The 5 Main Types of Blog Traffic (And How to Improve Them)

Unlike when you’re driving, traffic is something you want when you’re starting a blog. Traffic measures the number of people who are visiting your site and where they are coming from. Today’s connected world allows people to access your site from a wide variety of avenues. They won’t always type it directly into the search bar. Sometimes they’ll come from social media or from Google, or from another site entirely.

The 5 Main Types of Blog Traffic (And How to Improve Them)

If your blog is a beating heart, then traffic is the blood that flows through its veins. This is how you bring people into your brand, convert them into paying customers, and engage with them as well. Traffic is everything, but not all traffic is created equal.

Let’s take a look at the five main types of traffic you can expect to get to your site, and how you can improve upon and harness them.


This first type of traffic is about as simple as it gets. This is the type of traffic that occurs when someone types your URL into their web browser and comes directly to your site. You won’t have a lot of this at the beginning, but if you promote your blog everywhere, you’ll soon find that people come directly to you.

This type of traffic can be improved upon with the right promotions and brand building. It comes with time as people get to know your brand and it appears at the top of their mind when they are searching for similar products or services. Most likely, these will be visitors who have been to your site before and who had a great experience.


Organic search is the currency of search engine optimization (SEO). This is the traffic you watch to see how your optimization efforts are going and measure progress against. Improving your organic search is something you can easily do with the proper strategies in place.

Here are some of my top strategies for improving your SEO (and your organic search traffic) quickly:

  • Install Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress (it’s free!)
  • Use tools like io to find and target long-tail keywords (more than 2 words in the phrase).
  • Approach your content with the goal of providing in-depth information and value. Write for people, not search engines.
  • Look to your competition for topic ideas and focus on things your audience is talking about.
  • Build backlinks from other sites by guest posting and partnering with influencers

These are just some of the ways you can increase your organic traffic. Google has literally hundreds of factors they take into account when ranking websites, so every little bit counts.


Our next type of traffic comes from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People may have clicked an ad, or they could have followed one of your posts to your site. Either way, if you’re seeing this then you’re doing something right with your social media marketing.

Improving this type of traffic comes from exercising control. Don’t try to be everywhere all the time on social media platforms. Choose the ones that your audience is most active on and focus your efforts there.

Another way to improve this traffic is to boost or promote posts that tend to perform well. Facebook, for example, offers this at a starting price of just $5.


Referral traffic results from someone clicking a link on another website that leads to your own. Known as backlinks, these are a huge SEO strategy and a clear sign to Google that people see you as an authority.

Referral traffic is improved upon by earning new backlinks for your site. The best way to do this, beyond creating great content, is to write guest posts on other sites. Many other blogs in your niche most likely accept guest posts and will offer you a link back to your site within it.

This will help you build avenues back to your site, which will in turn generate referral traffic.


Finally, there’s always the option to make an investment. Whether this is in the form of ads on social media or a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, there are ways to leverage capital in the interest of bring people to your site.

A great example would be to run a sweepstakes or contest on your site. This would generate huge amounts of buzz around your brand and give you the opportunity to welcome countless new people to your online community.

Improving this type of traffic is done through research and targeted campaigns that utilize data about your audience to make the best decisions and reach the right people.


Traffic is incredibly important, but it’s arguably more important that you understand and leverage the various types of traffic that come into your site. This will help you target the right kinds of people and ultimately get more from each visitor.

How do you prioritize and improve your traffic? Let us know in the comments!

This article was contributed by guest author Amy Winer. Amy is a veteran blogger who specializes in working with analytics and traffic management. She helps others understand and harness the power of their blogs to the fullest potential.


New Sweepstakes Examples to Inspire Your Next Promotion

Live examples of campaigns that are using Votigo’s technology are a great way to understand how our platform works. They can also help inspire you as you plan your next promotion! This week, we’re excited to share two new sweepstakes examples from AccuWeather and Hess Collection, because they represent the different ways you can use Votigo’s sweepstakes applications to generate leads and activate your audience.

Sweepstakes are a great way to grow your marketing database and drive brand awareness. Since they usually only require users to complete a quick registration form in order to enter, their barrier to entry is low, which means your chance of engagement is high. Let’s see how AccuWeather and Hess Collection are making our Sweepstakes applications work for them!

