If you have an archive of blog content developed over the months or years past, then this is an extremely important episode for you. We talk about doing a content audit – an exercise you should do periodically to gain maximum leverage from your existing blog archives. In this installment, we talk about the exact methodology to determine which posts to optimize, and the 3 key things to optimize for each post.
Hey there! Welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging!
If you have an archive of blog content developed over the months or years past, then this is an extremely important episode for you. We’ll talk about doing a content audit – an exercise you should do periodically to gain maximum leverage from your existing blog archives. In this installment, we talk about the exact methodology to determine which posts to optimize, and the 3 key things to optimize for each post.
So today, I am going to give you a tactic. This is going to be a very tactical episode. And this is something that you are going to need to follow through after you listen to this episode, especially if you have been blogging for a little bit of time. This is going to be something that you definitely want to put on to your list of projects to do with your own blog and it’s called a…
Now, the first thing I want to talk to you about is exactly what this is. What is a content audit? Well, the word “audit” kind of comes from… you may be familiar with the term when it comes to finances; the idea of auditing your finances. You are going to go back and you are going to look at things that have already happened to your books and you are going to make sure that everything makes perfect sense, your paperwork is in order, blah-blah-blah. 🙂
We are going to take the same idea and we are going to bring it into the content that we have already created on our blogs; basically our blog archives. And we are going to do a “content audit.” We are going to go back into the archives and we are going to optimize posts that we have already written.
So that is the big idea here with doing a content audit. The whole idea here is to leverage; this is something that we talked about on this podcast before, but leverage the content that you have already written. You go back and optimize it. We all have those blog posts that we wrote the you didn’t think was going to be that big of a deal but all of a sudden it ranked pretty well on Google or it got shared somewhere, and all of a sudden it was getting a lot more traffic than you thought was going to happen, so you need to go back and optimize that bad boy!
When you hit the publish button on a blog post that should not be the last time you look at it. You need to go back and you need to re-visit these things periodically to keep them up to date and to react to the traffic situation because you want to not have dropped the ball or miss opportunities. And that is what we are going to do with our blog audit. We are going to go back and we are going to look for those missed opportunities and we are going to optimize things that are already in place.
The 80/20 Rule
Now, let’s shift to you, slightly because this is definitely part of the tactic. Let’s talk about the 80/20 Rule. The technical term for that is Pareto Principle but it is basically known as the 80/20 Rule. It is the idea of 80% of your results coming from 20% of your efforts. And this 80/20 Rule is something that you see in place in a lot of different places. Generally speaking, you are going to get 80% of your results with whatever you are shooting for with about 20% of your work, okay?
So this 80/20 Rule; you see this all over the place. And it applies to our Content. In some cases it could be a lot more extreme, actually, than 80/20. But the idea is that probably 80% of your traffic is going to come from 20% or less of your blog post. Majority of blog posts that you have in your archive are probably not going to see a whole lot of traffic after they disappear in the archives. But you are going to have those few; that 20%-ish of blog posts that do pretty well. They rank fairly well in Google and they are going to bring you a majority of your traffic. In some cases it could be a lot more extreme than that. I think in my case, I have about 5% of my blog archives that are bringing me about 80% of my traffic. That happens… It’s totally cool.
But here’s the thing, this content audit really comes into play when you have that type of situation happening because basically then, you have got blog posts back in your archives that are acting as major landing pages. You have got traffic coming directly to those things in a pretty good volume. It is essentially a landing page. Now, if that landing page is set up like a typical blog post; in other words, not very well… you are dropping the ball.
So how can we discover where our traffic is coming from? Well, I recommend that you go to Google Analytics… freebie, totally awesome analytics package and you definitely should be using Google Analytics on your blog. And I am going to assume that you are; so I am going to give you a very quick walk-through on how to go about identifying what your top traffic posts are.
