If you have a blog, your #1 priority is getting more visits to your site. After all, more visits leads to more prospects which leads to more customers which leads to more revenue.
Revenue is a good thing.
With that in mind, I’ve spent the past few weeks analyzing data about 60 Second Marketer visitors in the hopes of growing our global community. I’ve arrived at some interesting insights that I thought I’d share with you so that you can use it on your own blog.
About the Methodology. I collected the data for my analysis from these three sources:
- Social Metrics WordPress Plug-In. This is a simple WordPress Plug-in that tracks social shares on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s a great way to get a simple snapshot about the posts your readers shared via social media.
- Google Analytics. This a great way to track just about anything — page views, uniques, bounce rate, time on site, etc. I check it 2 to 3 times a week to analyze my traffic, to see which posts are the most popular and to see if I’ve been able to increase my “time on site” metric. (I’m convinced “time on site” is one of the key things Google tracks in their algorithm, which is why I’m occasionally writing longer, in-depth posts like this one — to keep you on the site longer which hopefully improve my Page Rank with Google.)
- Fluid Surveys. I used Fluid Surveys to find out what was on the mind of our 60 Second Marketer e-newsletter subscribers. It’s a great, easy-to-use survey tool that provides up to 150 responses for free. I happen to like it better than Survey Monkey because it 1) provides 50 more free responses than Survey Monkey, and 2) is slightly easier to use.
More Insights About the Research. The analysis was based primarily on social sharing statistics. In other words, I ranked our posts from the last 6 months based on the number of times the posts were shared via Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
This is different than ranking the posts with the highest page views, which I do occasionally with Google Analytics. The Google Analytics data provides insights on which posts are popular based on keyword searches, which is slightly different from ranking posts based on social sharing.
Here’s an easy way to distill what I just said:
- The Social Metrics plug-in is a great way to analyze which posts go viral with readers based on their “vote” for the posts using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Google Analytics is a great tool to use to analyze which posts — tied to certain keywords — are most popular with readers who are doing searches on Google, Bing or Yahoo!
There’s a difference between those two metrics. It’s a nuanced difference, but an important one.
What I Learned from Our Reader Survey. I learned some interesting things about our readers using the Fluid Surveys tool. For starters, I found out that most of our readers are interested in posts that provide specific tips and techniques as well as posts that are short, and to-the-point (unlike the one you’re reading now).
Interestingly, I also found out that our readers don’t like Infographics as much as I thought they did. In fact, Infographics came in third-to-last in our popularity poll.
You can see the details about what kind of posts people like below:
I also asked a related, but different, question about the specific topics. (The first question was about what kind — or what category — of posts people liked. This question was about what topics they liked.)
Here are the results of the topics question:
I learned something important from the survey question outlined above — I’ve been focusing too much attention on posts about mobile marketing. Our readers prefer social media posts as well as general marketing tips and techniques more than they like our mobile marketing posts. That was an important finding.
(By the way, we’re still going to do mobile marketing posts — but we’ll sprinkle in a few more social media and general marketing posts on top of the mobile marketing we’re already doing.)
One final piece of data from the survey can be seen below. It supports the finding that our readers would like the blog to focus on social, mobile and digital marketing as well as on articles that focus on marketing for small- to mid-sized businesses.
Ranking Blog Posts to Derive More Insights. Which of our blog posts are the most popular? That’s the real question I was interested in learning when I started this analysis. So, I ranked all of our posts over the past 6 months based on the number of social shares each post had.
What follows are the 6 most popular posts ranked in order of social shares. (We actually ranked our 21 top posts, but I don’t want to bore you with all of them, so I’ve just included 6 below.)
- 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs Have Absolutely Zero Social Media Presence — 217 (social shares)
- How to Run a Contest Using Instagram and Twitter — 151 (social shares)
- 19 Insanely Simple Landing Page Tricks You Can Use to Convert More Customers — 91 (social shares)
- 14 Insanely Simple Mobile Marketing Techniques You Can Steal from the Fortune 500 — 71 (social shares)
- Is Your Social Media Working? Here’s How to Find Out — 69 (social shares)
- Mobile Marketing Platforms: What Works and What Doesn’t Work — 62 (social shares)
(Side Note: Our #1 most shared blog post of all time is The 14 Most Powerful Words in Marketing with over 1200 social shares.)
10 Important Headline-Writing Rules We Learned from Our Research. Data is just data until you derive insights from it. With that in mind, here’s my take on the most important lessons we learned about writing headlines that attract reader’s attention.
- Say Something Controversial. When we wrote the headline, 14 Insanely Simple Mobile Marketing Techniques You Can Steal from the Fortune 500, we intentionally used the phrase “insanely simple” and the word “steal” as a way to grab the reader’s attention. It’s all about standing out in a crowded marketplace.
- Provide Data in the Headline. Our reader survey indicated that people like statistics in the blog headline. (Did you notice the statistic in this blog headline?). The social sharing data indicated the same thing. Data in a headline says, “This post is based on scientific facts.” People like facts.
- Add the Name of a Social or Mobile Tool in the Headline. Some of our most popular posts include How to Run a Contest Using Instagram and Twitter and 5 Things You Can Do to Get Started with Google+ and 13 Ways Businesses are Using QR Codes to Grow Revenues. When we add the name of a social or mobile tool into the headline, it acts like a magnet to attract readers.
- Use Attention-Grabbing Words and Phrases. Words and phrases like “critical,” “insanely simple,” “revolutionary,” “can’t miss” and “remarkable” all work to draw readers in to the blog posts. (Two of our top posts used the phrase “insanely simple.”)
- Write a Headline About What Doesn’t Work. Mobile Marketing Platforms: What Works and What Doesn’t Work and 5 Most Common Mistakes with Email Marketing were two of our more popular posts over the past 6 months. People click through because they want to know if they’re screwing up.
- Borrow Someone Else’s Brand Equity. I borrowed my friend Erik Qualman’s brand equity in a post entitled Erik Qualman: Research Shows that Multitasking is Worse than Smoking Weed. You’ll also notice that I said something controversial in that headline (see Rule #1). I returned the favor of borrowing Erik’s brand equity by providing a link back to his books in the post.
- Provide Free Tools. One of our more popular posts over the past 6 months was 7 Important Social Media Monitoring Tools You May Have Overlooked. People are always looking for new marketing tools. Especially free ones.
- Share a Long Lists of Tips. 30 Tips on How to Promote Your Next Blog Post and other posts like it are great ways to get people’s attention — and keep it!
- Talk About the #1 Reason People Are In Business – To Make Money. We sometimes forget that the #1 reason people blog is because they ultimately want to make money. One of our more popular posts recently was Want to Make Money with Mobile Apps? Here Are 10 Critical Things to Do Before Launch. It was popular because we focused on the essence of it all — making money and growing a business.
- Talk About the People’s Selfish Needs. In addition to growing a business, people are interested in themselves. Another popular post of ours was How to Use Social Media to Position Yourself as an Expert. Why? Because it focused on the #2 reason people blog — to get famous.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. We included a lot in this post, so feel free to print it out or share it with others. Hopefully, this will help you increase the number of visits to your blog as much as it’ll help us increase the number of visits to our blog.
About the author: Jamie Turner is the 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.