AccuWeather Ready Spring Sweepstakes and Instant Win

AccuWeather Sweepstakes

Over the last two years, Votigo has helped AccuWeather achieve their specific brand awareness objectives by running Instant Win Sweepstakes. The primary goal of these sweepstakes is to drive positive brand affinity and, more importantly, establish AccuWeather as the leader and authority in their industry. Built by Votigo’s talented Full-Service Development Team, this campaign features a viral refer-a-friend incentive, social sharing functionality and mobile optimization.

Hess Collection Be SELECTive Sweepstakes 

Hess Collection SweepstakesIn their sweepstakes, Hess Collection is inviting their fans to enter to win a gift card that they can use towards the creation of a perfect Spring dinner party. Along with providing a great way for the brand to grow their marketing database, this particular concept does a great job at positioning the brand in a place of relevance when it comes to elevated entertaining. That goes a long way when it comes to brand affinity! Also built by Votigo’s Talented Full-Service Development Team, this campaign features newsletter opt-in functionality, custom drop-down options within registration and mobile optimization.

Want to learn how Votigo’s sweepstakes applications can go to work for your brand? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.




Learning Series #4: How To Build Brand Awareness, Curate Content and Engage Multiple Social Platforms With #Hashtag Campaigns

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You might recall that a few weeks ago, we announced the unveiling of our new and improved Votigo Resource Center. We created this library of resources as a way to share information that we believe will help inspire our customers as you plan and execute your Social Marketing programs. This week, we’re excited to showcase our Hashtag Campaigns Learning Series. This guide will show you how to run a promotion that allows you to build brand awareness, curate content and engage multiple social platforms all at the same time!

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Hashtag campaigns let your followers enter a promotion through their Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as directly from a Facebook page or Website. This way, people can participate from the platform they are most comfortable with, which is a great way to ensure high levels of campaign engagement for your brand!

Interested in learning more about Hashtag Campaigns in particular, or any of our other campaign offerings? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.


New Live Examples of Votigo Promotions from Straus News & Rox Volleyball

We love sharing live examples of Votigo promotions with you because we really believe they are the best way to understand Votigo’s services. They’re also a great way to get inspired as you plan YOUR next promotion!

This week, we’re happy to share two cool new promotions from Straus News and Rox Volleyball. Take a look!

Straus News: “Family Photos of Old” Photo Contest

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Photo contests are a great way to engage your audience while taking an opportunity to curate meaningful user-generated content. They’re also a great way to bring your fans into the conversation for your brand. In this campaign, Straus News is inviting their fans to submit historic family photos, along with a description, for a chance to be featured in an upcoming edition of the paper. The effort of finding a photo and writing a description to go along with it makes these contest participants highly engaged and qualified, which is extremely valuable for Straus News from a lead generation perspective. This campaign was built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Enterprise Platform and features mobile-responsive design, content moderation and user voting functionality.

Rox Volleyball: #LivePlayInspire Hashtag Photo ContestScreenshot 2017-03-13 11.53.18

#Hashtag campaigns are a great way to engage fans that are active on Instagram or Twitter — And with Votigo’s Platform, you can build a campaign hub to serve as a home for all of the content that is submitted for entry. In this campaign, Rox Volleyball is inviting their fans to share a photo that illustrates what volleyball means to them for a chance to win a high-value scholarship! No matter which way someone enters (directly on desktop or using a #hashtag on Instagram or Twitter), their photo will appear in the main contest gallery! Also built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform, this campaign features both direct and #hashtag entry, mobile responsive design and social sharing functionality.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.


Learn From The Pros Blog Series Installment #5: Daybreak Games

Welcome back for week five in our “Learn From the Pros” Blog Series! We launched this series as a way to share insights on Social Marketing across our customer base, with the ultimate goal being to learn from each other as we navigate the various ways contests and sweepstakes can be leveraged for brand success.


This week we’re chatting with Colette Murphy from Daybreak Games. We’ve been working with Colette and her team for just about five years now, and we’re excited to share her thoughts on how contests & sweepstakes have helped her achieve Daybreak Games’ brand objectives. Colette brings some terrific insights to the table, so we hope you enjoy!15578123_10211152152944249_7441962946273934592_o copy

Votigo: How long have you been with Daybreak Games?

