Recently we ran a report on our last 100 Blog Posts, and the findings gave me a lot of insight into which particular trends, topics and keyboards receive the most engagement from our readers. As someone who spends a considerable amount of time blogging, I'm always looking for tools, tips and reports to shape my content. The data we gained from our report definitely provided a lot of useful tips, and I'd love to share that information with you.
Lesson 1: Numbers Give You Numbers
As in, a high number of readers. Take a look at our top 4 blog titles which received the most traffic:
"4 free ways to promote your business Facebook page"
"5 free online reputation management tools"
"3 up and coming social media sites to watch in 2013"
What do they all have in common? Numbers! Adding numerical symbols to your blog titles is a sure fire way to attract attention. They let your potential reader know exactly how much information you have to offer, as well as organize your article into neat points which are easy for the reader to skim. The average consumer is extremely busy, and the more you can appeal to their sense of urgency, the better. Also, from a purely selfish standpoint, numerical lists make writing blog posts so much easier. When I feel overwhelmed by material or unsure where to start, I simply began to break the information down into easy to write bullet points. For instance, I'll admit I was slightly overwhelmed when I saw the data report I wanted to use for this blog post. But instead of scrapping it and writing another post on how much I like Cats and Bacon, I started looks for trends I could make into separate points. And I like to think my theory on bullet points being beneficial to both the writer and reader has been proven correct by the fact that well, I wrote the piece and here you are, reading it (High five to us!).
Takeaway: Instead of titling a blog "A Few Reasons Why I Have The Best Cat Ever" try "5 Reasons I Have The Best Cat Ever."
Lesson 2: Find Your Keywords
While we offer a variety of great services here at DigitalSherpa, they mostly fall under the large online umbrella known as "content marketing." Now, those within our industry rarely use that phrase (we prefer complex keywords and head ache inducing acronyms to show our internet intelligence). However, common sense and, more importantly, our data shows a typical small business owner looking for services we provide would use the phrase "social media marketing" and that's what counts. Out of our 10 most popular blog titles, 7 include the phrase "social media" or "social media marketing,"
Takeaway: Instead of worrying about staying on top of the hottest industry buzzwords, focus on what phrases and keywords your ideal client would search for. If you aren't sure what these keywords are, just take a look at your most popular content! In our case it's social media marketing, and we don't plan on straying away from that anytime soon.
Lesson 3: Know What Works
Along with know what your client is looking for, know what works! By analyzing both the blog titles and content of the most popular 50 blogs, I started seeing a clear pattern. Certain blog topics tended to gain the most traffic and engagement. Specifically, content which included:
Social Media / Social Media Marketing / Numbers (1, 2, 3...) / Infographic / Small Business / Content Marketing / Content Strategy / Reputation Management / How To / How Can / What Is / Why / Top
...gained the highest amount of traffic for our website. Furthermore, this information makes my job so much easier! Knowing what topics and phrases resonate with our audiences not only gives me valuable insight into the mind of our readers, but it allows me to write specifically on topics I can be sure our readers are interested in.
Takeaway: Blog with a purpose! Actively track and monitor what blog titles and content gain the most engagement and traffic for your website. Of course you should try out new material and content, but don't shy away from the topics that hooked your readers in the first place.
I hope this article was not only interesting to you, but inspires you to monitor your own website content. If you take the time to write unique and educational content, why not take the time to measure it's success?