Content Analysis and How Optimization Can Double Blog’s Traffic – An Epic Revalation

Ever wonder how blog’s keep growing their traffic? We made a discovery that shows how proper content analysis can double your blog’s traffic. We took one of our client’s blogs and spent less than an hour optimizing each post. The outcome was unbelievable.

What Content Analysis Can Do For You

Before we start – I will show you what was the outcome of the content analysis. Content Optimization We managed to nearly double blog’s traffic in 40 days. As you can see there wasn’t much of a growth going on at this site before. Then we took over and nearly doubled the visitor amount. Blogs growth The best part is, we optimized only 11 articles from the total of 79. Pretty amazing right, if we take into account that by optimizing 16% of the site’s content we increased the traffic by 61%.

Where to Start the Content Optimization

Content Optimization You will need to set up a thing or two to get started, just so we are on the same page this is what you will need:
  1. Google Analytics – An Awesome video how-to piece.
  2. Search Console – Sweet video guide;
  3. Google KeyWord Planner – You will need to set up your first add to access the functionality (you can stop that straight after).
And you are good to go. For more actionable data you will need to wait a bit for Search Console & Analytics to collect information that can be categorized as reliable. 

Step #1 – Content Optimization With Google Search Console

Before we start: Just so we are on the same page, I need to make sure you have Google Search Console set up & ready. This video guide will get you there.

content fun meme

After that’s done – you will need to wait a while before the data is imported.

For those already familiar with the Search Console – congrats, that was the most complicated part of this process.

Here’s the part where you will learn how to find the keywords which will bring the most traffic, for each of your posts.

Step 1

Head over to Search Traffic (1) > Search Analytics (2).

Google Search Console

There you will be able to see:

  1. The queries by which people find you
  2. All your pages
  3. Countries
  4. Device usage (Desktop, mobile or tablet)
  5. Search Type (web, image or video)

Step 2

Select all the necessary metrics (1) – in this case, we selected all four.

Search keywords

 

Then click on pages (2) to see the site’s content neatly organised.

Step 3

In this case, you will need to organise all the pages according to the clicks (1) – a.k.a according to the traffic.

Keyword position

 

Then, go ahead and click on one of the articles (2).

As an example, we will select the “niche-sites-case-studies” post we optimised exactly one month ago. Let’s try to see if there are already any optimisation opportunities.

Step 4

Afterwards, you should click on the queries (1) to see all the keywords by which people can find your article.

Search keywords

 

It gets better, at the bottom of the page you can export all these queries (2).

Download keywords

 

This will give you a CSV file holding a list filled with all the keywords that have ever got an impression from a browser.

Step #2 – Analyzing Keyword Opportunities to Rank

Keyword search volume will change over time and your focus keyword might be replaced by a trendier query. KW Planner is here to save the day.

Google Keyword Planner

Note: To access the main functionality of KW Planner you have to set up 1 ad on AdWords. It can be turned off after the signup so you don’t have to worry about getting charged. Quick video guide here.

Now, let’s learn about spotting new traffic opportunities.

Step 1

Head over to Keyword Planner and click on Get Search Volume Data and Trends (1).

Google Keyword Planner

Then, upload the CSV file (2) you got from our friend, the Google Search Console.

Search volume upload

Optionally you can open up the CSV from Google Search Console and copy the keywords to paste into Google Keyword Planner.

Step 2

After you hit “get search volume”, you can organise all the queries according to average monthly searches (1), to see what’s trending at the moment.

And then download the list of all the KWs (2).KW planner

 

Top Secret Step

This is where the magic happens.

I have created an amazing Google Sheet that identifies content optimization opportunites for you automatically!

All you have to do is copy and paste!

At the moment you should have two CSV files:

  1. One from the Search Console with the data from your website.
  2. Another from the Keyword Planner with Google’s search volume.
Content Optimization Sheet Guide

 

  1. Copy paste your Search Console data in the second sheet (1).
  2. And the info from Keyword Planner goes in the third sheet (2).

Step 4

After that’s done, head over to the first sheet where you will see the chart with similar looking data-
Keyword graph
In this case, you can see the following:

  1. Which keywords have the highest search volume
  2. And which queries bring blog.Linkody the most traffic

At the beginning of a blog post’s life cycle, keywords that bring the most traffic and have the highest search volume rarely match.

And when we look at our blog the query that brings the most clicks is not always the keyword we originally tried to optimise for.

This is the optimisation opportunity you should be looking for.

