There are so many bloggers out there these days, but how can you really make it as a blogger? And how can you actually make yourself known? To boot, how on earth can you begin to earn money off a blog or web page? While there are a ton of factors in website ranking, I believe there to be two key components: website traffic and domain authority. There is, however, a ton of work that goes into building up both website traffic and domain authority (also known as DA). Without knowing what you’re doing, it can be difficult to influence your traffic and DA. How do you even begin driving traffic? Where do you find targeted traffic? And how do you get that domain authority up?
First thing is first. Go to a DA checker to find out your domain authority score, and check Google Analytics for your website traffic. Now you have your starting point.
Some things like content marketing through email marketing (make sure to keep an email list!) can help. But there are heaps of other methods that top bloggers use. Find your target audience, and drive traffic to your website with these sure fire methods that are proven to work. Don’t forget to use valuable SEO tools to get where you need to be!
- Business Cards
- SEO in General
- Off Page SEO
- Link Swaps
- Mobile-Friendly Sites
- Write About Places No One Else Is
- Write Longer and More In-Depth
- Be an Authority in Your Niche
Definitions: How to Improve Website Traffic and Domain Authority
What is DA? Domain authority (DA) means how well your search engine ranking will be. The Google gods play a lot of games with this one. Furthermore, there’s no point having a high domain authority if your keyword research isn’t in place properly. Read below about how to find a good target keyword.se
No one really knows for certain what they base your domain authority on, but we have some clues. We know that things like domain age, internal linking in a blog post, getting others to link to your site (called link building), and other such things can increase domain authority. Having diverse link profiles (as in links from many sites, and specifically links from higher domain authority sites) is definitely a plus. But there’s so much more to it. If only it were that easy!
Check Your DA Score
There are tons of free tools online to check your DA score. One such link is Open Site Explorer developed by Moz, but it only lets you check so many DAs per day. Domain authority is ranked from 0 to 100, with a new website having a DA of 1. DA and PA both play a role. PA (or page authority) seems to be less of an indicator of how well you’ll rank these days however. Who knows, though, as the search engines are always changing what exactly each ranking factor is. A good first step is to check your domain authority score to see what your starting point is, and then work on it from there.
You can use a domain authority checker tool to see where you’re at, and build upon that. It’s also possible to check bulk domain authorities if you want to know how your rivals are doing. The higher the authority of a website, the better an individual web page can rank. So check your domain authority to start.
Website traffic indicates how many people are visiting your website or blog per month. This is based on unique visitors (the number of different people visiting your website) and page views (how many actual pages on your site are being looked at). Of course, providing a good user experience plays a huge role in this. If you get people to your site, awesome! But you want to keep them coming back. Social media also helps loads in getting people to visit your website – if you know how to use it right. It can be difficult to influence people on social media, so while it’s a plus, other things like proper keyword research may help you out more in the long run. A viral social share never hurt anyone either, though!
Where to even begin?
Regardless of the ways that Google ranks a website or page on a website, one thing is for sure: domain authority and website traffic are incredibly important factors at play. If your domain authority is low, you’re going to have a hard time ranking for the keywords you want to. And if your traffic is low, you just don’t have many people visiting your site. How are you going to make money if no one is even seeing your work?
Sounds like a lot of work, right? So I asked some fellow travel bloggers with high website traffic and/or high domain authority their tips on how to increase yours. They use everything from SEO tools (which isn’t as daunting as it sounds) to handing out business cards. (Note: My favourite SEO tool is SEMrush. Check it out.) So if you’re looking to improve DA or web traffic, as well as make yourself show up in the search engines, read on.
Domain Authority Tips: Improving DA
Kacie – The Rare Welsh Bit: Domain Authority 31
Find Broken Links
My blog currently has a domain authority of 31, and one thing that’s helped me to increase it since I bought my own domain two years ago is cleaning up my broken links. This needs to be done every few months or so. Head to Broken Link Check to check backlinks, enter your URL, and select ‘Report all occurrences of broken links.’ Your blog will be scanned for broken links, and then you’ll be shown a list of them and the pages they occur on. You can then manually work through each one to correct the URLs. When I first did this, I had over two hundred broken links, and when I cleaned them, my DA went up by 6 points.
Broken links are frustrating for your readers, and they’re not search-engine friendly either. When Google is crawling your website and it finds a broken link, it’s like reaching a dead end. It can halt the indexing process, putting your chances of a high ranking at risk.
Cleaning broken links is a dull, monotonous process, but it definitely pays off. Head on over to a backlink checker to clean up your links as soon as possible, and watch your DA improve.