Colette: I’ve been working with the company since 2012 (though we didn’t officially become Daybreak Games until 2015). 

Votigo: What is your role there? How did you get started in Marketing? What were you doing before that?

ColetteMy title is Communications Manager. I oversee our social media channels, our web blog content, and our promotions and giveaways. I’m also the resident grammar fanatic, and help with copyediting whenever the need arises. In 2012, a position opened up on the Community team, and I became a Community Manager. While in that position, I found a great deal of cross-department mentors in Marketing, who helped foster my interest in social media practices. Eventually, I moved in to the position I’m in now. I took a very non-traditional route to get here. After getting my Master’s Degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies at San Diego State University, I spent a number of years teaching at local community colleges. In that time, I also took an interest in social media and community management, doing so on a volunteer basis for wedding and event planning services, local theatre groups, and student organizations on college campuses. I actually never considered doing it as a career until I learned about the position that led me to this company!

Votigo: What are your biggest goals & initiatives for Daybreak Games this year?

Colette: Our company is incredibly community-focused. Our goals are always to provide new, interesting ways for our players to interact with our games and our development teams. We love gathering user-generated content and highlighting the creativity and passion of the people who play our games.

Votigo: How often do you run contests or sweepstakes currently? What is the strategy behind your chosen frequency? And what platforms do you run them on?

Colette: Contests are an additional way we celebrate our players. From screenshot capture contests for virtual items to a chance to win a trip to our H1Z1 invitational, we really like the ability to highlight our players’ talents and excitement for our games. Some months have less, and some have a lot more, but we typically run at least one larger scale contest per month. We primarily run contests and sweepstakes on Twitter and through the Votigo microsites, which we promote on Facebook, our websites, and our game forums.

VotigoCan you share your thoughts on these social platforms in regards to your business? Do you tend to engage with one more than the others? Why?

Colette: We go where the conversations are, which usually depends on the audience demographics for the product. Some of our older games have much larger audiences on Facebook, because the games came out before Twitter even existed! Our newer products have very active Twitter followings, but aren’t as big on website traffic. So, it really varies. The key is seeing where you get the highest engagement, and making sure you stay involved there as much as possible.

Votigo: Is there a type of campaign that you would like to run but haven’t yet? Why not?

Colette: We tend to run a variety of campaigns, so this is a tough question! I don’t think we’ve tried an “Instant Win” one yet, but it’s definitely something we’ll consider this year.

Votigo: What solution do you use for your contests & sweepstakes? Do you prefer a full-service offering or a self-service platform?

Colette: We enjoy the flexibility offered by the Votigo self-serve Enterprise tool. We use our in-house legal team for rules drafting and our in-house creative teams to help build out the headers and visual look and feel of our microsites, but we like having the analytics and management portion handled by the platform itself.

Votigo: What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out with social contests & sweepstakes?

Colette: Try lots of different things, and don’t be discouraged if one doesn’t work out the first time. If you try an essay contest and only get a few replies, switch to photo or video the next time – your audience might be more interested in visual mediums!

Votigo:  What are your favorite blogs or books on Marketing or your other interests?

ColetteHow much time do you have? Haha. Since my focus is on social media, I tend to stick to blogs. Social Media Examiner is a big favorite of mine. There’s often a lot of good information to be found in any blog from an Enterprise Platform service, like Hootsuite or Buffer or Sprout. RazorSocial is also a good resource, with lots of topics covered.

Thanks for participating in “Learn From the Pros”, Colette!

-The Votigo Team


How to Engage Your Customers Using Social Media


Ever since its emergence into the marketplace over ten years ago, social media continues to be a force to be reckoned with on a global scale. It has completely changed the way people communicate, share their lives and stay in touch with current events. It’s also created an avenue for many people to work and build businesses within. Another way social media has changed the world is through marketing. It’s another medium that businesses can use to effectively engage with their customers. If you’re a business owner who wants to learn more about how to keep a pulse on your customers through social media, consider implementing the following strategies.