You should generally target the query you find with the highest clicks as your focus keyword.

But also keep in mind that it’s worth investigating whether there is a potential to rank for keywords with a bigger search volume.

Note: 99% of the time high search volume means high difficulty to rank.

The probability to rank, for the keywords with the highest search volumes increases with time as your blog post matures by accumulating backlinks.

You can also give it a further boost by making significant updates to the content.

Nevertheless, be realistic about your chances to get organic traffic from high-end queries.

Step 4

In our example above most of the clicks were generated by the keyword “niche website examples” so we will select this as our focus keyword.

After checking the blog post, we realised that this specific term appears in the article only once.

That means there is great opportunity to optimise for this keyword with some simple on page SEO tweaks.

It’s also important to find 3-4 LSI keywords (semantic keywords) as well.

Then you want to sprinkle these keywords throughout your article along with your target keyword.

To find LSI keywords run a Google search for the selected focus keyword, scroll to the bottom of the page (1) and you will see the related searches (2).

LSI Keywords

Step #3 – On Page SEO Optimization

Once we know the focus keyword and LSI keywords for the specific post, it’s time to optimise the post.

SEO content optimization gif

Step 1

Head over to your blogging platform and find the post you want to optimise.

In this example, we will be using WordPress.

Step 2

We prepared a checklist for you to know how SEO on-page optimisation should happen. It’s 9 steps – take one step at a time and do the following for each of your posts:

  1. The headline should start with (& include) the focus keyword (make sure the headline is under 70 characters).H1 Headline
  2. Add a clickbait KW to your Headline – best, epic, awesome, deal of the year/month, use [] or (), etc.
    click bait h1
  3. Make sure there is an image in your post with the focus keyword as the alt-tag
    Img with alt tag
  4. Drop your focus KW in the first paragraph.first paragraph
  5. Add 3-4 similar LSI keywords in the content.
    • For us it was straight forward, we just added a couple of similar keywords from the list that Google Search Console produced.
  6. Make sure your focus KW appears from 0.5% to 1% from the total content.
    keyword density
  7. Add KW at the beginning of the URL. Important: If you edit the URL, make sure to create the redirect
    slug update
  8. Add a Meta-description that includes your focus keyword.Meta description
  9. Use sub-headings with your focus keyword.subheading

If you are running WordPress you can make this process a lot easier by installing the Yoast SEO plugin and setting a focus keyword when you are editing your post-

 

This is a long process but it’s one of the most important elements, without which content optimization won’t really work.

Step 3

It is important that you track your progress so please make a copy of this excel sheet

Just click on File > Make A Copy to grab a copy for yourself.

It’s fairly basic and self explanatory but make sure you fill it out each time you optimise a post for a new keyword so you can track your progress.

Step #4 – Tracking Results With Google Analytics

Knowing you have a problem is the first step towards fixing it.

You cannot know if you’re improving without data – so you’ve gotta measure it.

For A/B testing we use Google Analytics. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s free and gets the job done (here‘s a great video guide on how to set it up).

Step 1

Head over to Google Analytics and select your domain.

google analytics

Step 2

It will take some time before you find the right content recipe that works so content optimization should be carried out every ~1-2 months.

With that in mind the data should be monitored regularly at the end of each month.

ab testing google analytics

Step 3

To monitor only the organic traffic head over to Acquisition (1) > All Traffic (2) >Channels (3) > Organic Search (4).

AB test organic traffic

Then click on the Landing Pages (1)

AB test Landing Pages

And you will be able to see all your website’s content. Find the post you optimised and click on it.

Google Analytics compares the traffic & different metrics for each month so you know the effect of your actions and what to improve the next month.

At the end of the day, content optimization is a game of A/B testing – test, see what works and optimise.

Discovering what works is also the hardest part and requires the most work.

Wrapping It Up

By following this framework, you can make sure that your content performs better as time goes by.

For us, it was an amazing discovery. As with many other blogs out there, our posts enjoyed a couple of good months of traffic and then started slowly losing attention.

Well, not anymore – now we keep our posts fresh each month and traffic is growing faster than ever before.

I hope this guide can help you to do the same.

If you are struggling, make sure to share your issues or concerns in the comments section below. I will do my best to help you out.

And finally, here are a few questions to harness our collective wisdom: How have you previously dealt with the loss of traffic? Do you have a content optimization strategy in your organisation and how is it different from this one?

Happy content hacking!


This was a guest post for Matthew Woodward – the original can be found here.