We talked in a previous video cast about how we found out an old (and weird) post was Stacking Benjamins number one post for three days in a row, and what we did in order to try to capture visitors.
We took our own advice, but since the post that ranked so highly was … how do I put this … different from all other posts on Stacking Benjamins, we didn't see a huge impact on traffic.
But you can optimize your old posts. Especially if your top posts are actually relevant to the rest of your site.
Now, if you have an hour, you can go through your top ten posts and see an immediate impact on your site's traffic. This is a great activity for those times where you were able to carve time out of your day, but the inspiration isn't coming when you sit down to write a post. Instead of creating something new, polish those old posts and present them to people who haven't seen them before. It's like creating new content without having to do all that work!
Step 1. Find Your Top 10 Posts on Google Analytics
Find your top ten posts from the last 12 months. To do this, log in to Google Analytics, set your dates, then click Behavior–>Site Content–>All Pages.
Okay, those are our top ten posts from the last 12 months, according to Google.
Step 2. Find Your Most Shared Content on Buzzsumo
We covered Buzzsumo in an earlier post, so refer back to that, and here are the most shared posts on Stacking Benjamins:
You can see that there's some overlap. It looks like Stacking Benjamins has about eight posts and four pages that need to be gussied up. What's next?
Step 3. Optimize for SEO
Make sure you have WordPress SEO by Yoast installed. Find a keyword in your title and URL, then make sure you have it in your content and your meta description. Since these are old posts, you don't want to go to the trouble of changing the URL, because then you'll have to set up a redirect, and ain't nobody got time for that! This is the quick and dirty way, friends!
So, do what you need to do in order to get a green light from that plugin. Then, make sure there's at least one place in your post, two if you can, that link back (or forward) to other posts on your site.
Step 4. Optimize for Humans
Is your most popular post a wall of text? Break that up! Find out what the drop-down menu on your WordPress editor does. Heading 2 seems to hit all the right notes for breaking your text into sections humans enjoy. If your post is long, add more images. Pictures are more fun to look at than walls of text.
Step 5. Do Something Nice for Pinterest, Too
Take Anne's advice and create images just for Pinterest. If you don't like the look of them on your blog post (and I'm with you if that's the case), upload a 735×1100 image to Pinterest itself and link it to your post. Use something like PicMonkey to make your job easier. Anne doubled her traffic. What if you added the power of Pinterest to those posts that are already popular? You might break your server.
And that's it! Quick and dirty tricks on how to make the most of your most popular content.
But What About the Pages?
Oh, good question! You noticed that some of our most popular pages from the last year weren't even blog posts at all — they were site pages! It looks like we have some work to do on our “about” page. We'll talk more about that in an upcoming post.