Breaking Annual Traffic Records

Days from Breaking Annual Traffic Record, How Did I Do It?

WriterSanctuary is just days away from breaking yet another annual traffic record. Despite the Google algorithm changes, the site continues to draw readers. How do I keep forward momentum even when things look bleak?

Keep in mind that I am referencing growth in Google search. The steps are a bit different for personal blogs that don’t have a lot of SEO-driven content.

Yet, a lot of these steps also pertain to personal blogs. So, they still might be of use if you have one.

7 Easy Steps to Keep Annual Traffic Growing

While it may seem difficult to keep a website growing year over year. But in reality, it’s not something outside of your control.

Sure, there are times when Google will throw you a curve ball, like the “Helpful Content” update in September of 2023. Yet, a lot of those changes are easily avoidable or quickly recoverable if you follow a few simple tenets.

1. Delivering High-Quality Content

First and foremost, quality should always be at the front of any content strategy. Not only will it please the Google gods, but your readers will appreciate the effort.

When someone visits your post, are they leaving feeling like you answered all of their questions or provided entertainment value? Are they going back to Google to search for additional information about the topic?

Your post needs to be a one-stop locale that fulfills the needs of the searcher. This doesn’t mean you necessarily need to write an eBook regarding the topic. But you want to offer more than what anyone else on the Internet provides.

Don’t regurgitate the same information. Expand upon it while offering your own perspective and style.

2. Be Consistent with Your Content

Having a consistent publishing schedule helps with the Google algorithm while also keeping your regular readers engaged. Unfortunately for me, it’s something I struggle with quite often.

Mostly because I don’t have as much time to blog as I used to.

I’ve demonstrated a few times how a regular schedule improves the site as a whole in search. And I’m currently setting up yet another case study to see if that still rings true today.

Keep in mind that it was 2018 the last time I proved this point. A lot has happened in search engine technology since then.

My point is that regular content makes the blog look fresh and consistent for Google while keeping your readers coming back for more. Just engaging your regular readers alone is enough to impact your annual traffic numbers.

3. Pay Close Attention to Search Console

Search Console Queries

Out of all of the SEO tools I’ve ever used, Search Console is still my go-to for most things regarding the website. That’s because you see how people are searching for your content and how well your posts are actually performing in search.

In fact, Search Console is responsible for some of the best articles I’ve written for WriterSanctuary. I was able to get several great ideas that clicked with searchers and readers.

There are a lot of facets to Search Console, and it would be exceptionally useful to you to learn as much as you can about the platform. It can offer a range of insights to help you do everything from developing content strategies to fixing broken pages.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use keyword tools as a driving force for your content. On the contrary, some keyword apps can work wonders for content ideas.

However, knowing how Google sees your site overall is quite informative to boost those keyword strategies.

4. Give Them What They Want

Speaking of keywords and phrases, always focus on what your target audience wants to read. You can use things like Google Analytics or Jetpack Stats to see what people love most on your website.

For instance, six of the top 10 posts on this website are reviews for various writing apps and self-publishing tools. The number one post is a tutorial. This tells me most of my visitors are looking to be informed regarding those platforms.

Annual Traffic Post Importance
This past week

This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t write up a list of relevant apps or tools or try to write a different style of post, though. Sometimes those can land well with the audience.

But if I want to really drive up the numbers, I need to offer more of what people want to read.

Another good example is how I wrote a review about using the Reedsy writing app. I then followed it up with a tutorial about adding chapters and pages in that app, which is currently bringing in another 176 views per month.

The point is that you need to run with what people are finding the most engaging about your topics.

5. Set Realistic Goals for Blogging

I’m constantly talking about setting realistic goals. It’s OK to dream big, but you still need to have some basis in reality. And a lot of new bloggers focus on the wrong things.

For instance, don’t focus on a certain number of visitors each month. You can’t force people to visit and read your content. Instead, aim for goals that you can control.

For example, you can control when you publish a post, how many words are in it, and what topic you want to cover. So, a viably realistic goal would be to write X number of words per week or perhaps publish a certain number of posts per month.

Those are goals of which you have complete control over. If your topic is sound and you offer great insights, the traffic will come.

That is as long as Google thinks your content is helpful.

6. Keep the Content Updated

Among the most influential for ramping up annual traffic, for both myself and my clients, is through updating older posts. Not only do you polish something up with current information for your visitors, but Google LOVES updates and fresh perspectives.

One of my favorite instances is when one of my client’s posts grew by 8,000% in six months after an update of about 400 words. And we’re talking tens of thousands of visits, mind you.

Find some of the worst-performing posts in Search Console that are using decent keyphrases. Figure out why those posts aren’t doing so well by searching them yourself.

What can you do to them to make them stand out among the competition? Is there information you’re not adding, or have you not explained the topic well enough?

Don’t be afraid of checking on what other people are doing in the top 10 for that search phrase. They might be able to give you ideas to make your content even better. Just make sure you’re offering greater value than those other blogs.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Evolve

Evolution is a fact of existence for all things. Take a look at what the Internet was 20 years ago.

At some point, you will want to evolve your blog into something more…something better. You can’t be afraid to try something new that is relevant to your site’s niche.

Take WriterSanctuary, for example. This blog was the go-to site for everything Textbroker-related. Although a lot of the Textbroker articles still get a decent number of visits each month, it’s the self-publishing content that is really taking off today.

That is the evolution of a blog over the span of 10 years. Not to mention that content mills are becoming less pertinent today thanks to AI-generated garbage and other writing opportunities.

Even though there are far fewer self-publishing posts compared to blogging and freelancing, they are receiving the lion’s share of the traffic.

Weekly Traffic Numbers
Visits within the past week

Trying something new will help you stumble across content ideas that can vastly impact your traffic numbers.

Why I Focus On Annual Traffic Numbers

A lot can happen in the span of a year. A blog post that was doing amazing could suddenly get struck by Google for one reason or another and sink like a stone. Daily and weekly numbers are fun to keep track of, but too much can cause them to fluctuate wildly.

By monitoring the blog throughout the entire year, I get a better idea of growth and what I need to do to keep things moving upward. That’s because I set up a spreadsheet that will calculate averages throughout the year.

Any website you build should show constant signs of annual growth. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to analyze the issue. This is especially true if you’re focusing on SEO-driven content.

Between the topics you cover throughout the year and amassing regular subscribers, the blog should be in a constant state of growth. It may be small, but it should still be there.

For example, 2022 for WriterSanctuary was a very bad year in terms of growth. Part of that was because of a lack of quality content and algorithm changes that strangled a few of the posts.

Then, I stumbled across the self-publishing topics and various tutorials.

I have no doubt that if I had continued a regular publishing schedule, I would have shattered my record for annual traffic months ago. But alas, I didn’t.

Anyway, keeping an eye on your site over the long term is a better indicator of its performance over daily, weekly, or even monthly numbers.

Keep the Visitors Coming

As a blogger, it’s your job to provide the best quality content you can to keep your regulars coming back while attracting new eyes.

It’s not always the easiest to do depending on the topics and niche of your blog. However, annual traffic growth can still happen for virtually any website.

It all comes down to consistency and quality. Give your readers something they want and they’ll keep coming back.

Michael Brockbank
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