The sad truth is that the majority of blogs online never reach their traffic potential. If you think that yours is one of them, then this article is for you.
As a blogger, marketer, or online entrepreneur, you already know that developing the right content marketing strategy can help you grow your traffic and sales. However, many bloggers have hundreds of articles on their websites but they are still not seeing much traffic coming their way from the search engines.
Even for those bloggers who are getting a good amount of search traffic, they could get a lot more traffic just by improving their content.
If you fall in either of these two categories, you’re going to learn how to increase your blog traffic significantly within just 90 days – all without having to create new content – simply by following the steps listed below.
Content marketing experts have long since proven that instead of creating new content all the time, if you focus on improving your old content to ensure that it gets to Google’s first page, you will see a significant rise in your traffic numbers.
It doesn’t matter if you are getting 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000 visitors per month. This strategy is one that you can use to identify content that is close to being ranked on Google’s first page then improve it in order to bring it into those top results.
Here Are the Five Steps We Are Going to Cover:
- How to Identify Content that’s Worth Optimizing
- How to Prioritize Which Content to Optimize
- How to Optimize Individual Pages on Your Site
- How to Re-Promote the Content for Maximum Impact
- How to Track the Results for Even More Optimization
1. How to Identify the Content Worth Optimizing
As previously stated, most blogs have tons of pages but only a few of those bring in meaningful amounts of traffic. Your blog likely falls into the same category, and by following the steps in this article, you will be able to fix that. Your first step is to determine which content is worth optimizing at this point.
- Content that is beginning to rank in the search engines for relevant target keywords
- Content that is currently not in the top five results
- Content with relevant keywords that have decent search volume
In order to figure this out, you need to first go to Google Webmaster Tools. Log in, select your site, then follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to Search Analytics in the left-hand side menu
Step 2: Select Impressions as well as Position
Step 3: Filter using Pages
By doing this, you will be able to determine which pages have a lot of impressions but low average positions – which tells you that many people are searching for that information. If you are able to rank such pages higher, there’s potential for them to bring in a lot more traffic to your site.
If you order by position, you’ll be able to see the pages that you rank really well for. You may find some pages that rank really well but have a relatively low amount of impressions – which means fewer people are searching for that particular information.
The goal here is to look for a set of pages that aren’t in the top position but still gets a respectable number of impressions.
- To begin with, export the data by scrolling to the bottom and hitting ‘download’.
- Upload the information into a Google sheet. You can sort it by the highest to lowest impressions, then filter the column labeled ‘position’ so that you only see the rows that have a position which is greater than 10. You’ll find that these are the pages which aren’t, on average, on Google’s first page.
- You can then add a column labeled ‘Target?’ Then proceed to type ‘Y’ next to those pages you think are worth optimizing.
There is a very simple criterion you can use to help you determine this:
First, you can choose a relative measure, say any page with over 4,000 impressions, to help you filter down your list a little bit. There are no hard and fast rules here, but anything over 1,000 will be worth considering if you intend to have a longer list.
Secondly, you may choose pages on your sites that are specifically targeted or those that hold particular value toward one of your conversion goals.
Now you have your initial target pages. This number will be different for everyone but anything between 20 and 50 pages is a good start.
Now let’s move on to the next step where we are going to prioritize that list of targets.
2. How to Prioritize Which Content to Optimize
When it comes to prioritizing your list, you need to figure out which is the best keyword that each of those pages is beginning to rank for. On your spreadsheet, you can now add another column where you can paste in the formula which takes you directly to the list of keywords that any given URL ranks for. You can name it however you see fit depending on the type of keyword tool you’re using.
For instance, if you’re using Ahrefs, you can name this column ‘Ahrefs Code’. By doing it this way for each of your pages, you’ll be able to quickly click into the keyword tool to determine the exact terms that page is beginning to rank for.
Now you can take a look at those keywords and find out which page is closest to being on Google’s first page and for which keyword. This is the one that you want to focus on optimizing the page around.
It’s a good idea to pick the highest volume keyword which would still be considered very relevant to that topic. You can then add that keyword as well as the difficulty and volume to your sheet. Keep going through all the other pages until you have all their target keywords. Remove any pages with no good keywords that they are beginning to rank for.
Now it’s time to prioritize the opportunities before you.
You can do it based on the function of their difficulty and volume (as an example). The truth is, once you understand this process, you’ll be able to make up your own formulas to determine these metrics.
Using the above example, your formula on this sheet may look like this:
SCORE = (VOLUME/DIFFICULTY ^ 2) / 100
Once you have the score calculated on all the rows, you can then organize your sheet by it. This new metric will tell you which pages possess a high search volume amount with very low difficulty. Since the difficulty is a logarithmic rating of comparative difficulty (and not linea), we square it.
Now you have the information regarding which pages on your website are high potential targets and which ones have much less potential. If you would like to filter down in order to pick a set that you can start with, any of the pages with a score larger than 1 would make a good list. That’s the list of pages you want to focus on first.
Now that you have your list of pages to optimize, let’s move on to how exactly you can go about doing that.
3. How to Optimize Individual Pages on Your Site
There are three aspects to focus on In order to get your content to rank higher in the search engines, and these are:
- Content Quality
- User Experience (UX)
- Page Technical Health
Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.
3.1: Content Quality
One of the first questions you have to ask yourself when focusing on this aspect of optimizing a target page is:
‘Is there a way to improve this content and make it more competitive?’
One of the easiest ways you can go about that is by looking at all the other top results shown for the keyword you’ve chosen. Try to determine exactly what it is that they’re doing right that you could potentially match or better yet – surpass!
Keep in mind that when we talk about emulating other people’s content we’re not talking about copying it word for word, but rather getting ideas on how you can create even better content for your own website.
