10 Ways to Make Your “Most Popular Posts” More Popular

blogging

No matter how long you have been blogging, some of your posts will be always more popular than others. These posts tend to rank higher on Google and have more social shares and links from other websites.

So the question is, how do you get more traffic to these popular posts? If people already like them, you should be able to make them more popular, right?

Here are 10 ways to make your most popular posts more popular:

Update them frequently

Eventually, even your most popular posts will decrease in popularity unless you update them. For example, this post on leveraging Instagram—written in 2012—received just 27,419 visitors over the past 30 days.

traffic down

Because I haven’t updated the post since 2012, it has become slightly outdated and is driving less traffic now than it did in its earlier days. For instance, in August of 2013 the post received 121,550 visitors.

traffic up

The views from the last month represent a 77% drop in traffic. If I update the post and make the content more Instagram-ready, my traffic would go back up.

I update my blog post on business quotes a few times a year by replacing the quotes that everyone has already seen with new ones. That article was written in 2009, and it still consistently gets over 10,000 visitors a month.

Why? Because the article is still relevant; the bounce rate on the page remains low; and I continually update the page.

Link to your popular posts within your sidebar

Have you noticed that I link to my most popular posts within my sidebar?

popular posts

I link to my best posts within my sidebar, featuring those that rank most popular overall and those that are tending now. Not only is this area highly clicked on, but all of these posts tend to rank well due to the fact that I link to them throughout my website.

Just Google terms like “online marketing.” You should see Quick Sprout ranking on page 1 at the 3rd spot.

online marketing

By linking to your most popular posts within your sidebar, you should receive more clicks to them and increase your overall rankings. Just make sure you don’t spam the links with rich anchor text.

Add email opt-ins within the post

Your most popular posts get traffic, so why not have them help you generate more traffic? By adding an email opt-in to your posts, you’ll gain more email subscribers. This way, every time you publish new blog posts, you can notify all the people on your email list.

To maximize the number of emails you are collecting, the email opt-in offer needs to be relevant to the blog post. The difference in conversions is huge.

For example, Kim Roach published a blog post on the best Fiverr gigs of 2014, in which she broke down the 10 best gigs. Towards the bottom of the post, she added a call to action, inviting people to give their email addresses in exchange for an additional 10 gigs she showcased in her PDF file.

fiverr

By creating a relevant offer, she was able to increase her opt-in rate from 0.54% to 4.82%. That’s a 785% increase.

Add your most popular posts to your drip campaigns

You should consider linking to your most popular posts within your email drip campaigns. Why? People must be liking them for a reason…which is why these posts get shared more often and receive more search traffic than others.

By linking to them within your email drip campaigns, you’ll drive more eyeballs to them. This will help increase the number of social shares and the number of sites that link back to these articles.

Your email subscribers are the most loyal readers you’ll have. They are more likely to read, comment on, and share your articles via the social web. For this reason, you should consider adding your most popular posts to your email drip sequence.

Reference them within your blog

Are you cross-linking enough? When you are writing posts, you should consider linking back to your most popular posts. You should avoid shoving in links just to increase your traffic, but if it makes sense for your readers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t link to your older posts.

When you are linking to your most popular posts, one thing you’ll want to avoid is using rich anchor text.

For example, if you want one of your posts to rank for “online marketing,” you wouldn’t want to continually link to that post by using the phrase “online marketing.” Instead, you want to use phrases that are natural and make sense.

In addition to that, you can consider creating a “Get Started” page.

get started

The screenshot above is an example of a “Get Started” page on Smart Passive Income. These pages are extremely popular as long as you add them to your main blog navigation. Within that page, you should add links to your most popular posts.

Create a content gate

We did a test a few years ago on Kimberly Snyder’s recipe pages since they tended to be some of the most popular pages on her blog. We took this page and added a content gate.

content gate

You were able to see the infographic above on that page, but the content below the infographic was blocked off unless you put in your email address. The website has been redesigned since, but the feature was effective while it was part of the page.

The page generated an extra 400 to 600 emails a day, and the bounce rate didn’t change at all.

If you are going to block off a portion of your content, make sure you give people an option to close the sign-up window and see the content without first providing an email address. This way, you won’t tick off your readers who aren’t immediately interested in opting in.

content gate social

You can also do the same thing by requesting social shares instead of emails like in the image above.

Repurpose your content

There is a reason why your most popular content is “popular.” Have you thought about repurposing it in different formats?

We do this all the time at KISSmetrics by turning our best posts into infographics. Heck, we even take other people’s best posts and turn them into infographics.

