to get the ShoutMeLoud Android App? Traffic contribution from that Android app right now?

    Thanks!

  15. Karamvir Dahiya

    Thanks Harsh,
    for sharing this useful information with us. Will you suggest some useful tools for increasing traffic on Blogger blog.

  16. Thanks for sharing this useful information Harsh. I am making a WordPress site and before reading this blog i didn’t know that how to promote a website. But now I can promote my site.

    Thanks Harsh and please share this type of information always with us.

  17. Hi Harsh, Nice write up for serious bloggers.
    Uisng android app for traffic seems a great idea. But is there a way to promote them somehow, other than on the blog.
    And only after reading this post I understood that I should be giving more time to optimize my old posts.

  18. No doubt its an incrdeible post indeed to encourage new bloggers to reach upto your level. On ething i just wanna ask “Is social media a great source of increasing traffic ?” I think social media will also be a great source of traffic.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Saifi
      Social media is indeed a great source & it’s no brainer now. The only thing is you need to do a complete SMO (Social media optimization) to enjoy traffic from social media sites.

  19. Sunil K Chaira

    This is why I love this website. You are always there to help me at every point. Am a blogger too and looking for such tips and tricks so I can attract more readers to my website. Thanks for providing such a great article. I’ll make sure to use all these tips for my own blog and and am very sure that these tricks will boost my website traffic.

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