Each year I review our best blog posts. It gives our readers a short cut to our most popular content, and gives me a chance to review our own performance in terms of our blog strategy. For those of you doing your own blogging, you may find my thoughts useful as you plan your own blog posts into 2014.
Content marketing is an essential part of our overall marketing toolkit. Generating high quality blog posts helps us to meet our goals:
- Acquisition: driving traffic to our website from the search engines, social media, and other referring sites in order to generate leads and enquiries
- Conversion: positioning ourselves as experts in the field and demonstrating that we’re an agency you can trust
- Retention and Loyalty: keeping in touch with our client base, building and maintaining strong relationships
The beauty of digital marketing is that everything can be measured, and of course it is only worth measuring if you are going to do something about it.
So, the focus on this annual review is to assess our performance, and then provide a plan of action that arises directly from what the numbers say to us.
Most Times Viewed
One great measure of the success of a blog post is, quite simply, how often it has been read. I’m using Unique Page Views in Google Analytics as the measure of success, and our most popular posts for 2013 were:
UK Business Directory Scam: (2012) – this was also our top performing blog posts last year, and remains of interest to business owners, the public sector, and the press. It is a great example of how the print media combines well with digital, and our coverage in the Mail on Sunday also corresponded to an uplift in page views.
Action plan: combine digital marketing activity with offline activity for greatest effect
Digital Marketing Map: A guide to digital marketing (2013) – our London tube map inspired infographic was a runaway success, and we were delighted both with the number of visitors looking at the post, as well as the inbound links we acquired, including a lovely link from Adobe. We are also able to use a printed version of the Map in a whole range of marketing activities.
Action plan: one high quality, perfect piece of content is worth much, much more than rafts of inferior quality content
Facebook Advertising: Advantages & Disadvantages (2012) – an example of the power of “evergreen” content.” This article from 2012 had many thousands of page views, and also had one of our highest Average Time on Page timings. Indeed, content from our blog archives appear consistently in our most visited pages.
Action plan: target evergreen content articles and update them to contain latest best practice news
Most Popular Posts in Our Email Newsletter
Our email newsletter subscribers are familiar with the services we provide, and our looking for expert views and trustworthy advice.
Our most popular posts are practical, plain speaking guides written for our target market, with a specific view to helping businesses to get better with their own digital marketing
The most popular post for our email subscribers was the Digital Marketing Map, with the following posts also driving hundreds of visits to the website:
Action plan: focus on our target market, and the advice they want to get from us
Most Socially Shared Content
Great content is meant to be shared. And sharing on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms demonstrates the value of the content, and our readers’ engagement and willingness to share with others.
Our top socially shared content is representative of a range of digital marketing strategies, and provide a very useful basis for our action planning moving forward:
Free Social Media Marketing Calendar – this great little planning tool is only available if you “pay with a tweet.” In other words, we ask you to share it with your social network in order to gain access. Year after year this marketing method pays dividends, and we will continue to use this “social payment” method
Action: leverage social payment tools
Digital Marketing Executive Job – we have a rolling programme of recruitment, and I’m delighted to see our jobs are being actively shared across social networks. My action for this year – further promote jobs on social
Action: integrate social more actively into the recruitment process
Local SEO: How to Spend Your Time [Infographic] – Great infographics really do work, and of course sharing on networks gets our brand out and promotes our expertise. Again, our action plan is to scope out new infographics that our target market will value.
Action: schedule an infographics campaign with other corrsponding content types
Successful Blogging: What Else Should Be Measured?
I have picked my top three priorities for 2014, but there are many other metrics that could be important to your business.
- most frequent landing pages from the search engines
- the number of inbound links that each post generated
- traffic and visits from social channels
- the number of visits each post gets from referring websites that mention our posts
- the blog content most consumed by users of mobile devices
- number of social interactions for each post (comments, shared, liked, retweeted)
- the bounce rate for each post: did they just read the post and leave, or did they engage with other content?
- the number of pages of content on average our blog readers look at