Bigger, Better, Bolder: Analyze Your Highest Traffic-Yielding Posts

This is the next post in a very exciting series we’re bringing to you on IFB in anticipation of the upcoming #IFBcon. Each day in the month of August, we’ll have a different post designed to help your blog become – you guessed it – bigger, better and bolder.

One strategy we use at IFB to come up with new content is to look back in our Google Analytics to see what posts have done well recently. It can sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but sometimes we can get so caught up in trying to stay new, new, new, and fresh, fresh, fresh, that we forget what a great resource we have in our past content!

The idea for today's Bigger, Better Bolder post is to understand your greatest hits to produce your best content.

When listening to the “best of” album from your favorite artist, if you study the lyrics, the beat, and the melody – you'll probably be able to pick up on some consistencies in the songs. Musicians know how to create the kind of music their audiences want to hear, while not playing the same thing over and over again. Smart, right?

Applying this logic to your blog will help you discover the best way to marry what you like to blog about and what your audience likes to see. The idea isn't to re-package and re-purpose things you've already done, but to analyze what made these posts successful and try to recreate some of that magic.

So where to start?

Whether you're using Google Analyitics, the “stats” section of your Blogger account, or your WordPress statistics, start by finding the site content or “posts” breakdown, that will show you which pages have ranked the highest within a given amount of time. Depending on how long you've been blogging, you may want to look at the past one, three or six months, or even the past year.

To get a more developed composite of your formula for success, don't limit your investigation to the very top post. Consider your the top 5 or top 10, and look for patterns. Also look at posts that received more comments than usual, even if the traffic numbers were average. (In the WordPress dashboard you can go in and arrange your post list in ascending order by number of comments – nifty, right?)

What to look for?

Here is just a few questions you might want to ask yourself (and take notes on what you find) as you look at your blog's top posts.

  • What was the general topic of the post? Did it relate to a specific person, trend, or garment?)
  • What made you want to write this post? What inspired you?
  • How long was the post?
  • Did you use keywords in your post title?
  • Did you include a lot of images?
  • Did you use a shopable collage from Polyvore or ShopStyle?
  • Did you link out to other sites in this post (blogs, shopping, publications)?
  • Did you use affiliate links?
  • Was this post part of a series or part of your editorial calendar?
  • What were the top traffic sources for this post? (Finding this out requires looking at a different part of your stats, but is definitely worth investigating.)

After answering these questions for 5 or 10 of your most popular posts, hopefully a pattern will emerge. Perhaps your audience loves your trend round-ups or celebrity-inspired posts. Perhaps your outfit posts that include some great context to where you wore your look usually garner a lot of comments and feedback from your readers. You may find that your audience loves when you do a series of posts that all relate to a certain event, or item you really love to talk about, like shoes or work-appropriate style.

How to use this information?

Finding out the best way to combine what you want to do and what your audience wants to see can be a process of trial and error. The success of some posts may baffle you, and you may not want to use them as a jumping-off point at all, which is fine. The point is always to stay true to what you want your blog to be. When you can channel that into the format, style or a subject your readers like too, you'll have the best of both worlds.

For IFB, our top post right now is this one on apps to boost your Instagram images, followed by our post on social media bios and our silly blog name generator post. We developed these posts by looking at the keywords people use to find IFB, as well as reading comments with suggestions from our readers. We can't rehash these topics over and over, so we look for key signifiers to tell us what our audience likes to read and share, like actionable social media tips, humor, bulleted posts without too many long paragraphs and so on. We keep these elements in mind as we come up with new content.

For more related info from IFB, check out:

Have you used this technique with your blog content before? Share you experience in the comments!

 

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[Image credit: Shutterstock.]

 

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3 Responses

  1. Marianne Krohn

    I’ve only been blogging for a few months now, so stats are relevant but there is not too much material. I’ve noticed that I get more traffic when I go along with some big event. For example I’ve written about all the neon Nike shoes at the Olympics and the closing ceremony. The neon shoes post was the one visited the most by far. But not because of google search. There I get the most hits with the brand Lyla Lyla which is only available in Switzerland.

    Reply
  2. Susann Akers

    Most of my posts are Polyvore sets and to be honest before I joined here it has been rumbling along with a only a few visits a day. I have gone from 10 unique visits to 25 visits. Not a lot , but it is going in the right direction. The post that attracted the most attention was a post called Kat Von D and Bordello Shoes (she owns a lot of this range.) It has had 330 page views and the next post down had 16. That tells me that people like to read about Kat Von D and Bordello shoes – does that mean that I need to do more posts about Ms Von D and her shoe collection ? To me it is logical to do more posts , about Kat but do you agree ?

    Suggestions are welcome

    Susann x

    Reply