This post easily could have been entitled “The top 5 posts of 2011.” The problem is that some posts were skipped over depending upon your trust of WordPress Stats or Google Analytics for accurate rankings. Instead, I looked at the types of topics that were most viewed (read) out of the 254 posts we’ve published so far this year.
Topics that worked in 2011
The following proved to be the most successful topics: problems with a solution, small business ownership challenges, guidelines or tips and tricks, real stories that include results and sharing your platform with others.
Each of the posts below falls into one of the above categories but also includes at least one other technique to generate solid traffic numbers. The tricky part is to bring together all the aspects of quality writing, headline writing, meta data creation, and post promotion/sharing. When you do that, your posts will resonate with the audience and perform favorably with Google over the long haul and bring in residual traffic for months or even years.
Problems with a solution
How I doubled my htc EVO battery life (part 1, part 2, and part 3) – According to Google Analytics, these three posts combined to provide 24 percent of the 2011 traffic on this blog. Part 1 brought in a whopping 14 percent of that total and by part 3 the percentage was down to 1. Does that prove you can’t duplicate success? No, because the second and third installments ended up revitalizing the earlier installments in terms of Google search, which pushed the posts up in search results ranking and brought in yet more traffic.
These posts do well for three reasons. First, they explain the problem of battery life with the htc EVO 4G phone. Second, they provide solutions for that problem. Third, the posts, titles and meta data were optimized to rank well with Google search. Six months after the third installment in the series was written, these posts still generate hundreds of pages views a month.
Small business ownership challenges
10 reasons why you should start a business instead of be an employee – Based upon 254 posts written this year, an average post should generate about .4 percent of the annual traffic. This post brought in 2 percent, or 5 times the average. When you look at percentages, be sure to compare them to the annual average. This post is a winner in both raw numbers and percentages, but why?
The easy answer is that numbered lists always do well. However, to make it to the top of the most-read heap, the content has to resonate with your audience. A significant portion of the audience of this site either owns or is active in a small business. When you write about a topic your established audience cares about, they will come read you.
Guidelines or tips and tricks
Swearing, vocabulary and the pregnant pause – Let’s be honest. When you talk about dropping f-bombs, people are going to pay attention. Sure, link bait is part of why this post succeeded. The other primary reason for success was the offering of guidelines for when to swear and when to not.
Real stories that include results
The power of a social media audience – In this post, I shared the details of a story about how an influential re-tweet, like that from Brian Clark of CopyBlogger, can generate great success. In the case of this post, it was click-throughs to an Amazon affiliate link I had included in the tweet. Share the story and then share the results because that gives people something to sink their teeth into.
Sharing your platform with others
Obsolete social media networks – Shelby Says – Earlier this year, I began sharing this platform with Shelby Sapusek. Shelby provides editorial and critical guidance for this blog as well as being my partner in the She Said, He Said project. Most weeks, we write dueling posts about a social media topic. She’s a seasoned writer and brings both a different perspective and a whole new audience of followers to this site.
While I’ve touched upon it briefly, each of the above posts has solid Google search results ranking. About two years ago, I decided to get serious about making sure Google would find this blog. The cool thing is I didn’t have to become an SEO expert to make that happen. I just trust Scribe SEO (affiliate link) to assist me in evaluating the Googlelishessness of each post before publication.
Pick your topics wisely, use link bait and valuable key words appropriately and, most importantly, write to the very best of your abilities each and every day. When you follow that formula, higher traffic numbers will follow.