SEO Study: Do Infographics and Longer Posts Result in More Blog Traffic?

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I’ve been exploring ways to increase traffic to the 60 Second Marketer blog and have conducted a study around it that I wanted to share with you.

For years, one of the key drivers of using search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your blog was the frequency of your blog posts. The theory was that the more frequently you posted, the most likely you were to show up on Google, Bing or Yahoo.

But over the course of the past few months, I noticed that I had reached a peak in terms of number of visits to the blog. This could have been caused by any number of things, but it was enough to make me start searching around for an answer.

I explored the idea that Google’s algorithm had been changed so that frequency of posts counted less than time on site. In other words, my theory was that Google paid attention to the length of time people were on the site more than how many times a week I posted.

So, I started doing longer, more definitive posts like the 2,700-word 50 Insanely Simple Ways to Grow Your Sales and Revenue with Mobile Marketing and the ever popular Mobile Marketing Platforms: What Works and What Doesn’t Work.

Both were long, definitive posts that kept people on the page for two or more minutes rather than less than 60 seconds.

I also started uploading infographics once a week. The nature of infographics is that they keep readers on the page longer than regular posts. Some of the most popular infographics included the following:

The result of my study? As much as I’d like to report that longer, definitive posts increase the length of time on the site and thereby result in more visits driven through from Google, in fact, that has not proven out to be the case.

The lengthy posts I’ve written and the infographics I’ve uploaded have not resulted in any quantifiable change in the length of time on the site or the number of visits to blog.

Three lessons learned from the study. Admittedly, the study resulted in some unexpected findings, but there are still some lessons that can be gleaned from the results:

  1. Test Your Way to Success. The only way to improve your blog or your website is to constantly be in a state of testing. By continuously checking what’s working and what’s not working, you can make small, but significant, changes in the amount of traffic you drive to the blog.
  2. Things That are Measured Tend to Improve. Even though we haven’t cracked the nut on using definitive posts or infographics to drive more traffic to the blog, we remain committed to the belief that there’s something out there that we can do to continue to grow visits to the blog.
  3. Try New Iterations of the Old Test. I still believe that there’s something to the idea that longer, more definitive posts will ultimately grow our traffic. But I haven’t quite figured out what the solution is, so I’m going to keep trying. In the end, I may learn that my hunch is wrong, but that’s a finding in and of itself.

I hope you find this post helpful. What are your best tips for improving your SEO? We’ve started a discussion about it on our LinkedIn group so we can collect ideas for the 60 Second Marketer community. Be sure to add your feedback to the  SEO discussion on our LinkedIn Group.

Posted by Jamie Turner, Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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  • http://www.brainzooming.com Mike Brown

    What’s worked for me relative to SEO to drive traffic?

    1. Take some classes / participate in webinars with people who specialize
    in SEO and learn the basics. SEO is a black box, and people who spend a lot of
    time thinking about it can at least shed a little light into the box.

    2. If you’ve built up some content, track why people are finding your
    website to get new ideas for keywords you should be incorporating into your
    content. Jetpack Site Stats has been a helpful WordPress plug-in for tracking
    what searches people are using to get to our Brainzooming blog. Yes, Google
    Analytics will tell you this as well, but since Site Stats is right in the
    blog, I tend to use it more now for this purpose.

    3. Take advantage of free tools (inboundwriter.com free for 8 posts per
    month) and paid ones (I’m a Scribe WordPress plug-in fan) to help you improve
    your keyword-oriented writing. I should say first that I’m NOT an
    affiliate with either inboundwriter.com or Scribe, so these are simply the
    observations of a paying customer (for Scribe, not yet for inboundwriter.com).

    Scribe works as a WordPress plug-in and scores a blog post on two
    dimensions now: a Page Score (on how you’re doing with SEO practices) and a
    Site Score (how well the post is written to keywords that match your site). It
    also provides built-in tools for identifying keywords and relevant links. I’ve been using Scribe for nearly two years, and it’s been very helpful in that when it scores your post, it offers suggestions to improve the potential for SEO impact. As a result, it also functions as a teaching tool since you can edit, reanalyze a post, and learn how to improve your writing on the first pass to perform better.

    From my sense of inboundwriter.com, it can work for other types of
    web-based content as well. It grades your writing against higher score
    keywords, and makes suggestions to how you are using them. While on the surface it’s geared toward blog posts, I think it would apply to other content, too.

    The Impact?

    Putting some numbers to it, comparing yesterday (11/15/2012) and two years
    ago (11/15/2010 – about a month before I sat in on an SEO webinar that shared
    info on Scribe and got me to use it), search-based visits to the Brainzoming
    blog went from 17% to 50%. The impact in terms of number of visits due to
    search was an 11x increase in two years. I’m not at 60 Second Marketer traffic
    volumes, but I’ll take 11x growth over two years! : )

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Mike —

    Great feedback. Thanks for taking the time to share this with the 60 Second Marketer community. I’m actually printing it out so I can follow-up on some of your recommendations later.

    It’s wonderful to have experts like you helping our community out. Thanks again for sharing your insights here and on our LinkedIn group.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  • http://twitter.com/debtfreeman Robbie Courtney

    Jamie,

    I’m finding that Info Graphics never really helped me with SEO increase rankings for Blog posts as much as having short videos (YouTube of course(Google¹s Baby)). However, Info Graphics did much better with Facebook Fan Page posts as
    far as Going Viral. Appreciate you! Keep the Great Posts coming.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Great tip, Robbie. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to start uploading more infographics to to our Facebook page.

    Best,
    Jamie

  • Pingback: More SEO Tips from the 60 Second Marketer Community | 60 Second Marketer | @AskJamieTurner()

  • http://twitter.com/pijnz pijnz

    Very interesting, and thank you for sharing! It only shows that it boils down to the value of the content to your readers, and the form or length does not matter. Also, there is certainly “time-saving” value in shorter and more precise posts (Seth Godin comes to mind). Time spent on the page/site may be shorter, yet sharing rate might be higher due to more people actually finishing reading the post ; ) anyways – thanks for sharing. Glad that “work smart not hard” applies with blogging.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Hi, Pijnz. I’m continuing the experiment to see if I can crack the code. I’ll keep you posted on any new findings. Thanks!