Keep Writing and Your Traffic Will Rise
Ryan Bowman is an up-and-coming web designer who started with a clear mission – to help 200 small businesses get an affordable, fully functional and beautifully designed website. With his hard work and an innovative approach to business development, Ryan managed to surpass that benchmark in a short period and today has more clients he can actually manage. In addition to web design, Ryan also helps clients with PPC management and premium WordPress hosting.
We spoke to Ryan about surviving in the thriving blogging ecosystem, and he was kind enough to share some quick blogging tips with our readers.
1. What are the most important functionalities of a blog?
For many small businesses, just having a blog that you post to regularly is half the battle. If you can post even once per month, that’s 12 new possible positions for you in search engines yearly, and many of your posts can potentially rank for multiple keywords. Try to write posts focused on keywords that actually get some search volume in search engines. You can use a free tool like SEMrush.com to find good keywords with volume.
Since many visitors to your site will enter through one of your blog posts, make sure there is a natural transition from the blog post to your main site. This can be done with service links or “About the Author” info in the sidebar or below the post.
2. What are the best methods to make sure your audience has a seamless website experience?
Most of my advertising clients and website clients have mobile traffic over 60%, so we’re now at the point in web design where we should probably design for mobile first and only then look at the larger desktop version of the site. Too many sites give a preference to large desktop screens to the detriment of the mobile experience. To make sure your audience has a great experience on your site, design for mobile first!
3. What are the most important traffic sources for blogging beginners?
I used bookmarking and social sites like Reddit to get some traffic when I first started blogging. Getting meaningful traffic from search engines can take time, but if you write consistently, you’ll see that traffic increases over time. One of my largest sources of traffic has been YouTube. I’ve published over 150 videos on the same topics I cover in my blog. These videos are often easier to rank in search engines than a blog post on my site. I then put a link to my blog post in the video description and mention it in my video as well.
4. How often should a blogger monitor Google Analytics and make adjustments to the website according to it?
Checking out your Google Analytics stats once a month is a good strategy for most bloggers. If you achieve that much, you’ll probably be doing more than most bloggers. One tip is to look at your most visited pages to see which blog posts are getting the most traffic so you can make sure those posts are dialed in to give the visitor the experience you’re hoping for on your blog.
5. How did you earn credibility in the sea of other websites that provide web development services?
Many small web designers try to hide their “smallness” and market themselves as if they were a large company. The problem is they end up competing with the actual large companies in the web design arena. I realized early on that many people do want to work with small companies that offer unique and personal service. There are hundreds of thousands of new web design customers out there and I only need a couple hundred who are looking for my unique level of service.
6. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges for the WordPress ecosystem right now?
Security is a big issue. With WordPress becoming so popular, it’s a target for attack. I’ve hosted hundreds of sites over the last several years and never had an issue though. It seems the most common problem is insecure passwords.
7. How to decide which social media works best for your website?
It mostly depends on where your audience is at, I think. I haven’t used social media a lot. I do use Twitter to get my new content out there but since I don’t have a large audience there, it doesn’t generate a lot of traffic. My biggest referrer of blog traffic is YouTube where I’ve uploaded many videos.
8. How to know whether your website needs a makeover or not?
If you have a site that is not mobile-friendly, that’s one of the main reasons your site might need a makeover these days. Another way to find this out is to check if the copyright in the footer of your site still says 2002!
9. What was the breaking point when you realized that making websites is more than just a hobby?
I was making sites for my own businesses for years, but one day I created a nice site in a couple of hours thanks to WordPress and premium themes. That’s when I realized that I could sell web design as a service and make a business out of it.
10. What do you do for fun outside of work?
I moved to Colorado last year so my current hobbies are mountain biking and snowboarding.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!