When you go into your Google Analytics report for your website you are going to go to “behavior” and then you are going to click on “site content” and then you are going to click on “all pages.” And what you are going to get is this table that lists out different URLs on your site and it is going to be sorted by “number of page views” and automatically by default, it is going to have the most popular URLs listed at the top and it is going to go down to the bottom. Typically you are going to have a very steep curve on there. You are going to have this thing where the top several posts are going to get like pretty decent traffic and then it is going to quickly go down and by the time you get down toward the bottom of this table you are going to have single digit numbers. You are not going to have a lot going on.
With this table, the first thing that you want to do is you want to go to the bottom of it and you want to show enough rows on this table to accommodate a pretty good majority of your content. So if you have been blogging for a really long time like I have, you are going to have several hundred posts in your archives. So the defaults display it, they show maybe the top 50 pages; that might not be enough to give you a good representative sample. So go down and it will say “show more rows” and select a bigger number. I think I selected like 250 or 500 or something like that.
Now once you have done that, you are going to have this much longer table of all of the URLs on your site now listed by most popular; like the most amount of traffic. What you want to do from there is go to “export this to Excel.” So Excel is the spreadsheet program by Microsoft. So go to the very top and you will have a little export drop-down and you can simply say “export this thing to Excel” and there are other formats there but Excel is nice and easy. You can even automatically export this into a Google Spreadsheet and that works totally fine if you do not have Excel. The whole idea is just to get it into a spreadsheet.
Once you have gotten it into a spreadsheet, this is where you can actually very easily determine what is going on. You are going to have the Page Views column inside the spreadsheet. And they are just numbers. You are also going to get a “sum” figure in that spreadsheet where you can actually say, “For this 250 blog posts listed, what is the total amount of traffic for that?” So that represents a hundred percent of your traffic in theory, here. What we want to do is to find out which of those blog posts at the top are representing 80%.
So what you do is you find out how many page views are represented in that total list and then you multiply that thing by 80% and you will find out what the 80% figure would be for that traffic. What number represents 80% of your total traffic? Once you got that number then all you got to do is start highlighting that page view column down and you will find that the spreadsheet software will summarize it for you as you go down. And what you do is you keep on doing that until you reach that point in your spreadsheet; in your list of posts, where the traffic number gets to about that 80% mark. And what you are going to find is that those top blog posts, whatever number you highlight are going to be your top blog content. And those are going to be the ones that are your 80/20. This is the 20% of blog posts; maybe even less than 20% that are going to be giving you 80% of your traffic.
So those are important posts to know. You want to put those things onto a list. You want to go and have a nice handy spreadsheet just that shows you the most popular blog posts. And then we are going to go and we are going to optimize those damn things! That’s what we are going to do because we know that most of our traffic is coming in on this thing. And put yourself on my case; if I find out that 80% of my traffic is coming from this 5% of my blog posts, if I go back and tweak and optimize those 5%, think about the additional results that I’m going to be getting from content that I have already written.
Now, what are you going to do with these blog posts? What are you going to do with them? Well, you want to reduce the bounce rate because that is a very important factor for search engine optimization; and we’ll talk about that perhaps in the future episodes, but really, what people think about SEO, with keywords and links and all these things…
A lot of it has changed and what we are really about now is user engagement on the article. And a big factor of measuring user engagement is that bounce rate. So if you have a high bounce rate on one of these posts, you want to see what you can do to reduce that because reducing the bounce rate on one of your highest traffic posts have a very “leverageable” high net effect on the bounce effect on your entire site.
So if you want to get a little bit more information about reducing your bounce rate, I want to encourage you to go back to Episode 56 of the Coffee Break Blogging Podcast because I do talk about it in a lot more detail there. That is Episode 56 of Coffee Break Blogging that has to do with how to reduce your site’s bounce rate.
Now another thing that you want to optimize on these high trafficked posts is of course the email opt-in process. Like I said, to be getting at this, each one of these posts is essentially a landing page. I mean, quite literally, people are landing on these blog posts. So treat it as a landing page. You might not want to have that particular post set up like a typical blog post with a big cluttery sidebar and all the usual garbage that goes with a blog. You might want to really optimize this thing so that it funnels people into a proper opt-in process.