Look at how other competitors are crafting their content.
How deep they are diving into the topic, and how they are structuring their blog posts. All that information will be extremely helpful to you when it comes to creating even better content pieces that will outrank your competition.
There are certain things that stand out when it comes to determining opportunities for potential content improvement, examples of which are:
- More attractive images
- Technical improvement of user experience through better formatting
- Increased personal interpretations of specific material
- And so on…
To help you in your efforts to get your content ranked quickly, you may use tools like ClearScope, which allows you to run a report on any keyword to see all the related terms that are associated with that keyword according to Google. You’ll then be able to determine the ones that are missing from your post.
But to be honest, ClearScope isn’t exactly the cheapest tool out there. It is arguably the most effective, but if you’re just starting out, the last thing you want is to have to invest a hundred dollars a month or more on such a tool. So until you get to that level, here are some similar tools that you can use instead:
- Hemingway App – This gives you the readability metrics, word count, and so on for any of your posts. It’s a really nice app that is easy to use and totally free.
- LSI Graph – This is yet another useful tool that provides you with LSI keywords.
- Ryte.com – This is a TF*IDF analysis tool that also contains other content optimization features.
By interpreting the results from these tools, you’ll have the ability to determine the following things:
- If your posts are too long and if it’s necessary to cut some material.
- If you’re missing lots of relevant information on your topic.
- If you need to simplify your language a little.
- And so on.
So by using these tools on each of your posts to optimize, you may end up with a checklist for your content which looks something like this:
- Make the post shorter (or longer)
- Include an introduction section about your topic
- Add a few interpretations or impressions
- Add more images
- …and so on.
3.2. Optimizing UX
Your next step is to ensure that once people land on your post, they stick around to read your whole article. This means you have to optimize your article for user experience.
First things first, no one wants to be confronted with a giant block of text. That’s just painful to read even for your most loyal readers. And the vast majority of people who come across a page like that will instantly close it and look somewhere else for the information they need.
In order to make your page more user-friendly, use formatting best practices such as adding bolding, headers, bullet points, etc. to make it more readable and easy to scan. This also helps to highlight the most important information in your post for those who love to skim. Here are some of the other things you want to check for in order to ensure that user experience is good:
- Have fast page loading
- Remove any huge images blocking initial text section
- Remove any funky CSS styling and inconsistent headers as well as anything else that makes the page look sloppy
- Include a catchy intro to hook the readers and let them know they are in the right place.
The final step is to ensure that there is nothing broken on that page. There are many different free and paid Site Audit Tools that you can use for doing this, including Website Auditor, Ahrefs, and The Hoth’s Free Site Audit Tool.
Once you have chosen a tool, it’s time to look for the following common technical issues:
- Broken links
- Broken images
- HTTPS or HTTP mixed content
- Keyword stuffing
- Keyword underuse
- Images that are too big
- Images with no alt text
- Meta-descriptions that are too short or long
- Titles that are too short or long
- Page sizes that are too large
- Poor mobile responsiveness
So for instance, you may have a page that has the following errors:
- Multiple title tags on one page
- Meta-description without a keyword in it
- Keyword only appearing once in the content body
- Two images on the page with empty alt text
After fixing those issues, this part will be done.
Your content will then be ready to be republished. Change the ‘published at’ date to the current date in WordPress then hit ‘update’.
4. How to Re-Promote Your Content for Maximum Impact
As a blogger, you probably already have your own playbook for new content promotion. Now is the time to selectively run through that playbook again for that newly updated post.
There are, of course, some steps that won’t make sense for you to do all over again. For instance, if you send out email blasts for each new post, then you may not want to email your subscribers about the updated post unless you have changed a lot of content in it and you think it would be worthwhile for your readers to check it out again.
However, some of the lightweight promotion strategies, such as sharing on social media, sharing in any of your own online groups, posting to various message boards, sending to the people mentioned in the post (particularly newly mentioned people) – all these are certainly worth doing.
If you’re able to get a bump of traffic flowing to your newly updated post, that will help it to start ranking better even more quickly.
Depending on how huge your post is, you may want to stick to the simple promotion strategies. But, if you did a massive overhaul to a mega-post, then you may want to give it another round of promotion that is even more aggressive.
Re-promoting re-written or refreshed content is a great strategy to bring in more traffic to your site.
5. How to Track the Results for Even More Optimization
In this final step, you have to keep track of which posts you have optimized. Your record has to be carefully constructed to show how well the posts are performing using a spreadsheet or rank tracker software.
Make sure you add all the keywords that the posts are optimized around and keep an eye on optimized posts every week to see how they are doing. If it’s been at least three months since the articles were posted, and they are still hanging out on the second, third, or fourth page, you may want to re-optimize them.
After about three months, a post should stabilize at the new position, which tells you if you need to do any further work on that post, such as trying to build more back-links, etc.
The Final Word
As you can see, the process is quite simple as long as you have a plan to follow. Do this for one post at a time and once you have optimized and republished, promoted and tracked the post, you can then move on to the next one, and the next, and so on.
Remember, this process is meant to help you double or triple traffic to your entire blog, not just a single article. This means that you want to continue moving through your list (remember the one you created in step two) until you’ve completed all the posts with high potential for bringing in more traffic.
After you’ve finished your whole list, let the posts sit while producing new content. You can then repeat this process every 3 to 6 months, and this will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your blog.
You have already created tons of content, all of which is potentially valuable. Rather than trying to constantly pump out more pieces of content, you are going to get much faster results from re-optimizing the content you already have.
By following the steps outlined above you will be able to double and even triple traffic to your blog within the next 90 days – and this article is your means to achieving success in that goal!
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