Article Optimization: 10 Tips to Improve Your Most Popular Articles

Steven2 responsesBlogging
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Take a look at your stats and you’ll see that some posts are always at the top of the list in terms of traffic. They may even have huge spikes periodically. These popular posts are your work horses and if they’re optimized they can help increase traffic over your entire blog, help increase your blog’s stickiness, help boost your search engine ranking, and help increase your sales.

What does it mean to “optimize” your content?

It means you do everything you can to wring out every last drop of goodness. Right now, you know for a fact that popular post is pulling in more traffic than any other post on your blog. To “optimize” it means you’re going to use that fact to your advantage.

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Why should you optimize your popular posts? Because right now they’re bringing in tons of traffic. But they could be doing so much more. You already know visitors are landing on those posts. Now you just need to give them more to look at.

Here are 10 ways to optimize a popular post and use it to your advantage.

1. Find out where the traffic’s coming from

Look at your stats. If the traffic’s coming from the search engines, you’ll want to look at the keywords people are using to find that post and you may want to tweak some of your keywords inside the post to attract additional traffic.

If the traffic’s coming from social media, it won’t last long so you’re going to have to act fast to take advantage of it. I’ll cover this more in a minute.

If the traffic is coming from another blog you’ll also want to act quickly. Focus on converting those new visitors into subscribers and build a relationship with that other blogger.

2. On-Page SEO

Obviously, you’re already on the right track with this post or it wouldn’t be getting so much traffic. But take a look at the keywords people are using when they arrive on that page and find ways to naturally include those words in your post. Also use those keywords to label your images, in the alt tags for you images and in the post tags.

3. Off-Page SEO

If it’s a popular post that means it’s providing value for the reader, which means it shouldn’t be too difficult to build some incoming links. Remember though, those links should come from relevant blogs and websites. If you have blogs of your own that you can use for this purpose then add a link from each blog.

This is also a good time to contact members of your blogging network to see if any of them can give you a link. And email a link to other relevant bloggers and tell them how you feel this post would provide value for their readers. If they like it, they might link to you, too.

4. Social Sharing

Look to see which social sites your traffic is coming from. If you’re a member of any of those sites, do what you can do boost it higher in ranking. For example, if it’s getting a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon you could Stumble it yourself and give it a Thumbs Up.

Keep in mind many of your readers belong to one social site. If your traffic’s coming from StumbleUpon it may also be popular at Digg or Reddit right now, so check those sites out, too.

Add appropriate social sharing buttons. If your traffic’s coming from Digg and you don’t already have a Digg button on that post, add one now so all those new visitors coming from Digg will continue to share your post.

5. Add a Call To Action to Subscribe

This is a great opportunity to increase subscriptions. “Did you like this post? Subscribe to my newsletter…” or “Subscribe to my blog…” Take advantage of this extra traffic and grab some new subscribers.

6. Internal Linking

Use a related posts plug-in at the end of the post to send readers to relevant content in your archives. Use text links inside the post, too. Turn that popular post into a hub post and use it to send readers all over your blog.

7. Optimize Load Time

If you’re experiencing a very high volume of traffic you may want to optimize for load time, especially if the page is really image-heavy. The last thing you want to do is exceed your bandwidth with all this excitement going on.

8. Monetize the Post

If this post isn’t monetized you need to drop everything else and do it now. That may mean you have to add another paragraph or two to make it more relevant for your call to action. It might just mean you have to put in an AdSense block or move one of your affiliate banners closer to the body of the post. This is your most popular post and there are a lot of eyeballs on that page. Take advantage of it.

9. Improve the Post

If you already have that post monetized then take a look at the content and improve it. Is it persuasive? Are you leading the reader to the Buy button? Does your content fill a need? Maybe all you’ll need to do is tweak your formatting to make the key points stand out more for the reader.

10. Write Another One

Analyze that post. Look at your stats. Look at the comments. Look at your writing and formatting and images. What makes it so popular? Once you figure that out – do it again!

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  1. Sarah Bauer

    It’s essential to include social sharing buttons on blog posts, but your fourth point reminds me that bloggers need to stay agile and monitor their audiences’ evolving social preferences, to make the most of this on-page feature. If it’s Digg today, it could be Reddit six months from now.
    Thanks for this!
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  2. Mike Norris

    I really like #9. Improve Your Posts. This is something I have been doing on posts I wrote a year or two ago. I also like the idea if you have a post getting great traffic, write another one like the one that’s doing so well.


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