Try these tactics to drive more traffic to your content.
If your article ranks high on Google, you’ll be able to get traffic continuously over the long term.
But you can’t just create random content and hope that Google will rank it. To get search traffic, you have to target topics people are searching for.
Here’s how to find topics with search traffic potential:
- Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
- Enter one or a few relevant keywords
- Go to the Matching terms report
You can narrow the list by focusing on low-difficulty, high-traffic keywords. Add these filters:
- Traffic Potential (TP) > 500
- Keyword Difficulty (KD) < 20
Go through the list and pick out those that are relevant to your site.
Before a K-pop group makes a comeback, it releases teaser images, music video trailers, track lists, and announcements. The same goes before a movie is released—multiple trailers, teaser images, featurettes, and more are published.
You can do the same for your content too. Build hype before you publish. It doesn’t have to be at the level of an entertainment company—it can be as simple as a tweet.
For example, Chenell Basilio pre-launches her latest posts on Twitter and encourages people to join her list:
Doing this generates suspense for her content and keeps people on the lookout.
Links are an important Google ranking factor. Generally speaking, the more people you can get to link to your content, the higher the likelihood of it performing well.
If you want to acquire more links, you’ll need to give people a reason to link to you. One way to do this is to build link triggers—the reasons why people link to a certain piece of content—into your content.
Here’s how to find these link triggers:
- Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
- Search for your target keyword and scroll to the SERP overview
- Find a similar article with lots of referring domains
- Click on the number in the Backlinks column
- Skim the Anchor and target URL column for commonalities
For example, if we check the backlinks for BigCommerce’s article, we can see people are linking to some stats.
If we tackle the same topic, we’ll want to mention these stats too.
Whenever your audience discovers something memorable—whether it’s a quote or an image—you’ll want to make it easy for them to share with their friends.
For example, paleo recipe site Nom Nom Paleo has a “Pin” feature on its recipes:
Setting this up is easy—just install plugins like Easy Social Share, and you should be ready to go.
Great content is not created in a silo.
You need someone to look through your work and provide feedback. You’ll want them to vet your claims, dissect your clauses, point out grammatical errors, and improve your flow.
This could be a friend, family member, colleague, or someone from the same industry. Even better: What if you created a small, tight-knit group of such people who can provide feedback whenever any of you create something?
Not only will you create higher-quality work, but you’ll also be able to cross-promote each other too.
Every week, we send a newsletter of our best content to 200,000 subscribers:
We didn’t build that audience overnight. It took us years. But if you want an audience that’s ready and willing to consume your content whenever you publish, you have to start now.
Building an email list doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simply include an opt-in box on every blog post, like what we do:
You likely already have fans following your work. Let them know every time you publish something new.
For example, we share our latest content on all our social channels:
This can be done easily with social media scheduling tools. For example, we use Typefully and HypeFury to schedule our social media posts.
Just because you’ve shared it once on social doesn’t mean everyone has seen it.
Thanks (or no thanks) to each platform’s algorithm, every tweet, post, or video is ephemeral—your audience has either seen it or they haven’t. But even if they did, they might have forgotten about it.
So, don’t be afraid to share your posts multiple times. For example, look at how many times marketer Ross Simmonds has tweeted the same thing:
For best results, spread it out over a period of time (e.g., six months to a year).
If you’ve written an in-depth article, chances are you’ve linked to useful resources from other people. Why not reach out and let them know?
They’ll be delighted to know they’ve been featured. Some may even share on social media and send extra traffic your way.
Even if they don’t, it’s OK. Focus on building a relationship with them. It may lead to something bigger: cross-promotions, partnerships, and more.
Ever read an article on Wikipedia, ended up on Article Z, and wondered where all the time went?
The power behind “Wiki rabbit holes” is internal links. Internal links are links from one page on the same website to another. Adding these links can help readers discover more of your content. Plus, it can help to boost your pages’ performance in Google too.
The easiest way to do this is to sign up for a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) account. Then, run a crawl of your site with Site Audit. Once that’s done, head to the Link opportunities report.
The report will suggest potential internal links you can add.
Many companies neglect to do this. Your employees work for you, produce content, and likely use your product. They’re in the best position to promote your content—some of them may have even cultivated an audience of their own.
They should be one of your first ports of call whenever you publish something.
For example, at Ahrefs, we encourage authors to share their work on their socials.
As you can see, it can get a ton of traction.
Social media algorithms dislike links. Makes sense: They want you to stay on their platform as much as possible.
So instead of sharing a link and calling it a day, consider turning your content into threads or long-form tweets. Offer value upfront rather than beg for a click. You can always link to your original blog post or video at the end, just like what we did:
A LinkedIn carousel allows you to add multiple images and/or videos in a single post. Here’s an example:
You can easily repurpose your Twitter threads into a LinkedIn carousel, like what entrepreneur Noah Kagan did:
Our video on whether SEO is worth it was repurposed from a blog post.