One thing that you might want to highly consider doing is what has been called the content upgrade. It is the idea of creating a lead magnet or giveaway of some kind that is highly related to that blog post like it just goes with it like peas and carrots. And you create that uniquely for that blog post but in this case it would be worth it because you already know that this is a higher trafficked blog post. It represents a fairly decent percentage of your overall traffic. So it would be worth it and go back and retroactively create a content upgrade and then ask them to opt-in for it.
If you want to learn more about content upgrades and how to execute that, go back to Episode 58 of the Coffee Break Blogging Podcast because I talked about it in more detail there. We are not going to cover ground again that we have already done.
This one, we have not talked as much about it yet but it will come up in the future episodes of the show, is the sales funnel itself. I sometimes call this the profit funnels; the blog profit funnels. In the last episode when I talked about the Monetization Lab over at the Blog Marketing Academy, I talked about how you got these business machines that is underneath the blog and that is where all the money is generated. Well, if you have this higher trafficked post and you know it is doing well, how can you utilize that thing to get people on top of one of your sales funnels? That is what you should be looking at.
Now, I understand that the mechanics of that sales funnel is not something that we talked about on this podcast the heck of a lot as yet. But I have talked about it some over at the Blog Marketing Academy.
So if you go to blogmarketingacademy.com; literally just go to the homepage right now, and then scroll down, you will see on the bottom left; you will see 4 very prominent links to some pillar posts at the Blog Marketing Academy. One of them is of course the Coffee Break Blogging podcast itself but also there will be one about Blog Revenue Optimization Funnel.
I think I might actually re-brand that to the Blog Monetization Funnel or something to that effect, but go and check that out. It is a very important post that really gives a good diagram of what a full blog profit funnel looks like. And we are not going to go a lot into depth right now on that particular topic here on this episode but just know that if you have those things set up, if you have sales funnels set up, you can utilize this high trafficked blog posts to get people onto a lead magnet which then gets people on to these different sales funnels. And that is how to drive customers into your business.
Optimize Your Content
So there are a lot of things that can be done here with these higher trafficked posts but it requires you to do a content audit. It requires you to go back and optimize content that already exist; that you had already written. But you need to go back and you need to tweak them. You need to identify which ones are the most important judged by which ones are getting the most traffic. And you need to concentrate on those. It is not worth your time to worry about optimizing every post on your blog. You just need to spend your time on the ones that are getting you the most results.
Keep this in mind; I am going to end the episode with this: Every blog post is actually an asset for your business. You should not be creating blog posts with the hamster wheel mentality in mind where you think, “Well, I just got to get something out there this week and next week I have to write something else” or God forbid if you are on a daily structure in your blogging everyday… Oh my God, that would be horrible. But do not look at your blog content as this constant clock driven thing. It is not. That is not the way you should be looking at this unless you are in the news business. Otherwise, you should be looking at every blog post that you do as a business asset; something that is going to have long term value. And with that mindset in mind, you should not be just smacking the publish button on this thing and then you never think about it ever again.
Just like any asset that you have in real life, it requires a little bit ongoing maintenance. You know, if you own a rental house or something you are going to have to periodically have something fixed on it. The same thing goes with your individual blog post. Sometimes you’re going to need to go back and fix something or to update it in some way to make it most relevant. Basically put your best foot forward and then also make sure that each one of these things are optimized to do your business some good because they are working for you.
So that is the content audit; definitely put it to use on your site. Go back and put this on your list if this is not something that you have done. Now if you have a brand new blog and you have 20 to 30 posts, don’t worry about it. It’s not worth it to do a content audit. You don’t have enough for a sample. But if you have been at this for a while and you got a few hundred of blog posts or even thousands of blog posts, it is probably about time that you do a content audit on that stuff in order to get more results from the stuff that you already made.
With that being said, I will see you in the next episode which will be number 67 coming up! Wow, we are moving right along! See you in a few days! 😉
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