We took a few of Dan Zarrella’s posts that contained social media stats and turned them into three infographics. Here is an example of one of them.

What’s interesting is that our infographics probably received more traffic than his original posts. This not only shows you the power of infographics but also illustrates why you should consider repurposing your content in different formats. From infographics to YouTube videos and Slideshare presentations, the possibilities are endless.

If you want to learn how to create infographics, you can watch this video and read this post.

Syndicate your content

Do you want more exposure? Have you thought about republishing your popular posts on other blogs?

I do this all the time with Quick Sprout by allowing Search Engine Journal to take posts from my blog, word for word. This benefits me because it drives more traffic back to my blog and brings in additional exposure.

When you republish your articles, make sure the blogs taking your content use a rel=canonical tag, which tells search engines that the original article was first published on your website.This way, you will transfer all search engine juice back to your site. If you don’t do this, you may lose 225,418 visitors like we did on the KISSmetrics blog.

Extend your content

Updating your content is good, but making your popular posts more in-depth is even better. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Content that is 2,000 or more words tends to rank better than content that is only 500 or even 1,000 words. This article talks about the fact that the average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains at least 2,000 words.
  2. Have you noticed that there is a section on Google called “in-depth articles”? By increasing your word count, assuming you aren’t just word-stuffing, you are more likely to get mentioned in that section of the search results page. You can see how I increased my search traffic by 13.15% in 30 days by leveraging this tip.
  3. Adding long-tail keywords to your article can boost your rankings for new terms. You just have to make sure you are adding in more content as you add in more keywords. That way you can blend them in naturally. I was able to increase my search traffic by 54,131 visitors by following the long tail steps in this blog post.

Adjust your post titles

Your post titles may be good, but why not make them great? Adjusting your titles can increase the number of people who click through to your site from search results pages.

A few years ago, I used Webmaster Tools to analyze Quick Sprout in order to see what words and phrases cause the highest click-through rates. What I found was interesting. The most clicked-through words tended to be:

  1. How to
  2. [List-related numbers]
  3. Free
  4. You
  5. Tips
  6. Blog post
  7. Why
  8. Best
  9. Tricks
  10. Great

By using some of those words within your title tags, you should see an increase in click-throughs.

Conclusion

Writing more content similar to your most popular posts isn’t enough. Why not try leveraging the 10 tactics above to get more traffic to your existing content?

It may require some work, but it’s a lot easier to make those changes than it is to continually crank out new blog posts.

How else can you get more traffic from your most popular posts?

P.S. If you need some extra help getting more traffic to your most popular blog posts go here.

Comments

  1. Tom Attenborough :

    Great post Neil.

    Love the idea of repurposing old content and squeezing more life out of it that way. Definitely something I will start considering with the authority site that I’m currently building

    • Tom, let me know how it goes. Keep me in the loop.

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden :

      Neil, this is another home run! I was wondering that too ~ I feel like I have 3 posts that drive all the traffic to my blog. Every time I check google analytics, people are reading these 3 posts. And my top post, it’s just so funny what the top post is. We are hoping to get even more traffic from that post by making a youtube how to video with my husband and myself in it (looking really dorky of course).

      • @Laura, Tim here are two case studies I wrote for a quora answer about repurposing:
        – Speeding up content creation with repurposing http://qr.ae/jC4nO
        – Tools 101 http://qr.ae/j45Si – basically if you have Apple’s Keynote and iMovie, you’re good to go 🙂

        @Neil another stellar post.

  2. I love all your Complete Guides, they are really information stuffed , I always wonder how you created them

    • Rachit, I just read a lot and have tested a lot on my site.

      • Hello Neil. I’ve read many posts and guides in Quicksprout. It’s all very helpful. But some data in your guide is out of date. I’m waiting for your update. ^^

  3. Fakharuddin :

    Hello Sir,
    Awesome tips to get more page views with old blog posts as well as stay top ranked in SERPs. A also update my old blog posts on a regular basis. But here find some awesome tricks that will help to make my blog post more popular.

    Thanks for the great stuff.

  4. Michael Bely :

    Hey Neil,

    Another thing that comes to my mind is linking to popular posts in the comments answering readers’ relevant questions.

    • Michael, I do that often — when people ask for certain guides I definitely lead them the right way.

      • Anil Agarwal :

        I think repurposing your blog contents and creating a page called “start here” to showcase your best posts is the best way to increase visibility of the popular pages of a site.

        Great share Neil!