Customer engagement isn’t a one-sided dialogue. In many ways, you’ll need to treat social media the same way as face-to-face interactions. If you told someone you like their blouse and they heard you, but remained silent, you wouldn’t want much to do with them anymore. As your company posts pictures, videos and tweets, there will be at least one person who responds. Don’t ignore that person’s comment even if it’s a comment as simple as “I love this!” If you have more comments than you can realistically respond to, just click the like button and pick a few to respond to. However, when you’re just starting out, chances are you’ll only have a few comments. Respond to them all. It’ll make a big difference.


When someone takes a picture using your product and raves about it, consider this a free form of marketing and repost it to your page. When you repost it to your page, take a screenshot and upload it. Don’t use the repost apps that leave the watermark at the bottom. You’ll want your page to be visually consistent and clean. It’s also great to look up hashtags that are associated with your brand. If you see good-looking pictures highlighting your product, click ‘like’ and let your customers know you see that they purchased your product and you appreciate it. When customers get the notification, this excites them to share and become more engaged eventually.


Hashtags are the best way for your audience to find you. If you’d like to build a brand, you’ll need to remain intentional about creating language that will keep you connected to your fans. If your company sells lipstick, consider placing the hashtag on the tube or the packaging. Make sure your customers know where to find you.


Once you have a good amount of people following your brand online, it’s a good idea to ask questions. It’s helps to get a good understanding of what your users are in need of. When your company remains the solution to your customers’ problems, you’ll stay in business. So, don’t be afraid to ask. For example, if your company built a YouTube channel surrounding your content, ask your viewers to comment below with their answers to a particular question you have. Use captioning services on your videos to leave an email address and other information so they can contact your company. Make sure to reiterate that you’d love to hear from them.


It’s hard to engage with your customers if you’re not there. According to, the number of users on social media was up to 2.8 Billion by the end of 2016. Because this number is so high, it makes no sense for companies to be missing in action. Always remain engaged and aware of what’s going on. It’s also extremely important to post content on a consistent basis. Create a schedule so that your fans knows when to find you. When it comes to social media, consistency has a tendency to breed credibility.

Overall, the process of using social media is constantly changing. Now, more platforms are including live options to compete with Periscope. As platforms add different features to stay relevant and innovative, your learning curve will continue to change. As long as you remain visible and use these tactics, your users will chime in and stay plugged into what your company is producing.

This article was originally written by Jennifer Livingston for the Heyo blog


How to Increase Brand Awareness on Instagram

According to statistics, the number of monthly active users on Instagram increased from 500 million in June 2016 up to 600 million in December 2016. Billions of likes appear every hour! Undoubtedly, Instagram has become one of the greatest promotion tools.

But how to use it for the maximum benefit of your business? How to present your brand in the best light? Follow the tips below, and you’ll be able to integrate your advertising campaign into this social platform smoothly and successfully.


  • First of all, create a business account named the same as your company. Choose something that’s most associated with the brand to convey its core purpose and values.
  • Fill the profile: add some information about your company, upload a beautiful branded image (ideally, the logo) and put a link to the official website.
  • Integrate your account with Facebook, set up the automatic integration of Instagram photos to Facebook to increase the number of reposts. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz gain much more likes using cross-posting.


  • Come up with a unique brand strategy. Share the idea of your organization with people and focus the content around it.
  • Use hashtags. The top-10 most popular hashtags in 2017 are:
    • #followme
    • #fashion
    • #happy
    • #me
    • #cute
    • #beautiful
    • #tbt
    • #photooftheday
    • #instagood
    • #love

Although there’s no restriction on the number of characters (unlike Twitter), hashtags that are too long, as well as an overuse of hashtags looks unnatural and can scare visitors. Apply up to 7 hashtags to each photo, not more, including the name of the brand.

Use unique hashtags for different advertising campaigns. For example, if you have decided to hold a photo contest, a special hashtag for that event may look like #[your_brand_name]photocontest.

Include common hashtags. For example, if you own a coffee shop, add tags like #coffee, #latte, etc. However, popular hashtags are a bit tricky: a lot of people use them so that you can’t move to the top until your photos get at least a few thousand likes a day.

Keep track of new and relevant hashtags. Look for users who use your brand name as a hashtag, and try to set the feedback. Keep track of all mentions on Facebook and Twitter. Respond quickly to ensure a good and long-term relationship with customers.