Becky – Becky the Traveller: Domain Authority 34
Increasing your DA to 30+ isn’t an easy feat and it doesn’t happen overnight! A great way to build it up is by contributing to travel blogger collaborations. There are plenty of Facebook groups you can find requests. They will normally require between 100-300 words with one photo. And in return for your hard work you receive a link back to your website or a specific blog post. Here’s an example of a collaboration post I posted on my own website: Top Tips for preventing altitude sickness from travel bloggers. It’s a win-win situation. I receive content for my website and fellow bloggers receive a link for 30 minutes work.
Note: This very post you’re reading is a collaborative post!
Deborah – Eco Tour LinQ: DA 37
I blog about ecotourism and sustainable travel worldwide. This is a fast-growing specialty niche in the travel industry.
One way in which I have grown this metric is to write and publish guest posts on travel blogs with a high rank and online magazines that offer a bio and backlink opportunities. A good backlink profile is key. These posts and articles get cataloged by Google. They can be discovered when someone conducts a Google search using certain keywords. The topics all relate to ecotourism or green lodging, but otherwise are separate in focus. I do not simply rewrite the same post for a different audience.
I have written for SheKnows, Green Living Guy, The Planet D, Ecotour Magazine, and Global Grasshopper, and I promote these posts on all my social media accounts.
Bret and Mary – Green Global Travel: DA 50
Seema – 123 India Travel: DA 31
So we all know that building up domain authority is time consuming, and takes up to years to get to the 30’s club (which is considered as a decent achievement).
So here’s my tip that will help you if done with the right research: looking for expired domains. Expired domains are domains that were in use in the past, but are now not in use anymore, and are up for a sale or on auction. They could be dumped for any reason, but it’s a good opportunity to use and find them.
- Already established domain authority, links, and site age. The older the domain, the more reputable it is.
- Saves time to reach a higher domain authority level.
- Some links may be spammy and you have to take time out to find them and get rid of them.
- The DA may drop due to the links becoming broken (as those pages won’t be available anymore). You can build new ones to maintain this.
Domain authority matters, but not as much as other key things. Focus on traffic and ranking because traffic is what matters the most.
Website Traffic Tips
Danasia – The Urban Realist: 160,000 page views per month
One way I got my website traffic over 20,000 was by telling everyone I met that I was a blogger. I would hand them a card with my website and social media info. Even before I went full-time with blogging, whenever what I do for a living came up, or I was asked, “So what do you do?” I said I was a blogger and gave them my card.
Confidently telling someone about your blog goes along way. More often than not, people are intrigued by the blogging world and will check out your blog. It’s important to own the fact that you’re a blogger, whether it’s a hobby of yours or your full-time career. Word of mouth still goes an incredibly long way, and connecting with people in real life – whether it be at a networking event or on a flight – pays off.
Sanne – Spend Life Traveling: 30,000 pages views per month
Improve Your Overall SEO
SEO is key, and you need to improve your overall SEO game. Social media can be a very effective tool. Online advertising is something you could consider to get more visitors. But in the end what you really want is for your blog to be found in search engines. And for that you need to learn as much as you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
I have to admit I had an advantage here when I started my blog because online marketing has been my job for over a decade. But, creating a successful blog will be a steep learning curve no matter what. I highly recommend dedicating a good amount of time to learning about SEO.
Simply type in “SEO for beginners” in Google and you will find an endless amount of useful websites and tools. Go through them and you will quickly start to understand how Google sifts through websites and how Google decides which ones to show on the first page of its search results. Simple tricks like the correct usage of header tags or keyword research can really help you to get more visitors organically.
And one thing you should definitely keep in mind: building your blog takes time! So take your time, enjoy small successes, and just keep learning and keep growing your blog.
Vicki – MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld: 67,000 page views per month
Find keywords that you can rank for – and have a high search volume
Effective keyword research is integral to getting organic website traffic to your site. You need to think of what people would search for in Google (or another search engine) and write in order to answer that query. The difficulty comes in working out what that query is, if you can rank for it and then – and most importantly – what is the search volume data of the keyword. For example, you might be able to rank for “best budget backpack destination 2018”. But if no one is searching for that term, it doesn’t matter is you are on page one of the search results, as no-one is looking for it (and by extension, your post). First off, you need a good keyword planner.