We do this often at Ahrefs. And this is bidirectional. We also regularly turn our videos into blog posts. For example, we turned our video on ChatGPT for SEO into a blog post.
With >500 million monthly active views, every marketer wants to excel on the internet’s front page. But thanks to its intense hatred of anything marketing, Reddit is a tough nut to crack.
It’s not impossible, though. Redditors love useful content. They just dislike spammers. So if you want to successfully “promote” your content, here’s what you should do:
Take one of your blog posts, strip away all internal and external links, format it in markdown, and share it on a relevant subreddit. Then, at the end, leave a link back to your original blog post.
That’s what our CMO Tim Soulo did—and it went well:
Even though it was a “tl;dr,” the post was valuable even if Redditors didn’t click through. That’s what you should aim for.
Another tip: Don’t promote every blog post on Reddit. That’s being a spammer. Choose only the ones you’re proud of.
Last month, my article on SEO for lead generation was featured in Aleyda Solis’ SEOFOMO newsletter.
Plenty of such niche-specific newsletters exist. Get featured, and you can get plenty of exposure for your content.
While my article was picked up organically, you can actively reach out to these newsletters and introduce your content to them.
Don’t be pushy, and don’t promote every article you publish. These newsletters are sent on a frequent basis, so you don’t have to feature them immediately. What’s preferable is to build a relationship with the creator. You may eventually be featured not just once but many times.
Even better: If you run your own newsletter (tactic #6), you can do a newsletter swap, where you promote each other’s articles.
On May 15, 2023, Ryan Holiday published this post on his blog.
A few days later, he republished it word for word on his Medium:
This tactic is called content syndication, and it’s when third-party sites republish an exact copy of content that originally appeared elsewhere. You’re killing two birds with one stone—create one piece of content and expose it to different audiences.
The easiest way to begin is to use self-syndication sites: sites where you can republish content yourself. These are sites like Medium and LinkedIn, where you can import or copy-paste your existing content:
Guest blogging is publishing a blog post on another person’s or company’s website.
If a site accepts guest posts, you’ll likely need fresh content. But you don’t always have to rewrite them from scratch. Use your existing article as a base and create standalone articles from it. You can then submit these “splintered” articles as guest posts.
For example, our guide to link building has five chapters.
Each of these chapters could make a perfect guest post. You’ve already done the hard work beforehand, so “recreating” these articles should be straightforward.
If someone wrote an article that mentioned your topic without further details, then your article might be a perfect fit as an additional resource that they could point to.
How do you find these articles? Here’s how:
- Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
- Search for your topic (e.g., “mechanical keyboard”)
We’ll see around 558,000 pages we could target. That’s too many, so let’s narrow the results down with these filters:
- Domain Rating: 30–90
- Website traffic: 500+
- Words: 500+
- Language: English
- One page per domain: Checked
- Exclude homepages: Checked
- Exclude subdomains: Checked
- Live & Broken: Only live
- Filter explicit results: On
You now have ~3,800 of the best pages to reach out to. If this number is still too daunting, play around with the filters until you get a number you’re comfortable with.
Once you have a satisfactory list, review each page and see if your article adds value. If yes, reach out to the writer or website owner and see if you can persuade them to link to your article.
I’m not talking about creating expert roundups, where experts are asked to contribute a quote, and the post is published as is.
If you want to feature experts in your content, you need to go the extra mile. Interview them and feature their insights. Or even better: interview multiple experts and combine all their insights.
That’s what I did with my post on marketing ideas—I asked several marketers for the most unconventional marketing campaign they’ve seen and wrote up what I learned:
As our Joshua Hardwick writes in his post on expert roundups, doing so:
- Improves your E-A-T – This stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and it’s what Google’s human quality raters use to assess the quality of search results. Demonstrating E-A-T has plenty of SEO benefits.
- Makes the expert more likely to share the content – This happened for my marketing ideas post, as the interviewed experts shared it.
Most small businesses shy away from this. But the most direct way to get more traffic to your content is to run ads.
If popular ad platforms like Facebook and Instagram seem prohibitively expensive, don’t forget that there are niche ad platforms like Quora and Reddit. For example, at Ahrefs, we ran Quora ads to our content:
Even if you have a piece of content that checks all the boxes on the content quality checklist, it can’t do its job of persuading your readers to buy if no one sees it.
That’s why you need to promote your content so that it can reach the right people. Use any or all of the tactics above to give your content a boost in distribution.
Did I miss out on any effective content promotion tactics? Let me know on Twitter.