  • Show your followers how much you appreciate them. Share the best photos of your subscribers. For example, Starbucks, one of the most successful brands on Instagram, every few weeks publishes one of the followers’ works that depicts the company’s products.
  • Use @ for references. People love when you treat them personally. Use @ if the image is related to a famous person. If the pic is really interesting, you may get a repost and, as a consequence, additional followers.
  • Add some excitement using Photoshop, Diptic or Photoshake. Short videos will diversify your content strategy. For example, you may show users how to use one of your products.
  • Create a fascinating brand story. Beautiful photos and videos that convey the basic principles and values of your company will work for you.
  • Give some insights. Share the photos of your employees who stand behind the success of your brand. Something from behind the scenes is always highly appreciated. Stay closer to people! For instance, you can publish funny, entertaining videos from corporate events or share photos which can’t be found in other social networks.
  • Prepare the audience for a great event. If you’re going to release something to the market, announce it exclusively on Instagram. For example, on the day of the premiere, upload a video on how the staff prepares for the official part, not disclosing what’s at the core of it.
  • Do not keep silence. Questions give rise to debates – ask for the readers’ opinion about recent posts or images. For example, if you are the owner of a clothing store, you may ask what kind of shoes would suit the jeans from the new collection of your brand. Create a hashtag by which followers would be able to post pictures on the topic.
  • Ask users to come up with a caption for an image. Publish an unusual photo of one of your products and announce a competition for the best caption (and do not forget to reward the winner!).
  • Use crowdsourcing. Ask users to publish photos that show the role of the brand in their lives. This will help you to understand the target audience and will be useful for further research aimed at the development of your business.
  • Use geotagging to target local users. Place QR codes on Instagram so that users will be able to get discounts.
  • Regularly update your profile, regardless of the number of subscribers. Decide on the frequency and time of publications, taking into account analytics. The most “engaged” time on Instagram shifts from day to day: On Monday, for example, it’s from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; on Friday – 1 a.m. and 8 p.m. are the sweetest hours.

Instagram is one of the most developing business instruments, so each and every aspiring entrepreneur should take it into account as a brand strategy platform.

Whether you like it or not, Instagram is too large for a business to ignore! I wish you all the best in your aspirations!

This post was originally written by Lucy Adams for the Heyo blog


New Live Examples of Brands That are Leveraging the Power of the Personality Quiz

We know you love to see live examples of campaigns that are using Votigo’s technology, since they are the easiest way to understand how our platform works. They’re also great for inspiration as you start planning YOUR next campaign!

Today, we’re sharing two different examples of brands that are both using Votigo’s Personality Quiz application to create a rich engagement opportunity with their audience. The quiz application allows you to invite your fans to engage with your brand on a deep, 2-way conversation level. This results in a qualified interaction that is extremely valuable from a customer retention and brand affinity standpoint.

Gordmans’ “What Kind of Traveler Are You?” Quiz

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At the end of the user experience of a Personality Quiz, participants are often invited to share their results with their social networks. This is a great tool to use in order to drive campaign and brand awareness, as all the people reached in the context of that social share are then made aware of the promotion!

Country Financial’s “What Kind of Fantasy Footballer Are You?” Quiz

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Interested in learning more about Personality Quizzes in particular, or any of our other campaign offerings? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.


Learning Series #3: How to Drive Brand Awareness and Engage Fans with Trivia Sweepstakes


e7e8f401b523fea0d480c548721c8a26cde5793b01ac2dc742ea5ad25410aff921ba65fd911e2f5d2217108ed76302a97c05acf45a54c43c31053f282a287e9dIf you haven’t had a chance to check out our new and improved Votigo Resource Center yet, definitely make it a point to pay a visit! We created this library of resources as a way to share information that we believe will help inspire our customers as you plan and execute your Social Marketing programs.

This week, we’re excited to showcase our Trivia Sweepstakes Learning Series. This guide will show you how a game-like quiz setting can create a terrific opportunity for you to convey important brand or product information in a fun and engaging way.

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You’ll learn how adding a quiz component to a sweepstakes setting can create an additional engagement opportunity for your fans that allows them to interact with your brand on an even deeper level. This makes for an even more qualified interaction, which is extremely valuable from a customer retention and brand affinity standpoint.

Interested in learning more about Trivia Sweepstakes in particular, or any of our other campaign offerings? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.