There are some great tools that can help with this though. I use two (one paid and one free) which combined are really powerful. The first is KeywordsEverywhere. It is a browser extension which shows you the search volume and difficulty of any query you type into Google. I use this when I am wanting to do a couple of quick searches for suitable keywords. I use a minimum of 200 searches per month as the lowest volume I would write for. Ideally I prefer over 1,000 searches per month for a keyword. KeywordsEverywhere is great for doing quick fire searches when you have ideas for a post which you can use to see if it would be worth writing (SEO wise).
I then use Keysearch (they have an ongoing promotion where you get 20% off if you use KSDISC) to really look closely at my ‘ideal’ keywords and assess if I can outrank those that are already in the top 10 based on the difficulty score given. I look at their domain authority and page authority, length of post, if the URL is in the title, and how long the article has been live. All of these factors can affect whether you can bump them from the top ten.
It can be tricky to find the perfect keyword – one with a good search volume that you can rank in the top ten for. This is especially true if you write about popular places which are dominated by the likes of Wikipedia, Lonely Planet or any of the booking sites. Competing with the big boys on high volume search terms is ultimately a waste of time, just the same as writing for keywords that nobody is searching for.
But the key is get creative with your keywords. Think ‘what to do in x’ instead of ‘things to do in x‘, for example. Yes, the typical ‘things to do’ query may have thousands of searches per month. But if you can’t rank in the top ten, none of those searches are going to find your post. It’s better to go with a low volume variation which can get you into the top ten and the traffic will just start rolling in.
Keyword research isn’t something that will work for you overnight and is just one of the factors Google takes into account when writing an article. There are lots of resources out there to help you get a good grip on it. Although it takes time to learn, implement, and then rank for your keyword optimized article (time being relative but I have found that the smaller the search volume, the quicker I rank), it is totally worth the investment and will totally transform your blog traffic. Keyword research will definitely help you improve your overall SEO.
Gemma – Two Scots Abroad: 65,000 page views per month
Off Page SEO
SEO is not magic. It’s strategy, procedure and technique and part of our proven strategy happens after you hit publish. Sorry, it’s not the time to let out a sigh of relief; now you need to get your off-page game on. This simply means, it’s time to tell Google you have arrived and you have authority. To do this, take part in collaborations and guest posts or seek out link exchanges. A guest post takes a lot longer than a simple link swap, so choose sites with a high DA.
Gemma – Make Traffic Happen: site not officially launched – see Gemma’s impressive traffic stats for her other site above!
These links must be quality links and not diluted with lots of other links as that will weaken your authority in Google’s eyes. Instead of merely linking back to your homepage you should strategically link back to an article you want to appear on page one of Google for (as part of your SEO strategy, this alone will not get you on the first page!) Use variations of your desired keywords as your anchor text (the words you highlight and add your URL to). For more tips check out Make Traffic Happen’s 14 tasks to smash through 25k page views. Link counts matter, but the higher the domain authority of the page that’s linking to you, the more that link counts. Link building strategies are crucial in building your domain authority, and having high DA referring domains helps a lot.
Logan and Kallsy – Pages of Travel: 30,000 page views per month
It’s no secret that building a high-quality and well-trafficked blog from the ground up is hard work. There are many labor-intensive hours spent on optimizing your site, posts, photos, and so much more.
One simple task that we have done to increase our monthly website traffic to 25K-30K monthly page views and our domain authority to 31 is making sure we have a mobile-friendly site that allows our visitors to browse our posts with ease. Why? Check-out your Google Analytics and see where the majority of your site traffic is coming from. Chances are, it’s mobile devices. In fact, within the last 12 months, 68.4% of our traffic came from mobile devices!
Because of this, it has become increasingly more evident that creating a mobile-friendly site should be a top priority in pushing more traffic to your website. Without a mobile-friendly site, readers will more than likely not take the time to stay and click-through on your posts. Before we created ours, our most popular post on things to do in Estes Park, only received about 2,000-3,500 monthly page views, but with the help of our mobile-friendly site and some other optimization tricks, it now receives 5,000-6,000 monthly page views!
How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Not sure where to begin? Don’t panic! First, check your site’s theme. Many blog themes include a mobile-friendly option that is easy to turn-on and customize to your liking. But if yours does not, the WPtouch Mobile plugin should do the trick! This plugin allows you to create a mobile responsive site within seconds. So, what are you waiting for? Make your website traffic boom!
Megan – Megan Starr: 55,000 pages views per month
Write About Places/Things No one Else Is
I have been blogging for many years, but never really took my blog seriously until a few months ago when I randomly decided to monetize it and see how things would go. Fortunately, I was in a fairly decent spot to monetize as I had grown my website traffic unknowingly over the years without really trying and just keeping it as a hobby.