  5. Another tip is to discuss specific topics by phrase that your top posts rank for. For example, if you have a blog post that’s popular, and it has a unique or unusual phrase in it, mention that phrase when discussing similar topics on other blogs or forums. This creates demand for new keyword phrases that might now get more searches.

    An example might be a phrase like “new SEO myths”. If you have a post on a subject like that, and you mention the phrase in various places on the Web, people will start searching for it in Google and/or Bing. You don’t have to drop links to it or anything. Just talk about it enough (in an interesting way) that people are inspired to search for it.

    • Randy, great point. It’s always great to drop keyword hints when applicable. I try to not overdo it as it seems kind of spammy — but in moderation it definitely works.

  6. Hi Neil,

    Great tips as usual. I especially like the one about changing post titles. I once read somewhere that using Title Case (capitalizing the first letter of every word) typically leads to a higher CTR from search engines. In your experience, would you agree?

    • Stephen, I don’t think there is really and data to support that. I do know it looks more uniform and neat though.

  7. Digital Kam :

    Hey Neil this is great, this article couldn’t of come at a better time-it’s like you read my mind! I have been going over some content with a few clients and I have been showing them how they can re- purpose their most popular content or optimize it! This article sums it up nicely!

    www.twitter.com/marketingisme

  8. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, useful blog post.

    I like the tactic of repurposing content in different formats. I think this single technique can produce an unlimited amount of content with the same source.

    Q:How else can you get more traffic from your most popular posts?
    A: Running advertising with facebook page post if it is worth it

    Have a constructive day!

    • Steve, I really like your QA format within the blog posts — it’s helpful and really provides value. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. Vandana Singhal :

    Hi Neil,

    Highly useful post. You have shared a few easy but very effective methods to redo old posts. Sometime changing the title with appropriate words can attract more readers.

  10. Great tips, thanks Neil! Most of these are pretty simple to implement too, yet often overlooked. Love the idea of repurposing other people’s popular posts as infographics – nice way to streamline coming up with new content!

  11. Thanks about this post! I now see I don’t use my popular posts and I find especialy the part about updating them frequently something I have to remind myself often!

  12. Anubhav Garg :

    Those were really good insights on the topic Mr. Neil. Thanks for keep on sharing such a wonderful posts on your site.

  13. Yavan Kumar :

    Hi Neil,
    You are coming with great post again. I usually do updating my post frequently with relevant keywords and great content. Thanks to you and your last article about Google Analytics, which help me a lot to create some great content with most familiar keywords.
    Thanks again.

  14. Another useful tip I might add is going back and checking your alt tags for the images on your site. This always seems to get overlooked and can easily add more traffic to your site.

  15. Thanks Neil your inventive information always.You have shared continuously quite effective tactic.Linking popular posts in my sidebar is favorite and serious scheme.

  16. Angela Glassburn :

    Great advise! I knew about titles containing how to and free, but now I’m going to use all of your suggestions!

  17. Now day’s people not concentrate on popular posts. Thanks sir and I will follow your word

  18. Elaine Fogel :

    Neil, what I would give for 20+K readers! My new book is coming out this year and I would relish a larger email list. Looks like you have a lot to teach this marketer on this topic! 🙂

  19. William Zimmerman :

    Neil,

    Awesome stuff!!

    Love the idea of making an infographic out of great posts!

    Thanks Neil!

    Have a great week man!

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

    • Bill, glad you liked the post. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Not just an infographic. You can do a slideshow (for Slideshare and the like) and a video (for YouTube) and an audio version (for Audible) too.

      Just my 0.02.

  20. vikas dhariwal :

    thank you… great
    nice post

  21. Vikas Singh Gusain :

    Hello Neil

    Thank s for sharing this blog with us.

    Before I came across this post, it was an uphill battle to get enough likes and reposts from my end ,but after implementing the strategies mentioned in this post, it has taken a turn for the better.

  22. Stephen Thomas :

    I’m so glad that i read these blogs. I have noticed that my business has made some progress since i have been read and acting. Keep up the great work Neil. As soon as i am able to afford your services. I know my company will move to the next level and keep going.

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  24. What’s up, yup this article is actually pleasant and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.
    thanks.

  25. Akshay Sapkal :

    Hello..

    I needed a small help…
    Like you said…if we update a post with its heading into something more good, but then there the URL of the post would be the same as before. So does that matter if the title and the URL doesn’t match!

    Would that do a wrong SEO or that is perfectly ok to do ?

  26. update it frequently — yeah! i’ve been doing it most of the time. lol

  27. Very useful tips thank you!

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