One thing that has helped me grow my blog is my desire to write about places that no one else has ever written about before. I didn’t really do this with intent, but I was traveling to these places and couldn’t find information prior to my trip. So I was eager to write and share my experiences and thoughts when I returned.
For example, I went to Dnipro (Petrovsk), Ukraine at the beginning of 2016. Despite being a city of over a million people, there was absolutely no information about the city on the net from English speaking travelers. I returned home, shared my thoughts, and published.
While a few travelers have ventured there since per my articles and raving about the city and its offerings, I am still the blogger that pops up when someone wants to know about the place. So much so that publications such as the New York Times, MSN, and other large news sources have cited my articles! They’ve also mentioned me in articles about the city from a news perspective. This gives me credible and authoritative backlinks – and link counts are important. Writing about such places has given me an audience and website traffic that was never intended, but certainly appreciated!
Marguerita – The Crowded Planet: 60,000 page views per month
Write Longer and More In-Depth Than Your Competitors
Mike – Bemused Backpacker: 50,000 page views per month
Be an Authority in Your Niche
Dena – Sunshine and Roller Coasters: 200,000 page views per month
Looking for ways to increase your website traffic or domain authority? When I started really working on my blog, this was one of my challenges. I had been blogging for years, but since starting over I had to start from scratch. One of the things that always worked well for me was doing blog giveaways and giveaway hops.
To be clear, it often wasn’t enough to sign up for a free link, but rather sign up to be a co-host of some of the larger giveaways. It usually cost between $10 and $25, but it is well worth it because it got my link shared on multiple blogs for the length of the giveaway.
During this time, not only would my domain authority increase, but I would also gain readers simply because they were visiting my blog during the giveaway. If they liked what they saw, I knew they would come back. So I always made sure that I had lots of fresh content during giveaways.
How did I find such giveaways? I searched Facebook and joined a number of blogger groups that were networking to promote giveaways and hops. A giveaway hop is where a group of bloggers get together and each one of them gives away a prize whether it is a gift certificate, cash or other item of value.
I launched my blog in May of this year and started with 0 domain authority and 0 website traffic. As of today, I have a domain authority of 29. My blog is receiving over 200,000 visitors a month. Giveaways have been a huge boost for my blog as far as domain authority and website traffic, so I highly recommend them.
I don’t want you to think it’s as simple as just doing a few giveaways, because there are other things that are essential to building a quality blog, but I will say that giveaways have definitely played a part in my success. For more tips, about increasing your digital footprint feel free to sign up for our newsletter.
Micky and Charles – The Barefoot Nomad: 70,000 page views per month
I like to think that the biggest factor in our success so far is consistency and sticking with it.
At least 90 percent of the bloggers we started with back in 2008 are no longer active. Some of them moved on to other things. Some finished documenting a round the world trip so their blog naturally ended. Others stopped traveling all together. Of the others, I’d say that most quit because they weren’t seeing the results they wanted, or weren’t making enough money.
Over the almost 10 years we’ve been blogging, there have been a few times we’ve had blogger burnout, and even times we’ve ignored our blog and social media accounts for months at a time. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the thousands of tasks involved while running a professional blog.
I’ve learned that it’s important to post at a frequency that’s manageable for us, and our lifestyle. Sometimes that’s one blog post a week, and sometimes it’s less or more. We have also consistently focused heavily on SEO and Pinterest (which I see as a visual search engine, rather than social media).
Over time that’s fine, since we consistently, though sometimes slowly, grow our blog and social media. We’ve always viewed this as a long game and write our in depth articles accordingly. As such, our blog and work are better and we’re more successful overall if our blog schedule keeps us happy and productive.
How to increase domain authority and website traffic? We’ve got it all covered right here. Remember that it is important to increase domain authority to help your domain rank better for your given keywords. However, merely having a high domain authority won’t make you rank. I spent a lot of time looking into how to increase page authority and domain authority in the past. And although I certainly did improve domain authority, my domain wasn’t ranking well in the SERPs. To boot, the keywords I did rank for did not have enough search volume.
Before I started doing keyword research, and really began to look up volume and difficulty of certain keywords, my domain traffic and website authority were atrocious. I did check domain authority monthly, thinking I was doing well, when in reality my traffic was pathetic. So remember this. DA matters, but only if you’re implementing the right things to make you show up in the search engines as well.
Have anything else to add? Let us know in the comments below, as we’d love to hear your advice!